🐈 Community
» Forums » Freelancers » Refund Fraud
Page options
Community Member

Refund Fraud

I feel like Upwork has to update their hourly work refunding client terms. A client gives you hourly work, you do it and finish in 3days ( we even pay 3rd parties partners), Upwork suspends a client, week is reviewed, then pending even for Top Rated freelancers then when its supposed to be available, Upwork emails you a notification of refund. In 4 instances within a month? This is discouraging. And I feel like these are same clients who are frauding freelancers and protected by Upwork terms. I say this because, two of the clients with different accounts gave me the same job, and both got refunded after I paid the 3rd party and we finalized the work. In one case here client lending the contract after I am done working and gives me a 5 star and Upwork still refunds. In another case, client informs me of her suspension because she wanted to pay another client direct to bank- she even confirms to pay me $500 that I worked for so far before her suspension and Upwork still goes ahead to refund. Then the client sends me an invite through her brother's Upwork account, I finished the work then he also gets suspended and my effort is still refunded. Is this a web of crime on Upwork that makes freelancers run huge losses? I am discouraged to even write a job proposal. I feel freelancers ain't protected bu Upwork terms. I just want to get money because no client complained and two of them even gave me a five star (I have lots of attachments to share, more than 4)


**Edited for Community Guidelines**


David, I really am sorry that this happened.

You can't get money back.

You need to learn from your mistakes and move on.

View solution in original post

Community Member

More attached below 


**Edited for Community Guidelines**


Hi David,


This is a difficult situation and I understand your frustration. Some reversals (chargebacks) are a result of the client contacting their bank and asking them to reverse the payment.
In these cases, we look to our Terms of Service (TOS) for guidance and follow it by taking two steps:
1. We seek reimbursement from freelancers/agencies in cases where their client makes a payment, asks their bank to reverse it, and the bank does. (see more detail in sections 6.3-6.5 in our TOS).
2. We review the client’s Upwork account because reversing a payment, in most cases, is against our TOS and can result in us permanently suspending their Upwork account.
Aside from these steps, the Upwork team also helps the freelancer or agency challenge the reversal.
Our team can submit a rebuttal to the client’s bank on the freelancer’s behalf if they provide a proof of the work or deliverables. They would need to move quickly, so please provide the requested proof within 48 hours of being notified of the reversal if you’d like us to proceed. Keep in mind that it can take the bank up to 90 days to review and provide their final decision. The client’s bank will have the final say regarding the rebuttal and we have no control over the outcome.
Thank you,

Hello Pradeep, kindly launch investigations into this. Same client using two accounts to give a freelancer job. A freelancer completes the job as agreed. A client ends the job as successful and gives a 5star review......how do Upwork refund my money in such instances!!!? And incase that I finished the work and Upwork suspends client account,  why am I not being paid?

Community Member

What do you mean when you say that you were paying third parties? Did you track your time properly, using the time tracker? I also notice that your rate has suddenly jumped from $15/hour in February to $90/hour in March - why is that?

The job details included running ads, which are pre-paid services and part of what I do. The job I do 'YOUTUBE CHANNEL GROWTH, ADs MANAGEMENT, SEO, YOUTUBE CHANNEL MANAGEMENT &GROWTH' I usually charge depending on several factors and in agreement with the client. That's what I factor in as 3rd party services. Can you contact those clients on my behalf so that I get payment for the services I offered? Despite ending the jobs as successful and giving a 5star rating and review,  Upwork suspends them and refunds the money. I feel frustrated by this act.

You cannot pay from client behalf. It is rules violation. It is possible that you wont be paid.

Read ToS carefully before taking other job.

If a client asks you to spend money out of your pocket this is a BIG red flag NEVER spend on behalf of a client they should be the ones doing so.

David, I really am sorry that this happened.

You can't get money back.

You need to learn from your mistakes and move on.

David O wrote:

Despite ending the jobs as successful and giving a 5star rating and review,  Upwork suspends them and refunds the money. I feel frustrated by this act.

I don't work for Upwork, I'm another freelancer like yourself. You didn't answer some of the questions that I asked to help determine what happened. Why did you increase your hourly rate so much on your last job, when you did all of your other jobs for $10 or $15/hour - what was so special about it? Upwork's payment protection will only cover your usual hourly rate, not if it jumped from $15 to $90 in less than a month. Did you track your hours properly using the time tracker, or was it manual time? Also, did all four refunds occur with the same client, under different accounts?


Upwork doesn't just randomly decide to refund money to clients, or suspend them for no reason. Either the client's payment method didn't work (which happens if they use a stolen credit card), or they asked for a chargeback and you didn't follow the rules for payment protection. It's also possible that Upwork suspects you were involved in fraud, considering that refunds have happened to you four times in one month. Didn't it occur to you that something was wrong when your client told you that their account was suspended? That means they either failed to pay another freelancer that they were working with, or they were doing something wrong. You shouldn't have agreed to work with them under a different account. And it doesn't matter how "happy" they were; obviously a client will be happy if they got work done without paying you, or if they tricked you into helping them commit fraud. Their happiness unfortunately didn't result in them wanting to pay you.

Now it is 30 per hour

Community Member

I almost got trapped by one of these but read the warning signs real quick when they did not want to start a upwork contract.  Always vet a history of someone posting a job or a freelancer.

Latest Articles
Upcoming Events
Featured Topics
Learning Paths