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Staying Safe on oDesk

Active Member
Ron A Member Since: Jan 5, 2006
1 of 117
oDesk strives to keep our marketplace safe and would like to remind our users of important safety practices. Safety Tips: - Never accept payment outside of oDesk, especially if you are asked to receive payment and send a portion back to a different account. Do not start working for a client until you have been hired through the system. - When clicking any link, you should be wary of scams that try to steal your login information. These scams are known as "phishing" because they "fish" for your information. Be careful about clicking links, and check the URL before entering your username and password. Also, be very careful about creating an account on a site from a user you don't trust. If you must create an account on an unfamiliar site, use a different password than other online accounts, especially your email and oDesk account. - If it's too good to be true, it probably is. If someone is hiring you without an interview or offers you a high hourly rate or high fixed payment, without a detailed interview, take the appropriate precautions to ensure they are legitimate by asking for a phone call and for more details on their business. - If you believe your account may be compromised, change the PW on your oDesk account and email address. How to report a suspicious behavior: oDesk has a team that is available 24/7 to assist with security related issues. If you believe you may have encountered a scam or believe you have had your account compromised, please contact oDesk support to report the activity. Thanks, Ron Aquino oDesk Trust and Safety
Ace Contributor
Louis D Member Since: Sep 27, 2010
2 of 117
decent summary.
Active Member
Lorraine A Member Since: Aug 3, 2010
3 of 117
Thanks Ron for the tips! Another way to stay safe on ODesk is to complete your profile. Untoward employers looking for an easy target pick contractors that appear vulnerable. If you don't have a portfolio, basic information about yourself, job or education history then genuine employers just wont hire you. Who does that leave?
Active Member
Grace Florencia M Member Since: Sep 12, 2008
4 of 117
Hi Ron, Thanks for the tips Ron. I just need to ask something. When we take on an hourly project - payment is guaranteed - right? I was hired recently by an employer who invited me to the job. He just asked me how many articles I can write in a day and I was told to start anytime I was ready. I thought that was a little strange - he had no further questions and he didn't complain about my hourly rate. Still, he was "payment method verified" so, I thought everything will be fine. When I checked what was going on in the team 2 or 3 days later, I was surprised to see that he had hired 47 contractors! But I had other tasks at the time, so, I still did not start work. After about 5 days, I started work. After finishing just 1 article, I took a break but when I got back I couldn't log in to the team. I didn't receive any notification from oDesk about this job but when I checked under "My Jobs," I found out that the job was suspended. Normally, I would just wait for the contract to resume but I decided to contact support. What I noticed is that the oDesk rep took longer than usual to answer my questions. But here is his answer to my first question: "I have reviewed the Client's account. I can see that this Client has been permanently suspended for policy violations. Unfortunately, this contract can no longer be resumed. We can end the contract on your behalf if you wish, however I suggest to stop working with the Client as they are permanently suspended." I was stunned. I asked why, he said, "I cannot share the particulars of their suspension, however this Client has been suspended permanently for multiple violations of policy, and can no longer be resumed." When I asked about whether the team will be paid for hours billed, he said, "We cannot guarantee payment for hours logged due to policy violation in this case, however please make sure to check your financial history page on Thursday for the payment, as it may go through on Thursday. Would you like for us to go ahead and close this Contract on your behalf?" Since I had only billed less than an hour - I told them to go ahead and end the contract - which they did. My question is - how about the other contractors who had already put in 40 to 50+ hours? As far as I know only one other contractor has ended her contract. But there are 45 others. I guess everything will be fine IF they get paid but what would stop payment to go through? Are the other members of the team even aware that the contract has been "suspended permanently?" Please take note that I never received any notification. I just decided to contact support and ask questions - and that's how I found out. I am confused by the rep's statement about payment that cannot be guaranteed "due to policy violation in this case." I thought taking hourly projects meant our payment was guaranteed. Can you explain how this could have happened? Thank you.
Active Member
Lorraine A Member Since: Aug 3, 2010
5 of 117
Payment is only guaranteed if ODesk can obtain payment. Sounds like the client has done the dirty.
Active Member
Elizabeth T Member Since: Jan 30, 2013
6 of 117
I'm 99% positive that I'm being scammed. How do I verify a client's account?
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
7 of 117
[quote=Elizabeth Turner]I'm 99% positive that I'm being scammed. How do I verify a client's account?[/quote] You don't, Elizabeth. You look at the client's status, where it will say that their account is either verified or not. Can I make a suggestion? Post a new post in the contractor area and explain awhat your problem is. Why do you think you are being scammed, what has happened so far (please don't include any links to job posts or names of clients etc) and we'll see if we can help. Were you officially hired? Is it an hourly or a fixed price contract? Is the contract in your "My Jobs" list? This is not the best thread to discuss individual problemss, so starting your own would be your best bet.
Active Member
Doreen M Member Since: Mar 17, 2008
8 of 117
Take a look at the profile and you'll see exactly what the problem is Smiley Sad
Active Member
Shannon B Member Since: Dec 1, 2011
9 of 117
The way the TOS reads, it sounds like payment is guaranteed, no matter what, if the Team Room is used. Seems that if they offer this guarantee, oDesk should pay up if the client is suspended. This doesn't sound right at all, and I really feel bad for all those people working for nothing. It is not the contractor's fault if the client violates policy.
Active Member
Ron A Member Since: Jan 5, 2006
10 of 117
That is correct. Even if a client gets suspended, oDesk guarantees payment to our contractors on hourly work logged through oDesk Team. This is our safety mechanism for contractors and something we take very seriously. The only time this guarantee does not apply, is when we detect a contractor abusing the guarantee or other serious policy infractions. While I can't get into specific details around our security process, if you as a contractor are billing legitimate hours and truly working for a client, you should never worry about the guarantee not applying to your work. I hope that helps. Thanks, Ron