🐈
» Forums » New to Upwork » Client requesting me to make a payment to my ...
Page options
davis-ean
Community Member

Client requesting me to make a payment to my credit card.

Hello, 

 

I am new to Upwork and just got my first VA job. I am a little concerned as the client is requesting for me to make a payment to my credit card from his checking account. He has provided me his bank account number and routing number. He stated that I will be using my credit card for purchased but he will have funds avaible to reimburse me. Is that normal? What are the normal procedures for VAs to make purchased for their clients? 

 

Thank you in advance for all the advice!

15 REPLIES 15
prestonhunter
Community Member

No. That is not normal.

 

It sounds like this "client" is trying to steal your money.

 

A couple important points:

 

Upwork prohibits freelancers and clients from exchanging funds in any way, other than through Upwork. So if you are caught doing this, your Upwork account could be suspended or terminated.

 

If you are going to pay money to the client from your credit card, it would violate Upwork ToS.

If the client is going to provide money to you through your credit card, it wouldl violate Upwork ToS.

If you were going to spend money from your credit card and the client sends you a check or directly from his bank account, or anything else, to reimburse you, it would be a violation of Upwork ToS.

 

So... Assuming that the client is 100% honest, then this "job" you are telling us about would get you in trouble.

 

But I don't believe this client is 100% honest.

 

Let's think about this: What kind of company reaches out to complete strangers and asks them to use THEIR credit cards for company business?

 

If YOU were the client, and you wanted a VA to make purchases for you, then wouldn't YOU provide the freelancer (the VA) with a company credit card? Or a company expense acount?

 

And if YOU were the client, would YOU provide your bank routing number and account number to a complete stranger you encountered on the Internet? Does that seem logical to you?

 

I don't know what the client wants, and I don't know what the client is up to. It certainly sounds strange to me. But I know that IF EVERYTHING THE CLIENT TOLD YOU IS TRUE, and if the client is a completely innocent person who is NOT trying to scam you... then the client is still asking you to violate Upwork ToS. I would not risk it.

 

If you think this client is truly an honest person, who wants to hire you to help out with his project, then you could tell him:

 

"Benjamin: I am looking forward to working on this. Due to Upwork's rules against exchanging funds off-platform, I would not be able to use a personal credit card to make purchases, and I would not be able to be reimbursed from your bank account. But I'm sure we can figure out a way to get the work done that stays within Upwork's rules. For example, I could make purchases using a company-provided credit card or expense account. If you have questions, you can come to the Community Forum and talk with experienced Upwork users and representatives, and they can help clarify what our options are."

What would be the process for clients to provide for VA to make purchases for them?


Ean D wrote:

What would be the process for clients to provide for VA to make purchases for them?


They would give you access to a payment portal or a prepaid credit card.

 

Are you actually properly hired? Does the client have a verified payment method and history?

 

Do you see the contract on your My Jobs Page?

 

Real-Job-Or-Scam.jpg

The flow chart led me to "It's a real job". However his payment method is not verified with no history. I will request for a prepaid credit or a payment portal.

 

Thank you for the info!


Ean D wrote:

The flow chart led me to "It's a real job". However his payment method is not verified with no history. I will request for a prepaid credit or a payment portal.


Then you would not be paid anyway... (Clients can not pay you unless they have a verified payment method...)

 

I have a horrible feeling that either you will get your money stolen, or your account will be used to launder criminally obtained money...

 

I don't have a good feeling about this as well. Thank you all for your input!

Thank you for your response. Since this is happening after I accepted the proposal, is it too late to retract it? 

re: "Since this is happening after I accepted the proposal, is it too late to retract it?"


You are the freelancer. You can not accept a "proposal."

 

You sent a proposal when you applied to work on this job.

 

The client sent you a "hire offer."

 

If you already accepted that offer, then you can still close the contract.

 

If this is hourly contract, then you will be paid for the time you logged working on this so far.

 

If this is a fixed-price contract, you CAN CLOSE THE CONTRACT YOURSELF.

It will mean releasing all escrow money back to the client.

 

A zero-pay contract has a negative impact on your JSS. But that would better then getting involved with something that means the client steals your money.

karenll
Community Member

Drop this Client.

I am having a feeling of that as well. I'm not sure how to proceed since I just accepted his offer and this is happening after my acceptance and he would like to speak on the phone as I mentioned to him that I'm not comfortable making any payments with my credit card or for him to transfer funds to my card first. 

Ean:

If I was in your situation, and AFTER I told the client that I would not be able to use my OWN credit card for his project, he still wanted to talk to me, and he said he wanted to talk on the phone, then I would say YES.

 

I would tell him:

"Benjamin, yes, thank you for being willing to talk to me. I hope you understand that in order to schedule a phone call, whether for further training or consultation, I would need to charge something. If you will release a $5.00 payment to me from the money now in escrow, and then close the contract, then I will refund the rest of the money in escrow to you immediately. After I receive that payment and after the current contract has been closed, then I can schedule a phone call at a time that is convenient to you."

 

When you and the client talk, you can ask him to describe the job in more detail, and you can ask him to provide a company-provided account that you will happily use to make purchases on his behalf.

Thank you for the wonderful advise! 


Preston H wrote:

I would tell him:

"Benjamin, yes, thank you for being willing to talk to me. I hope you understand that in order to schedule a phone call, whether for further training or consultation, I would need to charge something. If you will release a $5.00 payment to me from the money now in escrow, and then close the contract, then I will refund the rest of the money in escrow to you immediately. After I receive that payment and after the current contract has been closed, then I can schedule a phone call at a time that is convenient to you.


Who says anything is in Escrow?


And you are not seriously, with a straight face, suggesting that any freelancer should ever ask a client to release money for doing absolutely nothing, just to agree to a conversation???"

 

You also completely missed the fact that there is no verified payment method, so even if it was fixed price with something in Escrow, the client could not release a thing anyway.

 

I can not begin to fathom why you insist on making up those convoluted unrealistic scenarios of what freelancers should say to their clients.


The last time a freelancer followed your terrible advice to tell the client to pay her for having done absolutely nothing in order to end the contract and get their Escrow funds back, it destroyed her JSS, because the client thought she was a scammer asking for money without having done or being willing to do any work.

 

 

BojanS
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Ean,

 

Could you please click on my name and send me a PM with more information about your report. I'll check that for you and assist you accordingly.

 

Please check out this post for more tips on how to avoid questionable jobs and do use the flag option found on each job post or message anytime you suspect.

 

Thank you.

~ Bojan
Upwork
davis-ean
Community Member

Thank you Bojan. I have sent you a PM. 

Latest Articles
Featured Topics
Learning Paths