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What should we do if client start blackmail?

Active Member
Andrii D Member Since: Feb 14, 2017
1 of 2

Dear freelancers, a client scammed us though we lost time and money.

This is a job link **Edited for community guidelines**

Before starting this sad story i will ensure i have all screenshots to prove everything below.

We was working 1,5 month with no issues he paid hr rate and was happy. The code was very bad from start and he was explained why with all details. Eventually client told us that he did a review of all screenshots from tracker and saw some things he did not like ( another skype and some other projects was opened ). Also suddenly he told that  work that was done by us his team could do in 2 weeks or so. After that he started disputes for all milestones 1 by 1 for the work that was already done and for work he approved and was fine with results. We refunded almost all money he paid. That was not enough so he started blackmail us saying that he will put negative feedback if we wont finish his project for free or we return ALL money he paid and receive positive feedback. We have screenshots that client telling that from now on blackmailing us make no sense. Please let me know what you think and what is a best way to handle this situation? We never was in situation like this and need some help and recommendations what we can do.

Community Guru
Lila G Member Since: Dec 4, 2017
2 of 2

I would like to give you the benefit of though but there had to be reason to why you agreed to refund all the money that was paid. 


I personally wouldn’t finish the work just for a positive feedback. That seems unreasonable for you, him and new clients who actually read those comments and trust the feedback. Also I believe it violates Upwork rules to request free work. 

Stand your ground, save all screenshots. If the case he does leave a 1 star rating contact Upwork directly with all your proof and that he requested free work. You also have the ability to respond to the client feedback on your page to tell your side in the meantime. Don’t let them walk over you. If it becomes a dispute then let it be and let Upwork handle it. 


Lastly, learn your lesson. Was there really items up that shouldn’t have been while working on his project?