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Community Member


Hello - Does anyone know if Upwork offers clients a form job description? I saw a job last night for editing and proofreading a book which sounded a whole lot like several job descriptions I had seen before. Many sentences were exactly the same. On previous descriptions, the client asks the freelancer to type "purple cow" at the top of the proposal. These were all based in the U.S.  On the one last night, the client asked the freelancer to type "red puppy" at the top. This one was in Malaysia. Out of curiosity, I made a proposal, and this client contacted me and initiated an interview. I looked back to see that this person became a client on January16 of this year.  I looked back at the "purple cow" job description which was posted some hours before, and they became a client on or around the same day. Although, I had seen that kind of job with same wording going back to last summer. After some conversation, I asked if there was a connection, and the interview ended there.

Community Member

They are reading the same "get rich by self publishing" book or blog. Google the wording of the job offer and "ye shall find it". 

Community Member

If the required phrase was 'red pony' or 'white whale' instead of 'purple cow', you might have a literate client, so it might be worth applying. If the phrase is 'pink elephant' or 'purple people eater', the client probably has a sense of humor. Cat LOL

"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce
Community Member

Every now and again, certain 'buyers' start in with copying existing job posts, making a few simple changes and re-posting under their userID. I expect this is some poor attempt at farming the job out if they are/were awarded the job or they are trying to undermine the entire system in some feeble way. Whatever the case, I just report them and move on.


As I search jobs by keywords, I tend to see jobs across categories and the similar postings are more apparent.


Over the years, these questionable posting trends come and go. The best you can do is to be aware that it happens and flag accordingly.

So I should flag it as inappropriate, or just ignore?

It is not against TOS to use a job template found on some blog. UW wouldn't do anything even if you flag them. They come and go with the times. I just ignore them.

Thank you!

Hi Debra,

Upwork does offer job post templates for creating job postings however we strongly advise users to share as much details regarding their jobs as possible in the post, along with requirements and preferred skills.

Seeing more than one job posting that is a little similar does not automatically mean it is a scam job but when coming across postings that you feel might be suspicious you may flag them for our review.

Here is an thread with tips on common themes found in scam jobs and how to spot them which you may f...


>>So I should flag it as inappropriate, or just ignore?


I just pick the closest thing. I don't think there is a specifc category for what you described. 

If the posting seems particularly egregious, I click every flag option. 


Man Wink

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