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Can people *buy* profile approvals?!

Community Guru
Rene K Member Since: Jul 10, 2014
11 of 30

A significant part of the Upwork staff is comprised of freelancers working remotely. Also, Upwork doesn't pay that much. Who knows, there may be someone inside the system who is basically taking bribes.

 

Maybe Upwork's management should look into it, even if the probability of this being true is low.

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"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless
Community Guru
Alexander N Member Since: Dec 28, 2008
12 of 30

It is so easy to detect and shut down such activities programmatically that i wonder if it could last for long.

Just check what is the rate of profile suspensions of people grouped by the user id of reviewer who approved them. Then run some cluster analysis on this, and you'll instantly see which reviewers you should ban.

 

Too simple to defeat to be true. I'd say, it was just a scam.

Community Guru
Baris A Member Since: Mar 15, 2017
13 of 30

@Alexander N wrote:

It is so easy to detect and shut down such activities programmatically that i wonder if it could last for long.

Just check what is the rate of profile suspensions of people grouped by the user id of reviewer who approved them. Then run some cluster analysis on this, and you'll instantly see which reviewers you should ban.

 

Too simple to defeat to be true. I'd say, it was just a scam.


 Why do you suppose their profiles would be suspended? They seem like normal people like you and me desperate enough to pay someone to get their profiles approved; not scammers trying to get multiple accounts. Once they get their accounts approved they would do what everybody does which is applying for jobs, and some of them will be successful and others will stop trying, etc. There is no pattern there.

 

There are suspicious activity with clear patterns. I along with some other freelancers reported a "ring" hiring and giving 5 stars to new freelancers till they get 100 JSS. I never saw anything done about them. There was one freelancer bragging how he is taking clients out of the system on Quora. His suspension lasted till he deleted the post (all of 18 hours). There are freelancers flagging every job post about homework and term papers. There are freelancers whose only source is these kind of jobs. I didn't see anything done about them too.

 

What the OP (original poster) should do is name names and wait to see if it is resolved which I don't believe is going to be.

Community Guru
Alexander N Member Since: Dec 28, 2008
14 of 30

They will be massively suspended because it is obvious that these people are somehow sub-par and don't qualify to be accepted the normal way, plus they feel like scamming is OK, so level of client satisfaction with them is bound to be much below normal.

 

Also it won't be long scammers will start to 'approve' totally fake accounts (fake name, fake photo etc, just for the purpose of outright phishing) en masse, if they can - and these get shut down in no time these days.

Ace Contributor
Fatima A Member Since: Sep 26, 2013
15 of 30

@Baris A wrote:

@Alexander N wrote:

It is so easy to detect and shut down such activities programmatically that i wonder if it could last for long.

Just check what is the rate of profile suspensions of people grouped by the user id of reviewer who approved them. Then run some cluster analysis on this, and you'll instantly see which reviewers you should ban.

 

Too simple to defeat to be true. I'd say, it was just a scam.


 Why do you suppose their profiles would be suspended? They seem like normal people like you and me desperate enough to pay someone to get their profiles approved; not scammers trying to get multiple accounts. Once they get their accounts approved they would do what everybody does which is applying for jobs, and some of them will be successful and others will stop trying, etc. There is no pattern there.

 

There are suspicious activity with clear patterns. I along with some other freelancers reported a "ring" hiring and giving 5 stars to new freelancers till they get 100 JSS. I never saw anything done about them. There was one freelancer bragging how he is taking clients out of the system on Quora. His suspension lasted till he deleted the post (all of 18 hours). There are freelancers flagging every job post about homework and term papers. There are freelancers whose only source is these kind of jobs. I didn't see anything done about them too.

 

What the OP (original poster) should do is name names and wait to see if it is resolved which I don't believe is going to be.


Exactly! They're just regular people whose profiles were rejected because of market saturation (as in this guy's case.) There's nothing suspicious on these profiles or in the way they use Upwork. But I had no idea this sort of stuff happens (the JSS gaming ring scams) and goes unchecked! Smiley Surprised

Community Guru
Alexander N Member Since: Dec 28, 2008
16 of 30

If only reason for rejection is market saturation than why anyone would be interested in going there? Why go somewhere where there is a huge crowd of people begging for jobs already?

 

it would make sense to be very picky about approvals in reverse case: fields where there are insufficient freelancers and huge rates prevail: getting a scam account there would be the most paying, and most damaging to the ecosystem. what's the problem of a few scam accounts in a field where even the real ones can't get any jobs because there are too many of them for the few jobs?

Ace Contributor
Fatima A Member Since: Sep 26, 2013
17 of 30

@Alexander N wrote:

If only reason for rejection is market saturation than why anyone would be interested in going there? Why go somewhere where there is a huge crowd of people begging for jobs already?

 

it would make sense to be very picky about approvals in reverse case: fields where there are insufficient freelancers and huge rates prevail: getting a scam account there would be the most paying, and most damaging to the ecosystem. what's the problem of a few scam accounts in a field where even the real ones can't get any jobs because there are too many of them for the few jobs?


Because that's the reason Upwork gave him when they rejected his profile originally, which was made several months ago. He reapplied a couple of times but got the same answer, AFAIK, and left it for a while. Came back after graduation, finding it hard to believe that Upwork would still be suffering such a lack of jobs in dev work. That's when this guy stepped in and promised he'd get the profile approved for a fee. He took an undisclosed sum of money as well as the login credentials, the profile owner got an approval email from Upwork, the guy returned the profile and "disappeared" (as described to me by my friend, who says he verified the profile was approved and it all checked out.)

Community Guru
Alexander N Member Since: Dec 28, 2008
18 of 30

Then it is the problem. Approach to profile approval has to be changed. Market saturation shouldn't be the reason to decline people membership: maybe a warning telling in the approval email saying 'on a 0 to 10 scale, market saturation in your category is 9 so you may expect significant difficulties attracting any contracts', will be enough. If people are willing to waste their time and suffer why declining them that possibility?

 

Approvals should be strict in the fields where there is little competition, not too much: because this is where real scams want to get in, as that makes them most cash, and that way they make the most trouble to everyone.

Ace Contributor
Fatima A Member Since: Sep 26, 2013
19 of 30

@Alexander N wrote:

Then it is the problem. Approach to profile approval has to be changed. Market saturation shouldn't be the reason to decline people membership: maybe a warning telling in the approval email saying 'on a 0 to 10 scale, market saturation in your category is 9 so you may expect significant difficulties attracting any contracts', will be enough. If people are willing to waste their time and suffer why declining them that possibility?

 

Approvals should be strict in the fields where there is little competition, not too much: because this is where real scams want to get in, as that makes them most cash, and that way they make the most trouble to everyone.


I wish I could give you multiple kudos for that, I love that suggestion! An approval process that increases freelancer autonomy and gives people a chance to make informed decisions is already a better option IMO, and yeah I think people should all be allowed to choose whether they still want to compete in this market or not. The fact is, market saturation is the flimsiest of excuses: the number, skills, and interests of existing freelancers are not static and it makes no sense to keep new people off the platform indefinitely based on whether current job needs are being served or not.

Community Guru
Alexander N Member Since: Dec 28, 2008
20 of 30

I think motivation behind it is that ARPU of Upwork suffers if there are too many people on it who aren't making any money. It also hits image - 'several million people out there and only a few thousands make a first-world salary, and a few tens of thousands a third-world salary, others just wasting time'. Naturally Upwork wants to limit numbers of 'dead souls'.

 

Why not allow membership in every field as long as freelancer is Premium and pays monthly fee? Then total time wasters won't be there.

 

Or better yet, just make EVERYONE pay. If you can't pay $20 a month to stay on the platform, especially knowing that clutter will decrease severalfold so getting jobs will be easier, you are doing something wrong and probably shouldn't be there. That would be a no-go for a new site as it has shortage of talent even without fees, but Upwork is the world giant.

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