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Community Member

New type of fraud that I faced on Upwork

Hi all,

I was recently hired by a client and began an hourly contract. 
His payment was verified, and he asked me to buy some domains for him, and he sent me the amount of the domain as a bonus, and I bought 5 domains for him, and then he told me that he was having trouble transferring the amount to someone on Paypal, and that I had transferred $700 to you as a bonus, and that I should transfer $350 to him on Paypal. 
I denied it; he inquired about it, but I flatly refused.

After two days, I noticed that the money the client sent to me to buy the domain was returned to the client's bank, and Upwork stated that the payment was not deducted from the client. 
I've already purchased domain names out of my own pocket.

Please be cautious of such a new type of fraud.
Community Member

Hi Anurag,

Verified payment is not an indicator of much, other than the fact that the client has a credit card, which could be stolen, and they've been able to register with Upwork. People seem to regard this is some sort of halo in terms of client reliability. It's not. 

I would contact customer service at Upwork to see if they can help you to contact the company you bought the domains from.  It's a reasonable bet that if the client did a chargeback, they're going to use the domains for something illegal. That's why you need to contact the company you bought them from. Hopefully, the domains are not also registered in your name. 

It's a really good idea to get to know Upwork's legal pages because it can save you a lot of hassle. The terms of use tell you what you can and can't do on the platform and what clients are and aren't allowed to ask for.


The specific item you want to look at is this one:
Screen Shot 2022-08-04 at 9.14.07 AM.png

I think this article should be required reading for everyone who uses Upwork:


Payment Verified adds about 1000 times more credibility to the many "clients' you allow on here - for long periods of time - who show "Payment Not Verified" -- so there's that!

Mark, I'm a freelancer. I don't allow clients on here, legitimate or not, because I don't work for Upwork.

Also, tons of people have been scammed by "clients" who have registered with stolen credit cards, and tons of people have been scammed through chargebacks. Verified payment doesn't mean as much as people like to believe it does,  and not all clients with unverified payment methods are scammers. So it's important for people to look at other factors when they're vetting clients.

Client history can be a good indicator, but verified payment doesn't guarantee your safety.

same things with me today client ask me to purchse domain and i have purchse any help from upwork to stop this client amount refund and this type of froud ?


Community Member

This is a common practice scam with PayPal accounts. Although it could be possible in other ways, what I have seen about this sort of scam is, it looks frequent via PayPal.

By security PayPal allows 2-3 days of "secure" escrow, many scammers send you money and then report you as a scammer rejecting the transaction they made to you 2 days later, so you end with nothing.

You probably should report paypal's account mainly. As that mechanism of scam is frequent there, they should have more "experience" solving those kind of issues, at least to close that account. 

Read more about common scams from paypal site:
What are common scams and how do I spot them? (paypal.com)

Your case fix more on "Overpayment scam" part

Community Member

Anurag: you seem to be an intelligent man.  How did you fall this tried and true scam? If you had thought through, you would have realized any dumb moron can buy domains on their own. 


You are the owner of those domains, they could build websites and since you are the owner you are guilty.

Community Member

Thank you for the post and for saving others. 

Community Member

Have you got your money back

Community Member

Thank you for the post and for saving others, Especially for a newbie like me 😥

Community Member

I would never purchase anything for a client on Upwork, that's not our job, if they can't purchase what they need, that's their problem. The second anyone asked me to purchase something for them, I already know it's a scam.

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