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Terminology essential to using Upwork



Many freelancers do not understand the words used in the forum or to help other freelancers. This information came about while working with freelancers. So, for those that don't know, here are some of the most common terms you will need to know on Upwork. I will add to this as need arises.


Freelancer – the person with an Upwork account who pays for job access to find work on the platform.


Client – The person or company who posts the jobs, and you work for as a freelancer.


Terms of Service – These are the rules you need to read and follow to the letter. If you don’t, you can lose your account. In addition, you can be scammed and lose everything. Do not look for jobs or work on your profile until you read the rules.


Upwork contract – The contract must be in place before you do anything with a potential client outside of Upwork.


Contract – If it isn’t through Upwork, it’s a scam. It doesn’t matter if it’s on Facebook, LinkedIn, or a direct message.


Scammers – The people whose sole purpose here is to steal.


Telegram, Skype, Whatsapp, gmail, etc.  – When you see these in the job ad, report it to Upwork and do not communicate with them. Any outside contact is not allowed before a contract is in place.


Chargeback – This occurs when a thief uses a stolen credit card number to fund their scams. When the issuing bank realizes the card is compromised, they stop payment. The result is that the freelancer may lose everything. If you use the hourly tracker correctly, and it works correctly, you may still be paid through Upwork.


Verified payment – Too many freelancers think this is some sort of guarantee of payment. It is not. It means nothing in terms of safety. Upwork runs three tiny, reversible charges through the card. It initially comes up as legitimate because no one knows the number is being used. Then after work is done, it comes up as stolen. Never put trust into verified payment. What you must do instead is thoroughly vetting the clients and the job. This is accomplished through Upwork. There is no need to go searching. Look at the rules, the client, and the job.

Community Member

I had issued a refund to my client - Upwork forced unautorized refund

The link comes up as page not found?


Community Member

Hi Jeanne, I wanted to ask if a client can simultaneously be a freelancer.? 

Never mind, I just found the answer online 👍

For those who don't know, the answer is yes. You need a freelancer account and a client account.

Community Member

Great advice, but I find that clients with verified payments (presumably legitimate) seem more serious about hiring, are more committed to hiring through UW - as required, and are generally more prepared to take on their client resposibility in using the network (I dont need to hold their hands through the process). 

Everyone has to decide how to run their business. I have had wonderful, long-term relationships with clients that began as unverified, and the important thing is to make sure they are funded before the job and/or you are using the tracker correctly, or report it if there is a problem.

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