I am new to Upwork and have already fell prey to several scams. Fortunately, after wasting alot of time on google hangout interviews...I discovered their intention was not to hire me, but to deceive me. I am nervous about my profile being public and being a victim of illegal activity. How can I get around this? I would like to talk to someone on the phone about Upwork, but it appears that only this blogging/messaging support is available. Please help. I would like to think that I will get a legitimate offer using Upwork.
I'm sorry the client you had an interview turned out to be suspicious. While you may come across some questionable offers on Upwork, especially while you are still new, there are some steps to avoid them.
It's okay to communicate with a client outside of Upwork, however, if a client requests to move the interview outside of Upwork Messages right away and especially to Google Hangout, it's usually a warning sign.
Most importantly, don't share your private information such bank account or SSN, accept payments outside of Upwork or start working without an official contract under your My Stats tab.
Check out this post and especially Safety First! part for more information.
There are plenty of legitimate clients on Upwork.
Scammers tend to prey on those new to the platform. They also seem to focus on people in certain categories, such as data entry and administrative support. Since your profile is private, I can't tell if that's the case here.
There are a few "best practice" steps you can take.
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