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renata101
Community Member

Filtering Scam Posts - How to use the Upwork Advanced Search Feature

Hi everyone,

I know a lot of people are talking about the overwhelming number of scam posts that are showing up in their feeds. I'm really sorry that's currently part of day-to-day life on Upwork, but there may be some workarounds available to keep you from having to sort through all of those scam posts.

If you're looking through the job posts, one thing that might helpful in filtering them is learning to use the advanced search features. This will help you to filter out posts with contact information (like scam posts with Telegram contact info).

1. Go to the search window and click the Advanced Search link you see below it. 
Screen Shot 2022-03-31 at 10.53.31 AM.png


2. When the Advance Search window opens, you can type in your search terms.

3. An important thing you can also do in this search is exclude terms. In the screen shot, I've typed in t.me.
Screen Shot 2022-03-31 at 11.06.05 AM.png

4. When you hit the Search button, your search will be converted to a more complex search that uses AND, OR, and NOT.

Screen Shot 2022-03-31 at 11.06.25 AM.png


5. For some reason, Upwork's Search seem to convert t.me into (t OR me), which may not help to filter posts with Telegram info. But you can just type it into the search box once you close the Advanced Search form.

So you can type your terms into the form.
Screen Shot 2022-03-31 at 11.24.08 AM.png

Then hit the green Search button, and Upwork's Search feature will convert it into a search term. And you can see that the period is left out.

Screen Shot 2022-03-31 at 11.24.25 AM.png

 


But you can just type it in.
Screen Shot 2022-03-31 at 11.24.40 AM.png

I hope this helps! While it won't filter out all scam posts, it will help with those that include some types of contact information. You can also type in other terms to exclude, like @gmail.com or any others. You may have to go through the same steps to put the periods into the search terms.

35 REPLIES 35
pgiambalvo
Community Member

If we can do this, so can...

Oh, totally!!! But they're not, so we need to.
I think "needs must" is the British expression for this.

 

creativedigit
Community Member

Great stuff, Renata.

 

Too sorry Upwork is making us do the work they should be doing!

Looks like you've been busy too! This looks amazing, Wassim:

https://community.upwork.com/t5/Freelancers/Upwork-Scam-Post-Detector-Chrome-Extension/m-p/1048524#M...

I don't use Chrome that often, but I'm going to check it out later.

 

58feaef8
Community Member

Wonderful share, dear Renata!  Thank you for being here.๐Ÿค—

Hi Yi,

I hope it helps people to find what they need.

I like researching, so I'm always fooling around with ways to search for things. It occurred to me that Upwork freelancers might not all be familiar with Boolean searches (the ones that you see in the screen shots that include AND, OR and NOT). You can do Boolean searches on most search engines, and you can use the Upwork Andvanced Search form to create them for you. The principles are fairly easy. The word AND used with two search terms creates a search that filters for results containing both terms. OR used with two search terms creates a search that pulls up results for both terms. NOT used with search terms excludes those terms.

If you like logic puzzles, you can fool around with those to tweak your search results.

If you don't like logic puzzles, you can just use the Advance Search form and hit the Search button. It should create the kind of search you need.

Thank you so much for the detailed explanation, dear Renata. I really wish more freelancers have a chance to understand the important value of the Boolean searches, before falling victim to scams. Thank you for your time and effort. You rock!๐Ÿค—

I just wish Upwork would use something like this to filter posts before they go up. There are hundreds of them going up every day, and they should not be posted in the first place.

Same here. Unfortunately, until the situation finally hits the company's bottomline, I am afraid our freelancers will have to carry the burden. 

 
Perhaps the company worries removing the obvious scam posts will prompt more sophisticated online scams, and it will make things even more troublesome. Perhaps there is a strategic thinking behind that isn't shared with us, but only with the leaders and executives. But I have stopped wasting time pondering on such questions. A positive approach, as what you have shared with us, is a more suitable solution for our freelancers. 
 
Thank you so much, dear Renata, for sharing and caring. 

Does Upwork have a formal process for submitting feedback in way that is taken seriously? Or do we all just go on here and hope they see it?

Hi Jen,
I'm assuming you mean something different than starting a ticket. I don't know the process for that sort of formal complaint. You could just start a topic and ask that on the forum.

Just so you know, I'm not a moderator and I don't work for Upwork. I just started this because it occurred to me that people might not know there were some filtering options available that they could use with the search feature.

625e74c3
Community Member

Thank you! I am going crazy with all these scam posts!

Hey Laila,

I'm happy it helps! I was looking at the crazy number of scam posts and wondering how anyone could find anything.

Thanks and it is helpful. The downside is that by us filtering out unverfied payment methos as one way of reducing the scams in our feeds, we are undoubtedly also missing out on legitimate job oportunities and making money, of which, Upwork gets a cut. So they are also missing out on making money because of us having to filter those posts out. And legitimate clients with unverified payment are also suffering because their posts are getting blocked by us.

wescowley
Community Member

To expand a little bit on what Renata posted: you can combine the advanced search options with the other filters on category, cost, and, yes, payment verified if you must. To get to those filters, just click search with an empty search box for the main job feed. From there, you can choose whatever filters you want and then enter keyword filters like Renata suggested.

 

Hereโ€™s a sample of one of my saved searches that selects all Writing subcategories except Editing and Proofread (I have a separate search for that category since itโ€™s my main one):

 

(editor OR edit) AND NOT (NFT OR crypto OR cryptocurrency OR romance OR bit.ly OR SEO OR ghostwriter OR copywriter OR turnitin OR blockchain OR ICO OR t.me)

 

Some of those exclusion keywords are for scams and some are just to exclude topics I donโ€™t work on.

 

Thanks, Wes.

This is a link to a LinkedIn pdf that provides more details on what you can do with Boolean searches.

https://www.mcgill.ca/caps/files/caps/gcs2014_linkedinbooleansearchtips.pdf

In Wes' example, (editor OR edit) will search for all postings that include those two terms.
Because that will probably bring up a lot of search results, including ones he's not interested in, he's limiting his search by adding AND NOT and then adding terms for everything he doesn't want in parentheses with OR between the 12 terms that describe the things he's not interested in.

AND NOT (NFT OR crypto OR cryptocurrency OR romance OR bit.ly OR SEO OR ghostwriter OR copywriter OR turnitin OR blockchain OR ICO OR t.me)

So you could just cut and paste this example and add your own terms:

(keyworkd1 OR keyword2) AND NOT (contact1 OR contact2 OR contact3)

You might want to search with something like this (keyworkd1 OR keyword2) AND NOT ("t.me" OR @gmail OR whatsapp OR "kindly message via telegram")

I think that should work. Someone might want to test it out because I haven't yet.

Ravi, a longtime freelancer on Upwork, did this search and posted it on a different forum thread:

Screen Shot 2022-04-03 at 10.24.13 AM.png
https://www.upwork.com/nx/jobs/search/?q=Please%20don%E2%80%99t%20apply%20if%20you%E2%80%99re%20not%...

If you're seeing posts with the same wording a lot, you can also use the common word strings you notice as excluders by putting the them inside quotation marks:
(editor OR edit) AND NOT ("Please donโ€™t apply if youโ€™re not from" OR crypto OR cryptocurrency)

I usually try to cut those down to the smallest common word strings. One I see fairly frequently is "if you can do the project, text the Asst. Staff", but I would try to a shorter portion of that ("text the Asst. Staff") because occasionally, they do shake up the word order.

I used those words to do a search and got 73 hits.
https://www.upwork.com/nx/jobs/search/?q=%22text%20the%20Asst.%20Staff%22&sort=recency&page=4

So you could use that as an excluder in your Boolean search:
(editor OR edit) AND NOT ("Please donโ€™t apply if youโ€™re not from" OR "text the Asst. Staff" OR ghostwriter OR romance)


data_divas
Community Member

Renata this is amazingly helpful and so are you!  ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’–

I totally agree on both counts. This also has to be one of the  best posts in the forums (not forgetting Wassim's post, Petra's infographic and Wes's scam breakdown.)

esadr
Community Member

If I want to filter job posts that have an email address that is e.g. somename@domain.com will AND NOT (@) do the job and are there wildcard/joker characters AND NOT (*@*.*)?

renata101
Community Member

Hi Esad,

Great idea. I actually located the support page about the Advanced Search: https://support.upwork.com/hc/en-us/articles/1500007921782-Advanced-Search-Techniques-for-Finding-Jo...

It looks like * is the only wildcard available. 
(For those who don't know, a "wildcard" is a search symbol that can be used as a placer for any character or string of characters.)

I just tried AND NOT (*@*). That works on email addresses and other types of contact information. I tried AND NOT (*@*.*), and this works as well.

An important thing to mention is that this doesn't exactly work if you type it into the "exclude these words" box in the Advanced Search form and hit search. The search that will be returned only contains the brackets with nothing in them. If I'm looking for translations jobs in Brazil, and I use the exclude terms box to type in *@*, it returns a search that looks like this:

Screen Shot 2022-04-02 at 4.56.03 AM.png


But you can just type the term into the brackets.
Screen Shot 2022-04-02 at 4.47.16 AM.png

One nice thing is that you can do your search and then type in new terms to refine it further. And the search isn't case sensitive. So I can type whatsapp or WhatsApp and it will work.
Screen Shot 2022-04-02 at 4.51.56 AM.png

esadr
Community Member

Hi Renata,

Thank you for your effort and for sharing information with the community.

The last time I tried to use this (several months ago), it didn't work very well. Probably Upwork has fixed it in the meantime.

I'll have to try to set everything up again.

renata101
Community Member

I think I tried it before with the + and - operators. According to that help page, it doesn't support those. Also, you need to type NOT, AND, and OR in uppercase.

Screen Shot 2022-04-02 at 9.57.52 AM.png

Another good thing is that you can save the searches, so you don't have to type all of that out all the time.

rockcy
Community Member

This is very helpful, Thanks.

cakker78
Community Member

I don't think we need to deal about setting filters, uw should do. Until it is not fixed , I don't do anything here...


Krisztian C wrote:

I don't think we need to deal about setting filters, uw should do. Until it is not fixed , I don't do anything here...


If you're expecting them to do something fast...
It's your choice not to do anything else here, but if you use filtering, at least you'll find real jobs.

@Krisztian

Please note: I do not work for Upwork. I chose to post this on my own initiative as a way to help people cope with the current problem of sorting through spam posts. If you don't like this approach, you don't have to use it.

I believe you are right that Upwork should be doing something to solve this problem, but people who need to find new contracts may not have the luxury to sit around waiting for Upwork to do something. If you have that luxury, more power to you.

Obviously, it's your choice how you want to approach the situation. If you want to hold your breath until someone does something, you're free to chose that response as well. Let me know if this approach works for you.

cakker78
Community Member

Luckily i have other tasks outside uw. At the beginning i reported spam, but as uw is not caring about it (it could be fixed in about 2-3 hours as i do programming also) i am not doing anything to give them money for doing nothing.

cakker78
Community Member

I di a test, sending my proposal (4 connects) to one of the SPAM ads, attaching at the end **edited for Community Guidelines**, i just received a reply:

**edited for
Community Guidelines**

I know how we could  to stop it, but why uw doesn't stop it?

why uw doesn't stop it? Unknown.

aocumen
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Kriztian, 


I'm sorry to learn that these job posts have not been a good experience for you. I can assure you that the team is trying their best to address these posts immediately.

Just the same, thank you for flagging the job here. I have reported it to the team for their review and further action. 


~ Avery
Upwork


Avery O wrote:

Hi Kriztian, 


I'm sorry to learn that these job posts have not been a good experience for you. I can assure you that the team is trying their best to address these posts immediately.

Just the same, thank you for flagging the job here. I have reported it to the team for their review and further action. 


Thanks, Avery!

jendubois
Community Member

The Boolean search helps and I appreciate the moderator input, but frankly that is so much work and thinking compared to searching for gigs on straightforward job sites like Indeed.com, LinkedIn, Flexbjobs and other job sites, who do offer gig jobs now too and can keep the spam jobs out. Surely Upwork can see the competitive/strategic value in figuring out how to do the same? OK I will stop my rant now.


Jen D wrote:

The Boolean search helps and I appreciate the moderator input, but frankly that is so much work and thinking compared to searching for gigs on straightforward job sites like Indeed.com, LinkedIn, Flexbjobs and other job sites, who do offer gig jobs now too and can keep the spam jobs out. Surely Upwork can see the competitive/strategic value in figuring out how to do the same? OK I will stop my rant now.


Well, it's not that much work.
Once you set the filters, you just have to save the searches and use them whenever you go to the feed.
It won't get rid of all scammers, but the less your searches will be cleaner.

As long as Upwork decides to do something, this helps.



Jen D wrote:

The Boolean search helps and I appreciate the moderator input, but frankly that is so much work and thinking compared to searching for gigs on straightforward job sites like Indeed.com, LinkedIn, Flexbjobs and other job sites, who do offer gig jobs now too and can keep the spam jobs out. Surely Upwork can see the competitive/strategic value in figuring out how to do the same? OK I will stop my rant now.


I'm not a moderator, Jen. I put this up on my own initiative because I noticed there was an existing tool that might help. If it's too much work, don't use it. But honestly, if you're finding this too complicated, it might be time to rethink freelancing. I find the biggest asset to freelancing is the ability to independenty solve problems and get on with the job. Asking questions about what you don't know is a good skill too.

There are other threads devoted strictly to complaining. Those might be more constructive places to rant about the problem.  I'm not judging anyone's need to rant, but please bear in mind that I set this up as a solutions-based thread.

I've posted a search you can cut and paste on another thread. Of course, you may have to add terms specific to what you do. If that's too complicated, you can wait for Upwork's solution.
https://community.upwork.com/t5/New-to-Upwork/Filtering-Job-Posts-Refined-Search-Term-and-Ways-to-Us...

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