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Unsure If Scam

Hi Upwork Admin,


I am new here and I just had my first "chat-interview" with a client. It happened literally today and the client asked me a series of super easy questions via google hangout chat and then he said: " Congratulations..due to your level of experience and your working skills the company has decided to hire you as one of our staff.You are now a staff of REWE Group. and we hope to see the best in you.You will receive your duties everyday via email and i will be online to assist you with any difficulties. We are starting you with $20 per hour,You will receive your pay bi weekly friday of the week via wire transfer,Direct deposit or check,Depending on which you prefer.What payment option do you prefer?" Furthermore, he guaranteed some benefits also: "You will be enrolled for this benefits after a period of 3 months of working with us.We are going to be communicating through Google-hangouts chat (IM) till after 7days of working with us, a user and pass will be given to you including an up link to the company server. Also after then list of contact phone numbers to various departments will be sent to you including all necessary forms to fill out."


He also promised me to send out a check or direct deposit to buy the software needed for me to perform the task. 


Please let me know if this is a legit project or a scam.


Scam most likely.  You HAVE to receive all payments through Upwork and according to the TOS.  Please review it for your own safety.  Your account could be suspended for receiving any monies outside of the Upwork framework.

The check will not be a good check.  Report this guy and move on.

100% scam.

0% chance of being genuine.




Where do I report a company for being a scam. I responded to an interview and was accepted. Pretty much word for word in the acceptance email as the lady who posted the question. It was for **Edited** I started training and they sent me a check. I started to follow their directions and went to deposit the check. They then asked me to withdraw the money right away. I started to get a bad feeling, not just because I realized that the money wasn't going through UPWORK, but also when I started to ask questions about it they told me I wasn't supposed to ask any questions or discuss this. The bank is investigating them for fraud and I wanted to report them to UPWORK. I was so excited about getting work that I just didn't think about the funds not going through UPWORK and I should have. What do I do now? I don't want to be suspended because of a stupid mistake?


You can report a job by flagging it on the job description page, shown below:



You can also report a client if they mention paying off platform in Messages by clicking on the gear icon next to the message and selecting "report abuse".


messages report abuse.png




Like the original poster on this topic, I am also new.  I had an invitation to apply for a job and the job poster is also very new.  I applied and was then asked to email him for more details about the job.  I did this and when I received the reply, he was offering to pay "off platform" - wondering if he's just new and doesn't know better?  Should I mention it to him or ??  Here's what he said exactly:


"I will pay you a minimum of $500.00 every two weeks, depending on your performance you could earn up to $800.00. Salary will be paid via Pay Pal, Checks, Wire Transfer, Bank and etc. You will be paid every two weeks."

Hi DIane,


Not knowing the circumstances of this job or client I can't speculate, but yes you can inform the client of our TOS and that paying of platform is prohibited. If this was asked in Messages you can also report the message by clicking on the gear icon to the right of the message.




Scam: ask you to receive payment off platform.


Scam: ask you to purchase/download software.


Scam: "interview" with really easy questions and then instantly saying you're an employee. 


Report him and run. 

re: "I don't want to be suspended because of a stupid mistake"


Upwork has every right to suspend the account of a freelancer who does what you did. Accepting payment outside of Upwork is a violation of one of Upwork's three most sacred rules.


BUT, in practice, Upwork usually does not suspend newbies who fall for the fake check scam.


Upwork is usually forgiving and understanding about this.

As for reporting:

I don't really believe that a serious system is in place for reporting scams and fraudulent or predatory client behavior.


Upwork representatives have said in the past that they are working on such a system. I am glad that they have this as a goal. But it is disappointing that no such system exists.

re: "You can report a job by flagging it on the job description page, shown below: Flag as inappropriate"



Thank you for posting information and screenshots showing Upwork's current reporting tools.

I think that these are a good start, and they're vast improvements over what was available before.


But the "Flag as inappropriate" button DOES NOT LET users submit files or screenshots or anything.


So the problem we are seeing is that many job postings now are completely innocent-looking. The job posting itself has no red flags. There is nothing to see amiss about it.


Until contractors apply to the job, and then the client does something inappropriate, like asks them accept a check for "office equipment" during a Skype interview.


It doesn't matter what options a contractor selects if they flag the job as inappropriate. There is no way for anybody who receives that "flag" to know what happened. They'll see a flag that the job was a fraud, but when they look at the job, it looks fine.

Hi Preston,


You're absolutely right there are limitations to the current reporting tools and we are working on new processes to proactively remove these jobs, as well as better tools to reactively report them.




Hello Preston,


I know they have the right to suspend me. I just hope they don't. So many of us that fall for this are just so happy to get something that it doesn't occur to you right away that something is wrong. They were advertising on UPWORK and invited me to interview ON UPWORK, so it comes to mind that they are working through UPWORK. It wasn't until I got the check that it really hit home that they weren't using UPWORK to log hours and pay and something was probably wrong. I went through their steps naively believing that it would all work out and they would be tracking work hours through UPWORK. DUH!! "Smacks forehead". And that is why these scams succeed. They prey on the desperation of people to find work. I consider myself very fortunate in that I started to question what was going on and with support from my bank reported them.


Thank you for responding.



I had this same thing happen! The lady said via message: 


"Well the company has decided to give you a chance for you to work for the company.We will like to see your diligence,Charisma,Commitement to this job. Congratulations"


Like it had been some kind of stock acceptence letter written by someone who barely speaks English (and probably sent to the other 9 interviewing candidates). THEN she asked me to send all of my personal information (address, email, cell/home numbers, etc) because she was going to send me printers and a laptop to do the job. Nope!


When I looked into the company for a similar job posting as the one here, there was nothing (usually, they'll also post on their sites if they're hiring). And the person who supposedly hired me was the executive vice president. Why would the executive vp go digging through Upwork to hire people? I'm thinking these scammers are taking real companies and creating profiles with names of real people. *Reported*




**Edited for Community Guidelines**. This company Chat via Google Handouts, and as stated by Lea ask questions and than hires based on experience. then welcomes you and ask for a form of payment, wire, direct deposit or check. Then they conttinue with the "interview briefing," and when questioned about payment through Upwork answered the payment would be made by **Edited for Community Guidelines** for two weeks then through Upwork.


They offer the following statements-

"You will be enrolled for this benefits after a period of 3 months of working with us.We are going to be communicating through Google-hangouts chat (IM) till after 7days of working with us, a user and pass will be given to you including an up link to the company server. Also after then list of contact phone numbers to various departments will be sent to you including all necessary forms to fill out. "


And also this-

"Before you start work you will receive a payment(Check) ,you will be using this payment (check) to set up your mini office by purchasing some office equipment and accounting software, immediately you get this payment you start work fully. "


If I have access to their server I would not purchase software. Again they said they would pay me. Non of this makes sense per my professional background in HR.


Also the names used **Edited for Community Guidelines**, did not come up on an social media site or LinkedIn. Also, there was not any information about the **Edited for Community Guidelines** opening up in the United States. I researched thoroughly and asked them but did not get a reply just a link to **Edited for Community Guidelines**




And interestinly probably to make me feel a sense of comradre, My name is Tracie, the spelling is not common and the interviewer was Tracie Backford.


Good Luck.

re: "This company Chat via Google Handouts..."


It's a scam.

They're wasting your time. They're trying to steal your money. Stop talking to them.

Don't talk to anybody who sends you an invitation to interview using Google Hangouts.

re: "Also the names... did not come up on an social media site or LinkedIn. Also, there was not any information about the [company name] opening up in the United States. I researched thoroughly..."


Don't do that. Don't thoroughly research stuff like that.


Scammers just copy names from the Internet, and often provide you with valid names. Googling or searching for these names is a waste of your time, and it's one of the main tricks the scammers use to fool newbies.


If a client offers you a valid Upwork contract to do real work on Upwork, then go for it. It doesn't matter what their name is, and it doesn't matter if you can Google them or not. I earn a lot of money working for clients and companies who you can't Google.

Hi Tracie,


As Preston pointed out, it's a known scam and you'll see that the job has already been removed as inappropriate and the proposal was archived. Please, check out this post to learn more about warning signs and avoid questionable jobs in the future.

~ Valeria

I have experienced the same thing today. First of all, it was not a two way interview. He told me to say okay and then I will have question time. However, question time was not given to me. I told the person "before I send my information to the email account he provided me, I want more details on their opeartions and detail of work". He just repeated himself and did not provide me details. Then I asked, "since this is a Germany based company, how and why you are going to get an office in the USA?". He told me that they already have an office in the USA. I told him that I checked the website and did not see that. He told me, he will come back to me on this. He send me the website but still there was no USA office. So, he lied to me on this.


Next, I asked him why are you not working through upwork since you are trying to hire through them. He told me everything will be directed in two weeks through upwork and asked me if I am still okay. Here at this moment. I rejected him. I told him he does not provide me trust and I can not tell if this is scam or not. They are not professional in my opinion. My suggestion is do not be afraid of asking questions.

Thanks for sharing your experience, Pelin. You were right to be suspicious about the job, it has already been removed as it was in violation of Upwork ToS. Check out this post for more tips on how to avoid questionable jobs.

~ Valeria