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Scamming the Scammer

Active Member
SueAnn S Member Since: Nov 7, 2014
1 of 10

I just wanted to let you all know that I have a scammer hook, line and sinker.  I am using my extensive legal knowledge to build a case, and build a case I will.  I have collected every bit of information I possibly could from the invite to the detailed instructions about how to deposit the check they sent me via ATM.  I took the "client" information, I have traced the trail through the company that is supposedly hiring, I have the check and plenty of detailed information to get to the Scammer(s) themselves.


I am taking all of this information to my local District Attorney and hoping that people like this can be stopped, or detoured rather, once and for all.


I for one am looking for legitimate work here and I do not appreciate someone trying to take advantage of me.   I would also like to advocate oDesk to take a more proactive position in allowing "just anyone" to post available positions here.


Keep your fingers crossed that I can teach at least this one a lesson.



Community Guru
Katrina B Member Since: Jan 9, 2011
2 of 10

Welcome to oDesk,


With all due respect it is in the TOS of the site that you are not supposed to accept any kind of payment outside of the platform.  When you accepted that check you broke the rules.  That rule is in place to protect you as a freelancer from scammers.   Please take the time to read the TOS for the site and be proactive in your search.  Scammers will prey on new freelancers.  Good Luck, there are great clients out there.

"Fairness is giving all people the treatment they earn and deserve. It doesn't mean treating everyone alike-Coach John Wooden"
Community Guru
David G Member Since: Oct 6, 2011
3 of 10

I don't think SueAnn is looking to get paid outside of oDesk or even work outside of oDesk. She is trying to nail a scammer. To do this, she is playing the scammer's game up to a point and then passing everything to the police.


Good luck.

Active Member
SueAnn S Member Since: Nov 7, 2014
4 of 10

David is correct, I had/have no intention of getting paid outside of oDesk.  In fact, I repeatedly mentioned sending the payment though oDesk and advised that I am connected through PayPal in an effort to protect myself.   He/She/They were oh so adamant, so I went with it fully intending to turn these people over to the appropriate authorities.  Which is being done today.  As a matter of fact, because I have a legal background, I knew right from the staart this is a FEDERAL Fraud offense and I contacted a good friend of mine with the US Attorney's office to ensure that I am proceeding the proper way.


My reasoning for proceeding is because I was not getting much assistance or guidance from the oDesk forums and I do not believe that by just ignorning these situations we will make them disappear.  To me, by having to weed these types of people out only makes my search more difficult.  I do apologize if you believe I overstepped a boundary here, but I am adamant about doing my part to ensure a "safe work environment" for my fellow freelancers.


Thank you.

SueAnn Sparks

Community Guru
Gillian Michele N Member Since: Mar 15, 2012
5 of 10


Hi SueAnn,


I think that it's clear to see that you weren't trying to work with these people outside of oDesk, you're simply trying to stop them in their tracks.


I wonder if these are the exact same scammers who continually attempt to scam people on here.


Keep me updated, SueAnn, it'll be interesting to know the outcome.

Community Guru
Katrina B Member Since: Jan 9, 2011
6 of 10

I stand corrected and I never meant for my post to sound accusing.  I have seen several freelancers fall for this scam, and I applaud you for trying to catch them.  I have given the same advice to everyone that has posted in this forum about this particular scam that I must say I almost fell for it 4  years ago when I was a new freelancer.  Luckily I contacted CS first and they informed me not to even accept the check by UPS or FedEx as it could get me suspended.  Like I said, I wasn't trying to accuse anyone of anything, just trying to help.  Sorry for any misinterpretations.

"Fairness is giving all people the treatment they earn and deserve. It doesn't mean treating everyone alike-Coach John Wooden"
Active Member
Redonia J Member Since: Jun 14, 2016
7 of 10

Thanks SueAnn,


I have actually been scammed before and have had a judgement against me from my bank because I was naive and eager.  I am actually in the process of doing the exact same thing you did right now.  Again, Upwork does not offer extensive help in this matter and makes it appear that just turning down the assignment will deter the scammers. 


I whole-heartedly intend to stop the people who are attempting to scam me and prayerfully set an example or some kind of precedence so that they will not be able to scam anyone else.   It appalls me that some people on this planet have nothing better to do than attempt to take advantage of other people.  I will keep you updated. 

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
8 of 10

Redonia, the only way to stop scammers is to train Upwork contractors sufficiently so that they don't fall for scams. 


There is no way for you to go after an individual scammer, despite the original poster's well-meaning but naïve bluster.

Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
9 of 10

Both you and the OP are wasting your time. You can report it but the dude is some dude in a shack in africa buying his Range Rover right now. You don't have the resources to go after him. All you can do is report it to the authorities, but this scam has been going on for ages.

Community Guru
Alexandra H Member Since: Jul 30, 2015
10 of 10

Yeah! Show them!

Keeping my fingers crossed for you, SueAnn.

Had a "client" with perfect LinkedIn profile who refused to migrate from Elance to Upwork and who claims his bank can't transfer money to my account, blah, blah, blah and who has now gone AWOL. If they can't get you on Upwork, they try to get you off it.