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The Latest SCAM on ODesk...

Greetings from the great state of Texas!! I have just been the unfortunate victim of a scam that is currently running on ODesk that I seem powerless to do anything about (at least though the supervisory level) so, I thought that I would share it with the community, at the very least. This is the scam... A company approaches you with a job opportunity that sounds terrific. They set up an interview and, of course, I got the job. I even received an emailed "official" job offer. The company has a legitimate website (found out later that it WASN'T their company. The company they are using is Private Healthcare UK). After receiving the job offer, I was told that I would be sent a check for the purchase of special equipment for use during the course of my work (red flag). I called them on all of it after I received the check, as it was obviously fake and then, after they were busted, they dropped their email and IM accounts from Google. I was just on the phone with an ODesk supervisor and she said that their is nothing that they can do about these scams, that they cannot "afford" to run a through check on all new clients as it would "bankrupt the system" and run ODesk into the ground... Really?? Let's see. According to the website Inc. (http://www.inc.com/profile/odesk), the company's worth was a measly $6 million USD in 2009. By 012, that number had grown to $46 million!! Bankrupt? I doubt it. ODesk has consistently REFUSED to watch the backs of their freelancers. If I were in the company's shoes, I would create a department who's only function would be to verify, telephonically, each client signing up for the service, a task which, even though they deal with millions of customers a year, is not out of the realm of possibilities. I called and checked the credentials of Healthcare UK and it took me all of 5 minutes (actually, it was less than that). I DOUBT, very seriously that bankruptcy would be the end result. On the contrary, it would show their freelancers that they CARE about our well-being thus holding on to the creme of the crop instead of holding on to the hostile work environment that they have created through the rampant outsourcing that they are so famous (or infamous) for. In conclusion, I just wanted to share this information with everyone on ODesk, post the warning about the scam and BEG ALL OF YOU to do the following - 1. Check each and every client's feedback and method of payment verification. 2. REPORT all ODesk violations (click on the job, on the job description page, hit the "flag as inappropriate button and pick a violation) 3. DO NOT accept ANY monies where the client sends you a check to be deposited into your bank account (this IS a scam, every time!) BE SAFE OUT THERE and WATCH OUT FOR YOURSELF AND EACH OTHER because ODesk DOES NOT have your back!!!!

Hi Debra, I flagged the post a couple of weeks ago and spoke to support. I didn't apply because there was an immediate red flag. They were offering a 401k plan, but we don't call it that in the UK, so immediately I was suspicious. Then I saw a similar ad from the name you mentioned above and I knew that it was from the same scammer, but under a different name. They should never be allowed to post another ad on the site so easily. What's the point of having a flagging system? I totally agree, posts should be checked thoroughly before going live. I will do the job myself if I had to.
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Debra, Sorry you had such a negative experience with this client. Thank you for reporting it! I would like to assure you that our Team does its best to identify scams and take appropriate actions against them. Actually, our Team has just informed me that appropriate actions have been taken against accounts associated with the scam you reported in your post.
~ Valeria

same old 'cut-n-paste' reply.