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Fraud alert! Be careful!

Active Member
Helen S Member Since: Dec 13, 2016
1 of 6

Hi, I just joined Upwork, and am still trying to figure out how things work here.  I posted a resume, and then a few days later received a message stating that they had seen my resume and wanted to interview me on Google Hangouts for the position. I joined Google Hangout, and reached out to the person whose name I had been given.  I never got an answer from the person on Google Hangout, the one with the nice picture and all. Instead I received a message from the same name, but with just an initial instead of a picture. Their English was very good, and typos were only ones that you would expect from typing too fast in a chat window. They asked a bunch of questions, then came back and said that I was exactly what they were looking for. I was hired! I asked if I would be working for them through Upwork, and they said yes. Then she said they would send me a check to cover my employement bonus and the cost of buying new printer/scanner, ect needed for the job. They sent a check, and then wanted me to IMMEDIATELY buy the equipment from a specific vendor.  While I was on hold with them, I looked up the company, and through their 'contact us' site, sent them a message asking if this was a legitimate job offer. As they are in Australia, I have not yet heard back from them, but I contacted the Credit Union the check was from, and asked if the company had an account with them, or if it was a scam. They said the company did not have an account with them, and it was a scam. So I told the person on Google Hangout what I had found out, and she insisted that I could trust her. I then blocked her on Google Hangout.  


I wanted to report this, but don't know how much I should list here, and couldn't find any way of reporting this sort of activity.


This really knocks my confidence in Upwork, as this was the very first position I was offered.  Granted, I've only been here about a week.  Sigh.  Just going to be suspicious I guess going forward.

Community Guru
Rene K Member Since: Jul 10, 2014
2 of 6

@Helen S wrote:


I wanted to report this, but don't know how much I should list here, 

Please list nothing. This scam targets hundreds newbies every day. It's older than dust and interests noone.


Invest your precious time to read the help section on Upwork and to understand how it works.

"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
3 of 6

Helen: I really appreciate the time you took to describe your experience.


But I understand where Rene is coming from.


What you described has already been described here in the Community Forum hundreds of times.


This is NOT A PROBLEM for anybody who has experience using Upwork, or who has read the instructions.


You don't really need to go to all this effort to figure out if a job is a scam or not. If a client invites you to inveterview using Google Hangouts, just block them and ignore them. It's a scam.

Active Member
Imtiaze A Member Since: Dec 13, 2016
4 of 6

Some may use it for fraudulent activity. But, Some clients use Google Hangouts for the interview process and to be in contact. I believe because they prefers it as it might feel easier to them. I worked with such few clients via Upwork. I am afraid that I have to disagree with your comment on Google Hangouts. But, one should be careful how his/her want to compensate.

Community Guru
Jennifer D Member Since: Feb 15, 2016
5 of 6

Imtiaze: sure, there may be a small number of clients who prefer to use Google Hangouts. But if a brand new freelancer on Upwork gets invited to a job with an interview on Google Hangouts, the chances are vanishingly small that it is legitimate. For their own protection, it's safe for those freelancers to ignore those invitations.

Valeria K Moderator Member Since: Mar 6, 2014
6 of 6

Hi Helen,


I checked and the job you are referring to has already been closed by the team because it was in violation of Upwork ToS.


Please, read resources listed in this post to make sure you get to a successful start on Upwork and avoid questionable jobs.

~ Valeria