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This whole experience feels sketchy

sausy20o
Active Member
Sandra A Member Since: May 21, 2020
1 of 11

I am new to Upwork in that I have been on the platform for a couple of months but have yet to land an appropriate project. I keep getting invitations to submit proposals for projects that are either wildly inappropriate for my profile or from employers who seem sketchy. Today I got a request to send in my passport data as the first step in the interview. To me, that sends a red flag! Alternatively, I receive nothing from proposals that I choose to submit that seem relevant for my experience and skills. 

 

Am I misinterpreting or missing something?

martina_plaschka
Community Guru
Martina P Member Since: Jul 11, 2018
2 of 11

Sandra A wrote:

I am new to Upwork in that I have been on the platform for a couple of months but have yet to land an appropriate project. I keep getting invitations to submit proposals for projects that are either wildly inappropriate for my profile or from employers who seem sketchy. Today I got a request to send in my passport data as the first step in the interview. To me, that sends a red flag! Alternatively, I receive nothing from proposals that I choose to submit that seem relevant for my experience and skills. 

 

Am I misinterpreting or missing something?


No, you are reading this right. Nobody needs your passport for an interview or anything else.

Any unsolicited invitation is probably a scam at this point of your upwork career, so stay vigilant. 

sausy20o
Active Member
Sandra A Member Since: May 21, 2020
3 of 11

Thanks, Martina. I see a lot of discussion threads about verifying identity? How and when do freelancers do this?

martina_plaschka
Community Guru
Martina P Member Since: Jul 11, 2018
4 of 11

Sandra A wrote:

Thanks, Martina. I see a lot of discussion threads about verifying identity? How and when do freelancers do this?


You will be prompted by upwork to schedule a call to do that, until that time, no need to worry about it. 

a_lipsey
Community Guru
Amanda L Member Since: Jan 23, 2018
5 of 11

Sandra A wrote:

I am new to Upwork in that I have been on the platform for a couple of months but have yet to land an appropriate project. I keep getting invitations to submit proposals for projects that are either wildly inappropriate for my profile or from employers who seem sketchy. Today I got a request to send in my passport data as the first step in the interview. To me, that sends a red flag! Alternatively, I receive nothing from proposals that I choose to submit that seem relevant for my experience and skills. 

 

Am I misinterpreting or missing something?


Hey Sandra, 

 

Anecdotally speaking, it seems like these days, prior to COVID-19, it took new freelancers a few months to land their first job. The platform has been flooded with new freelancers since the beginning of the pandemic, so considering market saturation and the economy, it would stand to reason it will take even more time to land that first solid gig. That could be a suggestion to stick it out and keep trying or to try something else. Consider your options and whether you think it will be beneficial to keep trying versus a different tactic or platform or job opportunity. 

a_lipsey
Community Guru
Amanda L Member Since: Jan 23, 2018
6 of 11

Sandra A wrote:

I am new to Upwork in that I have been on the platform for a couple of months but have yet to land an appropriate project. I keep getting invitations to submit proposals for projects that are either wildly inappropriate for my profile or from employers who seem sketchy. Today I got a request to send in my passport data as the first step in the interview. To me, that sends a red flag! Alternatively, I receive nothing from proposals that I choose to submit that seem relevant for my experience and skills. 

 

Am I misinterpreting or missing something?


Okay, your profile seems pretty strong, but you are new to Upwork with no JSS or jobs under your belt. Therefore, your current profile rate is going to knock you out of the running. I would suggest lowering to $50/hr (don't go any lower than $30/hr with your background, etc.) and see if you can land some gigs at that rate. $30-$50/hr is a very respectable rate for a new freelancer on Upwork. Most don't even start that high. My first gig was at $25/hr, then immediately after I doubled it to $50/hr. I've been on platform for nearly 3 years , and I'm at $95/hr now. So you've got to gain credibility. I wouldn't normally recommend lowering your rate to get a job, but right now you are out-pricing yourself. 

sausy20o
Active Member
Sandra A Member Since: May 21, 2020
7 of 11

Thanks, Amanda. Great advice! I'll report back when I land my first real gig!!

terinam
Active Member
Terina M Member Since: Sep 10, 2015
8 of 11

Hi, Sandra,

 

You're right to think that anyone asking for your personal information (bank info, passport, driver's license, anything personal) is sketchy.  Upwork is a great platform for getting jobs, keep the momentum going, don't give up.  People don't seem to be hiring as fast as they used to, I'm finding it slow myself. 

 

I've been with Upwork since 2012, and about 2 weeks after I registered, I got my first client.  Then about 2 weeks after that, I got another job that I kept for 6 years after.

Be really careful with invitations that seem too good to be true, there are scammers that are trying to scam us in here (I almost was scammed but stopped before I had to take money out of my account - I reported them to Upwork, and the account was suspended; there's no stopping the same people from making new accounts.).  The scammers had contacted me by inviting me to interview for a data entry job, but then the description had strange and subtle errors that I didn't clue into until the interview off of Upwork.  The questions he had me answer were strange and most definitely didn't coincide with just a data entry job.  Jobs should not cost anything to acquire (except for the connects you have to get to apply to them on here), and anyone who tells you that they'll pay you upfront for supplies, don't believe them (if they want you to have their office supplies, they need to supply it, you shouldn't have to purchase it at all; if anyone tells you to add them to your skype, messenger, outside of Upwork, think twice.  Upwork has their messenger in place to protect you, try not to stray off because then they can't do much if the client tries anything.

 

Once you get THE job, really impress your client, the more times you do, the better your reputation gets on Upwork.  You'll get emails congratulating you on your achievements (they see you!), and offers to attend webinars to keep you informed on how to stay awesome and in high demand.

 

Until something happens with these scammers, we freelancers just have to be really alert and if any jobs you see look suspicious, flag it and report it to the customer service chat.  They will make a ticket and have their people look into the accounts and take swift action.  You can also contact customer service if you have questions to clarify if a job is suspicious or a good one to apply to.

 

Best of luck to you, and welcome to the community!

 

Sincerely,

Terina

 

sausy20o
Active Member
Sandra A Member Since: May 21, 2020
9 of 11

Thanks for taking the time to reply and offer great advice. Much appreciated!

bstojadinovic
Moderator
Bojan S Moderator Member Since: Mar 9, 2018
BEST ANSWER
10 of 11

Hi Sandra,

 

I've checked and it looks like the action has been taken on the client account because of the violation of Upwork TOS.

 

Please be careful not to share any private or sensitive information with clients on Upwork. All the information needed to hire and pay you via Upwork is available on your profile. Please check this help article for more information on how to use the flag option found on each job post or message to report any suspicious or inappropriate content. Also, check out this post for more tips on how to avoid questionable jobs.

 

Thank you!

~ Bojan
Upwork

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