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Need advice from experts to prevent REFAND SCAM

Hi Upworkers,

I'm a member of an Upwork Freelancers group on Facebook. Nowadays there are common posts titled "Refund scam". When I go through these posts, I understand that some clients on Upwork get things done by following a few simple steps


Post a job > Hire a freelancer > Get the job done > Approve the milestone > Provide a 5-star review and end the contract > After 7 days or later initiate a refund request > Get their money back.


That's it. They go a free service and the freelancer gets nothing. If the freelancer refuses to pay, they simply send the request from their bank. And amazingly Upwork can't do anything in 99% of cases.


When I saw this kind of refund post, I really scared about the career on Upwork. 


Expert, please advise me with some common properties of these scammer clients that help me to protect my career.


Have a good day. Thanks in advance.




Hi Md Aminul,


I can certainly understand your concerns and want you to know that in situations where the client contacts their bank and asks them to reverse the payment, Upwork offers to challenge the chargeback in an attempt to help the freelancer get the money back. Upwork would need to move quickly, so we advise freelancers to provide the requested proof of the work or deliverables within 48 hours of being notified of the reversal if they'd like us to proceed.
Upwork Payment Protection doesn’t apply in these cases unless the contract in question is hourly and the requirements listed here are met.
Upwork team would also review the client’s Upwork account because reversing a payment in most cases is against our Terms of Service.

~ AJ
Community Member

When you're running any kind of a business, there is a risk of running into a problem client occasionally, and no way to 100% prevent this from happening. Having said that, I've been freelancing via Elance/Upwork for over 20 years and have been paid for every single job that I've done here; I've never even been involved in a dispute. But if you want to minimise your risks, you can choose to only accept hourly jobs, follow all of the rules for payment protection, charge a consistent hourly rate, and don't go past the maximum number of hours per client that Upwork will cover.


Try to remember that you're only hearing one side of the story when you see posts in the forum about chargebacks. I think that a lot of cases, the client is the one who's been scammed (read some of the posts in the clients' forum if you don't believe me) and that's why they requested a chargeback. I don't believe that a significant percentage of clients come to Upwork with the intention of getting free work, especially since they can legitimately get their work done for hardly any money. The vast majority of scams here involve "clients" trying to get freelancers to pay them money, and those scams are easy to avoid. 

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