NEW TO UPWORK -How do I get paid for work completed? The client hired me outside the UpWork App - (now I know) I at least want to report them so it doesn't happen to other people - I got scammed to do some writing - Client took it off-line hired me for $50 and now wants me to eat any charges for a PayPal payment. In researching this I never should have gone off-line. How do you invoice within the walls of Upwork or fix this situation? Advice?
The terms of service of Upwork clearly say that you have to be paid via their platform or you violate their terms of service. If you met the client here, you need to be paid here (and obviously pay the upwork fees). I have had clients try to pay me off site and I quickly shut them down and refer them to Upwork's term of service. My reasoning is if they are going to try to game the system, they are likely unethical and will try to cheat me later. I consider UPwork's fees part of my marketing budget (even though I wish it were 10 to 15% in lieu of 20%).
So, can you recoop the lost money - no. I would take it as a lesson learned and chalk up (or write off the loss)....In the future, decline taking work off site - plainly refuse to do it. That is the best policy going foward and you will have your work guarnteed and you will know you are working for an ethical client.
Forget about reporting the client. You transgressed as well, by accepting work off the platform. Ignorance is no excuse. My advice is to spend some time getting thoroughly familiar with the ToS to arm yourself against wily, unscrupulous clients who will tempt you or trick you or simply catch you unawares.
When you have a contract with a client on the platform, UW takes care of the invoicing for you. Please, please do some homework before seeking more work here.