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d28bb41c
Community Member

Suspicious Job: "we need a proofreader to edit a business document"

Hello, 

 

Yesterday I submitted a bid for a job titled, "we need a proofreader to edit a business document," and earlier today I received an offer via Upwork messaging. While following the "client's" instructions, it became clear that something was wrong; Upwork removed the job post, the individual who told me to connect via Skype interviewed me by asking 11 questions. After telling me that I was hired, the individual started explaining that payments would be directly made into my bank account and asked specifically for my bank account information, even though I insisted that I be paid through Upwork. 

 

Long story short, this was my experience that wasted almost three hours of my time. I was not aware that evil acts like this were swooping into Upwork. Please watch out, everyone.  

ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Hi Jennifer, let me clarify the time sequence for you; no, I did not continue with the process. The job was removed when I was already though with the "interview" and the legitimacy of this job post was starting to seem questionable, well into their "onboarding process." From that point forward, I spent a few minutes eliciting evidence of their fraudulent intentions, which I did and led to my confirmation and disengaged myself from the interaction to avoid any risks.

 

This post was meant to share my experience for the community's awareness, and is not meant to solicit interrogative questions or remarks. 

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39 REPLIES 39
petra_r
Community Member


Masahiro I wrote:

 

Long story short, this was my experience that wasted almost three hours of my time. I was not aware that evil acts like this were swooping into Upwork. 


They are not swooping in, they've always been here and always will be.


Why would you spend 3 hours of your time on applying for a job to proofread a document?

d28bb41c
Community Member

Hi Petra, that much time was spent on all the "interview" questions that I was asked to answer and onboarding communication, plus waiting as I was asked to stay online during the process. After two thirds of the time had passed, suspicious, questionable activities started. 


Masahiro I wrote:

Hi Petra, that much time was spent on all the "interview" questions that I was asked to answer and onboarding communication, plus waiting as I was asked to stay online during the process. After two thirds of the time had passed, suspicious, questionable activities started. 


And why do you continue an interview after Upwork has removed the job?

Hi Jennifer, let me clarify the time sequence for you; no, I did not continue with the process. The job was removed when I was already though with the "interview" and the legitimacy of this job post was starting to seem questionable, well into their "onboarding process." From that point forward, I spent a few minutes eliciting evidence of their fraudulent intentions, which I did and led to my confirmation and disengaged myself from the interaction to avoid any risks.

 

This post was meant to share my experience for the community's awareness, and is not meant to solicit interrogative questions or remarks. 

Hi Masahiro: I totally understand what you went through, I had the same experience with that "client " and it was so frustrating to spend almost 3 hours then realizing it was a scam.

My question is if it was a fraudulent job post and UpWork already recognizes it as a scam and deleted from the job-feed, are we getting those connects back??

Hi Iliana,

 

Connects are refunded when a client closes their job without hiring or we find a job post has violated our Terms of Service. Additionally, there is a new test in which Connects are returned on contracts that don't hire anyone and have gone dormant. You can check the official announcement in this Community thread.

 

Thank you.

~ Aleksandar
Upwork

Hello Iliana, 

 

Thank you for reviewing my post and sharing your own experience... I'm sorry to hear that you also had to deal with that ordeal...! And your question was spot-on. I trust you've gotten those connects back by now. 

 

We'd better stay vigilant and do all we can to stay clear of evil, malicious act. Please stay safe and well, Iliana.

 

 

Sincerely,

Masahiro

I had a similar experience with my very first interview on Upwork. Did I know it was a scam? Not until the interview was over, I had been "given" the job and asked about my bank information. 

I think it's not uncommon for new freelancers to go through this experience. Scammers count on our desire to get hired. And yes, it takes time to gain traction on Upwork. 

I have gotten much better at identifying potential scammers before I even spend my connects writing to them. But that can only come with experience. 


Petra R wrote:


Why would you spend 3 hours of your time on applying for a job to proofread a document?


Maybe because getting started on Upwork is difficult,  and some of us have to invest a significant amount of time to get our first few jobs.

Hello Richard,

 

Thank you for your spot-on insight! I'm quite sure it resonates with many of us, except for the critics seen in this thread.

 

Please be safe and well! 

 

Sincerely,
Masahiro 

Any interview process that takes that long is very suspicious.  I work exclusively with lawyers, who love to talk, and I've never had an interview that took more than 30 minutes and most of that was the client talking about himself.

I'm not sure why regulars on the site feel the need to be patronizing any chance they get. 

It's pretty reasonable for someone new to freelancing platforms to feel like they can trust the jobs are legit and that Upwork would be on top of scams. Plus, getting those first few jobs can be a VERY difficult task so it's no surprise people are willing to jump through hoops. 

 

So sorry you had that experience. Sadly, Upwork has a lot of scam jobs posted. Trust your gut and run at the first red flag.


Laura K wrote:

I'm not sure why regulars on the site feel the need to be patronizing any chance they get. 

It's pretty reasonable for someone new to freelancing platforms to feel like they can trust the jobs are legit and that Upwork would be on top of scams. Plus, getting those first few jobs can be a VERY difficult task so it's no surprise people are willing to jump through hoops. 

 

So sorry you had that experience. Sadly, Upwork has a lot of scam jobs posted. Trust your gut and run at the first red flag.


__________________________________

Laura, 

 

If only new freelancers would take the trouble to read about getting started on Upwork and the section on how to recognize the danger signs in job postings, there would be far fewer unhappy freelancers complaining about these experiences, which seem to have become (unnecessarily) a rite of passage. It could even result in fewer scammers, who lie in wait at the bottom of the pond for new freelancers, who dive in at the deep end without leanring how to swim first.

 

(And by the way, it happened to me, years ago, when I started looking for gigs on job platforms.  So I am allowed to say this!) 

Interesting you would say that. Most interviews I've had as a professional were never less than one hour. 

The interviews I've had on Upwork are not like a normal job interview. They've always been about the job, not about me and my qualifications/ experience. It's mostly the client telling me what they need, while I try to make a few helpful comments to let the client know that I've grasped the problem and know what I'm talking about.

 

All but one of the jobs I've had on Upwork have been initially about just one specific piece of work, although some have developed into continuing relationships. The one exception is a job I started about 3 months ago which has involved a continuous stream of work from the start.  And on that job I had no interview at all! I just submitted the proposal, heard nothing for a month, and then got a message,  "When can you start?"

I have been flagging these as scams for weeks yet they continue to show up at least 10 times day. Why can't Upwork stop them? Here's the message I've been flagging them with:

SPAM! Can't you stop these guys? Who knows how much personal info they've stolen from all the people who've applied to these posts. It's the same “Proofreader” Spam and Phishing attempts(s) over and over again and using different job titles and posing as different clients. They show no history, no hires, only one job posted, no verified payment method, even though they've posted hundreds for this, and shows they’ve only been on Upwork recently, all of which is an obvious attempt to hide who they really are and what they are up to.


Peter G wrote:

I have been flagging these as scams for weeks yet they continue to show up at least 10 times day. Why can't Upwork stop them? Here's the message I've been flagging them with:

SPAM! Can't you stop these guys? Who knows how much personal info they've stolen from all the people who've applied to these posts. It's the same “Proofreader” Spam and Phishing attempts(s) over and over again and using different job titles and posing as different clients. They show no history, no hires, only one job posted, no verified payment method, even though they've posted hundreds for this, and shows they’ve only been on Upwork recently, all of which is an obvious attempt to hide who they really are and what they are up to.


There's nothing Upwork can do to stop them posting. It's up to the freelancers to watch out from them. Don't contact anyone outside of the platform before a contract is signed, don't pay anyone any money, and don't give anyone any of your personal details. Do these things and you'll never be scammed, no matter how many fake jobs the scammers post.

I don't do any of things and never would. I guess I'm just trying to make people aware of these scammers to help protect them. I'll keep flaging and encourage everyone else to do the same. It's just so dang annoying to see them like 20 times a day and have to keep flagging. You'd think just by the sheer number of them, it would be raising big red flags though.

And in the half hour since I posted this, I've just flagged 7 more. Unbelievable.

And 5 more since that last post.

And 6 more just now.

10 more so far today.

Wow! And I thought it was annoying to flag 4 jobs in two days...


Bettye U wrote:

Wow! And I thought it was annoying to flag 4 jobs in two days...


He's probably flagging some legit jobs.

tlbp
Community Member


Jennifer M wrote:

Bettye U wrote:

Wow! And I thought it was annoying to flag 4 jobs in two days...


He's probably flagging some legit jobs.


Everybody needs a hobby. ðŸ¤·â€:female_sign:

pgiambalvo
Community Member

Would you like me to list them so you can see for yourself? When multiple jobs are posted with almost identical verbiage for weeks at a time yet it shows no history, 1 job posted, no verified payment method, and that they are new to Upwork, it kinda makes them flag-worthy, ya think? Search for "proofreader" and you'll see what I'm talking about. I've flagged 8 already this morning. It's our responsibilty as freelancers to flag suspicious posts and look out for one another so that we are not scammed. Correct?


Peter G wrote:

Would you like me to list them so you can see for yourself? 


No need. There is also no need to inform the community every time you see  them. Flag them, don't flag them, whatever suits you. 


Then move on.

 

No need to waste your time informing the Internet of your flagging.

Respectfully disagree -- there is a need to inform the community about them.


Peter G wrote:

Respectfully disagree -- there is a need to inform the community about them.


"The community" knows.

 

If everyone of us who routinely flag job posts and profiles felt the overwhelming urge to declare this all the time the whole forum would just be thousands of posts "I flagged XYZ". 

 

Most of us simply get on with it after flagging rather than seeking attention every time we do a two-second bit of routine housekeeping. 


It quickly turns into tedious spam.... 

 

Okay, I'll stop. But while it may be annoying, it's certainly not SPAM.



Peter G wrote:

And I just flagged 4 more


Whoopie doo! And?

What would you like? A medal or something?

A medal is not necessary. A little, or a lot, less sarcasm would be nice. Why the attitude for me trying help others be wary of scams? Seriously, I don't get it. Isn't that the kind of thing community discussions are supposed to address? What am I missing here?


Peter G wrote:

A medal is not necessary. A little, or a lot, less sarcasm would be nice. Why the attitude for me trying help others be wary of scams? Seriously, I don't get it. Isn't that the kind of thing community discussions are supposed to address? What am I missing here?


Peter, we all appreciate you doing your part in flagging scammers when you see them. And you've definitely made the community aware. But at this point updating us on numbers is a bit of spam. There is no "discussion" around the fact that there are scammers and we all flag them. If there is something new to report, besides that you are flagging, I think that would be valuable to share, but there's nothing any of us can do besides keep flagging as  you are, and as we all do. 

 

I don't think anyone really means to give you attitude, most of us are just over it. We flag it and move on, because we would prefer to spend our energy where it helps us the most - the real clients - versus giving the scammers so much energy. 

Fair enough. Thanks.


Peter G wrote:

A medal is not necessary. A little, or a lot, less sarcasm would be nice. Why the attitude for me trying help others be wary of scams?


Nobody objects to anyone "trying to help warn others..."

What is irritating is the "And I just flagged X more" again and again and again and again. 

 

You are not the only one who flags job posts and profiles. Far from it. The rest of us simply flag and move on. We don't feel the overwhelming urge to dash over to the forum and make post after post after post declaring how many things we have flagged every time.

 

What is the point? The forum would just be drowning in "Look at me! I have flagged! I am such a HERO!" posts.

And I just flagged 4 more. And 3 of the ones I flagged earlier this morning have already been removed by Upwork. Happy to see they are listening and protecting us.

pgiambalvo
Community Member

Oh, and I've received MANY responses from Upwork saying they've investigated the posts and removed them thanks to me alerting them. So, I seem to be flagging the correct ones.

pgiambalvo
Community Member

And "Everybody needs a hobby?" Seriously? Not a very helpful response to a serious and legitimate issue.

Bingo.

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