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Community Member

SCAM ALERT!! Personal Assistant/VA

Hello All,


As a new member to Upwork, I received my 1st interview invitation for Personal Assistant/VA. This was a complete SCAM! I was instructed to contact the interviewer via Google Hangouts and did so, as I was eager to follow-up on what I thought was one of my proposals. The company being promoted is

**Edited for Community Guidelines**.  After a detailed Q&A chat and information about the company and job offer, I was asked for my complete mailing address and bank name (to see if it aligns with their payroll database) because I'd be receiving a check to purchase the necessary software for the position. They also said they'd be sending an APPLE computer for me to work on. Obviously, this is the point where my red flags went completely off and I begin to do an internet search of this company as well as check Upwork's community page for scams, mid conversation! Once I begin to ask questions of the "interviewer" (who was using**Edited for Community Guidelines**

 as an email address on Hangouts) such as Upwork's guidelines state all payment will be done via the site, why would you be sending me a separate check and why do you need my bank name/info if you are sending ME a check. At that point, the interview ended and I was blocked from sending further messages to the address, but not before I already confirmed my mailing address (which was foolish, figuring it was already on my resume uploaded to Upwork anyway).  I am not sure and am a little concerned as of what, if anything, will come from this. PLEASE BEWARE!!! AND UPWORK, PLEASE HELP NEW, TRUSTED USERS TO YOUR SITE WITH PROTECTION FROM THESE "INVITATIONS" GETTING IN YOUR INBOX. 

If anyone has any input or suggestions, please weigh in. I'd welcome your feedback. 

Community Member

Hi Summer,


This is a very common scam on Upwork and has been going for a long time. If the client asks to interview you on Google Hangouts, it's almost 100% a scam and should be immediately reported/flagged.


You should always keep conversations on upwork as this is the only way Upwork can protect you. Also, hiring should be done on Upwork as well.

Thank you Joelle. I had no idea I should be checking Upwork's community pages for this type of activity or that it could even get into my inbox via what I believed was a secure and vetted site. I appreciate your response. 

No worries Summer - it happens to the best of us!! 


After being on Upwork for awhile, you will probably get a lot of these types of "invitations to interview". They also love to target newbies as they are usually very eager to get started on the platform - as I said before, they are quite common and as far as I know, there's no way for Upwork to filter these out (at least not for the moment).


Just remember to keep everything on the platform and you should be fine and make sure you don't do any work until you are "officially" hired.



Nothing is really secure or vetted. Do a web search of "freelancing scams" or "how to avoid being scammed as a freelancer." It's a free for all and you have to protect yourself. 

Community Member

Hey Summer,
Scammers are everywhere, looking for newcomers. You should also flag the job post, so as Upwork takes care of it, you can also open a ticket, with the link and screenshots if needed. This way you can save others from being scammed.
There are so many clients registering every day, that it is not really possible to make sure none of them is a scammer. We should all do that together!
Happy freelancing!

Thank you for your input Hasmik. I can understand that. 

Frankly, when you are new most invitations you receive (if not all) will be scams.  You would do better by sending well-crafted proposals to jobs that interest you.  Be sure you read the TOS and all the information about scams on the platform and here in the community.

Thanks Mary. I will take heed to this. Question though - how long before you're not new to Upwork?? And what's a good way to get well written proposals accepted when most users require previous Upwork hours?

Community Member

Hi Summer,


I see others have already shared some tips on how to stay safe when interviewing for jobs on Upwork. You can find more tips here.

Also, we appreciate users flagging suspicious jobs as it helps us take actions against them as soon as possible. The job you are referring to has already been removed from the marketplace.

~ Valeria

Thanks Valeria. 

Summer, the 90% JSS or 100 hours worked is merely a suggestion and shouldn't keep you from applying to jobs that you know you can do well.  That's when you emphasize your experience off the platform and how that experience will help the client with his needs.

Thanks for your help Mary. 

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