Out of three jobs I have been offered, only one has been legitimate, the other two have been, or looked to be sams. It is hard enough finding work without having to waste time and effort dealing with scum like this!
Id like to know what steps Upwork takes to try and prevent this happening?
Mainly, Upwork recommends that you read this post:
Aside from that, whenever you encounter a scam job post, you can flag it as inappropriate, and the job will eventually be cancelled by Upwork. If you're invited to interview for a job, you might as well accept that as a new freelancer, most invitations will be bogus; that way, you won't get disappointed. And yes, it's cumbersome having to decline such invitations, but that's the way it is.
"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce
The good news is that getting targeted by scammers is not a permanent condition.
Because I have significant experience, scammers never target me, and the don't target other experienced Upwork users. After it is obvious that a freelancer has been on Upwork, scammers know that they would be wasting their time in targeting you.
Also, experienced freelancers are able to identify scammers within less than a second, so even if a scammer sends us an invite, we recognize this fact easily and don't waste time with them.
One legit contract will lead to a second. Two to four. So on and so forth. Familiarize yourself with the Terms of Service. Carry-on and persevere. We've all been in the same boat.