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renata101
Community Member

One way to avoid being scammed: Don't start work without a contract

I'm taking a moment to post this because I'm really surprised by the number of people posting questions about being scammed by clients when they've actually started working without a contract. The usual story is that the scammer gives a newbie freelancer a ton of work, and the newbie freelancer completes all the work. When it comes time for them to be paid, the scammer demands money from the freelancer. This is not the way freelancing works. You don't pay the client so that you can do the work. 

One way to avoid being scammed in this way is simple: make sure you have a contract with the client. This might not protect you from everything that can happen, but at least you have an agreement in place that says that the client has agreed to pay you once you're done with the job you've discusssed with them. Contracts are what freelancing is about. If you don't have a contract, you haven't been hired, and you won't be paid.

How do you know if you have a contract with the client? If the client hasn't sent you an offer, you don't have a contract. If you don't have a contract, you won't be paid for any work you do. It's just that simple.

Someone posted a screen shot of a job offer on another thread. If you're new to Upwork, take note of what it looks like (if you hover over the image, there's a tool to zoom in so you can read it):

https://community.upwork.com/t5/Freelancers/Job-offer-decline/td-p/453361

If you want to check that if you have a contract, go to "My Jobs" in the menu at the top. There's a pulldown menu that will allow you to view your current jobs.

Screen Shot 2022-06-06 at 10.44.43 AM.png



Upwork, please take note: It was difficult for me to find anything that describes the hiring process step-by-step from the freelancer end that actually shows an image of an offer.

7 REPLIES 7
cyber_sec007
Community Member

Trying to help here:

upwork offer.png

Thanks, Attila! 

The one I posted the link to takes a while to load. 

Also note that the offer will be in the Messages, so if there is a new message, that could be an offer.

pgiambalvo
Community Member

And the whole process of how payments work is also hard to figure out, hence people not getting paid when the charge to client's card doesn't clear after the work has been done and submitted.

One more FAQ thing: the contract will be only shown on the FL profile (in progress) once the client is charged for the first time. This is a bit more tricky with hourly once as for example if I start a project on Monday, the client will be charged first next Friday so it takes 11 days to show it on the profile. 

kochubei_valeria
Community Member


Renata S wrote:

Upwork, please take note: It was difficult for me to find anything that describes the hiring process step-by-step from the freelancer end that actually shows an image of an offer.


Thanks, Renata, for posting this topic in general to help those who are new to Upwork and for the note I quoted above. We'll look into improving help pages we have around this and making the process clearer. 

~ Valeria
Upwork

Thanks, Valeria.

I think there used to be a video that showed this. I know there was one that explained it from the client end that I used to send to clients who were new Upwork users.

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