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253f8f30
Community Member

Does this look legit? Looks a little bit like human trafficking

Hello, everyone. 
I am new to this platform and I don't even have reviews. 
And I received an offer too good to be true. 

I'll need to relocate to **edited for Community Guidelines**, the salary is 4 000 $ per month! Accommodation, food, and tickets are provided. 
But the client is on Upwork since March 2021 and there are (4.72) 52 reviews. 


What do you think? Thank you in advance

28 REPLIES 28
roberty1y
Community Member

This is the strangest job offer I have ever heard of. If it was a client who had never hired anyone, of course it wouldn't be unusual - you see all kinds of weird offers from scammers. Could you tell us what kind of jobs the client has hired people for, and how much money they have spent on the site? 

Omg. I totally forgot to mention what kind of job this is.
**Edited for Community Guidelines**
And his history isn't bad, that's why I'm a little bit confused.

History

10 to 15 proposals
 
10 interviews
97 jobs posted
$6,914 total spent
11 hours billed
16 open jobs
99 hires
 


Anastasiia P wrote:

Omg. I totally forgot to mention what kind of job this is.
**Edited for Community Guidelines**
And his history isn't bad, that's why I'm a little bit confused.

History

10 to 15 proposals
 
10 interviews
97 jobs posted
$6,914 total spent
11 hours billed
16 open jobs
99 hires
 

Hi Anastasiia,

I think I located the one you're talking about. There are some really strange things going on with this client. One of the freelancers was hired for 3 jobs despite being given a one-star for every one of them. If someone is that bad, why keep rehiring her? Unless you want to completely destroy her profile.

I found another freelancer (a young woman) who the client hired. She also got a one-star rating and a terrible review.

Yeah, and now he can't even say the company name.
"Happy to do so but it is against upwork policy." this was his answer when I asked about website and a company name. crazy

I found those three bad reviews. but they all were at the same time. could he give her three projects at the same time? or it's an Upwork bug? 

**edited for Community Guidelines**

and so on

Those are some pretty random jobs, along with the one that you've applied for. Is it possible that this client works as a recruiter or middleman of some kind for other clients who hire via Upwork? That could explain why they have good reviews, but would leave open the possibility that not every single one of their own clients is legit.


Christine A wrote:

Those are some pretty random jobs, along with the one that you've applied for. Is it possible that this client works as a recruiter or middleman of some kind for other clients who hire via Upwork? 


That could be the solution to the mystery. There remains the problem of why someone would post a lecturing job on Upwork. It just seems fishy.

At least a few of the job posts say this: **edited for Community Guidelines**

It could be that they're looking for bilingual presenters or simultaneous translation. The jobs are posted in General Translation. I'm not sure what else could be a plausible explanation. It doesn't say that the relocation is permanent.

he can't even say the company name. should I report this offer? 

So they are a middleman for another client? I definitely wouldn't accept a job from a mystery company, even if they didn't expect me to move to another country.

Or the client's English could be really bad and what he's posting is a short-term rather than a permanent position. I notice there are also a lot of thesis editing jobs on this page.

But the job description uses similar working to English teaching jobs (so I assume you'd be expected to sign on for a year). I wonder what the financial products are. The client profile says its a company with 10-99 people.

martina_plaschka
Community Member

To do what? 

I'm so sorry, I totally forgot to mention.
**Edited for Community Guidelines**

feed_my_eyes
Community Member

I can't imagine any way that could be legit. There's no shortage of data entry people or VAs in any country (quite the opposite), therefore no reason to pay someone to relocate and offer so many perks and so much money. How many people is the client interviewing?

This is his history. Not bad, right? But the job offer is a little bit weird

History

10 to 15 proposals
 
10 interviews
97 jobs posted
$6,914 total spent
11 hours billed
16 open jobs
99 hires

Yeah yeah, while writing how many perks there are I understood that it can't be right 

There really are jobs all over the world that ask people to relocate. These are completely legitimate.

 

But the problem we face with this job posting is:

We don't expect those kinds of jobs to be posted on Upwork.

 

So this simply is outside of our experience.

 

Compounding the mystery is the fact that this client has an established, solid track record.

 

I am not sure what to make of it.

If you are actually interested in this job, it would not hurt to talk to the client.

 

If the job requires highly specific skills, which you DON'T possess, then of course you should decline. But if the job requires specific high-level skill or knowledge that you DO possess, you could set up a time to talk to the client via Upwork Zoom.

aocumen
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Anastasiia, 

I have looked into this, and I'm currently investigating it with the team. I will not be able to come back with the results of our investigation to comply with our privacy policy which I hope you understand.

If you feel uncomfortable communicating with this client, you can stop communications with them or block them altogether. If jobs or users in the marketplace raise red flags for you, please don't hesitate to use the reporting tools here so that the appropriate team can review them. 

As a gentle reminder, please refrain from sharing the job post through a link, a screen grab, or any identifying information of the job post here in the Community to avoid violating the Upwork Community Guidelines. 


~ Avery
Upwork
colettelewis
Community Member

Anastasiia, 

 

If something seems too good to be true then it generally is.  Upwork can "investigate" all it likes, but looking at it logically, it has to be a scam, or as you say human trafficking which is exactly what it sounds like.  I really very much doubt that anyone is going to offer relocation, accommodation, food and a ticket to get to wherever, plus a salary of $4000 per month  to a complete unknown with very little experience - it just doesn't happen, unless there is a more sinister objective behind it. 

 

Just my two cents, but I also think with your  qualifications, your rates are far too low for your location, which coupled with your categories, particularly data entry, is an invitation to every scammer or low-paying client going.  I think you should increase your rates and, for the moment, call your data entry experience something else, so that you attract a better type of client. 

 

The more I look at the client page, the more it confuses me. The evasiveness the client concerning not revealing the company name would be a red flag for me. Does Upwork ever do this? Not in my experience. Do people from Asian countries ever convey information in indirect ways? Sometimes, but I can't imagine anyone doing this with straightforward details like the name of the company you will be working for.

Some of the other stuff might be explained in other ways, but I'm not saying that this means it doesn't seem a bit odd. What I will say is that the contract rate and conditions are similar to the ones I used to see for overseas English language teachers. However, I'm not sure that this is the type of job that a client can advertise on Upwork. If the client is legit (and I'm not sure that they are), I don't think they're taking into account that there will also be Upwork fees attached to the jobs (or else, they're just thinking that it's the freelancer's problem to work that out).

 

It's not uncommon for a school or a school board to offer positions with your flight and accomodation paid (and they're usually one-year contracts). But  I haven't seen anything like this for data entry (although companies could conceivably recruit overseas for a lot of positions requiring specific language skills). It is also unusual for someone to post a job like this on Upwork, but a lot of the English teaching jobs are in fact contract positions. I've been looking at Anastasiia's profile, and she's not your average data entry freelancer. Her education and language knowledge would be assets for some of the work that's described (I'm assuming that she had to attend school in a non-English language to get her degree, and that's one of the languages they're requesting in the other postings). She's also located in Japan, which is close to Singapore. That means she has some familiarity with living in Asia. If the job is legit (and I don't know if it is), that would make her someone they'd want to recruit.

I don't know what to think of this, but when I'm in a situation where I can't get answers, I don't move forward until I get information that answers my questions. I might just ask the client directly for more information about the company and what the financial product is, and then find out how their financial product is regulated in Singapore. If they continue to avoid your questions and you can't confirm what they say, I'd give it a miss.

Yeah, I asked about a company name and his answer was "it's against Upwork plicy". Which is veeery suspicious. 

I agree but that job is highly, highly irregular from every POV. It could be a farmer subcontracting, but the "client's"  budget certainly wouldn't stretch to what's being advertised. It would also seem that the client who for some reason hired the same person three times, left the same kind of feedback with the clear intention of destroying her chances of getting another job.  

I wonder how @ Upwork is getting on with investigating this job offer, as it is still showing. 

I would love to increase it, but because I don't have reviews it's pretty hard to find a job. And all the "data entry" job listings are with the lowest rates. Sometimes incredibly low and, shockingly to me, people agree, even though it's basically slavery. I saw so many positions where they offer you to work for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week for 200 $ a month. 

Anastasia, 

My point about data entry and your rates is that unless you can back it up with years of business experience, and rates to match,you are going to continue to attract scam invitations.  All categories are being affected at the moment, but scammers love data entry and the lowest rates.  I suggest you change it to  something like Admin Support/VA and up your rates to at least $10. With a degree in economics, you should be able to offer a little more than entry-level skills. 

 

That said, there are too many ifs and buts in the job you were offered to make it even remotely feasible. They offer to relocate for a second interview and perhaps a probationary period, the job itself is not guaranteed. So even if the job is real, if a freelancer is relocated and then doesn't get the job, he or she will end up being stranded in another country and probably having to pay to get home again. And how all this would be done through Upwork is anyone's guess. 

Looks like they've recently filled in details about the financial product. 

I'm interested  too that, apart from the general dodginess of the jobs concerned, Upwork does not seem to mind they involve cryptocurrency, which I thought was a violation of the ToS,  and that eventually, the 'succesful' freelancer, who will work from an 'office' (written in capitals that it is not a remote job) will be re-relocated to some unspecified Asian country - after being interviewed in Singapore. 

 

True to form - not a moderator in sight on an issue as important as this. As to the job being investigated, perhaps the "investigators" are taking the weekend off. 

 

pgiambalvo
Community Member

Seems very shady to me. And after reading all the other posts here about the client and his history, I'd like to see Upwork ban him.

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