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visper
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

I was asked to send money for the payment of so called "PERMIT"....

Me as well! Had a message from a "Kate Allen", job linked me to Google Hangouts with "Scott Zimmerman" from Phoenix Group in Germany....started to get a little leary then, but everything kinda seemed on par with what I was expecting here. I had a full interview with him where we went back and forth over terms and duties. They took my address, name, and age. Asked what bank I had and then I felt it was too good to be true but he didn't ask for anything else. They offered me the position and sent an employment letter with IMO a terrible header and watermark matching the Company I am being "hired" for. It's amazing how in depth this is. They also said that I would be receiving a check for accounting software. Things got kinda weird when I also received an email form UpWork that the post was deleted and that's all I needed. I plan on not following through on this now thanks!

have you recieved any other emails? Or did it stop there?

I'm so glad I looked into this further on Upwork becasue the same thing just happened to me. I tried searching for**Edited for Community Guidelines** on Google and everything, nothing came up. The only personal info I gave was my cell number, because I was skeptical from the start. Thank you for sharing!

I got an invitation from that scammer as well. The initial job posting and message was very well written and looked legit at first glance. I did a little extra research and found that they swiped the job description from a major health start-up company.


@Jacqueline J wrote:

I got an invitation from that scammer as well.


 There are thousands of people who try this scam, it is one of the oldest and dumbest on the Internet. It is and has been all over the Internet for forever. It's been doing the rounds over and over again for well over a decade.

 

 

Hi Rogine,

 

You can go to View Job Posting and flag it as inappropriate. The team will review it as soon as possible. You can also, click on my name next to this post and send me a private message with the link to the post and I'll follow up.

 

Thank you.

~ Valeria
Upwork

Hi Valerie, 

 

I too have been the victim of a scam. I was asked to join Google Hangouts for a job and give personal information. I only gave my cell phone number and email, but nothing else. They wanted me to respond ASAP. I flagged the post. Everyone on Upwork should be very cautious about scammers. Never join Hangouts or give personal information until you can verify the company. 

 

Good luck! Stay safe!

 

Kevin 

 

P.s I've attached a screengrab of the email. 


@Kevin D wrote:

Hi Valerie, 

 

I too have been the victim of a scam. I was asked to join Google Hangouts for a job and give personal information. I only gave my cell phone number and email, but nothing else. They wanted me to respond ASAP. I flagged the post. Everyone on Upwork should be very cautious about scammers. Never join Hangouts or give personal information until you can verify the company. 

 

Good luck! Stay safe!

 

Kevin 

 

P.s I've attached a screengrab of the email. 


 You're not really a victim. You went to Hangouts, figure out it was a scam and backed out. That's not a victim. A victim is the dummies that give them money. They are all over the forum. Some chick in one of these gajillion "scam" threads is out $20k LOL. 

Oh god. Glad that wasn't me! 


@Kevin D wrote:

Oh god. Glad that wasn't me! 


 Yeah, buddy! You ain't kidding! I think that's the best we've seen so far. There are some out $5k here and there but $20k is the record I think.

Not sure why you are laughing out loud about that.

Thanks for flagging the posting, Kevin. I checked and it looks like it's already been removed by Upwork team as inappropriate.

~ Valeria
Upwork

i know i was just doing an interview with scammers..... they sent me an invite and i accepted then they told me to go to google hangout..... then after like 2 hours talking i was going to be hired.  and then he says hes going to send me paymenty..... the last thing i said was that "this just seems a little off" and they stopped talking to me

Jennifer,

 

If you get a chance, could you please click on my name and send me a private message with a screenshot of you communication with the client outside of Upwork?

 

Thank you!

~ Valeria
Upwork

I feel as though I may  be in the midst of a scam. I was asked to take a check to the bank after talking on here, emailing then going to google hangouts to talk. After I got the check he asked me to take it to the bank (immediately) to withdraw funds for a western union transfer. Something seems off but at the same time its not the same as these other stories. What should I do here?

Hi Jordan,

 

Do not accept any payments from Upwork clients outside of the platform and do not deposit the check. It's a violation of Upwork ToS and a sign of a scam.

 

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

~ Valeria
Upwork

Hey! Same thing happened to me. Now Iโ€™m getting messages with threats. And I havenโ€™t responded to any of their messages

Hi Mary Daniela, 


It's good to know that you haven't responded to any of their messages. I would suggest that you block off their email address from your email. I would also suggest that you read up on the links that Nina has provided on her post to help you work safely on Upwork. 


~ Avery
Upwork

Don't do it! It will bounce and in turn deduct from your account to cover it. I repeat, don't do it

I went through the same thing too. I got an invitation to the interview at Google hangout with an email address and the verification code. As this was the first response I got from the client on UpWork, I immediately accepted the invitation and I had an interview for around 2 h, he sounds like real, with proper interview questions (15 questions in total), and then I got the offer and can start working the next day, and that the payment will be by direct deposit or by cheque and it's strange that whenever I asked any questions, he told to wait until the end of the interview.

I found it suspicious and looked around UpWork and found this post and realized I'd really been scammed :-(.

Moniphal, are you referring to the interview you had just a few hours ago? The job has already been closed because it was in violation of Upwork ToS and you'll notice that your proposal has been archived. Please, don't communicate with this client any further.

 

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

~ Valeria
Upwork

Thank you, Valeria, for your prompt reply and closed the scam job post. The tips in a provided link are helpful, thank you. I will try to more diligent and careful next time I get an invitation from a client.

 

Have a nice day,

Moniphal

Hello Valeria, 

 

I received an offer for the Google Hangouts and I acccepted, I didnt know about this kind of Scam. I chat with the person for more than 30 min and give him perosnal info. I wonder if they were able to search more personal info in my email or access my computer. I am not sure what to do now. The job posting was deleted after the Scam, I sent the screen capture of the offer to the support crew in Upwork. Please guide me trough this. Thank you. 

 

**Edited for Community Guidelines**

I just wanna confirm if this is a scam. I was asked to pay for the working permit.

Scam. A real client would not interview 69 people for this job. You should read this post:

community.upwork.com/t5/New-to-Upwork/Tips-to-Avoid-Questionable-Jobs/m-p/240833

__________________________________________________
"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce

Also apart from the 69 interviews John pointed out, any client that requires you to pay money for anything for any reason is a scam, as a general rule.

Hi Martha Carolina, 


Thanks for sharing your experience here. I can see that the Customer Support Team has replied to your ticket and has given valuable information on how you can spot red flags in a job post, and in an interview. 


Just the same, I'm also sharing here the freelancer resources we compiled and tips for avoiding questionable jobs, for more information about working safely through Upwork.


~ Avery
Upwork

Hi Johnnaliza, 

 

I would like to confirm the information that Jennifer has shared. Please know that it is against the Upwork Terms of Service to request freelancers to pay for a work visa to start working on their project. 


Please read up on the link that John has shared, and visit the Safety First! section of the freelancer resources we have compiled for more information on how you can work safely on Upwork.


~ Avery
Upwork

I avoided one today narrowly... the Direct Deposit/Hiring outside UpWork clued me in. 

Good morning,

I too signed up with UpWork and the next day I had a job offer.  

**Edited for Community Guidelines**

Did the interview and things were really looking up.  This morning I started getting texts with poor grammar, which concluded just now with him wanting to send me a check to cash and buy almost $2,000 worth of WalMart merch.  

When asked about funds all being monitored through UpWork they said a contract was in the mail. 

This would be my first job with UpWork and I'm rather skeptical.  

Hopefully bringing the job offer to UpWork's attention can help take care of this one offer.


~Justen

Hi Justen,

Thank you for reporting this. We are investigating the job posting and you can be assured that the approriate actions will be taken against any users found to be violating the Terms of Service. Please note that you should only begin working once you've secured a contract through the Upwork platform and the client with whom you want to work has a verified payment method.

You can check out this post for helpful tips on getting started on Upwork and also this thread for tips on avoiding suspicious jobs.

~Nina
datasciencewonk
Community Member

I belong to another "job posting platform" who claims they do "vet" the posters.

 

Every single job I've applied for through their "vetted" clientele has demanded free samples. I SOOOO want to make a list right here and now of the companies who do this--and I'm not talking a simple, small sample...we're talking HOURS of FREE training in their "editing" process along with a three-hour UNPAID "editing" test. Um. Nope. Unless you're one of the HUGE TECH companies offering me a hefty salary, I'm not playing the free sample game for peanuts. Buh bye. 

 

Additionally, I've yet to secure a project on that platform (and my profile is the same, the jobs are directly aligned with my expertise -- yes, I've analyzed the language carefully for each posting). However, in this "wild west" of not vetting clientele, my experience is exactly the opposite.

 

While this doesn't completely VOID the "vetting clients" argument, it does point in the direction of "client vetting" as not necessarily correlating with *better* job opportunities (or the ability to attract better clientele, or even to successfully land a project). Indeed, it may prove the opposite--which has already been discussed at length in other threads?

 

There are many ways terrible clients can filter through a vetting system.

 

As it is, there is a percentage of clever clientele who post one thing on the job boards, and then play bait and switch, or GOTCHA when you enter a contract with them (YOU'RE MINE NOW YOU PEON FREELANCER, once false move and I'll MANGLE your JSS--ok this is slightly dramatic).

 

Certainly, if Upwork wants their version of CIA/FBI personnel to sift through sketchy job posts, I'd be glad to do it for them Smiley Happy (however, it can't be done for free, sorry guys--which would also increase Upwork's cost, and they would most likely have to pass that along to you and me, yes???). 

 

So, it's up to us, as business owners, to put clients through an additional vetting process as you would do with any other client (at least I hope you would) outside of Upwork. 

 

 

gerrys
Community Member

Good catch.

 

Yes, indeed. I'm seeing a lot more "fishing" (for info) expeditions out there. Symptons:

 

1) High invite rate

2) Extended periods of open jobs (when the average for "real" jobs is a day or 2)

3) No payment method

4) Long time client with 0 hires / 0 $ / 0 hours

5) Never closes a job

6) Asks for "proposals", samples, tests, estimates while providing very little "commitment"

7) Talks too "techie" for a "client" (i.e. is sub-contracting)

etc.

 

You need to be an industrial psychologist these days to survive.

 

At the same time, it makes the whole process more "interesting".

 

 

Another good one to look for is clients looking for a huge number of freelancers.  This are certainly spam/ scam.  I report every one I see.  Also jobs where the time zone/location are bogus.  I've learned to look at that early on.

lynnettedolan
Community Member

I just got scammed by a woman with the name of **edited for Community Guidelines**.  I spent hours on her project, sent her all of my files and when I woke up the next morning, lo and behold she closed the account, stealing all of my work and I never got paid.

 

What can I do? I reported her to Upwork, still waiting.

Hi Lynnette, 

It is unfortunate that this contract didn't turn out good. As per the Hourly Protection for Freelancers, you should qualify for payment protection if the following are met:

  • An hourly contract
  • A client with a verified billing method
  • An account in good standing
  • To log your hours with the Upwork Desktop App
  • To be visibly working on a contract-related activity in your Work Diary
  • To annotate your Work Diary with memos or activities labels that adequately describe the activity performed
  • To maintain adequate and fair activity levels
  • To stay within the contract's weekly limit

 Please take note that I edited both your posts because it is a violation of the Upwork Community Guidelines to include names of persons or companies (or other identifying information) in an accusation of misconduct, incompetence or other wrongdoing in your post. Please be mindful of the guidelines when posting in the community. 


~ Avery
Upwork


@Lynnette D wrote:

I just got scammed by a woman with the name of **edited for Community Guidelines**.  I spent hours on her project, sent her all of my files and when I woke up the next morning, lo and behold she closed the account, stealing all of my work and I never got paid.

 

What can I do? I reported her to Upwork, still waiting.


 

If this was an hourly contract you will get paid by Upwork as long as the clients account is verified and you used the Time Tracker to record the hours you worked, and entered notes for the screen shots that were taken.

 

If this was a fixed rate contract, and the client's account was verified, and escrow was funded, then any funds in escrow will be released to you in 14 days.

 

If either of those statesments don't apply, youire only other option is to let this client know that since you weren't paid, and until you are paid,  the copyrights still belong to you, and if you find any of your work published online, you will contact the site's host provider with a DMCA notice and have your work taken down.

 

And search every now and then (copyscape, google, (free) and other services (for a price)

kchetan
Community Member

Hi Kathy,

 

Thanks for the info you have mentioned. In my case, I am new to Upwork and Indian. Lot of cliches already attached. And as a new comer to this community I just want to get started. My first priority is to win clients. This means I will not be reading terms and conditions until unless I run into some trouble. Happened with me. If it was me trying to spend time in interviews and failing them I would not mind. I would consider it as a cost in my business and move on. In my case, I spent not only time, but money as well, solved problem for the "potential" client and the guy just disappeared. No response. Nothing. And upwork only has one option for me, flag the job inappropriate. ๐Ÿ˜ž

 

Now, established clients don't hire n00bs. And n00bs don't get clients. Catch 22.

aocumen
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Kumar, 


If you still haven't flagged the job post, please share more information to me via a private message about this client so that I can share with the team. 


~ Avery
Upwork
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