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ยป Forums ยป New to Upwork ยป Re: Freelancers that cheat by going direct pa...
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excel_crab
Community Member

Freelancers that cheat by going direct payment

Hello,

 

I have a reason to think this rule violation is happening very often in Upwork.

 

More than half of the small jobs I've applied or invited and interviewed to recently, after activity had ceased for many days or many weeks, the job post remains open and never hired anyone.  I doubt the clients are taking their time to short list the applications since many of the jobs can be completed within the day and with urgent deadlines.

 

The only thing I can think of is they went with a freelancer who asked the job to be commenced outside of Upwork so they cheat the 20% service charge.

 

It's unfair if that is the case since I charge a bit more to be profitable with the 20% deduction but it also makes me less competitive.  Cheating freelancers can remain competitive by charging less because they didn't have to pay 20%.

 

I hope Upwork will devise a means to reliably detect cheating freelancers and ban them ultimately.  They don't make money from them anyway and it's unfair to us who commence work within Upwork.

 

Thanks and sorry for the rant,

 

Mark

 

18 REPLIES 18
g_vasilevski
Retired Team Member
Retired Team Member

Hi Mark,

 

I would like to confirm that we do have a security measures in place to prevent and check for this type of violations. Asking to get paid outside of Upwork is a serious violation of our TOS and it is not allowed. Thank you.

~ Goran
Upwork

Thanks for your answer Mr. Goran V.

 

But I'm wondering what is going on with those small jobs I mentioned.   The client's offering price is cheap.  The job is easy and can be completed well before the deadline.

 

They interview and short list freelancers in a day then activity ceases but no hires and job never closes.   It's strange to say the least, the client posts an easy job, many qualified and willing freelancers to do it but client seems to have abandoned their job post.  And there's many of these occurences, I think more than half of the jobs I submit a proposal or gets invited to.

 

I'm sorry I know it's not our business to know all the things the clients are doing but I find it suspicious activity especially when clients appear to abandon an easy job they can pay for cheaply with many freelancers that can do it.

 

Thanks Again,

 

Mark

Hi Goran,

 

I am also curious with this. I was browsing some freelancer profiles awhile ago and stumbled on account which clearly violates TOS by moving out and working outside of Upwork. In such cases, how do you identify these kind of profiles violating Upwork's TOS. I know you use some kind of hot words to identify them but for things like ending contract, providing positive feedbacks and just moving out of the platform, how do you deal with them?

Hi Kimberly,

Please send me a PM with the freelancer profile and I will escalate it to our team to be investigated it further, thank you.

~ Goran
Upwork

Hi Goran,

 

It might also be possible in the future to flag clients who makes a job post, invites and interviews several freelancers but never makes a hire.

 

I suspect they are taking the job outside Upwork and should be invited for questionning to give the names of the freelancers asking for direct payment.

 

I have rarely encountered clients who suggested direct payment so this is more likely to be freelancer issue.

 

Thanks and Regards,

 

Mark

Freelancers who do try to circumvent the system are, in my opinion, fools. They are choosing to work with clients who have, before any project has even commenced, shown themselves to be perfectly willing to cheat. 

 

If a client would cheat Upwork of its 20%, why does a freelancer trust that same client to pay the freelancer, in part or in full?

Mark, freelancers who keep sending proposals and never get hired eventually get suspended by Upwork so they canโ€™t stay on the platform if they always get paid outside Upwork. Also, there will always be clients who post jobs and get it done by asking freelancers to do test jobs for free, so these clients interview many freelancers without hiring anyone and without paying money in or out of Upwork.

__________________________________________________
"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce

Hi John,

 

I never encountered a client asking for free service.

 

Perhaps a client with many job posts that never hires anyone should also be flagged for suspicious activity.

 

Kind Regards,


Mark

Hi, I am new to Upwork but I have recently gotten 3 interviews. Two of which wanted to chat through google hangouts and on the messages it says they do not have access to Upwork messages until access is restored. I have been offered a position which I would really like to take, however, I have been told that they track my hours and it's direct deposit. I know there is an Opt Out fee they can pay but I'm not sure if they paid this. I don't want to do something that conflicts with this site as this is where the job was posted. I told them I would be more comfortable working through the upwork site with tracking hours and payment. If we are given offers in this way, what is the best way to handle this? Thank you for your time.

After telling the client I wasn't comfortable working outside of Upwork, I was blocked on google hangout. How do you report clients? 

Hi Holly,

 

Here's the help article for more information on how to use the flag option found on each job post or message to report any suspicious or inappropriate content. Check out this post for more tips on how to avoid questionable jobs. Thank you!

~ Bojan
Upwork


@Holly C wrote:

After telling the client I wasn't comfortable working outside of Upwork, I was blocked on google hangout. How do you report clients? 


In their job posting, there is a "flag as inappropriate" button, below the "save job" button.


@Holly C wrote:

 I know there is an Opt Out fee they can pay but I'm not sure if they paid this.


Holly, the Opt-Out Fee is a minimum of $3,500 so I doubt many clients pay it.

__________________________________________________
"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce

re: "...I am new to Upwork but I have recently gotten 3 interviews. Two of which wanted to chat through google hangouts.... I have been offered a position which I would really like to take, however, I have been told that they track my hours and it's direct deposit."

 

Holly:

There is no real position there. Those people are simply trying to steal your money.

 

Many newbie freelancers have ended up losing 2 to 3 thousand dollars of their own money when they got involved with these scammers.

Thank you for all the responses, I really appreciate the input. When I get requested for an interview, what would be an appropriate way for them to host it? Would it only be via Upwork? I feel a little dumb trying to figure all of this out. Iโ€™m a nurse but want to do some small writing projects on the side. I did see the tip sheet in a previous reply but any help would be great.

It is up to you. Scammers mostly use Google Hangouts.

 

Many freelancers only interview using Upwork messaging tool. That is very safe.

 

But as a practical matter, scammers like to fake their identities, and they may not speak English with an accent that matches where they claim to be from. So you will rarely encounter scammers who interview using audio such as with Skype or a phone, or who will do video chat with you.


@Holly C wrote:
Thank you for all the responses, I really appreciate the input. When I get requested for an interview, what would be an appropriate way for them to host it? Would it only be via Upwork? I feel a little dumb trying to figure all of this out. Iโ€™m a nurse but want to do some small writing projects on the side. I did see the tip sheet in a previous reply but any help would be great.

___________________________________________________________________________

Holly, I'm sincerely not trying to be rude; and I'm not a Writer. However, I'd be surprised if Writers wouldn't have issue with your desire to be paid for your writing.  Your test scores were only "Above Average" for US Word Usage and English Spelling. Again, I'm not a Writer; but I'd definitely think paid Writers' skill sets would be higher in those areas; for example upper 10%.    


 


@Holly C wrote:

Hi, I am new to Upwork but I have recently gotten 3 interviews. Two of which wanted to chat through google hangouts and on the messages it says they do not have access to Upwork messages until access is restored. I have been offered a position which I would really like to take, however, I have been told that they track my hours and it's direct deposit. I know there is an Opt Out fee they can pay but I'm not sure if they paid this. I don't want to do something that conflicts with this site as this is where the job was posted. I told them I would be more comfortable working through the upwork site with tracking hours and payment. If we are given offers in this way, what is the best way to handle this? Thank you for your time.


 Consider yourself lucky, it seems that some other freelancer flagged them and they have been suspended from upwork. 

The opt-out fee, as I understand, has to be paid by you, the freelancer and even then it is strictly a 1:1 relationship. The fee is prohibitively high (around 3K USD) and out of the question for most freelancers.

It's not that the client pays it once and is then free to happily work around the system with anyone he likes. 

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