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Tips to avoid scam jobs?

jwathas
Active Member
Johanna W Member Since: Sep 24, 2016
1 of 21

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!

pandoraharper
Community Guru
Pandora H Member Since: May 11, 2010
2 of 21

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 Smiley Happy

csjarmitage
Community Guru
Christy A Member Since: Dec 30, 2015
3 of 21

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?

jwathas
Active Member
Johanna W Member Since: Sep 24, 2016
4 of 21

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? 

csjarmitage
Community Guru
Christy A Member Since: Dec 30, 2015
5 of 21

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. 

jwathas
Active Member
Johanna W Member Since: Sep 24, 2016
6 of 21

Done!  Just deleted the first sentence. Smiley Happy

skribait
Active Member
Saidul Amin N Member Since: Sep 25, 2016
7 of 21

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. 

prestonhunter
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
8 of 21

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.

jwathas
Active Member
Johanna W Member Since: Sep 24, 2016
9 of 21

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.  Smiley Sad

versailles
Community Guru
Rene K Member Since: Jul 10, 2014
10 of 21

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

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"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless
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