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Active Member
Lilla T Member Since: Nov 11, 2014
1 of 8

So this guy hired me for a proofreading project and I started working on it in the middle of the night, but there was no contract in place yet (I know, my mistake. I haven't used the platform for a couple of years and kind of forgot how these things went). I finished the task 3 hours later and asked him to start a contract before I send over the file.
He then told me that he can only start a contract and pay me 2 days later, but he needed me to send over the file right then. Without a contract. Without any Escrow protection. I refused and he started begging me to send him the file and promised to pay me later. Of course, I didn't send it to him.


Then HE OFFERED ME ANOTHER JOB!!! He told me to start working on a translation immediately (still no contract) and that he'd pay me 2 days later before I send him the file. I pretended to accept this offer and agreed on the rate - $0.015 per word (My usual rate is higher than that but he kept asking me to lower it for him and I did because I didn't have any intention to translate this file for him. I just wanted my money for the original proofreading task).


Today I told him that I finished the translation, and he said he'd pay me $0.01 per word. I reminded him that we agreed on $0.015. He asked me to lower it AGAIN to $0.012 and that he'd pay the difference in 2 weeks. I asked him to send me $30 (this was the price for the original proofreading task) before I send him the translation just so I know that I can trust him and then I would lower my rate for him.


He agreed and told me he just deposited money in his VISA and would pay me in a couple of hours.


My question is: what do I do if he wants to send me the $30 (I'm not sure he will, though)?


Should I accept the $30 and send him the original file? I know 3 hours of work and $30 aren't that much, and he would probably give me a 1 star review, but at least I could give him a 1 star review as well and could warn other freelancers...


I already reported him to Upwork days ago, but nothing happened. His account is still active, he has 20 job postings and I can see that he's interviewing several people, so I'm pretty sure he's doing the same thing to other people as well. 


Any advice would be appreciated.

Ace Contributor
Leroy P Member Since: Jul 22, 2017
2 of 8
I'm not sure if this guy is a scammer because you said that you did the initial work without a contract. Sure, freelancers need money, but you have to protect yourself if the client's not a stand up person. Ask for a contract or walk away.
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
3 of 8

Why are you wasting your time working for free?


You already know this "client" is a straight up scammer who is never going to pay you any money.


You ALREADY reported him. It is not your job to monitor his account and see what happens. He will probably be kicked off the platform. But that has nothing to do wth you at this point, because you are never going to fall for such a dumb scam again.


Forget about this and move on.

Active Member
Lilla T Member Since: Nov 11, 2014
4 of 8

You're right, Preston. I'll just block him and forget about all this. This was definitely a good lesson.

Aleksandar D Moderator Member Since: Mar 23, 2019
5 of 8

Hi Lilla,


I'm sorry to hear about your experience. We'll share your report with our team for future investigation.

When working on Upwork, please make sure that you have a contract with a client before doing any work. Ensure that they have a verified billing method so that the work you do can be covered by Upwork Payment Protection.


Thank you.

~ Aleksandar
Community Guru
Kathy T Member Since: Jul 17, 2015
6 of 8

If this client does pay you the $30 then of course accept it and send the work to this client since you're already invested your time and effort in completing this job.. But don't contact him anymore concerning this. So, if he pays you great, if not, then now you'll know what to do and not to do in any other jobs. In the future, don't start work until you've gotten a contract and escrow is FULLY funded. 


On another note, I see that you have quite a lot of jobs completed with no feedback. When a job is completed, it's best that the client close the job (instead of you closing it) When a client closes a job they HAVE to leave feedback. They can't close a job without leaving feedback and that attributes to a positive JSS. (of course onlu if the feedback is good.) 

Active Member
Lilla T Member Since: Nov 11, 2014
7 of 8

I ended up blocking him, because I didn't want to deal with him any further. I don't even care about that $30 anymore. I won't make the same mistake again, that's for sure.


Thanks for the info Kathy. I'm not happy about the no feedback thing. Some of these were on-again, off-again jobs that were still open months or even years after the last completed task, so I decided to close them and then never got any feedback.


Last time I checked I had a 58% JSS because of these, even though my lowest rating is 4.55 and the stats show that 93% of clients would recommend me.


Now I don't have a JSS because as I mentioned I haven't used Upwork for quite a while. I want to start working here again, so now I know that there are a couple of things I'll need to be more careful of.


Thanks for the comments everyone and have a nice day. Smiley Happy

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
8 of 8

Lilla L wrote:


Last time I checked I had a 58% JSS because of these, even though my lowest rating is 4.55 and the stats show that 93% of clients would recommend me.

The JSS only takes into consideration a maximum of 2 years. In the last 2 years you completed 11 contracts, and 10 of those ended with no feedbak, and one with a missed deadline. That is (obviously) very unfortunate, and it is better you start with a clean slate if indeed you want to start using Upwork again.