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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

Melanie, I'm not sure it makes any difference. I have a profile rate of $90 and $60,000 earned, all good feedback on contracts with pricing in line with my profile rate, and I get invitations to scam jobs all the time.

Hey guys, so I need advice.
I got an email from someone claiming to be **Edited for Community Guidelines** head of HR. We had an 'email' interview, she sent my question answers to her boss and she said she wants to hire me. Now, I was sent a check for $1,000 for materials which has posted to my account, but I know it takes 3-5 days before the bank can confirm it's good. I am being pushed to purchase materials now because of orientation. I have no idea if this woman who she says she is or if this is someone impersonating her. I think it's odd there wasn't so much as a phone call or video call made before offering the job. But her profile and everything I searched her in seems legit, so I'm really confused.

sam-sly
Community Member

This is a scam! Don't buy the materials.

 

It is also a violation of Upwork's terms and conditions to accept payment outside of Upwork (including expenses). If you follow Upwork's rules, you avoid getting scammed in this way.

 

Don't fixate on the name or company because these scammers use other people's names (and change frequently). It is the pattern of behavior to watch out for. This particular scam is one of the oldest on the internet. The check is fake and will bounce. They are counting on you being foolish enough to buy the product first. You would be buying it from the scammer or their partner. There is no job; they just want your money.

adaverin
Community Member

That's what I figured, I just wanted to confirm it from someone who is familiar with this company because I've never heard of this company or it's practices before this incident. I won't buy the materials, that way when the check bounces no harm done to me. Thank you so much. I know **Edited for Community Guidelines** is a real personell at this company, do you know any way to contact her so I can let her know what's happening?

r_skane
Community Member

Just a note: If the check bounces, your bank might charge you a fee.

adaverin
Community Member

I don't think they will, this would be the first check that has ever bounced in my account. But $35 is a lot easier to recover from than $1,000. Thank you though

Hi Anastasia,

 

Please, cease any communication with this person and communicate with your bank directly to resolve any issue with the check. As others explained on this thread, these people impersonate real representatives of real companies. It appears that they reached out to you via a different website. Please, make sure to flag their account on that website so necessary action could be taken. 

 

Check out this post for more tips on how to stay safe when looking for jobs on Upwork and online in general. 

~ Valeria
Upwork

Thank  you, I did cease all contact and I reached out to upwork customer service facebook site who confirmed the same. I still have all emails in case the company wishes to do something with this information. 

adaverin
Community Member

Hey guys, so I need advice. 

I got an email from someone claiming to be **Edited for Community Guidelines** We had an 'email' interview, she sent my question answers to her boss and she said she wants to hire me. Now, I was sent a check for $1,000 for materials which has posted to my account, but I know it takes 3-5 days before the bank can confirm it's good. I am being pushed to purchase materials now because of orientation. I have no idea if this woman who she says she is or if this is someone impersonating her. I think it's odd there wasn't so much as a phone call or video call made before offering the job. But her profile and everything I searched her in seems legit, so I'm really confused. 

scam! They impersonate other people. Sending/accepting cheques is against TOS....and these people know this.

hill2184
Community Member

The post for at home data entry job is a scam, they make you interview via Google hangouts, promise 28 hr then ask you to buy software. I knew it was looking phishy with some of the verbiage and length of time to respond via chat. This is awful.

Hi Amanda,

If you haven't already, please flag the job for us to review it by clicking on the "Flag as inappropriate" link located at the upper right of the job posting.  Please also check out this thread, there is a lot of great info and tips about things to look out for and avoid when it comes to suspicious jobs.

~Nina
megjarussi
Community Member

I applied for a Project Manager position for a company *** Edited for Community Guidelines ***

They did a Google hangout interview asking a few questions and in 10 minutes sent me a check for $1,395.00 from TD bank with address in CA to buy software I would need to do my job. I was required to deposit the check via mobile app and once i did they would put me in contact with their local vendor to buy the softare. Everything seems strage. If you google *** Edited for Community Guidelines *** scams similar stories. 

 

The check provided did not have a company name as commercial checks do. TD bank does not have branches in CA and the address on the check is register to: *** Edited for Community Guidelines ***

 

When I mentioned this to the *** Edited for Community Guidelines *** the person that was interviewing me and sent me the check she said Shred the check and have a good day. Imidiately she block me on google hangout and close the job in upwork. 

 

PLEASE BE AWARE OF THE SCAM!!!!!!!!!

 

 

 

Since I have become a member of Upwork, every single job I have submitted a proposal to has turned out to be a scam. My first one was the one I mentioned about before with the google hangouts interiew. The rest didn't get as far as interviews but I did receive emails from Upwork stating that they have been closed because they were fraudulent postings. Not ONE single one has been a valid job. I'm not saying there aren't good decent jobs on Upwork, but considering every single one for me has been a scam, I give up with Upwork. It's not worth my time or effort anymore. 

 

Good luck to everybody trying to get jobs on Upwork. I really hope you don't get dooped into one of the scams!! 

Hi Vanessa,

 

I'm sorry to hear that. Would you mind sending me a PM about the Job links of the scams you are referring to? You may also read the article I have attached in my previous response to avoid questionable jobs. Thank you.


Untitled
megjarussi
Community Member

My previous interview at upwork was also a scam somebody pretending to be the *** Edited for Community Guidelines ***

Hello Meg,

 

I'm sorry to hear about your experience. I just checked the account of the first client and I can confirm that our team has already taken action. The team is now taking a look at the second client you reported to this thread. Please read this article to help you avoid questionable jobs. Thank you.


Untitled

I just signed up for Upwork the day before yesterday and spent a bit of time yesterday getting my profile ready. Today, out of the blue, I get an "Invitation to Interview". The first thing I noticed was the time stamp of the email - 3:31am. Since I am in the US and have my settings for only working jobs in the US, the time of the email indicated immediately that I should look into this. The second thing was they requested I interview via Google Hangout, which I had never used before. That lead to me searching about Upwork and scams, which lead to this thread. 

Here's the link to the job posting:

**Edited for community guidelines**

I'm pretty disheartened that I decide to use Upwork for the first time and almost immediately get hit by a scam. I'm just glad that I decided to look into this before blindly accepting the invitation. 


@Daniel S wrote:

I just signed up for Upwork the day before yesterday and spent a bit of time yesterday getting my profile ready. Today, out of the blue, I get an "Invitation to Interview". The first thing I noticed was the time stamp of the email - 3:31am. Since I am in the US and have my settings for only working jobs in the US, the time of the email indicated immediately that I should look into this. The second thing was they requested I interview via Google Hangout, which I had never used before. That lead to me searching about Upwork and scams, which lead to this thread. 

Here's the link to the job posting:

**Edited for community guidelines**

I'm pretty disheartened that I decide to use Upwork for the first time and almost immediately get hit by a scam. I'm just glad that I decided to look into this before blindly accepting the invitation. 


 ___________________________________

 

These scammers lie in wait for newcomers. Fortunately, you dodged a bullet. Report the "client" and move on. Upwork tries to remove their accounts as fast as they appear. 

 

Don't be discouraged, just report this type of invitation, decline it and forget it. A small heads up though. It's best to reply to all invitations (i.e. decline or accept) even if they are scams, because this does get recorded on your stats page (although it will do not count against your eventual JSS (Job Satisfaction Score).

Hi Daniel,

 

I'm sorry to hear about your experience. Thanks for bringing this to our attention, our team is looking into this and will review the client and will take action as per our internal processes. You can also use the flag option found on each job post to report any suspicious or inappropriate content. Here's the help article for more information. Check out this post for more tips on how to avoid questionable jobs.

~ Bojan
Upwork
kingwillard
Community Member

I agree with you about the trustworthiness of Upwork's job posters. Sad. Here is my story. 
I hope it can help someone else.

I was warned about Upwork and their low-paying jobs but I needed money and I had made $16 on one very
brief job so I accepted two more jobs. The first one was for a client named **edited for Community Guidelines** who had m
e post some ads on Craigslist. The only problem was they all got deleted by CL and the client ended the
contract. I thought about it after some time and decided to ask for payment anyway since I had done
the job and due to no fault of mine the ads were deleted. I must say at this point that I had fallen
for some previous scams on CL and had experienced deleted ads so I thought knew what CL would
accept. I racked my brain and couldn't figure this one out. The end result was that **edited for Community Guidelines** refused
to even reply to my emails and the Upwork "support" staff wouldn't lift a finger to help. The second Upwork.com client, a **edited for Community Guidelines** of **edited for Community Guidelines**, wanted me to post some ads on
CL-type sites and write two brief marketing articles for him. I posted the ads on CL and AdLandpro.
I researched and wrote the articles. He liked my work. The problem was that he had verbally asked
me to do these things for $50 to which I verbally agreed. But then he wrote the contract for $20/hr
which is my posted rate and a limit of 5 hours per week. I was pretty new to Upwork and though that
Alex had changed his mind about the pay structure. I spent about 15 hours completing the tasks which
was my fault. And when I filled out the time sheet I put down something a total of something like
7.2 hours. I had tried to add more than 2.2 in the first week since I had worked some 15 hours total
but it wouldn't let me do that so I left it at 2.2. I didn't realize that I could have put in 5
hours for the first week. And when I asked Upwork "support" about getting more pay they said that
since the contract was still open in the second week I could add hours. So I added the maximum of
5 hours for the second week. And I sent multiple emails and messages to Alex asking for more pay
for the 15 hours that I had actually worked. He only responded to say that he felt cheated since
we had verbally agreed to $50 and a 5 hour weekly limit. I was going to contact Upwork "support",
and I use the term "support" loosely, but **edited for Community Guidelines** had already complained about my request for more
money. Ultimately, after many emails and much evidence showing that he had changed the contract
and wasn't going to pay me my fair share, the "support" team sided with him and I received a
whopping total of $40 for my 15 hours of hard work. Needless to say I was pissed off! I sincerely
hope that no one else falls for scams like these. Beware!

I'm sorry to learn about your experience, Willard. 

Seeing as you are new here, I would recommend that you read up on the freelancer resources we have compiled, paying close attention to the "Safety First!" section, and these tips for avoiding questionable jobs for more information about working safely on Upwork. 


~ Avery
Upwork
melaniekhenson
Community Member

I had a few scam approaches in the very beginning, but I never get them now. I assume they were choosing newcomers most of the time, hoping they (we) didn't know the ropes yet.

 

After about six months on the platform, I think (and with a bunch of jobs showing on my profile), I stopped receiving any at all.

 

 

 

 

aidenasher
Community Member

Upwork has been protecting and purposefully shields bad or scammy Freelancers. If you notice they allow Freelancers to remove negative feedback (Client Feedback is everything before I hire someone) so Upwork is complicit in the hiding of their Freelancers malicious intent. 

I am currently in a dispute (have been for 2 weeks and Upwork refuses to Freeze the Freelancers account) the Freelancer has refused to hand over source code for a project I have "already paid for" as the developer sits on his thumbs and disappears for days on end. Meanwhile my business is losing thousands a day as our app is crashed and unworkable for our users. The developer literally went into our server after the fact and maliciously messed around with the database. Upwork, is allowing this person to continue working with other oblivious clients and victimize them as well.

We are currently in a dispute but they keep giving the Freelancer more time (he just ignores everything in the dispute) while my business is the one that suffers. 

It is absolutely horrid that Upwork is complicit in the malicious intent of their Freelancers. If there are any words of wisdom I can offer any of you, it is - don't trust a Freelancer with anything. Ensure that they are very well vetted and do not give any money for anything until you have someone in your local area look over the work. Also be aware of Upwork's unwillingness to really help Clients when it comes to Freelancer issues - in fact if you need to settle an issue they will keep the Freelancer's profile open and then charge you almsot $300 for aribitration costs. 

Buyer beware.

re: "I am currently in a dispute (have been for 2 weeks and Upwork refuses to Freeze the Freelancers account) the Freelancer has refused to hand over source code for a project I have "already paid for" as the developer sits on his thumbs and disappears for days on end. Meanwhile my business is losing thousands a day as our app is crashed and unworkable for our users. The developer literally went into our server after the fact and maliciously messed around with the database..."

 

Ryan:

I am sorry that you have had a bad experience with a freelancer you hired on Upwork.

 

But it is important to undestand that disputes don't build apps.

Disputes don't fix apps.

 

There is really no reason ever for a client to file a dispute.

 

Disputes are filed by freelancers when they submit work, and a client refuses to release payment for that work.

So disputes are really only useful for freelancers.

 

As a client, you can fire a freelancer AT ANY TIME. You don't need to "file a dispute."

 

If you are a client and one of the freelancers working for you is not valuable to your project, then the proper thing to do is to stop working with that freelancer and only continue working with the freelancers who are most valuable to you. Or hire new freelancers if necessary.

 

If your business is "losing thousands a day as our app is crashed and unworkable for our users"... Then obviously your focus should be on fixing the app and restoring the ability of your business to earn that money. Your focus should not be placed on one member of your team who you should have already fired by now.

22a2cf73
Community Member

I just had the same thing happen. I just signed up and sent out some proposals and got a hit right away. They wanted me to use Telegram for the interview process which personally I have never used nor heard of. I am new to this and very sceptical about the whole thing anyway. I researched the company and reviews, and everyone I read is telling me it is a scam. It makes me very leary of using this service. 

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