The first potential client wanted to contact me via skype. And instead of giving me any information about the project they wanted to send a file via skype that supposedly gave guidelines about the job.
The client is unverified and there is no detail about a company, location, phone number, etc. All hall marks of phishing and potential cybercrime.
The client had a strange budget in their postings $4000 for the project but only $80 per blog. So why would they put down the budget in such a way? The more I think about it the more it seems that either the client isn't clear or it is a fake job posting. How can I get more information about a client before I should trust them enough to download files from them that didn't go through the www.upworks.com filters?
Thank you for any guidance you may have for me.
That's the hard thing I've noticed too, I've wasted so many proposals on scam accounts like these. They usually don't send the "invitation to interview" until after you have submitted a proposal, then they always invite to talk further via skype/google hangouts.
I've just been reporting them as spam and moving on.
Unfortunately, Upwork can't screen files that are exchanged outside of the platform, on Skype for example. We advise the users to have effective antivirus software installed on their computer and take basic precautions. You can learn more from the links provided in the Safety First! section of this post.
"The client is unverified and there is no detail about a company, location, phone number, etc. All hall marks of phishing and potential cybercrime."
Unverified means nothing, and client's phone numbers never appear on their RFPs - those are not hallmarks of anything fraudulent.
Unverified only means the client has not gone through that process yet. Many of my jobs are with clients who hadn't yet set up payment method. You just don't start work until you're hired and they've verified their payment method.
Spend a litte time to read up on the many tips about how to identify bad clients - there is plenty of information to be had. That posting you mention sounds like one you shouldn't give a second thought to. You can flag it (or not) and move on.