re: "Perhaps there is an opportunity here for Upwork to do a better job of warning gulible newbies such as myself?"
I have been pushing Upwork to do this for about years now. So far, my efforts (and those with a similar mindset) have been mostly unsuccessful in getting Upwork to require additional training to newbies.
BUT in the last couple months we have seen some new automatic warnings implemented within the Upwork messenging tool that warns users against ignorantly moving their communications off of Upwork (to, for example, Google Hangouts)... and there are some other new warnings provided.
So it's a little bit of progress. Not everything we're hoping for, but it's something.
"Does anyone know how I can submit these to the Upwork Product Manager?"
Suggesting ideas and discussing them here in the Community Forum is the proper way to do this.
Meg, the person who tried it on with you is not just one person. There are hundreds of them playing exactly the same scam. Upwork does what it can to remove these posts. One comes down, another goes up, and still many newcomers fall for it. And these people are everywhere on the internet not just Upwork.
The best thing newcomers can do is to read everything there is to know about Upwork before starting to bid, so that they recognize scams when they are posted and when they turn up in a freelancer inbox as an "invitation".
Nobody should feel above reading this: https://community.upwork.com/t5/New-to-Upwork/Getting-Started-on-Upwork/m-p/264214#U264214
Upwork also has several articles/posts on how to recognize scams notably:
Meg ,made these suggestions earlier:
"One, do a better job vetting the clients, so your freelancers dont get scamed and their info is protected,
two, add programming to scan and flag messages that might be directing a freelancer off-site."
What every Upwork user needs to consider is not just how to improve Upwork but what it would cost to do so. Any change to the site requires some amount of software development as well as testing to be sure thet scammers are detected without false positives. Preston pointed out a recently added feature that displays a popup whenever the Upwork messaging suspects a freelancer or client are arranging off site payments. This had the side effect of displaying the popup whenver a message contains the name of some well known sites like PayPal and Skype, even if the message had nothing to do with off site payment. So supposing Upwork *did* introduce additional vetting and scanning, but to do so properly it had to raise the fees it assesses to freelancers or clients, would you still be in favor of these enhancements? A new freelancer may not be aware of this, but wasn't long ago that the percentage Upwork collects from freelancers was a flat 10% of earnings, and now it's 20% up to $500 with any client.
I'm glad you came to the Community for support and to share your suggestions and feedback. I see that you have already received some great advice from experienced users. We at Upwork continue working on improving our internal systems that detect and flag suspicious jobs and violations. However, since it's not always obvious from the job post or even first message, we still rely on our users reporting violations by flagging such job posts and protecting themselves by not agreeing to accept payments outside of the platform.
I checked and it looks like the job and the client account you are referring to have already been closed by the team.