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pkhegai
Member

Partial refund (SCAM?)

Hi there,

Let's say initial contract was for 100 usd, first milestone is 30. I did my job, client approved and i got 100 to my account. Now he asks to refund the rest excl upwork fee i have to pay.

To me it looks ok. I can send him the rest via paypal or payoneer. Is there any scam possibility? They will have my paypal account details but not sure it may be an issue for security reasons for me

Thanks

ACCEPTED SOLUTION

The "payment" you received will be returned because it's a stolen credit card, but you refunded outside of upwork with your own money. 

View solution in original post

27 REPLIES 27

Only refund on upwork, never outside. It could be a scam. 

i wonder what a scheme could be. strange that client asked about refund in email and we keep communicating on the platform

The "payment" you received will be returned because it's a stolen credit card, but you refunded outside of upwork with your own money. 

thanks, that explains everything. what? paying with my own money? am i nuts? lol i wouldn't do it anyway. i would withdraw it from upwork first

but now i will just ignore that dude, thanks again!

You would be surprised how many people fall for that "oops I sent to much money, refund outside of upwork because of reasons" scam. 

Even if you withdraw a payment from Upwork, if the client's card is later found to be stolen, you'll have to pay Upwork back. You should read this if you're not good at figuring out whether something is a scam: https://community.upwork.com/t5/Community-Blog/Top-Red-Flags-for-Scams-From-Community-Member-Wes-C/b...

pkhegai
Member

oh, email for the paypal account he provided is for another name and it looks like nigerian - last name is kanu. lol and his name on upwork is kinda american.

looks like they are laundering money to me or something...

QUESTION: when client creates new account, can he just enter random name and location without verification?

re: "looks like they are laundering money to me or something..."

 

They are not laundering money.

 

They are simply stealing money from you.

 

re: "when client creates new account, can he just enter random name and location without verification?"

 

Short answer: Yes.

 

Longer answer: SOME clients are required to do some identity verification. But we don't know the details of what triggers such verification. For freelancers, it is safest to assume that ant Upwork client name or location may be completely fake. So follow Upwork rules to maximize safety.

Thanks. But how can they steal my money if my Paypal balance is 0? and i already received their payment on upwork

UPD just sorted it out with Martina. looks like the card was stolen. that explains everything. i wouldn't refund them using my own money anyway. and he told me that refund through upwork was not acceptable for him cuz 'he thinks his card can't receive payments'. this story looked wierd for me from the beginning.

resolved, thx

re: "But how can they steal my money if my Paypal balance is 0? and i already received their payment on upwork"

 

If you send them money via PayPal or Payoneer, then they are stealing your money.

 

You thought that you received money on Upwork. But that money was funded using a stolen credit card and will be clawed back.

 

The scam described in the initial post is simply an Upwork variation on one of the most common scams out there: Tricking mark into believing they have received excess funds and asking for refund.

QUESTION: when client creates new account, can he just enter random name and location without verification? YES

prestonhunter
Member

re: "I can send him the rest via paypal or payoneer"

 

It is a violation of Upwork TOS for a freelancer to send or receive money outside of the Upwork platform. 

A freelancer can be suspended simply for TALKING with a client about doing this.

feed_my_eyes
Member

If a real client wants a refund, you need to issue the refund via Upwork, not PayPal or Payoneer. But you don't need to do anything in this case - Upwork will reverse the payment soon enough.

 

Also, even if this isn't a scam - which it is - if you do the work, you don't have to give refunds in the first place.

pkhegai
Member

anyway guys, they make all freelancer to verify their id AND location, but for clients... i mean ... the same verification for the counterpart would eliminate nearly all scams on upwork

 

cuz i did my job, you know... why not receiving my honestly earned money? payment method was verified by upwork. is this my fault? i am not sure. thankfully it's just 30 usd


Platon K wrote:

cuz i did my job, you know... why not receiving my honestly earned money? payment method was verified by upwork. is this my fault? i am not sure. thankfully it's just 30 usd


So what job did you do, and why did you agree to give the client a refund (it sounds like you agreed before you even knew that this was a scam)?

i didn't say i agreed, prlly it's the way i stated it. it was a suggustion, kinda played a scenario

88f53849
Member

Hi! It seems that I'm in a similar situation now. May I ask how you proceeded with this? The "client" keeps threatening me in my messages and I'm worried that I'd get a negative feedback. Thank you so much!

Paola,  you absolutely must report this client to Upwork.  I have flagged a moderator so that they can help you, and with any luck you will not get a bad rating if the client gets suspended. 

Whatever you do, do not refund the client in any way whatsoever.  If you have proof of his threats and/or his request to refund via PayPal, then add all this to your report. 

 

@Upwork. I am astonished that a moderator has not already intervened. 

Hi! I have reported the "client" and now talking with an Upwork support team member. However, she's saying that I can refund him using Paypal since the payment went through already. I am so so confused. I've re-read the TOS and from what I understand this is really not allowed and I am not willing to do so anyways.

 

 

Hi Paola,

 

We allow for refunds to be issued off platform when it's not possible to refund on Upwork (i.e. the freelancer doesn't have sufficient balance, the client's account is closed or no longer available, etc.) That said, feedback building or manipulation is not allowed. If a freelancer notices this or any other TOS violations on behalf of the client, we encourage them to report it by flagging the message or by contacting us.

I have brought up the experience you've shared here to the team's attention so they can investigate. Thanks for flagging.

~ Valeria
Upwork

Hi Valeria,

 

Thank you for your response and help. Most of his messages regarding this though he sends on EMAIL messages instead of messaging directly on Upwork. Would like to provide the Upwork Team more help too with the investigation by providing the screenshots. It seems that he's avoiding to send the risky messages on Upwork so I can't flag much of his messages here. 

Valeria, surely this is a scam and if she sends this person money via PayPal or similar, she'll be out of pocket because she'll owe money to Upwork when a chargeback is inevitably done? There needs to be better guidance for this kind of thing, since there have been a few posts just in the past week about scammers deliberately overpaying freelancers and then asking for a refund via PayPal. There needs to be a way for freelancers to refund clients to the credit card that was used on Upwork for the transaction, otherwise this is going to end up being a very lucrative type of scam.

Hi Christine,

 

Thank you for sharing your suggestion. I understand your point here. Currently, we have an option where freelancers can add funds to their Upwork account if they do not have sufficient funds to process a refund on the contract. They will need to reach our support team for assistance. I will still be sure to share your feedback with the appropriate team. 

 

Thank you,

Pradeep


Upwork

1. Report the threatening messages (click on the three dots at the top-right of each message). 2. Close the project. 3. Ignore any further messages from the client. 4. Do not withdraw the payment, since Upwork will claw it back.

 

You don't have to worry about negative feedback, because if the client is banned, it won't count.

Hi! Thank you for your response. He mostly sends me the threatening messages via email so could barely flag anything using the messages on Upwork. I also flagged the job posting days prior but Upwork is not taking action. The Upwork support member I talked to is even saying that I can refund the client outside Upwork which I know should not be allowed/advised. I even sent her the photos of the client's emails but to no avail.


Paola G wrote:

Hi! Thank you for your response. He mostly sends me the threatening messages via email so could barely flag anything using the messages on Upwork. I also flagged the job posting days prior but Upwork is not taking action. The Upwork support member I talked to is even saying that I can refund the client outside Upwork which I know should not be allowed/advised. I even sent her the photos of the client's emails but to no avail.


Surely you can block him from your email?

 


Paola G wrote:

The Upwork support member I talked to is even saying that I can refund the client outside Upwork which I know should not be allowed/advised.


I really hope that you misunderstood; if not, ask to speak to a different CS person and report this one. It would be the worst idea possible for you to refund outside of Upwork, because they are going to reverse your payment here and then you'll have to pay it back.

Hi Paola,

 

Thank you for reaching out to us. I can see that you opened a support ticket regarding this issue and are now being assisted by one of our agents. Also, if you wish to update the team with new information, I highly suggest that you post it on the ticket thread.


~ AJ
Upwork