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New to Upwork and wondering about legitimate clients

I'm new to Upwork and am wondering about the process and potential clients.  I submitted a couple proposals - one for Accounts Receivable and the other for Accounts Payable.  In both cases the clients asked me to purchase supplies for to print "payroll checks" for which they would reimburse me for.  I was offered the job but the one wants to pay me thru Money Gram - I thought I had to log my time and Upwork would invoice the client - and pay me - that would be the purpose of filing the W-9.  The other sent me a "link" to "register" . . .  this feels wrong to me - can anyone give me insight?


Both of those sound suspicious to me. First of all, it's against Upwork's Terms of Service to pay a freelancer outside of the platform, so either the client is brand new and has not read the ToS or is blatantly disrespecting them. Second, I would be wary of them directing you to register for any site before proceeding with the job--maybe I'm just a cynic, but this sounds like a way to steal your information. 


I am wondering the same thing about legitimate clients.  The first interview I did seemed to be a scam and I wasn't sure how to handle the situation.  Now, a new client sent an interview request but I couldn't find where I had posted a proposal.  I cannot find anything about the client on Upwork but I could on Facebook.  Any suggestions on how to find out if a job is a legitimate one?

Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Julie and Tammy,


I am glad you decided to check the Community. As was mentioned above, paying and accepting payments outside of Upwork is a violation of the ToS. Please, flag the original job postings as inappropriate so the team can check and take actions when it happens.


Also, check out this thread.

~ Valeria

Thank you, Valerie.  I found the ad on Upwork and flagged it as inappropriate for working outside of the system.  I noticed another thread just posted that had the same "interview" type as I had and all the same things were told to me.  This is sad that people do this to new members.  I appreciate your reply.

Tammy wrote, "I cannot find anything about the client on Upwork but I could on Facebook.  Any suggestions on how to find out if a job is a legitimate one?'


Pay no attention to whatever company a client claims to represent. Bogus clients can use any company name that strikes their fancy. If anything, you should regard with special skepticism any client claiming to be acting on behalf of some large company, and especially if they invite you out of the blue.

"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce

You must be very careful while choosing the clients on upwork. Never ever give your personal information to any one.. on upwork there are many clients who are trying to steal your information by all means.. so be careful always

Newbies who receive invitations to work should never Google or otherwise do web searches on the names of the company or client that invites them. This is one of the key ways that scammers trick newbies. If you do a google search on the company or client name, you are doing what the scammer wants you to do.


All the information you need is in the job offer and on Upwork on the client's profile page.


Even for experienced contractors, googling clients is unnecessary. It is a bad habit. I never do. Google search results do not pay contractors. Clients pay contractors.

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