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Reporting Upwork scams

’m sorry to go back to the old chestnut of bogus clients and free work supplied

but I really do wish to understand the company’s thoughts on this.


After red flagging and passing on details for a while now I note that many of these posts have now been taken down and I am grateful for that. However, of course, more of the same have appeared today and the same MO will continue as it has done for the last few years. I have been reading reports on the forum of  exactly the same methods operating in 2016 -( I didn’t go further back ) and exactly the same questions were being asked and the moderators have always been informed.


These are not just a bunch of  assorted clients that are looking for cheap work, failing to give offers and wasting people’s time, It is one organized set up with the exact same MO.


It is going on all over the platform and someone has been making a packet. Multiply the 30 bogus translation jobs  over the last ten days by the number across the other sectors. It is no small scam and shouldn’t be ignored.


I assumed that we would have to deal with the odd dishonest individual  but I didn’t expect an ongoing scam such as this. I realise that many freelancers have lost money due to scams and Upwork has to deal with all of these serious cases but this particular crime is allowed to continue because nobody has actually lost any money.  .


We are repeatedly told that it is our fault and not to supply tests. I can appreciate that.


People have asked, why not punish these freelancers in some way or why not only allow clients to post jobs only after verification. Both options would be effective I think but have not been implemented.


These are actually real jobs, (only bogus for Upworkers), unknowingly completed by the freelancers and a  real client somewhere is paying for them ( at a cut rate) and the scammers are laughing.


I cannot pretend to understand the security issues involved in removing fake jobs/fake clients but clearly the current system remains ineffective.

The fake clients pop up every day and the freelancers continue to  work for the scammers whilst disregarding the guidelines. Of course, they have no idea at all that by simply doing a test they are contributing to this scam of this proportion. Perhaps someone should tell them.

They just think that they have done a test and not heard back.

Two weeks ago I would never have imagined an operation such as this has been functioning with such ease and will obviously continue to do so.


My suggestions for at least trying to get rid of this is -


Why not, as well as the guidelines, simply put a warning on our screens when we log on, describing this particular MO and telling freelancers what to look out for? Put up an example of one of these posts (they are all very similar) Give them an informed choice because they have no idea what is actually going on.  You cannot see from the job posting that a duplicate post is also on offer, as it is on a different bogus client account. As they often do their tests before the interview count rises to ridiculous numbers, explain to them what is happening, ask them to wait before sending tests, to check on the numbers. Because, like it or not, people are always going to want to give tests because they are desperate for work.

If you take down a post you could send automated messages to ‘the interviewees’ and ask them to pass on the dodgy email addresses provided in order to supply the work. They would be pleased to do so.

You could then have a black list of emails that people could refer to before sending any tests.  Very quick and easy. That would be very reassuring. You could, even now, send messages to the freelancers that were interviewed for all the posts you have removed recently and ask them to send you the email addresses because these jobs are usually duplicated and reposted. This list could even be  passed on to the authorities. I don’t understand why this has not been done.

For example If the one that I supplied  to you had been given out in a warning, then nobody else would have done the test and 50 or so texts would not have been written and sent.

This would be far more productive than wasting time endlessly removing posts to no avail and dealing with the endless complaints on this subject .


If you have a current list of  dodgy emails( which are sent through Upwork messages), then a search list for these emails could be implemented, picking them up whenever they appear on the site. They could then be  automatically highlighted in red.

Surely this would stop this practise for good.


I have noted that the hour is often completely wrong on the bogus jobs for the first day or two. It is not relevant for any country, then mysteriously after a few days it  becomes correct.


It’s pointless giving the warnings on the forum alone.


Any time invested implementing these procedures would be offset by the admin time currently wasted  and the site would become a better place for it. Not to mention the fact that this scammer would no longer be able to operate on this site. It would also prove useful for any other scams that have been detected. It would cost money however.


I would appreciate your opinions.


Ps I have obviously been looking into this all week ( have no translating work) and can easily identify the posts with the same MO. Would you like to give me the job of removing them from the site on day one and contacting the freelancers to find all the dodgy emails? Happy to do so.

regards Jan

Community Member

Like this one I just saw?

**Edited for Community Guidelines**


Sorry Upwork denied me access to viewing this. Apparently they have plenty of  technical procedures in place but none dedicated to controlling scamming! regards Jan

By the way, what time is shown on your posting please? Mine says 06.09 am???

Silly me -just realised -it is the time in America!!!!!



I can copy and paste the text etc. if that is allowed?


Hi Patricia,


Thanks for flagging this job post. I'll share this with the team for further investigation and appropriate actions will be taken. 

~ Joanne

Thanks for your feedback, Jan. I'll be sure to share your suggestions to our team.  

~ Joanne

Thanks! It occurred to me that perhaps she couldn't see it because it was meant for workers in the US only?


Thank you.

Gosh they are busy  today aren't they. More and more being posted. 

The same first name  and a quick switch of the surname - Simple as that.

regards Jan

ps No point in flagging or supplying the client's name. Makes no difference

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