Thank you for your time in reading this.
Background: I now have an account on several telecommuter sites and have a pretty steady stream of work. For this, I am extremely grateful. I love my Upworks account for it's unique clients. They are typically of a higher, more reliable caliber and the solution provider tools are amazing.
However, success inspires scam artists, and since I am a police officer/security professional at heart, I find myself writing about these issues, on different platforms like LinkedIn, a lot. I never thought that I would find myself writing about this issue, though, and would love to get some input.
Recently, I was contacted on another service, by a scam artist, who offered me money to allow the scammer to take over my Upworks Account for $200 a month. I reported the scammer and he was tossed off the platform. But his pitch and offer were interesting.
Here is what he offered:
"I will give you $200 a month if I can remotely log into your computer, at your home, from your network, with access to your UPWORKS account. I would need access to your PC at home, during all hours and all you have to do is collect the money we pay you."
Here was his introduction:
**Edited for Community Guidelines**
He then explained what I said above.
My question to the community is this: Do you want your hard work on this platform to get frittered to zero reputation, due to scammers from Hong Kong diluting your platform? How can we challenge Upworks to not allow paid interviews? How can we challenge Upworks to take a more proactive stance against this "account leasing for hire" so that hackers from China and Russia (I read that scammers from all over pay a premium to "lease" Upworks accounts so that people can use your account to cheat people. The two worse countries are China and Russia.) What is being done to stop this brand dilution from happening? Do we have a means of reporting fraud and cheating on this platform? If we do, it's not real obvious.
There are always scammers looking to make a quick buck from the gullible or the desperate. Being an international marketplace, there's not really a lot Upwork can do, other than educate, and then trust freelancers to use proper judgement. Especially since allowing someone else to access your account can get you banned as well.
This is the second time I've heard of such a scam, btw. Someone's always got an angle.
There have been quite a few threads and posts identifying this same scheme. Originating on other sites. Upwork is well aware of this, and is engaged in efforts to detect such activity.
Of course any Upwork user who participates in something like this is violating Upwork TOS and risks having their account terminated.
The original poster asks if we are a way of reporting fraud and cheating. Of course every profile and job post has a link for reporting inappropriate activity. But the problem being discussed here relates to activity on OTHER platforms, other sites. So these internal Upwork links can not be used. I don't know that there is anything to do beyond ignoring those scammers and possibly reporting your experiences here in the Forum.
It would be inappropriate to take up Upwork customer support's time asking them to do something about bad behavior occurring on OTHER websites, perpetuated by non-Upwork users.
Hi, sorry if I gave the impression I wanted something done on another service venue. Wasn't the intent of the article. The intent was to possibly suggest that if there was a drop-down on Upworks that specifically directed "security issues" to a subject matter expert within the Upworks organization, that might be better than having to hunt for the appropriate place to get the word to the right people.
Also, the information used by scammers on other sites, directed at Upworks, specifically, might be a useful tool in knowing what's being sent your way. Wouldn't you think?
It would be obsurd to suggest Upworks would work to solve problems on competitive websites, wouldn't it?
Okay, in the spirit of the "Upworks Way", I am going answer my own question:
1. If you have a security consern about any aspect of your account, be it a client issue, a frelancer issue... You are only a few clicks away from bringing your concerns to the attention of the proper people.
2. Start by clicking on the small "?" mark, on the upper right side of your browser window, next to your profile avatar.
3. Then click on "Help and Support". This will take you to the proper area of the website.
4. Once in the support area, then scroll down to the "Trust and Safety" link, in the bottom middle of the selection grid.
5. In the Trust and Safety area, choose "Report Site Vulnerabilities".
6. When you are on the next page, look for the form Upworks links to.
Either fill that form out with all the details they ask for, or you can follow the other path (Read the requirements thoroughly.) and e-mail your concerns directly to their support staf.
WARNING: Dont use these to fast track your technical support issue. Only use it if your concerns comply with their guidelines.
7. Finally, if you are solicited by anyone to "lease out your account" so that international criminals can fleece your customers, please report that activity using the steps above. Give them every detail. If they can, they can help us keep our brand value, by ensuring that pay-for-interview scams and bait and switch/phishing type scams don't dilute the value of providing services via Upworks.
David P, I love how the system tagged "best answer" to your question as your answer to your question. 🙂
With the growth, reach, and success of Upwork, we have unfortunately also seen scammers try to take advantage of our customers. The Trust & Safety team monitors and attempts to stop suspicious activity on the site 24/7. Account buying/leasing is an emerging trend that we are trying to stop.
It's hard to gain admissions to Upwork and even harder to grow a solid reputation. And this makes Upwork accounts even more valuable. I'm happy to hear that folks like you help us keep the site and existing customers safe.
When we find this behavior, because this is a violation of our terms of service and also just plain unethical, we suspend the freelancer (regardless of their reputation) and may report this to the authorities depending on the circumstance.
And if you ever have difficultly reporting it or are unclear how to, please direct message me.
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