It is not a violation of any Upwork rule to participate in an interview using Google Hangouts.
On the Community Forum, there are dozens, and probably over 100, posts written by newbie contractors who were invited to participate in interviews using Google Hangouts. All of them were scams. All of these "interviews" wasted the contractor's time, and sometimes resulted in significant difficulties and loss of money.
I have read Community Forum posts and other information about this extensively. I never once heard of a case in which a legitimate client invited a newbie entry level contractor to be interviewed using Google Hangouts and actually paid the contractor any real money.
Here is the proper response to a request to be interviewed via Google Hangouts:
Thank you for the invitation! I look forward to discussing the project with you. I would be happy to talk to you using a video chat session on Skype, or we could use a video chat or regular chat/messaging using the built-in Upwork messaging tool. I am very willing to be interviewed either way, at no cost to yourself. I can also do an interview using Google Hangouts, but due to security concerns I can only do that after you send an official Upwork hourly contract (use the "Hire" button). Once we have an hourly contract in place, we can do the Google Hangouts interview while I log time, and that way everything we do and everything we discuss during the interview will belong to you completely."
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Cathy - It seems like scammers on here are targeting newcommers (newbies) with job posts requesting a chat using Google Hangouts. it almost seems like it's a right of passage for all newbies to be scammed by this paticular scam. The scammer obtains the contractors address and will send a check to them. That check is not in the amount of what the contractor wants to be paid. It's WAY over that amount. The scammer tells you to deposit/cash the check, take out what's owed to you and send the rest either to -- an orphanage -- to another person to buy equipment from - or to another address
The check will turn out to be bad. The bank will come after you to pay it back. Which is ok, IF you've kept what you were owed. But you'll have to pay back, out of your own money the amount that you send. You might, depending on the banks policy, even have to pay a fee for cashing a bad check.
Communication such as Skype calls/messages, phone calls, personnal email can be taken "off site" as well as file transfers (personal email attachments, dropbox, Google drive or any other service used to transfer files back and forth) But the acutal hiring must take place on this site. and not by word of mouth of some client saying to you. "I'm hiring you." And ALL financial tranactions Must take place on this site. There's protection for hourly jobs (if you follow all procedures) and for fixed rate jobs (escrow) but all that has to take place on this site.
Never give out personal information - social security numbers, bank account information and account numbers, credit card and/or Paypal account numbers, passport information, and auto tag numbers. Unless material that's needed for you to work on a job, (such as a box of business cards for you to input into Excel for example) there's even no need for you to give out your address.
Hello Kathy T.
I thought it quite odd that they would have me communicate with them via Google Hangouts when there is a messaging system already set in place via Upwork.
Thank you so much for all of the detailed information in regards to this 'very important' topic. It sure saved me some time and headache/heartache as I certainly would not want to go through that ordeal (ie. the check depositing etc.). I'm so grateful to you and the Upwork community for your time and other members' time on this issue.