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Upwork Should Warn Newbies about Scammers

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Active Member
Sharon F Member Since: Aug 1, 2020
1 of 10

I joined upwork literally a week ago. I'm very aware of the scammers out there, but since there is a forum literally  devoted to people getting scammed, especially people who are new to Upwork, I think Upwork should warn newbies when they first sign on. I was contacted by a **Edited for Community Guidelines**. I'm thinking Upwork does their due diligence in screening these people so I went along when I was asked to a Skype interview. Thought nothing odd of it. Then I thought it was strange when the time zone was 5 hours ahead of mine. Still, different country. Ok. After a brief interview, I was asked for my info so they could tell Upwork that I was hired and to take the job down and I thought, my address can be pulled up with my name so it's public info so I provided it. Then he started telling me I would be mailed a check to purchase the 'equipment needed' like a MacIntosh, Printer, and other stuff. I asked, Why would I need all of this to proofread?' Because obviously I've done it before so I know. He said some BS like, "Okay ma’am,it’s needed Incase of some project final submission." Ok. That literally made no sense. Then he immediately pivoted to asking for my banking info. I told him, because I was simultaneously chatting with him and reading Upwork's policy, that Upwork said we are to get paid through them. He said, (Copied and paste)

**Edited for Community Guidelines**

By then, I had decided to end this con game and told him I'm going to use my better judgment and decline the offer because Upwork specifically said the work is to be paid through them. And surprisingly he didn't try to further convince me and I left the conversation. To Upwork's credit, I flagged it and sent them the conversation and they immediately investigated and removed the job from their site. So now I have to wonder how many of these are scammers. Don't have time to try and figure out who's legit and not. I wasted free connects and if Upwork would change their policy and warn newbies, since it seems that's why I was targeted, that if asked for their info or to communicate outside of Upwork, that is a Red Flag, it would not have gone as far as it did. SUGGESTION, Upwork. That would help out people who aren't savy enough to figure out a scam when it's coming. Protect your freelancers. Now I only have to figure out if I want to move forward. So discouraged now. 

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Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
2 of 10

Sharon F wrote:

I joined upwork literally a week ago. I'm very aware of the scammers out there, but since there is a forum literally  devoted to people getting scammed, especially people who are new to Upwork, I think Upwork should warn newbies when they first sign on. I was contacted by a XXXXX from XXXXXXXX, llc. I'm thinking Upwork does their due diligence in screening these people so I went along when I was asked to a Skype interview. Thought nothing odd of it.


If freelancers didn't violate the terms of service right off the bat by communicating with a client OFF the platform prior to a contract having been established, this wouldn't happen...

 

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Ace Contributor
Grace H Member Since: Jul 24, 2019
3 of 10

Truth...#1 rule I stick too. I can make suggestions in interviews, but the minute that conversation leads to 'can I send you files via Dropbox etc. ' I follow with ' how would you like to do the contract'?

 

 

 

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Community Guru
Wes C Member Since: May 3, 2019
4 of 10

At the top of the New to Upwork forum, there's a sticky thread with tips for new freelancers. It includes a lot of information on avoiding scams. And, here's another thread with more tips.

 

If you haven't been through those, I suggest you do so. And, read the Terms of Service.

 

Upwork already does a lot to filter scams, especially compared to other sites out there. But there's a limit to what they can do without reversing the fee structure and taking most of our money to cover their costs. So, they have to rely on providing some education to new freelancers and relying on people's common sense. 

 

The best general rule of thumb: if it seems off, it probably is and you should walk away.

 

Oh, and Petra's right: Upwork implemented the new rule about not communicating off platform prior to a contract to help prevent these types of scams. I still think the rule is pointless because it will be ignored by both the the people it's intended to help, because they don't know any better, and the scammers, because, well, scammers.

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Moderator
Aleksandar D Moderator Member Since: Mar 23, 2019
5 of 10

Hi Sharon,

 

I'm sorry to hear about what happened. I checked your account but couldn't find you being in a contact with the user you are referring to. Did that happen on another account? Could you please send me a private message with more information on this so that I can check?

You can check the link that Wes shared for tips on how to avoid questionable jobs and you can also use this flag option found on each job post or message anytime you’d like to report a violation.

 

Also, please note that all conversations before a contract is started must be through Upwork Messages, where you can send messages, have video calls, and more. 

 

Thank you.

~ Aleksandar
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Community Guru
Will L Member Since: Jul 9, 2015
6 of 10

Sharon,

 

You will find most posters here will try to help solve problems or provide useful insights, but this is an Internet message board so not everyone adheres to Upwork's goal to make the community "...appropriate, friendly, informative and fun for everyone."

 

I am sure Upwork makes every effort to keep scammers (freelancers and clients) off the site, but it's probably the world's biggest game of Whack A Mole - one scammer gets whacked and two more pop up, 24/7 365 days a year.

 

Good luck with your efforts on Upwork!

 

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Community Guru
Martina P Member Since: Jul 11, 2018
7 of 10

Sharon F wrote:

I joined upwork literally a week ago. I'm very aware of the scammers out there, but since there is a forum literally  devoted to people getting scammed, especially people who are new to Upwork, I think Upwork should warn newbies when they first sign on. I was contacted by a **Edited for Community Guidelines**. I'm thinking Upwork does their due diligence in screening these people so I went along when I was asked to a Skype interview. Thought nothing odd of it. Then I thought it was strange when the time zone was 5 hours ahead of mine. Still, different country. Ok. After a brief interview, I was asked for my info so they could tell Upwork that I was hired and to take the job down and I thought, my address can be pulled up with my name so it's public info so I provided it. Then he started telling me I would be mailed a check to purchase the 'equipment needed' like a MacIntosh, Printer, and other stuff. I asked, Why would I need all of this to proofread?' Because obviously I've done it before so I know. He said some BS like, "Okay ma’am,it’s needed Incase of some project final submission." Ok. That literally made no sense. Then he immediately pivoted to asking for my banking info. I told him, because I was simultaneously chatting with him and reading Upwork's policy, that Upwork said we are to get paid through them. He said, (Copied and paste)

**Edited for Community Guidelines**

By then, I had decided to end this con game and told him I'm going to use my better judgment and decline the offer because Upwork specifically said the work is to be paid through them. And surprisingly he didn't try to further convince me and I left the conversation. To Upwork's credit, I flagged it and sent them the conversation and they immediately investigated and removed the job from their site. So now I have to wonder how many of these are scammers. Don't have time to try and figure out who's legit and not. I wasted free connects and if Upwork would change their policy and warn newbies, since it seems that's why I was targeted, that if asked for their info or to communicate outside of Upwork, that is a Red Flag, it would not have gone as far as it did. SUGGESTION, Upwork. That would help out people who aren't savy enough to figure out a scam when it's coming. Protect your freelancers. Now I only have to figure out if I want to move forward. So discouraged now. 


Ignorantia legis non excusat

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Ace Contributor
Grace H Member Since: Jul 24, 2019
8 of 10

This does suck and reading Upwork's policy is a must. I have had 2 situations which the response to my proposal was ' I need your phone number to do a real interview' to which I state that Upwork offers chat options. One backed the other continuously sent messages to me that ' I obviously was not a pro, experienced, or worthy' and I blocked that person and reported it to Upwork. ALWAYS follow your gut. The community actually has some great resources, although you may have to really dig to find them, and asking the community turns out a pretty good turn around on answers. Watch the webinars, read the articles- you will get the info you need.

 

The truth of the matter is, scammers are out there, asking Upwork to scan for scammers is like asking Craigslist to stop posting ads- they will find their way in, they will try to find the weakest link. Scammers are like viruses the are coded for computers, once blocked they will 're-code' their methods to get back in, the best thing we can do is to flag them and not take work off Upwork, Like Petra R said. I have a couple long term contracts and AFTER I got the contract we have zoom meetings etc about projects and never once has that client asked for my phone number or personal email address, he actually assigned me one, so know there are several clients out there that do the same. It's an adjustment to how we may normally handle things but we are a community. That's the way I see it

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Community Guru
Martina P Member Since: Jul 11, 2018
9 of 10

Upwork does not warn newbies about scammers?

Save for grabbing them through the screen, shaking them by their shoulders, and screaming at them: USE YOUR COMMON SENSE! they do everything they can to warn them. But no, they don't do what I described, due to some technical issue or something, I assume.  

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Community Guru
Wendy C Member Since: Aug 24, 2015
10 of 10

Upwork does warn users about scammers and various scam methods.  If users took the time to read the info (https://community.upwork.com/t5/New-to-Upwork/bd-p/New_to_Upwork) as well as all the info under the Resource > Freelancer Resources tab (https://community.upwork.com/t5/Freelancing-Resources/bd-p/Freelancer_Resources) no one can claim Upwork has not supplied more than enough protect yourself guidelines..  

 

Do you homework (due diligence) and use common sense folks ....

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