My account has been suspended and a video verification has been requested.
Is this a real thing? It feels like phishing.
Link takes me outside of Upwork and asks me personal information and is being recorded.
Seriously is this real?
Thanks for the help,,
Hell no. I'm not going to read back my info into some third party system.
It does nothing but put my personal data at risk. And it would verify nothing.
If you're reading this and you agree that this is beyond hinky, talk to support. There is another way to do this.
I was never asked to provide personal information to some third-party system.
Either you are talking about something else, or you are misinterpreting what it is that you are being asked to do.
When I went through identity verification, it was done through Upwork Customer Serivce.
I linked to Upwork Customer Service. I went to a live chat session with Upwork Customer Service. In the live chat session, an Upwork Customer Service representative asked me to do a live chat session with him, and provided a link for doing so.
That link was to a "third-party" video conferencing system.
But the person I talked to when I went there was the Upwork Customer Service representative I was live-chatting with.
The person just wanted to see my face, really. He asked me my address. I told him my address. And then we were done.
That was it as far as "personal information."
I didn't think it was so bad.
I was surprised that I was asked to do this, because people at Upwork know me. But I was randomly selected, and my familiarity to Upwork powers-that-be did not prevent me from being selected to participate in the identity verification program.
I'm not sure if everyone's experience is the same and/or handled similarly. However, when it happened to me a few weeks ago, the process took less than 30 seconds. There was a notification on my Upwork profile, clicked through to speak with an agent who sent a link that took me to an Upwork video chat tool. Once I joined, I was asked for my address and the process was complete. Again, for me, everything was handled through Upwork support/chat agent and everything seemed very legit. Just my experience, though.
Maybe I'm confused. How are they verifying your information w/o asking you personal information?
If all their going to do is ask for my address, they aren't verifying anything since I can simply read back what's already in my account. Heck, I'll give them my address right here if that's all they want.
re: "Maybe I'm confused. How are they verifying your information w/o asking you personal information? If all their going to do is ask for my address, they aren't verifying anything since I can simply read back what's already in my account. Heck, I'll give them my address right here if that's all they want."
They are using video chat to verify that "Joshua" is really the person they see in the photo on your profile. That's the point. They want to make sure that "Joshua" is not a 13-year-old Korean girl who is pretending to be a bald guy from Southington.
When I did my video chat, it was VERY short. But they wanted to SEE MY FACE.
There was a large glass sliding door behind me. It was open, and sunny. The Upwork representative could see me, but not clearly. He would not continue until I closed the shades on the sliding door, which improved the lighting in the room so that he could clearly see my face.
I understand that this is a program Upwork has launched because they are trying to combat the problem of so many freelancers using fake identities, which caused complaints by clients.
If this had not become an issue for clients... if fake identity freelancers had actually provided great customer service and clients had no complaints... then Upwork would not be doing this.
But what really happened... what really raised Upwork's ire... was that many clients had really bad experiences with freelancers... freelancers who were outright scoundrels or thieves, or billed a lot of time for unusable work, and then the client realized that the name or location or academic credentials or work experience or other information provided by the freelancer was totally fictitious... There was no real way to hold the freelancer responsible. Many clients as well as Upwork itself felt that a big part of the problem was the fake identities. (Which has never been acceptable under Upwork ToS, by the way.)
So Upwork undertook effort to actually verify identities using short face-to-face interviews.
Which is a HUGE UNDERTAKING in terms of labor cost, and also required additional technological infrastructure.
But it is part of Upwork's committment to creating the best possible experience for clients.
Which ultimately helps me, personally, by making Upwork more attractive to quality clients, making my experience as a freelancer more enjoyable and more profitable.
People who are fortunate enough to be as good-looking as you and I may be more likely to be picked for identity verification.
Because Upwork thinks we're too good to be true.
Thanks for the detailed response, Preston.
I agree whole-heartedly with the idea. Verified accounts are better for everyone.
But the execution has me scratching my head.
Starting the conversation by suspending my account puts me on the defensive. And taking the conversation outside of Upwork sets off all kinds of warnings bells.