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There's scamming, and then there's this.

ailish_d
Community Leader

This isn't the first time I've seen this on here - a man who wants strangers to write character references in a custody battle or similar. The latest one is by a man who wants 'friends' from around the world to write references to the courts/child services to show he will, indeed, return his children to their home country after a visit to Africa (or somewhere, I can't remember the specifics).

 

This is wrong on so many levels! If he can't get real life people to write favourable references then surely there is a reason for that, and that could put the children in danger.

 

I've flagged the posting and hopefully it will be removed before he gets anyone to agree to help him. 

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vladag
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Ailish,

 

Thanks for the link. I checked the job post and found that the description and the request is a little different from the account you shared, and is in line with our ToS. Please check the job post again and let me know if you see their request from a different aspect.

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petra_r
Community Guru

@Ailish D wrote:

 The latest one is by a man who wants 'friends' from around the world to write references to the courts/child services to show he will, indeed, return his children to their home country...


 That is seriously, SERIOUSLY frightening.

ailish_d
Community Leader

It really is! 

vladag
Community Manager
Community Manager

Thanks for flagging this job Ailish. You can also pm me its link so I can check if our team reviewed and actioned the job yet.

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ailish_d
Community Leader

Just PMd you Vladimir, thanks

vladag
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Ailish,

 

Thanks for the link. I checked the job post and found that the description and the request is a little different from the account you shared, and is in line with our ToS. Please check the job post again and let me know if you see their request from a different aspect.

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ailish_d
Community Leader

Really?

 

You think I read it wrong? I read it as they want someone to write letters of recommendation for their friends to copy, to give to the family courts to show that they would return their children to the mother after a visit to Africa. My problem with it is this - if they have genuine friends who will recommend them, why are they not writing their own letters? Surely, if a father (or a mother, it works both ways) is of good character, they would have no problem with references. 

 

It's a genuine question - I'm possibly reading more into it than is there, in which case apologies but something about the post really worries me.

 

Maybe I'm being too quick off the mark, but when children are concerned...

 

Anyway, thanks for looking into it Vladimir. 

I think this is scary and when children are involved, posts of this nature should be investigated more carefully.

 

But leaving that particular moral problem aside, I thought it was against Upwork's ToS to write false reviews, and presumably false references. This surely amounts to fraud?


@Nichola L wrote:

I think this is scary and when children are involved, posts of this nature should be investigated more carefully.

 

But leaving that particular moral problem aside, I thought it was against Upwork's ToS to write false reviews, and presumably false references. This surely amounts to fraud?


 I agree. I would see it as a false review because anyone hired for this obviously will not know the client personally, so how can they write letters for his friends to copy, with no personal knowledge if he will return his kids or not.  Seems like it's along the lines of fake reviews or references to me. 

"Fairness is giving all people the treatment they earn and deserve. It doesn't mean treating everyone alike-Coach John Wooden"

I think the difference in understanding comes in because he is asking for people to write these letters of recommendation so that his friends can copy them - therefore they would loosely be described as genuine. Perhaps I am being overly cautious and his friends can't put a decent letter together, so he is asking for people to write the letters for them. But...and perhaps my imagination is working overtime here...to my mind there is nothing to stop these letters being used as they are and not from real life friends at all.

 

I hope that makes sense?

 

I'm not trying to go against Vladimir's decision here - he knows best on what constitutes breaking ToS, but I'm just uncomfortable with this. But it could be that's just because I'm a mother myself? Or I read too many sad stories in the papers.

 

 

I'm not sure if I'm allowed to post this here - I've removed the client's name etc and copy/pasted the body of text. I'm really interested to see if I have totally misread the post.

 

**Edited for Community Guidelines**

 

Ok, so the second part I have no problem with - research on why children will benefit from visiting their father's country, and why it is safe etc. But the letters aren't sitting right with me.

 

If I'm not allowed to post that here apologies and I'll remove it. 

 

I would have thought that among his friends "all over the world", there must be at least one who could do this for him rather than involving a complete stranger who has no knowledge whatsoeverof his background other than what he feeds them.

 

I would feel uncomfortable doing this too. There is not enough information. Also I should think this would not sit well with any court of law - i.e. that somebody was paid to write a reference of this kind. 

No way under he// should anyone take on this job.  It reeks of far too much to elaborate. I'd love to hear what any of legal folks would have to say.

 

Please report it!  That said, sadly, I'm quite sure Upwork will do absolutely nothing to remove it. 

It appears to possibly be fraud upon the court.  I certainly wouldn't touch it.


@Mary W wrote:

It appears to possibly be fraud upon the court.  I certainly wouldn't touch it.


 I agree with this, but I'm also a little puzzled because I'm not aware of any court (in the US, at least) that would accept letters in this situation. The ability to do just what this person appears to be attempting is too easy. In some circumstances, a court might accept affidavits (which would require the writer to appear before a notary and prove his/her identity, then sign in front of the notary), but in most cases this would be a situation for live testimony subject to cross examination.

 

 

Hi Wendy

 

I did report it, but as Vladimir says, it does not violate any ToS so it's allowed. 

Sorry Valeria, I did wonder if it was allowed, even though I removed the countries, names etc.

Ailish and others,

 

We will have the job reviewed once again by the Marketplace Quality team. However, if the client is looking for a freelance writer to help with writing a text for recommendation letters based on research and real facts, it may not violate Upwork ToS. A lot of clients on Upwork hire professionals to write quality texts the clients couldn't produce themselves. 

~ Valeria
Upwork

@Valeria K wrote:

Ailish and others,

 

We will have the job reviewed once again by the Marketplace Quality team. However, if the client is looking for a freelance writer to help with writing a text for recommendation letters based on research and real facts, it may not violate Upwork ToS. A lot of clients on Upwork hire professionals to write quality texts the clients couldn't produce themselves. 


This is not an employment reference. It involves children, and nobody has any idea of the tensions between the parents of those children or the circumstances in which the father might not be considered trustworthy, and as this also involves court rulings, I do not think it is a suitable job posting anywhere.

Actually, you don't even know if he is, in fact, the father....

There are things that simply cannot be outsourced. Writing a character reference is one of them. 

In a Family Court proceeding (in DE), it doesn't matter one bit how such a statement is worded or phrased.

It needs to be personal & genuine no matter what.

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