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ยป Forums ยป Freelancers ยป Re: List of red flags for scams
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1c998efd
Community Member

Opt-out fee

Is it true that Upwork has an opt-out fee for companies that want to pay contractors directly instead of through Upworks platform? I was told by a company that they don't pay through Upwork because they paid an opt-out fee because they are shifting the job to an extended commitment and trying to offer a long-term deal as an independent contractor. 

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petra_r
Community Member

There is indeed an opt-out fee (12% of 2080 times your hourly rate) but the "company" you are talking to hasn't paid it for you and it's a scam. They will be wanting to send you a fake check next...


Please make sure you familiarize yourself with Upwork's terms of service, mostly the fact that you are not allowed to communicate with any prospective client outside the platform...

 

Please also make sure you read this!

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petra_r
Community Member

There is indeed an opt-out fee (12% of 2080 times your hourly rate) but the "company" you are talking to hasn't paid it for you and it's a scam. They will be wanting to send you a fake check next...


Please make sure you familiarize yourself with Upwork's terms of service, mostly the fact that you are not allowed to communicate with any prospective client outside the platform...

 

Please also make sure you read this!

1c998efd
Community Member

Most definitely need to read all of the terms of service to know what the platform is or are. We are currently on Skype. So the opt-out fee comes from what I would get paid?

petra_r
Community Member


Samara W wrote: We are currently on Skype.

You can lose your Upwork account if you communicate with clients on Skype (or ANYWHERE other than Upwork).


Samara W wrote: So the opt-out fee comes from what I would get paid?

No. The opt-out fee in your case would be just short of $8000 and would have to be paid to Upwork in advance, and you don't even have to worry about it, because that scammer hasn't and never will pay the opt-out fee, they are lying to you because that is what scammers do.

 

No client would pay any opt-out fee for a freelancer they don't know and haven't worked with. Scammers say that purely to make you not question that you won't get paid on Upwork.

1c998efd
Community Member

Thank you for the information. He had me fill out a google doc interview questionair where I gave my name, address and phone number. I told him I was uncomfortable with this after reading Upworks terms of service and he then said we can pay through Upwork if you insist. Now I'm worried that he or they will attempt to steal my identity or something. How can I report the company? I screen shotted the questionair and chat on Skype.

I just made a post to see if anyone can answer my question. I'm new to Upwork and read that I should only accept payment through Upworks platform and the first company bid on says that they do not pay through Upwork because they paid the opt-out fee because they are trying to extend the contract to long-term. Makes me feel uncomfortable.

 

Did they pay the opt out fee for your contract? My understand is that opt-out is to be paid if you and the client decide to take your contract off upwork. I feel very uncomfortable too with these jobs. I have long-term clients and I love the security i have with upwork.

They say they did but I'm new to Upwork and don't want to risk anything. i'm scared now because I filled out a google doc interview questionair with my name, address and phone number, email too and I'm worried. How do I report them? I have scren shots of the Skype chat and questionair and the initial email notifying me of a missed message from the company.

Reach out to a customer service representative so that you can be better advised.


Jodiann A wrote:
Reach out to a customer service representative so that you can be better advised.

Reading the ToS would do the trick. CS doesn't read it to you. 

Professionals are expected to educate themselves before they use something they know nothing about. 

Another trick would be figuring out how to get millions of freelancers to read the ToS.


Peter G wrote:

Another trick would be figuring out how to get millions of freelancers to read the ToS.


Telegram! No, not that one, the real, ancient one. It seems so bizzare nowadays that it used to be that at any time of the day, your mailperson could ring your door and deliver a short message that somebody thought was real urgent. Like birthday greetings or such. 

So, a personal intervention. One or two people, possibly in some sort of costume, singing and performing the ToS to the happy newbie. Yep, that should do it. 

And BTW, through some dark back-channels (reddit) I was recently able to see a cheat-sheet for the upwork readiness test. And surprise, surprise, there were questions about "staying safe" there too. So, they have it. Done and done.  

I love the costumed singing thing. Maybe we should post a job for that here. And also throw in a mug for every freelancer who can prove they read the ToS. I know that would make me do it.


Martina P wrote:

So, a personal intervention. One or two people, possibly in some sort of costume, singing and performing the ToS to the happy newbie. Yep, that should do it. 

Better still, remember the old T Rex song, "Telegram Sam"? Well, we could have an adaptation, "Telegram Scam". Like most 70s bands, T Rex are probably all dead, so they're in no position to object.

Love the idea, love the song.

petra_r
Community Member


Jodiann A wrote:

Did they pay the opt out fee for your contract?


No, of course, they didn't. Scammers don't do that...

I've been scamed then? I'm freaking out a bit because I filled out a questionair through google docs and included my name address and phone number. Didn't think anything of it until he said they don't pay through Upwork because they paid the opt-out fee. So what am I supposed to do now that my info is out there?

egaruth
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Samara, 

 

Thank you for reaching out to us. Could you please click on my name and send me a PM with more information about the client and contract you are referring to? Please add as much information as possible so that I can better assist you. I will be sure to look into your report and escalate it accordingly.

~ Nikola
Upwork


Samara W wrote:

I've been scamed then? I'm freaking out a bit because I filled out a questionair through google docs and included my name address and phone number. Didn't think anything of it until he said they don't pay through Upwork because they paid the opt-out fee. So what am I supposed to do now that my info is out there?


Did you give them any money? Then you weren't scammed. They aren't going to do anything with your name and information. Stop communicating with them and block them.


Samara W wrote:

I've been scamed then? I'm freaking out a bit because I filled out a questionair through google docs and included my name address and phone number. Didn't think anything of it until he said they don't pay through Upwork because they paid the opt-out fee. So what am I supposed to do now that my info is out there?


I'd say it's unlikely they can much with that information that they can't do from just pulling random people's information off the net. Name, address, and phone are all easily findable. Block the client on whatever platforms you've been communicating with them on and move on.

 

If you haven't done so, please read this post.

martina_plaschka
Community Member

Either the client or the freelancer can pay it. 

It is based on the freelancer's hourly rate and in your case would come to $7987. It is PER freelancer, it is not a lump sum a company can pay. Do you really believe that a stranger on the internet pays that for a freelancer he doesn't know?

You need to educate yourself better and you will not fall for these scams again. 

(Hint: I don't believe there was ever an instance where the opt-out fee was paid. It is supposed to be prohibitive!)

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