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39890bec
Member

Potential Scams on Upwork

Hi All

I'm relatively new to upwork but enjoying it so far. What I have been noticing over the last few days is an increase in numbers of potential scams. It's usually a request to retype English documents from a picture onto a word document and they offer quite large amounts for a very easy task. I applied to one as I was intrigued. I then got asked to start messaging via telegraph. Which I didn't. They then proceeded to send me a link to a video demo which lasted 12 minutes and it was a very basic retyping task. I then said I was interested. They then sent me a PDF document with a list of projects saying I had to pay upfront (almost $120) as they needed to ensure they can trust me. Immediately I knew it was a scam and did not part with any hard earned cash, therefore I reported them immediately.

I just wanted to share my experience to my fellow freelancers to alert this is going on. If you see these types of jobs please flag them as inappropriate immediately as I wouldn't like anyone to waste their connects on even applying for these jobs. I've reported at least 20 in the last 2 days! Would be good if upwork could perhaps fund a project for someone to do a daily purge of these types of jobs. 

20 REPLIES 20
pgiambalvo
Member

Hi, Elizabeth. Yes, the scam post problem is STILL getting worse. I see 40 plus every day just in my own very limited search parameters. I agree that "Would be good if upwork could perhaps fund a project for someone to do a daily purge of these types of jobs." Not gonna happen. Why not? Just my opinion, but besides other reasons you will hear, money. But if 9 scam posts get blocked for every 1 legitimate one that mistakenly gets blocked, that's fine by me.

Absolutely Peter!

You can usually tell the scammers as it has more or less the exact same text with ludicrous amounts of money and they've just became a client that same day! I've actually started reaching out to the companies who they are claiming to be and also reporting them. Every one of them have come back and said nope that's not how we do business. Unfortunately the issue is not exclusive to upwork either 

And what's doubly frustrating is how many of them are repeats, and are "Featured" and from "Upwork Plus" clients. To me at least, that type of promotion adds legitimacy to them, making more freelancers apply to them. But then that's why those designations exist, isn't it?


Peter G wrote:

...how many of them are repeats, and are "Featured" and from "Upwork Plus" clients.


They're most unlikely to be featured as that would require payment and as such a trace to the scammer.

Scammers don't pay, their purpose is to get paid.

aocumen
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Elizabeth, 

 

I've read news articles that scams and fraudulent actors have been more active since the pandemic started. And I've seen some of this happen to people in my network (outside of work).

As for your concern on scams on Upwork, I want to note that we do have teams and systems that help identify red flags if a user or a job post is fraudulent. However, I would like to clarify that there are cases where we cannot foresee a violation based on a client's job post itself or their initial communications with the freelancer. We usually receive flags when the interview stage has already commenced, where the client explicitly communicates this (ToS violation) with a freelancer. In cases like these, the teams involved take action immediately against the client's job post and account based on the report.


~ Avery
Upwork

Please, look at this - 4 jobs in a row of scams in my feed. All have contact information in the job, all have the same text, all were posted within minutes of each other. I am an average developer at best, but even I could implement something to auto-flag these. It's just getting worse and worse. When will more be done? When 90% posts are scam? 

 

Sorry for throwing frustrations at you, I understand you are not in control of Upwork.

**Edited for community guidelines**

 

Tatevik, I know I'd like an answer as to when more will be done and am sure many others do as well.

The answer to "When will more be done?" Insert crickets chirping here. But maybe I'm being too impatient as I'm sure Upwork is on it.

Thank you Avery

 

My concern also is some individuals have actually sent proposals for these jobs which cost connects (myself included). I appreciate what you are saying in terms of can't check every single job, however, when people apply for these jobs and it turns out to be some sort of scamming activity then surely the least upwork could do is give connects back to that individual? Some cost 6 connects! 


Elizabeth M wrote:

Thank you Avery

 

My concern also is some individuals have actually sent proposals for these jobs which cost connects (myself included). I appreciate what you are saying in terms of can't check every single job, however, when people apply for these jobs and it turns out to be some sort of scamming activity then surely the least upwork could do is give connects back to that individual? Some cost 6 connects! 


When upwork takes down a job post for a violation you get your connects back. 

Yes, This is really helpful thanks for sharing it.

colettelewis
Member

Well, it is my turn to report exactly the same thing. A spate of scam jobs - mostly translation - in my feed. I have reported them, but there is also one (maybe more - I'm still only on the first of the latest ten jobs) that is marked as  "no access private invitation only".  Here it is.http://prntscr.com/26jtg2c

 

I don't see any active mods at the moment.  So I know this is not allowed and I know that it will be edited. However, I think Upwork's job offer system, is about to get seriously jammed by these scams. So something does need to be done. 

 

Yeah nichola I've noticed all of those as well and reported. It's gotten increasingly worse over the last couple of days. Very frustrating when looking for genuine contracts! 

imisskbear
Member

Thank you for sharing this.  You're a savior. I almost applied to this kind of job. 

00137e0a
Member

Yes, it's incredibly annoying to browse for good job opportunities among so many scams. 

 

Honestly, I'm baffled by the fact that Upwork apparently can't see how detrimental this overwhelming surge of scams is to their platform. 

 

 

tamaragaspar
Member

Hi Elizabeth. I saw a post like that, applied, and got a message similar to what you described. They said I needed to text somebody via Telegram which I did. The person I was talking to on Telegram then proceeded to tell me that the document is 200 pages long and pays $18 per page that need to be retyped in 4 days. He sent me his website and a form that I naively filled. In around five minutes, I received an email saying that I am hired and I got sent the 200 jpg files that need to be retyped. So far it seems legit, but seeing your post, I am worried that I am being scammed. What should I do?

It is not legit. It is a scam and you won't get paid. First off, you need a formal Upwork contract in place. Second it is a violation of Upwork's rules and regs to communicate with any client off the platform until you do have  a formal contract. Third this is what scammers do - lure freelancers off site. Report the client and move on. 

And the biggest red flag is the budget. There is no way you would get paid over $3000 for the job described. 

Hi Tamara,

 

Please share the job post link you're referring to via PM so I can have this reviewed by our team. I'd like to remind you also that it is a violation of Upwork TOS to communicate outside the platform before a contract is placed. You can read more on this help article and also, please check out Tips to avoid questionable jobs. You might also want to check out the information here to learn more about staying safe on Upwork. 

~ Joanne
Upwork
eddie_kee
Member

i actually applied something simliar and i was very suspicious when i was asked to contact another person either through Whatsapp or Telegram to get more information.  I contacted one and was informed they are a recruitment agency and asked me to provide my full name, my email address, contact no .  Thank god i saw this post as my gut feeling was telling me it's a scam.  Anyway I have the title of the jobs so perhaps someone from Upwork can look into it and remove them?

 

Typing documents on MS word (client name: **Edited for Community Guidelines** 

retype a PDF into Word **Edited for Community Guidelines** 

diego-rodrigo
Member

Upwork will not protect you from scammers, even when you report a client, Upwork won't do **Edited for Community Guidelines** about it, be advised, better find another freelancer platform, I'm doing that because I've just got scammed by a client and Upwork did nothing..

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