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Upwork should be vetting Clients to remove the scammers

As a successful Freelancer on Upwork here is just one of my recommendations to improve the platform. 


We as Freelancers are closely scrutinized by Upwork and for good reason. If you are trying to attract the best clients you want some kind of system in place that prevents fraudulent people posing as a legitimate Freelancer.  So as a Freelancer I should also expect the same vetting for my clients especially when I pay a 10% fee for each successful project that is completed. Are we receiving that? I would have to say clearly we are not. We see posts about scam after scam without a clear direction on how to handle or solve the root cause of the problem.


Below is just my recommendation but feel free to add to the list. 


1.) Every job posting should cost something to the client. I say this because not only will it reduce fraudulent posts but creates a vested intrest with the client to proceed with a project within Upworks platform.  Even a small sum of $3(non-refundable) per job post would eliminate many of the issues we see on a daily basis. It would also validate good clients and red flag clients with invalid payment methods prior to a project start. 

Some wise person once told me that there is no respect or value in Free. It couldn't be a more true statement. Now we just need Upwork to believe that it has value.  I would love to hear others ideas on improving the platform.


It’s a very good idea Russell, But I don't think client whose budget is 5$ will be happy to pay 3$ posting fee, Although if they do it will be great

Indeed, and thats ok in my book. Look at it this way, are we racing to the bottom or climing to the top. It's a choice. Do I think it will solve all of the issues? Not at all, but I do think it would clear up alot headaches for the Freelancer, Upwork and yes even the clients. 

I have 0 issues with scammers because I'm not dumb. 


This would hurt my bottom line, so no. Just no. I sell new clients a lot. It's risky, but there are great rewards for it too.  I have 0 issues with someone throwing out a gig for free just to see what freelancers respond.

A proposal cost freelancer $2 i.e 2 connects. Why to work for $5 jobs is completely not understandable to me. Minimum budget for fixed price jobs should be $20 and yes upwork should charge atleast $1 for every job post. We are paying $20 per month to upwork and now it seems we are actually wasting $20 itself.


This has been posted tons of times before. You'd kill off some of the terrible clients and scammers, but you'd be killing off good clients too. If I was a client and I just wanted to see what was out there, I'd post on a competitor site then because it doesn't force me to enter my CC info. 


Getting people to enter CC info is the hardest part of the sales funnel. Right now, freelancers have the opportunity to sell the client after he just tests the waters to see who responds. Force them to enter a CC and you'll find lots of the good first-timers posting on competitor sites.


So, a big thumbs down (again) on this idea.



Hi Jennifer, I agree with you. That being said you could easily offer the first 3  job posts at no cost so you can get familiar with the platform or something to that degree. There are far better solutions then the free for all that is in place now.  Don't you agree?

If you offer the first 3 for free, why even charge at all? Wouldn't that go against your goal, which is to kill off spammers and clients who aren't serious? Then they would just post for free anyway. Clients that have been around already pay the 10% fees I tack on to the bill, so a $3 fee for them seems silly.


Then again, real clients wouldn't have issues with a small fee to gain valuable proposals from Top freelancers would they. I am sure you are like me and spend time with my proposals to suit the client.  I value that time and think that a vetted base is good for the entire platform.

Trust me, I don't fall for scams either but It's still a huge issue for Upwork and the platform in general. It doesn't bode well for us to have an open door policy for scams and fruadsters. It's in everyone's best intrest to minimize their impact and foothold in this professional platform. 

As a contractor, as well as a client, I like the ability to post jobs for free. I believe this makes Upwork more profitable for contractors as well as for Upwork.


Russell's concerns about scammers are legitimate.


My preferred solution, as I have noted elsewhere, is to institute better training for contractors.


In the scammer chatrooms and at the scammer conventions, I want scammers to curse Upwork's name and complain about how they can't make any money at Upwork because none of the contractors there fall for their scams.

Hi Preston, 

Thanks for adding to the discussion. I disagree that it makes Upwork more profitable. How much time and money do you think is devoted by Upwork as a corporation to combat scammers? 

It's huge.


The real root of the problem(RCA) is that its free and open for anyones whims thus is prone for Scammers. There is no vetting. So you get tons of tire kickers, and scammers. A waste of everyones time but primarily to Upwork and Freelancers. 


If I did decide to post a project as a contractor It wouldn't phase me one bit if there was a small fee. If I really needed to get the job done. It would give me good insights on if I wanted to proceed with the project. So a $3 fee would be fine for that knowledge. 


Real Jobs, real clients would never hesitate with such a small fee. But guess who would?





In the writing category alone, there are currently more than 20,000 active jobs. If that's a month's worth of postings, and a super-efficient reviewer was able to create a streamlined process that allowed her to review 2 jobs per minute with zero lost time in between, it would take 674 hours/month to review just the postings in the writing category.


With an average of 176 work hours in a calendar month, that means roughly four full time people to review the writing category--which I don't believe has the highest volume of postings.


I have no interest in paying the additional fees associated with the hiring of 20 or more full-time employees to screen job postings as they come in.

Hi Tiffany, 

I am not sure I follow you on this. Why would you need to be reviewing them? My recommendation was to charge a small fee to each of those 20,000 posts. The fact is you if you did charge you would probably only have 10,000 posts but the clients would be more serious about actually doing work on the platform. 

Some time ago, oDesk charged the client 10%, not the freelancer, and that was a regulation included in the ToS. There did not appear to be a shortage of clients then.


I slightly disagree.

It had never happened to me until now, but after a discussion wih someone from Upworks support staff, what I feared came to happen.

The problem I think lies at the root that Upwork does not seem to be working with an Escrow account (like our beloved deceased Elance did). Which means, that even though a project reads "funded", it actually isn't!

Just now, I received a message, saying my account finantial transactions have been "limited", and to check my email on regards to that.
The email explains, that the last job I did, and for which I was expecting payment this next April 24th, has the client's payment method under investigation. 
The discussion I had with that support "specialist", was that if Upwork did not confirm payment method until AFTER job completion, it meant that Upwork didn't have the money yet, in an Escrow account, safe and sound, and ready for mediation in case there was an issue at the end of a project. In order to protect BOTH parties.
It seems, the only one safe here, is a potential customer, because they can even get away with FRAUD!

I wonder, does Upwork charge the 10% commission up front? Because that would explain why they don't care things can work out this way. Where a customer can simply cancel a credit card payment and then screw the freelancer, with WORK IN HAND and laughing all the way at how easy it was to get FREE WORK!

So no, I desagree with the symbolic payment you mention.
ALL FUNDS SHOULD BE DEPOSITED SINCE THE BEGNINING into an Escrow account. That's how it really would guarantee, that if the freelancer does not comply with project requirements, the client can then WIDTHDRAW  funds (minus what ever commission must be payed for the trouble to Upwork for it's mediation) OR, that Freelencers also get their due if a client tries to run with the work AND the money (of course, we already have payed a juicy 10% which should be enough to cover things like this!).

Right now, as it stands. Freelancers are wide open to being screwed by the people they work for. And are NOT PROTECTED by those we pay 10% of our shares, as an agreement of mutual benefit.

In that email, I was told not to worry, that I could still continue to work with other customers... yeah, right!
It was $300, but I've done projects for over $1000 in the past.
How can I trust putting more work in, if I can be so easily screwed again in the future?????