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New Type of Very Elaborate Scam!

I'm a seasoned freelancer and generally know a lot of types of scams, but this one takes the cake.

Vetted the client, they needed a full-time content writer, salary wasn't ludicrous but quite appropriate for experts.  This client had a lot of reviews and spent more than $10k on Upwork, you know, everything seemed legit. They asked for my resume, sent written interview questions, asked for my writing samples, and after all that, they scheduled a call. The camera was off, there was no noticeable accent. All was normal and just like any other interview. 
They have given me a job, all that was left to do was to "set up the working environment," and I could start billing.  This is where the scam begins. 

They have asked me to set up cloud computing environments. Several. I thought I would write about cloud computing. For those who don't know, to sign up for Azure, Google, and other cloud computing services, you need to fill in credit card details even though you won't be charged, especially if you don't use their resources. I voiced my concern about using personal email and asked for a company email instead. They said I could make a dummy one. 

Next, I signed up for these services, sent screenshots and whatnot to prove it, and used my card. 

Then they asked for access to that dummy email and password for cloud computing. RED FLAG. 
I started stalling, sent screenshots with a written password that wasn't accurate, and played dumb. 
I started asking all these questions about what the company does, what is my assignment etc, and when will I get it. Conveniently, they didn't respond to any of these questions. Upon further researching the company, I found out that they got bought by a larger company and it looks like they abandoned their profiles, but up until then they did use Upwork for sourcing talent. 

I received an email with the login attempt from Poland. The client on Upwork was in the US. 

Why does this scam work?
- They probably got a login for this company and posted a job ad. They used this company's good reputation. 
- They were very meticulous with the interview process. It lasted 4 days. It looked quite legit.
- If they used my account, they would have gotten access to ALL my credit card information. 
- If they used cloud computing services with my card on it, they could have racked up thousands of dollars since these are typically expensive. 

So - even if it looks legit, always ask further questions and never sign up for anything under your name and card information. 

Community Member

Thank you for sharing this very important info!


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