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SCAM ALERT!! Personal Assistant/VA

summerlattimore
Active Member
Summer R L Member Since: Dec 1, 2017
1 of 13

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. 

jojomo
Community Leader
Joëlle O Member Since: Jan 25, 2013
2 of 13

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.

summerlattimore
Active Member
Summer R L Member Since: Dec 1, 2017
3 of 13

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. 

jojomo
Community Leader
Joëlle O Member Since: Jan 25, 2013
4 of 13

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.

 

 

tlbp
Community Guru
Tonya P Member Since: Nov 26, 2015
5 of 13

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. 

voskerchian
Community Guru
Hasmik V Member Since: Aug 12, 2017
6 of 13

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!

summerlattimore
Active Member
Summer R L Member Since: Dec 1, 2017
7 of 13

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

mwiggenhorn
Community Guru
Mary W Member Since: Nov 10, 2014
8 of 13
Spoiler
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.
summerlattimore
Active Member
Summer R L Member Since: Dec 1, 2017
9 of 13

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?

kochubei_valeria
Community Manager
Valeria K Community Manager Member Since: Mar 6, 2014
10 of 13

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
Upwork
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