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3aa0aa35
Community Member

Suspicious Clients

So I'm very new to Upwork & have trouble knowing what is legit & what is not. I've had 3 encounters that have seemed very shady because I am being asked to Set up google business accounts & for my ID or passport number. Could anyone tell me if I'm just being paranoid or not? I love content moderation but this is making me nervous. I don't want to be caught up in anything. They deleted their accounts after I asked questions except for Maria.

 

Example one: 

This one the guy wants me to set up a business account in my name wants my address & has changed the email he wanted to be created to be a completely different business. Not to mention his username is the same as a fitness club but it has absolutely nothing to do with the business accounts he's wanting me to set up.

**Edited for Community Guidelines**

Example 2:

This one made me uncomfortable, especially because as I started to read the guidelines they say no client should ever ask for your ID.

**Edited for Community Guidelines**

Example 3: 

This guy was so persistent that it got creepy. He did not want to keep communication on Upwork at all. I wish I still had the rest of the chat but he was so extremely pushy & only wanted to use Telegram.

**Edited for Community Guidelines**

 

ACCEPTED SOLUTION

You took part in a scam. Nobody should ask you to create an account in your own name - why would that EVER be necessary? They are going to use it to scam other people  and/or to fake their location. Read this: https://community.upwork.com/t5/Community-Blog/Top-Red-Flags-for-Scams-From-Community-Member-Wes-C/b...

View solution in original post

18 REPLIES 18
1547cd5a
Community Member

I am new too and a company "hired" me today, had me do an interview, sign a job offer and said they'd send a scanned check for me to purchase merchandise from their vendor.

I was looking and am now worried that not only is this a scam but I might be in violation of Upwork rules. Is this a fake job/check? If so, they spent a lot of time on it

Yes it's a scam, and yes it's a violation of Upwork's terms of service for you to accept a check - payments must go through Upwork or you could get your account permanently banned. Nobody buys office equipment for a freelancer. Read this before you send any further proposals: https://community.upwork.com/t5/Community-Blog/Top-Red-Flags-for-Scams-From-Community-Member-Wes-C/b...

 

avterol
Community Member

I did encounter the same adding Business under my google account then transfered the ownership to them. I reviewed the policy of Google Business very carefull as well the how it will affect my own account when ownership is transferred. They paid me after the job was done and so far my account is okay and nothing has changes for almost 2 months now (still checking from time to time). ๐Ÿ™‚

3aa0aa35
Community Member

Does it seem suspicious to you that he refused to use Upwork & only used Telegram?

avterol
Community Member

ah no, we used Upwork. But if someone will offer me to use Telegram as comm, I would flag them as inappropriate right away. Do the same as they are scammers. I was once offered $500 for a hundred pages of copying document and he needs it in 24 hours. I told him to create a contract inside Upwork, fund it and I will deliver. He refused, so I blocked him. ๐Ÿ™‚ 

Resjaun was referring to his own situation, not yours. You should know that just because somebody offers you an Upwork contract, that's no guarantee that a job isn't a scam and/or against the terms of service. People post jobs like "create an account for me", "review something on Amazon for me" or "write my college essay for me" all the time - those types of "jobs" are all against the terms of service, even if the client creates an Upwork contract and pays you.

I was just giving another scenario of Client offering to do comm thru Telegram or other means. Chill

 

3aa0aa35
Community Member

Got it. Thank you. I thought I was just being paranoid but I don't want to get in any trouble & terrified of what they might actually be doing. Reporting them now.

3aa0aa35
Community Member

Yeah. This guy argued with me for a long time about how ok it is & how he was just trying to not have to pay the fees Upwork applies. It felt so wrong. 

You took part in a scam. Nobody should ask you to create an account in your own name - why would that EVER be necessary? They are going to use it to scam other people  and/or to fake their location. Read this: https://community.upwork.com/t5/Community-Blog/Top-Red-Flags-for-Scams-From-Community-Member-Wes-C/b...

Yes. The thought somehow popped out in my mind but since I have been out of freelancing for a number of years already, it seems that I am somehow outdated in terms of how this people operate. But thanks for the link, very useful with all the information. Cheers! ๐Ÿ™‚

Very big artical but all content have good information

Thankyou for sharing ๐Ÿ˜Š

feed_my_eyes
Community Member

The first and third example are definite scams, and you're making a rookie mistake if you think that you can verify somebody's identity by asking them for their website. A scammer isn't going to tell you their real name; they can lie and say that they work for a legitimate company, or give you a legitimate name that they found on Linked In, but obviously that isn't going to make it okay. Asking for your ID, asking you to create an account in your name, and asking you to communicate with them off of Upwork - that's all scammer behaviour, regardless of what name and what company name they give you. (With that last one, they want you to create an account to run a property rental scam, and everyone who gets scammed would give YOUR name to the police.) Read this: https://community.upwork.com/t5/Community-Blog/Top-Red-Flags-for-Scams-From-Community-Member-Wes-C/b...

 

In your second example, it's okay for the client to ask you to sign an NDA, but you should politely refuse to provide your passport info. (I sign NDAs all the time and nobody has ever asked me for my passport number.) Did the client ask you to do anything else that seemed suspicious?

 

You're also violating Upwork's terms of service (and risking suspension for it) by communicating with clients off of Upwork before you have a contract in place. Stop doing that. It doesn't matter how pushy or insistent they are about wanting you to contact them on Telegram - that's all the more reason to be suspicious and report them.

I felt I was making a rookie mistake which is why I posted here. I asked for the business name so I could call the business & find out if a person by that name actually posted on Upwork looking for help but you're right they could even fake that. I kept trying to tell them to we need to move this back to Upwork but they just kept arguing about why it didn't make sense to me. I stopped speaking to them at that point. I'm learning. I do appreciate the info. Seriously, thank you.


Resjaun R wrote:

I felt I was making a rookie mistake which is why I posted here. I asked for the business name so I could call the business & find out if a person by that name actually posted on Upwork looking for help.


That's also risky behaviour, because you're not allowed to contact clients off of Upwork before you have a contract. If that had been a legit client, they could have gotten annoyed with you for phoning, and reported you to Upwork.

jeremiah-brown
Community Member

The word "telegram" is spelled S-C-A-M.

Red flags:
1. Easy work, no hours, "high" pay for seemingly effortless work
2. Paid via CashApp (violates terms of service).  Follows classic scam payment structure (paypal, cashapp, western union, gift card, deposit check and send funds, etc)
3. "offer of employment" on Upwork.  This isnt a job board like Indeed or Monster.  Its freelancing, you are your own boss/contractor/business owner.
4. Employment is "at will" - Again, this is freelance.  At will employment discosure doesn't even matter.
5. Changing the business names and assigning a random phone number - It takes time to start a real business and a legitimate business is not going to be replacing windshields one day and jumping into kitchen and bathroom renovations the next.  
6. Asking for an ID or passport number on the NDA
7. Asking you to list rentals and properties
8. Asking you to create a landlord account
9. Asking to use Telegram
10. Avoiding communication on Upwork
11. Using your information to set up these accounts



So I was right in my suspicion. It all felt off to me. Making note of it all. Thanks! 

williamtcooper
Community Member

Hey Resjaun, seek real Projects and report the scams. Thanks!

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