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WARNING ! I was scammed

Active Member
David D Member Since: May 21, 2018
1 of 7

I fell victim to a scam and what really saddens me is how much work the scammer tried to get out of me, pushing me to the very limit, knowing full well they had no intention of paying me. How has humanity sunk this low and do these people have a conscience?

 

The funny thing is the same person is trying to scam me again, similar skype name, the exact same style and format of how the work is presented and the same chat manner.

 

This is my story of how I was scammed.

 

I am going to start this off by saying that I never normally fall victim to any scam as I am very streetwise. I answered an ad on upwork and I was contacted back asking for a Skype interview.

 

Great, went on Skype and they wanted some samples of my writing which I provided and then I was asked how much I could write in a day and what my rates were.

 

The scammer said the work would be provided through Skype and payment would be every Tuesday, at this point I think it was Wednesday.

 

Straightaway I was sceptical as it was a new upwork profile and they had no verified payment method. I challenged him on this and he assured me I would be paid.

 

In normal circumstances I would run, but I was in an extremely though financial spot and work wasn't coming in. I had important bills to pay, that if were not paid I was going to have some very serious problems, because of this I took the risk.

 

Now the scammer was sending me writing work and given deadlines per article like 1000 words in 3 hours etc. At the time he was pleasant and frequently mentioned other writers in the company so this eased my mind.

 

I took as much work as I could handle and worked around the clock for days on end. At times when I would sign off exhausted he would plead with me to write one more that was urgent, so I would drag myself out of bed to do so.

 

One time I had to go on a long journey and took my laptop with me to write in between stops. Again he pushed and pushed for me to write more which I did because of my bills.

 

After a week and owed nearly $400 it was payday. It didn’t happen. He reassured me I would be paid and said it was a religious holiday, that is why there was a delay and asked for 2 days.

 

The next day I would write and again and the day after. I was getting worried now and he said I would be paid in 6 hours or something like this. The time limit to get paid went and again he said yes it’s on they way and if I could write some more before getting paid. Really ? How evil can a human being be, to push someone that hard and get every last drop of work out of them with no intention of paying a cent ?

 

Anyway the next day came and they disappeared. I was devastated. Not only could I not pay my bills, I lost a week of my time.

 

I went on the person's profile here on upwork looking for a button or something to report them, but there is nothing like that. I think upwork should play their part so these people can easily be reported at the very least, seen as we pay them 25%, we should be getting something for our money.

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
2 of 7

you were not hired, so the guy could not have paid you even had he wanted to. Or how was he going to pay you??

 

Frequently google your work - in case it is published somewhere. You were not paid, so you own the work and can issue take-down notices if it gets published.

 


@David D wrote:

I went on the person's profile here on upwork looking for a button or something to report them, but there is nothing like that. I think upwork should play their part so these people can easily be reported at the very least, seen as we pay them 25%, we should be getting something for our money.


 There is a "report as inappropriate" button on every job post and the fee is 20% / 10% /  5% - not 25%

 

Active Member
David D Member Since: May 21, 2018
3 of 7

Yes I was not hired, I understand that. My point is this, the scammer wanted to conduct business outside of upwork, yes this is not advised and against rational thinking, but sometimes when you are a bad situation, you can make bad decisions and the worst of the worst will prey on you.

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
4 of 7

@David D wrote:

Yes I was not hired, I understand that. My point is this, the scammer wanted to conduct business outside of upwork, yes this is not advised and against rational thinking, but sometimes when you are a bad situation, you can make bad decisions and the worst of the worst will prey on you.


 It is also enough (just AGREEING to be paid outside Upwork) to get your account suspended. Essentially what happened is you and your "client" conspired to scam Upwork out of their fee, and you were then scammed by your accomplice... Look at it that way.

 

I hate to say it, but as someone who pays thousands in fees I find it a bit hard to be 100% sympathetic when the fees I pay facilitate others to try and get away without paying those fees. What goes around, comes around.

 

It is not "not advised and against rational thinking" to agree to get paid outside the platform, it is (apart from strictly forbidden) as much of a scam (scamming Upwork out of the fee) as what that client did to you (scamming you out of your time.) It is also unfair to every freelancer who does pay the fee. It is also what brings those scammers here in the first place.

 

Think about it that way for a minute. Your post is the equivalent of robbing a bank with someone and then going back to the bank and complaining that the person you robbed the bank with cheated you out of your part of the haul and why don't they do something about that...

 

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
5 of 7

David, I can tell that you are upset.

 

But you should keep things in perspective.

 

You got off easy.

 

MANY newbie freelancers who get scammed only realize it was a scam after they have lost about $3000 or more, from their own bank account, sent to the scammer.

 

And they have nothing to show for it.

 

You did not send ANY money.

 

And you end up with a number of articles which you have 100% ownership of. You can use them in your portfolio or sell them.

 

Even better, you gained wisdom and experience that will mean you will never make the same mistake again.

 

When compared to most newbies who encounter scammers, you have much to be thankful for.

Community Guru
Kathy T Member Since: Jul 17, 2015
6 of 7

David - You've successfully completed 3 jobs on this site. Although you might still be considered a newbie, I think you have somewhat of an idea of how this site works.

1. A client offers you a contract on this site, NOT by word of mouth.

2. A clients account should be verified BEFORE you start working.

3. If this is a fixed rate job, a client must FULLY deposit funds in escrow.

 

No matter how desperate you are, and what kind of financial situation you're in, you have to remember you are working with a STRANGER you just met on the internet. You have to be smart. And the above 3 points have to be followed if you want to get paid. Desperation doesn't Not call for desperate measures as those measures may put you in a much worst place. Desperation calls for thinking and smarts so you can protect yourself and devise a plan to get yourself out of any financial problems.

 

You stated that  "we should be getting something for our money" here on Upwork. You ARE getting something for your money, you are being protected by Upwork requiring a contract so you know you're officially hired. Upwork verifies a clients account so that you know they have an account, and most of all Upwork provides escrow which shows a freelancer, that a client, (when they fund it) has the money and does intent to pay.

 

When you take things into your own hands, this is what happens. When you follow the procedures and rules here, this would not have happened. You gained nothing from your decisions. You wasted your time and effort, and you risked getting your account suspended here for accepting to take payment off this site. That's what you get for desperation. Sure, you're being contacted again. No doubt about it, This scammers got tons of work, free from you. Of course they will try again, .

 

Now that you've learned, you'll be a lot smarter and much more cautious in the future.

Moderator
Vladimir G Moderator Member Since: Oct 31, 2014
7 of 7

Hi David,

 

I'm sorry about your experience with this client. Could you please pm me the job post link that you originally submitted a proposal to, along with screenshots of your communication with the client, especially the ones concerning providing work and issuing payments, so our team could review and take appropriate action?

 

Please note that all payments have to be processed through Upwork, not only for your own safety but also because it's required by Upwork ToS. Also, note that accepting direct payments is a violation in the same way as offering to pay directly outside the platform. Please review these safety tips and resources, make sure always to work and get paid through Upwork, don't start working without an active contract on the platform and report a client if they offer direct payments or are otherwise violating Upwork ToS.

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