I seem to be getting a lot of invites or direct message jobs where the client is asking me to download a zip file (usually DropBox). Now this isn't my first rodeo with Upwork and Im not an idiot so Ill never download these files because its sure to be a virus, but why all of a sudden is this happening? I think a lot of green/new freelancers will be caught out by this so (1) is there a way to stop it? (2) I think Upwork needs to send an email out to all freelancers to warn them of this.
You are right--many new freelancers will fall for this. You are also right to be skeptical about downloading a .zip file because it could contain malware like viruses, spyware, etc.
Since Upwork allows both freelancers and clients to attach files to messages, job postings, etc., there are a few ways Upwork could stop it:
1) Add .zip files to the list of excluded attachments, which they could easily do. (Another archive file type scammers sometimes use is .rar and it, too, must be allowed because it doesn't appear in Upwork's list of excluded file types.)
2) Ensure their antivirus software adequately scans .zip files. The issue is, all antivirus scanners are not the same, so it depends on how the scan is performed, the format of the archive file, etc. (Just because Upwork allows .zip and .rar files to pass through, it doesn't mean the files are virus-free. We can only hope the world's largest freelancing platform has a strong antivirus program, but I wouldn't trust it.)
As for the suddeness of it all, I think scammers often target popular or saturated niches or skill areas like data entry, virtual assistance, and graphic design. I think your niche (digital marketing and social media management) is becoming part of that popular/saturated group, so maybe that's the reason you're seeing them so much. I'm just speculating though.
This just happened to me as well. Client sent offer without interview or even any kind of conversation beforehand. He said he was too busy and that he would email me the project details with all information being in a zip file. The client has no previous hires. It is clearly a scam. Be careful out there.
I am new and they already did it to me, I fell for being an idiot, they have hacked my facebook advertising account, it is worth that we maintain a spending limit on facebook and on the registered charge card. but Facebook has a hard time solving it and they have blocked me without making new campaigns and I've been doing it for 1 week. I wonder why there is so much evil, having some wanting to work honestly.