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Re: Scam??

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Active Member
Angela L Member Since: Apr 20, 2017
1 of 11

I am new to Upwork.  I was thinking this would be a great place to get some side work while I am working a couple of part time jobs.  I was sent a request for Data Entry job, they wanted to have an interview in Google Hangouts.  Before agreeing to the chat, I did look up the company, which seemed legit.  But during the interview they offered full benefits and $25/hr, which seemed a little too good to be true.  They did not ask any personal questions, and did not offer to send any checks in the mail or payment outside of Upwork.

I did a little research on the recruiter's name and found pictures and profiles on linked in, facebook, twitter and instagram, but they didn't mention the company she was recruiting for.

They are asking for a driver's license and proof of address "to verify identity", which I have not sent.

 

I know I sound ignorant, but is this a scam?  Aslo, if this is a scam, is it acceptable to contact this girl and let her know that her name and photo are being used in this way?

 

Thank you for any information you can provide.

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Kat C Member Since: Jul 11, 2016
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2 of 11

Scam.

 

Plus, data entry is a saturated field that tends to attract the scammers (well, to be honest, many areas of Upwork are saturated). 

 

You do not need to send anyone your license or any other information outside of Upwork (I've never heard of this being the case in the U.S. unless you're applying for a regular job as a W-2; but, that's separate from Upwork and a TOS violation if they found you on Upwork -- if they find you here, they contract with you here...I won't go into the "opt out" option as it's a different consideration). 

 

If you have time, search through the threads (using the word "scam" in the search field will bring up many threads on the issue). 

 

Also, here's a thread to read as well: https://community.upwork.com/t5/New-to-Upwork/Getting-Started-on-Upwork/m-p/264214#U264214

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Angela L Member Since: Apr 20, 2017
3 of 11

I did search the forums for an idea if this was a scam and there were many that asked for personal information or offered to send a check, but this person didn't do either of those.  The interview on Hangout was over an hour long.  I researched the company too.  I guess my main question was that they pay so much, it seems silly, but that was a red flag for me, the job description she gave me was a little more intensive than just data entry, and she was talking about advancements in the company and paid training.  I didn't expect a job that involved so much to be offered a week after I joined Upwork.

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Kat C Member Since: Jul 11, 2016
4 of 11

@Angela L wrote:

I did search the forums for an idea if this was a scam and there were many that asked for personal information or offered to send a check, but this person didn't do either of those.  The interview on Hangout was over an hour long.  I researched the company too.  I guess my main question was that they pay so much, it seems silly, but that was a red flag for me, the job description she gave me was a little more intensive than just data entry, and she was talking about advancements in the company and paid training.  I didn't expect a job that involved so much to be offered a week after I joined Upwork.


You're correct Angela. That's one of several red flags. 

 

However, it's not unlikely that clients pay an hourly which is double that rate. But, it can take FLs time to increase their rates (there are many copywriters and one technical writer I know of specifically who earn $85 to over $100 per hour; that's a highly specific field, however). 

 

Good thing is, you didn't take their bait. 

 

Buona fortuna!

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Nichola L Member Since: Mar 13, 2015
5 of 11

@Kat C wrote:

Scam.

 

Plus, data entry is a saturated field (well, to be honest, many areas of Upwork are saturated). 

 

If you have time, search through the threads (using the word "scam" in the search field will bring up many threads on the issue). 

 

Also, here's a thread to read as well: https://community.upwork.com/t5/New-to-Upwork/Getting-Started-on-Upwork/m-p/264214#U264214


 Adding to what Kat says, Upwork does the verification, so a client has no right to ask for driver's license and other documents for "verification".

 

You should flag the job as "inappropriate", and if you can be bothered going through the multiple steps to get to customer services, give them the details and the link to the job. 

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Angela L Member Since: Apr 20, 2017
6 of 11

I flagged them, thank you for the information.

Moderator
Valeria K Moderator Member Since: Mar 6, 2014
7 of 11

Hi Angela,

 

The job you are referring to has already been removed since it was in violation of Upwork ToS. Please, check out the link Kat shared to make sure you are able to recognize questionable jobs in the future.

 

Thanks.

~ Valeria
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Community Guru
Samantha S Member Since: Jun 23, 2016
8 of 11

I am certain it is a scam. It has several of the common red flags. Data entry is a field that attracts a lot of scammers. Scammers also love to reach out to new Upwork freelancers and they use the same strategies over and over.

 

For the most part:

- Be aware they sometimes use other people's names and business names (sometimes the names of actual employees at a legitimate business). You may see hints it is a scam via Google, but you also might get the false impression the scammer is legit. So be wary.

- For some reason scammers love to interview via Google Hangouts. I don't know why. I have a legitimate client I video chat with via Hangouts, but every interview invitation suggesting Hangouts have seen is a scam. I wouldn't fixate too much, but it is a red flag.

- The number one rule of Upwork is to never accept payment off of Upwork from a "client" you meet on Upwork. This scam you describe is very old, I hear it is at least ten years old. You were right to question it. There are all kinds of reasons not to accept payment outside of Upwork (including the fact it violates your agreement with Upwork). 

- Businesses don't offer benefits to freelancers, if they wanted to offer benefits and a good wage why would they not hire locally? There are a lot of people in any city who can do data entry. Usually they hire freelancers to either save time or money.

- Upwork clients don't need to see your personal information that they can use for identity theft scams. I can see legitimate clients may ask this, but I just remind them Upwork already has the information. Likewise, they don't need you to complete W-9's or other tax forms.

 

I would suggest reporting the "client" to Upwork. Someone may have beat you to it, but usually, they will remove them. The scammers often just open new accounts, so a client with no history is not necessarily a scammer, but you do need to be a little more careful if you notice other red flags.

 

About notifying the woman. That is up to you. I have done that before and the person was horrified and said she would to complain to LinkedIn to try to get the other person's fake account taken down. Some scammers steal images from other people but open their own account in their name (or another) so you might end up contacting the scammer. 

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Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
9 of 11

re: "Aslo, if this is a scam, is it acceptable to contact this girl and let her know that her name and photo are being used in this way?"

 

The person whose name and photo were used in this way is INNOCENT. She did nothing wrong.

 

There is nothing she needs to change or do differently. Scammers might use ANYBODY'S name and photo. (They might use YOURS.)

 

Do not contact these people.

Do not waste their time.

Report the scammers to Upwork.

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Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
10 of 11

re: "they wanted to have an interview in Google Hangouts."

 

Google Hangouts = scam.

 

re: "Before agreeing to the chat, I did look up the company, which seemed legit."

 

Don't do that.

That is one of the key ways the scammers trick newbies. They WANT the newbies to Google the names of the websites and client names they feed them. That is how the scammers get the newbie freelancers to stop thinking, stop using Upwork as their source of information, and begin buying into the scam.

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