I just want to send a warning out to all the freelancers here on Upwork. BE CAREFUL!!!!! I almost got scammed this week. It was a legit company but the "Hiring Manager" was not. I almost lost 1800$ because of this. Thankfully two bank tellers stepped in and gave me a lesson when it comes to scammers!!! I'm not dumb and I should have seen the signs. Once I thought about it I realized the signs were there I just wasnt paying attention. So just be careful. Research the employer you are talking to, call the company and ask if that person works there. Dont just take for granted that the job is real like I did. The company might be real but the scammer could just be using the name to get to you!!! Peace out.
It would have saved you a lot of trouble if you would have followed the ToS you agreed to when you signed up that strictly says you cannot take payment off platform.
Google Hangout interview 99% are scams.
Never start working without an active contract under your "My Jobs" tab. All it takes is a little reading of the ToS and help sections, and you will be able to spot scams before you waste any time on them.
No need to research companies. If you do not break the most fundamental rules of Upwork by agreeing to be paid outside the platform (which is a serious violation of the terms of service) and only work with Upwork clients through Upwork as you are contractually bound to, there is no need.
Of course that check scam is one of the oldest and dumbest scams on the net,
I get about 5-6 of those invites each week. It can be frustrating to continuously decline and report them - especially when Upwork can't do much to stop them. I have filed mail fraud on one. But like the other comments noted, Google Hangout is always fraud - no reason not to use Upwork's system and offering to pay outside is a red flag too, though they typically don't say that until after the fact. Wish there was a way to limit this, I'm sure plenty of people get scammed.