Has anyone heard of a Freelancer by the name of *** Edited for Community Guidelins *** ? I should've caught it earlier but I didn't realize that the contractor may have been suspicious until they provided me with a fraudulent email address. At this point I can only cut me losses and report the page, serves me right for thinking that all the Freelancers on Upwork were verified and legitimate.
re: "Has anyone heard of a Freelancer by the name of"
You are not allowed to refer to freelancers by name like that here in the Forum.
Names of freelancers don't really matter. We don't have a list of fraudulent freelancers. Scammers just use fake names, so a list wouldn't matter.
It is their behavior and record on Upwork that matters.
The important thing is that a freelancer behaves professionally, provides value to the client, obeys the rules of Upwork, and provides truthful information about himself to Upwork and his clients.
You can REPORT a freelancer by name to Upwork Customer Service. But you can't reference them by name in Forum posts.
I am glad that you did not lose any more time with this freelancer.