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criminal background checks

psheybani
Active Member
Parisa S Member Since: Dec 27, 2018
1 of 20

a client is asking me to do a quick criminal background check in order to proceed with the project.  they are not an official Upwork corp/business account but seem pretty legit.  has anyone been asked before? any advice

a_lipsey
Community Guru
Amanda L Member Since: Jan 23, 2018
2 of 20

Parisa S wrote:

a client is asking me to do a quick criminal background check in order to proceed with the project.  they are not an official Upwork corp/business account but seem pretty legit.  has anyone been asked before? any advice


I have never been asked to do a background check as a freelancer on Upwork. What is the nature of the job they are offering?  

mwiggenhorn
Community Guru
Mary W Member Since: Nov 10, 2014
3 of 20

New to me and I work exclusively for lawyers.

psheybani
Active Member
Parisa S Member Since: Dec 27, 2018
4 of 20

I think what I did not like was they waited until the end to tell me that was a requirement vs upfront so I felt a bit blind-sighted, days back and forth, meetings, and nothing mentioned during that time.   I am used to getting the can you sign an NDA even after the project has started sometimes...but suddenly saying you need to go to this third-party site, enter your social and do this quick check was strange.  Upwork should add some questions as users post jobs that guide them to add requirements like this into their posting so we see it from the beginning.  I also have been asked for references right at the end of the process which is odd. 

gilbert-phyllis
Community Guru
Phyllis G Member Since: Sep 8, 2016
5 of 20

I thought hard about this for a few minutes and could not come up with a legitimate reason a client contracting with me on UW would need to check my background. I could, on the other hand, think of many reasons someone pretending to be an UW client would like to get their slimy hands on my social security number. 

 

That's a BIG nope.

moonraker
Community Guru
Jamie F Member Since: Mar 7, 2010
6 of 20

Parisa S wrote:

but suddenly saying you need to go to this third-party site, enter your social and do this quick check was strange.  


Smells like a phishing scam to me. 

wescowley
Community Guru
Wes C Member Since: May 3, 2019
7 of 20

Parisa S wrote:

.but suddenly saying you need to go to this third-party site, enter your social and do this quick check was strange.  


This is where I'd walk away, if not before.

researchediting
Community Guru
Douglas Michael M Member Since: May 22, 2015
8 of 20

Parisa S wrote:

...but suddenly saying you need to go to this third-party site, enter your social and do this quick check was strange.  


Oh, my. That's not just a red flag, that's flashing red lights, railroad crossing arms, and clanging alarm bells.

martina_plaschka
Community Guru
Martina P Member Since: Jul 11, 2018
9 of 20

Parisa S wrote:

a client is asking me to do a quick criminal background check in order to proceed with the project.  they are not an official Upwork corp/business account but seem pretty legit.  has anyone been asked before? any advice


Nope. But the whole idea of a background check is that the person that is checked is unaware. If you are supposed to provide it, well, Papier ist geduldig, as we say in German. (Paper is patient. I know, it makes no sense.)

I would tell them that they are free to order a background check on you from any company they please. 

mwiggenhorn
Community Guru
Mary W Member Since: Nov 10, 2014
10 of 20

Martina, in the US you really need the approval of the person being checked.  It's a huge privacy issue, although if you know how you can run the court records for a particular court without permission.

 

OP- the more I think about this, the less I like it.  I've actually applied for US Government jobs that didn't require a background check, particularly a criminal one, until I would be provisionally hired.

 

I would ask the client why they feel they need to check a freelancer's background. It just smells funny to me.

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