I'm still relatively new to Upwork as a freelancer and I'm a bit cautious about a position I was just offered. I know that use of a third-party is prohibited and I became very cautious today after a series of events that occured.
This morning I applied for a position that offered for $50/hr part-time and full-time. After submitting my connects, cover letter, and resume, I was contacted later in the day by someone offering me an interview through Google Hangouts. By the time I saw this message and went to add the account for the interview, I noticed the Upwork account was deactivated. My Upwork account still lists the offer as an "active candidacy". I added the account and within a few hours was asked to have an interview via Google Hangout chat, rather than video call or any form of audio. After answering a few interview questions I was granted a position as a Data Entry Clerk with the mentioned pay of $50/hr. I asked if the work would be supplied through Upwork to which they assured me it would. They said because I'd be working remotely they are sending me a check through FedEx to cover the supply costs of a "mini-office" including a free laptop, printer/scanner, and software used for their business. I'm worried because I feel like this is all too good to be true or a scam and I'm worried about losing my opportunities here on Upwork since this just doesn't seem legitimate. Is there a better way to look into this?
I'm sorry to learn about your experience with this client. I would like to confirm that this is a scam, and offering, and accepting to be paid off the platform, in this case, in a form of a check, is a violation of the Upwork Terms of Service.
I'll go ahead and check on the client you are referring to. In the meantime, I highly recommend that you read up the "Safety First!" section of the freelancer resources we have compiled, and these tips for avoiding questionable jobs for more information about working safely through Upwork.
Noah, anytime you see a client ask for Google Hangouts interview, just walk away. The tiny fraction of a fraction of a chance it's legit isn't worth hassle of all the rest of the scams.