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jwathas
Member

Tips to avoid scam jobs?

Hi everyone,

 

I am new to Upwork, having just joined about a week ago.  I'm getting really frustrated and about ready to throw in the towel altogether.  I have submitted proposals for many projects over the past week and the ONLY ones who have responded to me have turned out to be total scams, wanting me to contact them outside of Upwork, such as on Skype, Google Hangouts, or email, or even wanting me to send them money in order to work for them.  I even had one yesterday tell me that they would send me a check to purchase equipment (even though it was all equipment that I already own).  They were all clearly scams.  Does anyone have any tips on avoiding these going forward?  Are there any red flags I should look for when browsing the job postings?  Again, I am brand new to this, so any advice would be greatly appreciated!  I'm just really getting tired of wasting my time (and connects) on these losers.

 

Thanks in advance!

30 REPLIES 30
pandoraharper
Member

Yes, there are lots of red flags associated with these kinds of jobs. And what do you know, there are a couple of super excellent thread about this very thing.

 

Read this first:

Tips to Avoid Questionable Jobs

 

A discussion thread (it's large but quite valuable)

Job Warning Signs

 

Welcome to Upwork ๐Ÿ™‚

csjarmitage
Member

First suggestion?  Take data entry out of your skills list.  I honestly believe scammers search that term.

 

Second (and this is ancillary to your original question), I'd add strong portfolio items since you are positioning yourself as a writer/editor.  It probably wouldn't be a bad idea to clean up your introductory sentence, as well. 

 

Finally, I'd suggest you limit your contact with "clients" to the Upwork messaging system until you get your feet wet. Don't entertain the idea of speaking off platform and simply decline invitations that request that you do so. Check out the client history before spending time or connects.  Do they have a solid history on the platform?  Good feedback?

Thanks for the advice!  I'll remove my data entry skills test, although I do enjoy doing data entry as well as writing and editing and I was actively seeking out those types of jobs as well.  I have already starting ignorning the ones who want me to contact them outside of Upwork.  It almost seems like they want to go "off record" for whatever reason, so that was a huge red flag to me from the beginning.  

 

Any tips for a stronger introductory sentence? 

I'd take out the first sentence all together.  When a potential client gets your proposal, they see that first sentence and a few words after that.  Hit them immediately with what you do. 

Done!  Just deleted the first sentence. ๐Ÿ™‚

skribait
Member

I think I also fell in this awkward position too. A few days ago I got a client who told me to contact with him through Skype and then he gave me a real project and also sent half of the total funds to my account.

 

As a result, He got my trust and then I did his job. He accepted my job and gave good feedback. I asked him about the remaining funds then he told he would send the remaining funds recently.

And then he gave me another project. As he won my trust and we had built quite a friendly co-operative relation so I did the project again and send him.

 

But After completing and sending the second project I haven't got any response from that client. I am trying to contact with him but getting no response at all. So I think I might be screwed.

I don't know maybe he is facing some problems now and unable to contact me and will contact me later.But if it's not then I'm really screwed.

 

So, I think It shouldn't be a good idea to do the deal outside Up work while being a starter as we are. And if we do then we have to be very careful. 

re: "I'll remove my data entry skills test, although I do enjoy doing data entry"

 

You can still apply to data entry jobs, regardless of whether or not you list it as one of your skills.

Ouch!  That's really awful to be burned like that!   I'm so sorry that happened.  It actually sounds like something that would happen to me. Yeah, that's even more of a reason to keep things within the Upwork site, especially when first starting out like we are.  It's just too easy to be screwed over by these scam artist clients otherwise!  It's like they don't care that our time is valuable and we don't do this for free.  ๐Ÿ˜ž

Saidul Amin N wrote:

 

 

 

> I don't know maybe he is facing some problems now and unable to contact me and will contact me later.But if it's not then I'm really screwed.

 

Your client has no problems. He just found another naive beginner to scam.

 

> So, I think It shouldn't be a good idea to do the deal outside Up work while being a starter

 

Pulling clients off-platform, whether you are just starting up on Upwork or not, will lead to only two things:

 

- you being scammed

- your account being suspended

-----------
"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   โ€”William Ashbless


@Rene K wrote:

@Saidul Amin N wrote:

> So, I think It shouldn't be a good idea to do the deal outside Up work while being a starter

 

Pulling clients off-platform, whether you are just starting up on Upwork or not, will lead to only two things:

 

- you being scammed

- your account being suspended


 

I actually didn't mean to say to do deal outside up work either after being experienced.**Edited for Community Guidelines**

 


@Saidul Amin N wrote:

@Rene K wrote:

@Saidul Amin N wrote:

> So, I think It shouldn't be a good idea to do the deal outside Up work while being a starter

 

Pulling clients off-platform, whether you are just starting up on Upwork or not, will lead to only two things:

 

- you being scammed

- your account being suspended


 

I actually didn't mean to say to do deal outside up work either after being experienced. **Edited for Community Guidelines**

 


NO YOU CAN'T!!!!  UNLESS, you have worked with a client for two years or the client pays a buyout fee.  Please don't be telling new people this, it can get them in trouble.  

 

Please take the time to read the ToS so you can protect yourself as well.  

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

Ok. I'll keep this in mind.  ๐Ÿ™‚


@Saidul Amin N wrote:

I think I also fell in this awkward position too. A few days ago I got a client who told me to contact with him through Skype and then he gave me a real project and also sent half of the total funds to my account.

 

As a result, He got my trust and then I did his job. He accepted my job and gave good feedback. I asked him about the remaining funds then he told he would send the remaining funds recently.

And then he gave me another project. As he won my trust and we had built quite a friendly co-operative relation so I did the project again and send him.

 

But After completing and sending the second project I haven't got any response from that client. I am trying to contact with him but getting no response at all. So I think I might be screwed.

I don't know maybe he is facing some problems now and unable to contact me and will contact me later.But if it's not then I'm really screwed.

 

So, I think It shouldn't be a good idea to do the deal outside Up work while being a starter as we are. And if we do then we have to be very careful. 


So you took the work off platform?  Well you won't get paid, that's for sure.  As Rene said, it lose all you protections and might even lose your account.  

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


@Katrina B wrote:

So you took the work off platform?  Well you won't get paid, that's for sure.  As Rene said, it lose all you protections and might even lose your account.  


 

Yes, I did. And got a good lesson though.

 

However, sometimes these type of learning needed right? It taught me well. From now on I'll keep this learning in my mind ๐Ÿ™‚

Hi Saidul Amin,

 

Please, follow the advice Katrina and Rene shared here and never accept payments outside of Upwork. It's a serious violation of Upwork Terms of Service which you can find here. If a client ever offers payment outside of Upwork, please reports them.

~ Valeria
Upwork

 


@Valeria K wrote:

Hi Saidul Amin,

 

Please, follow the advice Katrina and Rene shared here and never accept payments outside of Upwork. It's a serious violation of Upwork Terms of Service which you can find here. If a client ever offers payment outside of Upwork, please reports them.


 

 I'll definitely follow their valuable advice.

 

And thanks for the link .............

Why have I seen so many Upwork community gurus be low-key mean? He already said he won't take work outside the platform--it's a rookie mistake--to which you shout-text in all caps and then heckle him further. He gets it. I do too. I'm thankful to have my questions cleared up but there's no need for blatant rudeness.


Riley C wrote:

Why have I seen so many Upwork community gurus be low-key mean? He already said he won't take work outside the platform-


Because we are all sick to the back teeth of having ever stricter restrictions imposed on us because of people who should not have unsupervised access to the Internet because they can't handle it. We are being punished because of people who cheat or lack the most basic common sense. We are hit financially and so are our clients.

 

You are responding to a 4+ year old thread "defending" someone who hasn't even had an Upwork account for years...

I don't care that the thread is 4 years old. I think we can all agree that we should try and be a little kinder to the imperceptible people on the receiving end of our ill wills over the internet. I see this level of irritation on current threads too. Not sure what's up with Upwork as a company but I would hope it is good to its employees.

 

I don't know what you as a community guru go through. I don't have your job. But I must say if you work for a company that responds to its customers' ignorance (and "responding" healthfully is, almost certainly, a necessary facet of any company-customer relationship) by imposing harsher restrictions and paycuts on its employees than why are you under its thumb?


Riley C wrote:

Not sure what's up with Upwork as a company but I would hope it is good to its employees.


Employees?

 


Riley C wrote:

I don't have your job. 


My job? What in the world are you talking about?

 


Riley C wrote:

But I must say if you work for a company that responds to its customers' ignorance


I don't work for Upwork. I use Upwork as a freelancer and occasionally as a client.

 


Riley C wrote:

and "responding" healthfully is, almost certainly, a necessary facet of any company-customer relationship) by imposing harsher restrictions and paycuts on its employees than why are you under its thumb?


Again, what in the world are you talking about? I am not an Upwork employee and I am under nobody's thumb. What does "responding healthfully" even mean?

 

Let me try and spell it out for you: 

 

Many of the restriction honest and smart freelancers have to operate under are a direct result of the actions of freelancers who are either dishonest or not fit to play on the Internet unsupervised.

 

The former includes those who defraud the platform by taking payments directly. The latter include those who fall for the dumbest and oldest scams on the net. 

 

 

Agreed. I feel sorry for people who don't have compassion for others.

I am also new in upwork. I have submitted proposal for some jobs. Got reply from two of them. Both wanted to send me check beforehand to buy laptop and office equipment from their company's enlisted vendors. Actually they are scam. But as I am new , I could not understand at first. I am now really scared about this platform.And also want to know what r the check points before sending proposal.


Tamasree S wrote:

I am also new in upwork. I have submitted proposal for some jobs. Got reply from two of them. Both wanted to send me check beforehand to buy laptop and office equipment from their company's enlisted vendors. Actually they are scam. But as I am new , I could not understand at first. I am now really scared about this platform.And also want to know what r the check points before sending proposal.


Hi Tamasree, it's good you recognized that there was a scam at play. You can be safe on Upwork if you take certain precautions and always follow the TOS. 

 

Read this post by Wes, that outlines all the known scams and learn what to look for. 

 

https://community.upwork.com/t5/New-to-Upwork/List-of-red-flags-for-scams/m-p/1017044/highlight/true...

 

 

Thanks for the info Amanda.

 

I also am a newby to Upwork, well maybe not a raw newby, but I have been trying to land freelance jobs on Upwork for 6 weeks now, with zero success. The only responses I recieved was from scammers and defrauders. Did work for one "client"  only to recieve a message, I " need to buy a premium ID card" in order to recieve my payment...

 

I have learnt how to dodge filth like these, in the meantime, I wasted connects on false jobs, and some of them required as high as 6 connects. I have to build a sustainable business, so my income has to buy connects to bid for projects to generate income. 

 

At the moment I am so ๐Ÿ’ฉ scared of any projects posted on Upwork. The Upwork "team"/"platform"/"people-that-will-take-commision" does not seem to care what job postings is placed, it's not monitored or scanned in any way. 

 

I am considering quiting. It does not seem to be worth the effort.

 

But still, thank you for your posting, I am learning a LOT from it, I trust this might restore my trust in Upwork a little bit.... ๐Ÿ™‚

Sorry you and all of us are having this experience here. Thank you for sharing your concerens.

Thanks for sharing. 

37b23083
Member

This just happened to me with someone pretending to represent ParkMobile, they sent me a check to "buy a new MacBook". I figured out it was a scam based on the sketchy email addresses and contacted ParkMobile support. It can be really convincing so keep your eye out. Anybody wanting to interview you via Telegram and never talk to you is probably not gonna be legit. I'm new here too and I feel your pain. Stay safe, guys.

taniashaheen
Member

I just found one. He asked me to pay him first so that I can access the projects. Thats pure bull**bleep**. Why would I pay to work for them. Anh tips to avoid these scammers? 

Hi Tania,

 

I'm sorry to hear about this unpleasant experience you had with a client. Please check out this post for more tips on how to avoid questionable jobs and please use the flag option found on each job post or message anytime youโ€™d like to report a violation. You may also want to check this help article and this thread for more information on how to stay safe on Upwork. 

 

~ Arjay
Upwork
9c8f0515
Member

Welcome to Upwork. It's become scam central. They do not vet clients so ity will never stop. I see at least 10 a day. They are in every category so anyone telling you to remove data entry is just wrong. 

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