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Community Member

Scammers on Upwork

I just signed up on Upwork, answered 2 ads, and received this response from the first ad I responded to.  Did some research because it had red flags, and found that yes, this type of response is a typical scammer response, phishing for info. This doesn't give me much faith in Upwork.  


Does upwork have any protocols for vetting their job posters??


This was the response:


**Edited for Community Guidelines**

145 REPLIES 145
Community Member

re: "Does upwork have any protocols for vetting their job posters?"




There is no vetting of job posters.


As a freelancer, you need to be aware of what constitutes a legitimate job. With a little experience and reading, it is very easy.

Why doesn't UW vet the job postings?  They OWN this site.  Freelancers don't.  

Hi Charles,

We definitely understand your frustration. Upwork has over 17 million registered users and thousands of projects are posted daily on our platform. As such, despite the many tools we have in place to detect issues like the ones presented in this thread, they do still occur from time to time. In addition, unfortunately, even if we take action on an account, the individuals involved may open a new account to circumvent our efforts. We do remove all the posts that violate our ToS as soon as we become aware of them. Even with precautions and taking actions against violations, we cannot guarantee that third-parties will not find ways to circumvent these measures but we will continue to use our best efforts to keep our marketplace safe.


Looks Like upwork need to do Lot on Protecting its users from getting Frauded. 

1) They should enhance their security by adding 2 step authentication 

2) They need to add background check, without that it would be hard to feel how the safe the site would be not knowing who is accessing the information.

3) they need to protect job seekers financial information

4)  communication with client and Provider needs to be secure 


Hi Vinod,


Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this issue, and we definitely understand your point. I will share your feedback to the team. In the meantime, please check this help article that details how you can report suspicious activities

~ Joanne

how can upwork understand anyones frustration?
uowork makes money from both sides, upwork didnt lose any money due toi the fraudulence of freelancers .

Community Member

Thanks Meral,


I just recieved the same thing and was about to do an online interview but see this was a scam. Thanks for your help.

They like weekends a lot.

Hey Jennifer -- You seem like you know what you're doing on these forums so I figured I'd reach out to you. My head writer, **Edited for Community Guidelines**  was just scammed -- big time. He was communicating with a company he suspected to be fraudulent and when he asked questions about his suspicions, they sent him a link to a site that explained their issues with Upwork, then immediately after clicking, he was logged out of his account and is unable to log back in. He has money, clients and bank information attached to that account. Please send help ASAP. 





Hey guys, 

My agency's head writer, **Edited for Community Guidelines** was communicating with a source he eventually believed to be a scam company, **Edited for Community Guidelines**. Once he expressed his scepticism to the company's representative, J**Edited for Community Guidelines**, he was sent to a link explaining why the company didn't get along with Upwork and was then immediately logged out. He is not able to log back in.

This is extremely worrying and I can't find a single Upwork worker who has experienced anything like it. His money and bank information is on that account, available to whoever has hacked his account.  I think this is either an extreme scam attempt or a mishap on Upwork's part.

Please respond immediately with help.

Thanks so much, 




I see you already have a supports ticket with us about this issue. Could you please share more information about the account you are referring to privately via that ticket request? Do you have a link to the writer's profile?

~ Valeria
Community Member

Meral - You asked Does upwork have any protocols for vetting their job posters??


Yes, the protocol they have is YOU. 


You can vet job posters in several ways. When you see the word Hangout, as in Google Hangouts you know that it's a scam. That's were the majority of scammers hang out and direct you to. When you see a job that violates Upwork's TOS then report it by flagging it or creating a ticket. This job, in itself, does not indicate to Upwork that it's a scam job as there's nothing in the description that violates the TOS. At this point all you can do is to know it's a scam and move on. But if you establish communication with a client and in that dialog they ask for personal information, or to pay you outside of this platform, (by sending you a check) or ask you to pay them for equipment or fees of any kind, then you can copy that dialog and send it to Upwork so they can suspend the clients account.



Community Member

Just happened to me exactly as you described. Fortunately I realized it was a scam before I sent them any personal banking information for the Direct Deposit. My word... there are some sharks out there. Be warned Folks. I wasted an entire day being 'interviewed' by scammer. Argh.


Yep I actually had a poster from one of the first purposals I sent out emailed me today talking about sending a check. Seems to me like there are more scammers than actual jobs being posted. Ive cut down the amount of Purposals tremendously. A shame though, as I was really looking forward to using upwork. There are more than enough outlets to make money online that actually do prevent things like this from happening so it appears as though I'll be spending more time on those sites than here.

Hi Jordan,


Unfortunately, these invites mostly target new freelancers and many experienced freelancer have noted that they don't receive invites from scam jobs. We will continue improving our internal automatic and manual systems that detect jobs with ToS violations.

For more tips on avoiding questionable interviews, check out this post.


~ Valeria



I am bit suspicious when I see certain profiles on upwork.  Scammers mostly don't put their details on their profile?  How to trace them? Because  I am in the process now applying for a job on Upwork,quite worrying about this now when I have seen a lot of comments about scammers here.

Community Member

Thank you for you very informative post! I was contacted and invited to submit a proposal to a job, which I did. I was then instructed to contact an individual via google hangouts to be "briefed". I chatted with **Edited for Community Guidelines**. We interviewed for about 30 mins. She asked general interview questions and all her responses seemed very scripted and some of the grammer was completely off. At the end of the interview, she stated she would forward our conversation to the department head for review. 10 mins later, she came back and congratulated me saying I was being offered the job. She then said they would be sending me a check to use for purchasing equipment for my home office and asked if I can be considered reliable with company funds. Instantly, this confirmed that it was a scam. She then told me to report back the next morning at 9am my time to receive an official offer letter. So I decided to play along to see how far she was going to go. I reported at 9am and she said she would be emailing me the letter and to please sign it and send it back to a **Edited for Community Guidelines** along with an valid ID I have such as a driver's license. (Obviously I wasn't going to give any information). I have never worked with Upwork before and my first "job interview" was a scam. Not feeling confident with Upwork at all. 

Sorry to hear about your experience, Vanessa.


I checked and can confirm that the job post you are referring to was already actioned and client's account addressed for violating Upwork ToS. Please take a look at the list of tips for recognizing fraudulent jobs Lena compiled and posted here.

~ Valeria

This sounds exactly like what just happened to me.  Same MO, just about the same timeline, same "interview"...the works.  They've refined their scam, though, because they sent a letter for signature, but didn't require an ID.  They also stated that training would begin the next morning, at which time I would also start being paid; after reading this thread I am positive that they would have been asking for money for the software.  I agree, though; it's very disheartening when it's the first experience you have on Upwork.  

Got scammed out of 4,000 with this same bit. Same exact instance. I've learned. And when "you know better , you do better" . Left me broken and had me fearing the world for a while. But me and my family got through it and know what to look for now. This happened on Upwork

@ßAmanda P wrote:
Got scammed out of 4,000 with this same bit. Same exact instance.

 The fake  check nonsense?

Community Member

I'm a new freelancer. I just got one Googlehangout interview. Is this a guaranteed scammer?

I would say yes. 99.9% of those are scams. Stay away from the google hangouts interviews. Especially if they tell you they will be sending you a check to purchase equipment for your home office...

Hi Celarent,


I checked and the job you are referring to has already been taken down. You'll notice that the invitation went to the archived folder.


Check out this Post for more tips on how to avoid questionable jobs.

~ Valeria

I got an offer from a company called **Edited for Community Guidelines**. I got the interview from Google Hangouts. Per what i've read this feels like a scam. Is there anybody that have the same experience with this company that can verify it's validity?

Google Hangouts invite = scam

Me! Got me for 4,000. Don't do it. I say abandon the app all together

I wouldn't. Google Hangouts are riddled with scammers. If you so it, be aware of grammar errors and asking you to send checks for office equipment that "they pay you back". Don't fall for this. Good luck on your search
Community Member

Please be advised that there is a post for**Edited for Community Guidelines**  Customer Service Reps that is a complete scam and attempt to gather your personal information.  UpWork needs to work harder to keep this **Edited for Community Guidelines** off of thier site and protect the security of their User Base. 


**Edited for Community Guidelines**

heeeheee I'ma mess with this guy. mmmm snowy trolling spammers

Good grief, well Jason I am certainly glad you took screen shots, and the last one was hysterical and you are spot on.  So "Nathan" still wants to interview you.  How amazing that their scam is so unorganized and scrambled.

Your suspicions were correct.  I think I would advise **Edited for Community Guidelines** that someone is misrepresenting them on a very large freelancer site, too.  Absolutely.  Not sure they can do anything about it, but UpWork can and should.  But I keep seeing that scammer jobs appear to be the norm on this site, rather than the exception.  Makes me think of the porosity of the site and possibilities for wide-spread hacking.  

Sorry you went through this, it's extremely stressful.  Please update your story when you can.  


Hi Jason,


Let me follow up with the team about this job and make sure actions are taken.

~ Valeria

Sorry about saying things that are restricted by the Community guidelines. I was irate with the guy who had the nerve to try and pull that kind of crap on good people. It really gets under my skin. I apologize and appreciate your diligence.

@jason B wrote:

Sorry about saying things that are restricted by the Community guidelines. I was irate with the guy who had the nerve to try and pull that kind of crap on good people. It really gets under my skin. I apologize and appreciate your diligence.

I'm right there with you, Jason.


I often write out a response, then have to go back and edit it before I hit send. It's frustrating what human beings will try to do to each other. 

Community Member

Meral and Jennifer,


I'll make sure the team reviews the job you are referring to and takes actions as soon as possible. In addition to advice shared here, please check out the resources linked to this post, especially Safety First! section.

~ Valeria

How do I report a scam? I think one I'm getting scammed. 

@Rogine T wrote:

How do I report a scam? I think one I'm getting scammed. 

 Can you tell us more without actually quoting or giving the link to the job.


If you have been asked to pay work or  to buy software (or similar), if you have been asked to cash a dummy check, if you have been asked to act as a forwarding address, if you have been asked to interview on Google hangouts, if you have been asked to accept payment away from Upwork, then you are in danger of being scammed, or have been scammed if you have agreed to any of these.

Thank you for those tips! I received an offer for $50/hr and I knew it was too good to be true. I had a feeling that this is a scam.


**edited for Community Guidelines**

Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Lisa, 


If you haven't already, please report this client by flagging his job post as inappropriate so that our team can take action against his account. 

~ Avery
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