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Alternative to Bank Account to Verify

How can I verify that I'm a US citizen without having to give this company my bank account and routing number? It's easy enough to prove that I was born here and live here without compromising my account information, it would seem. Suggestions?

ACCEPTED SOLUTION
aocumen
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Ruth, 

 

We have decided to check if a freelancer has a verified U.S. bank account as a screen to confirm location, but may take into account a number of other factors, such as W-9 information and/or login activity.

 

With respect to your concern about the security of your financial information, please rest assured that Upwork securely stores all confidential information, such as banking and financial information. 


~ Avery
Upwork

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30 REPLIES 30
aocumen
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Ruth, 

 

We have decided to check if a freelancer has a verified U.S. bank account as a screen to confirm location, but may take into account a number of other factors, such as W-9 information and/or login activity.

 

With respect to your concern about the security of your financial information, please rest assured that Upwork securely stores all confidential information, such as banking and financial information. 


~ Avery
Upwork

A US bank account can be created by a citizen of another country or an American living abroad, so it's not necessarily the best data--I'll stick with the W-9 and the login data. Thanks for the response. 

Hi Ruth, 

 

We also look into a user's W-9 information, and/or their login activity among other things. 

I have shared this in another thread, and would like to reiterate that trust is very important to us, and this is something we do not treat lightly. If we find users are lying about their location or other details we will take action.


~ Avery
Upwork

Hello Avery, 

 

I spoke with a service rep at my bank yesterday about Upwork requiring my bank account information to submit proposals.  Her advice, which I already had decided on my own, was to NOT give my bank account to anyone online.  

Some moderators on this site pointed out that submitting a check to a business such as a credit cart company or utility is the same as sending the information to Upwork.  This statement is incorrect for several reasons:  

 

  • I know exactly where the check is going.
  • I do not know exactly where my bank account information is going. 
  • I have many years of experience sending checks to utlities, banks, credit card companies, etc. 
  • I have no expereience, or desire to sent my bank account info online to any company except for a known and trusted financial institutions.  

Other people on this forum have suggested creating a second bank account for Upwork use only.  This new account will still be tied to my first account by my name and other personal information.  I will still be exposing myself to risk with a second account. 

 

The bank rep also clearly stated that she personally sets up accounts for foreign nationals located outside of the US.  A US bank account is not a secure or accurate verification of location in the US.  Banking professionals do not recommend using bank account info to verify location. 

 

I am still very interested in working with Upwork to expand my freelance writing career.  I would greatly appreciate if I could use W-9 information or login activity to submit proposals. 

 

Thank You, 

 

Tadr

Tad,

 

While we are looking at other options, at this time, you have to have a U.S. bank account and share that information with us in order to confirm your location and have access to U.S-only jobs.

If you do decide to verify your bank account to confirm your location, rest assured that Upwork securely stores all confidential information, such as banking and financial information. We take steps to confirm a freelancer’s location by verifying banking account as well as reviewing their W-9 information or login activity. If we find users are lying about their location or other details we will take action, including permanently deactivating their Upwork account.

~ Valeria
Upwork

After reading through these threads and doing my own "gut check" I believe there is something inherently "wrong" with Upwork insisting that banking info is the only way to verify US status.  Your statements are full of holes and I will not be providing this information.  If you can't figure out that I'm a US citizen living in rural Wisconsin from the W9 information and other information provided then something is wrong with your methodolgy and thinking.

 

Is there some ulterior motive for insisting on this banking info? Yes, I'm suspicious but "... even paranoids have real enemies..."

 

Would you be willing to send me YOUR banking info to balance the risk?  I think not.

 

I'm now rethinking my connection to Upwork as there are other options.

 

Please advise if you decide to change your policy, I will only work with Paypal and I want to work on these US only jobs.  YOU are leaving money on the table by making this difficult.

 

Regards.

They're really not. Someone will come along and do the job if you won't. 

 

I understand hesitance and I'm not exactly happy about it, but it's what they want so if you want US jobs, you gotta do it.

Great points, Ernie! I live in Wisconsin, too, and all we need to vote as a US citizen is a driver's license and a utility bill showing our address. I'm happy to provide these to Upwork as well. Not my bank account. 

Hi MIchelle, 


We understand your concern. Please know that you will only be required to verify your bank account if you opt to apply for jobs with a US-location requirement. 


~ Avery
Upwork

help me to verfiy bank details


@John M wrote:

help me to verfiy bank details


 You can't verify a US bank account in the name of John M because you are in India, not the USA, your name is not John M and you don't qualify for verifying a US bank account to prove you're in the USA, because you are, well, not.

No way in Hell is Upwork getting my bank account number.

Dennis: that is totally your choice.

 

Upwork doesn't require your bank account number.

 

Any time one shares account information, it IS a privacy and security consideration.

 

As a purely practical matter, I shared my account number with Upwork, and Upwork has sent well over $100,000 to my bank account, and I have paid zero payment transfer fees.

 

So I am a satisfied customer.

 

I am also earning a lot of money from U.S.-only jobs.

 

But you need to choose for yourself what you do.

I've had trouble getting my bank account verified - the amounts never hit my bank account. I'm afraid to take on jobs since this verification hasn't been successful. I've done everything I can on my end (verifying accuracy of information and deleting/reentering it). Was your bank account verified? If not, have you ever had trouble receiving payment?

 

Thanks. I want to use Upwork, but that one thing is stopping me from searching for jobs.

Sorry to hear you didn't receive the amounts, Ruth. Could you please follow up on the ticket the team sent you about this issue and update them about it? They'll assist you with the verification process.

~ Valeria
Upwork

Avery,

As several others have mentioned on here, I am completely uncomfortable giving out banking information online. I would love to use this Upwork if there is another way to verfiy my location. You say that you look at W9 and log in data. Can I be verified this way?

 

Hi Jodi, 

 

Confirmation may be automatic for some users based on their W-9 information, login activity, and/or having a verified bank account on their profile. These will pre-verify some users, and will not be prompted to confirm their location. If you are not pre-verified, you will see the window to verify your location when you apply for a job with a location requirement. 


~ Avery
Upwork

Hi. I have been waiting well over a month to see the nominal deposits in my bank account. I've verified that my banking information is correct, and have also deleted and re-entered the information. I've also called my bank. I picked this support thread hoping there is some alternative. I have not tried to get any jobs because I'm not sure I will receive my payments if my bank account isn't verified. Also, many people have commented on my thread, saying they are having the same problem. I'm about ready to give up and try another site.

I also have not received my deposits. And when I go to the help and support links, it only gives me the option of the discussion forum. Please reply with support contact phone and email so I can get verified and start applying for jobs.

re: "Please reply with support contact phone and email so I can get verified and start applying for jobs."

 

That is not how this works.

 
 

Ruth H - "I've had trouble getting my bank account verified - the amounts never hit my bank account. I'm afraid to take on jobs since this verification hasn't been successful. I've done everything I can on my end (verifying accuracy of information and deleting/reentering it). Was your bank account verified? If not, have you ever had trouble receiving payment?Thanks. I want to use Upwork, but that one thing is stopping me from searching for jobs."

Valeria K - "Sorry to hear you didn't receive the amounts, Ruth. Could you please follow up on the ticket the team sent you about this issue and update them about it? They'll assist you with the verification process."

Preston: Your reply doesn't help me. Instead of replying "That's not how this works.", perhaps you could reply with how it does work.

Lori,

 

Please make sure you added correct account and routing number for ACH direct deposit in order for the amounts to be deposited successfully. You can re-add the correct information on the Get Paid page. 

~ Valeria
Upwork

Valeria, about your reply to double check the routing # and bank account # I used to get verified: I double checked it 3 times before sending it. I've also read on this thread about others having the same issue even after re-enetering it several times. Your suggestion to them was to follow up on the ticket the team sent them. How does one get a ticket going? When I went to help and support and tried to send a message, after typing in the message and hitting submit, it only takes me to the discussion forum instead of sending the message.

Lori,

 

A support agent will contact you directly and help you trace the verification deposits.

~ Valeria
Upwork

If there are alternatives to banking information, what can we put in for the bank account # and the routing number?

Andy,

 

The option you see on the pop up is the only way to verify your location. In order to add your bank account, you can go to Settings> Get Paid> Add a Payment Method.

 

Thank you.

~ Valeria
Upwork

How long does it take to verify my location? I saw somewhere it "happens behind the scenes." I entered my W9 info two days ago and still can't apply for jobs. Although is eveyone here aware that you are giving out your social security # on a W9???  I absolutely refuse to include my bank account information. Equifax claimed they secured people's financial information, too. Anyone can be hacked. Thanks.

There's no way I'm puting my bank account information online. This is a suspicous ploy and with all the identity theft going on in the world I'm surprised a major company like Upwork would require this. Good luck.

Hi David,

While Upwork does maintain information regarding payment methods used on Upwork, rest assured that the information is encrypted and secured safely for your protection. You can read more about this here, thank you.

~Nina
lysis10
Member

Jesus. Please just get rid of this guy upwork. Please don't add another fraud to the list.