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Suspicious Client asking for address

345a0269
Active Member
Jordann S Member Since: Mar 23, 2020
1 of 9

Hello! I am very new to Upwork so I was excited when I got my first response. The Client wanted me to send my personal email which I did not mind doing. I have multiple emails, so I gave the email I use the least. The client, in the email, asked for my address for a "google verification" and to use google directories using my account. They said they were with a small marketing business. I did not give address information but instead asked for information about the company: the name of the company, when it was founded, what they do, etc. And sent another message saying that I was uncomfortable with such a request. They have not responded to my messages yet but I think I made a good call but I wanted a second opinion. What is this "google verification" for businesses that they speak of? Is it completely made up? They didn't ask for bank info or anything of that sort. I wouldn't know why they want my address and how it could be used maliciously. 

Thanks! 

aocumen
Moderator
Avery O Moderator Member Since: Nov 23, 2015
BEST ANSWER
2 of 9

Hi Jordann, 

It sounds a little shady. Here are some Google help articles about account verification, and verifying your/a local business listing. It sounds like the clients want to do the latter, and I would recommend that you do not comply with this request. Clients normally don't need this information and you can share with them your general location if that's a need. But, sharing your personal address is not something you should provide.

 

I highly recommend that you read up on the "Safety First!" section of the freelancer resources we have compiled, and these tips for avoiding questionable jobs for more information about working safely through Upwork.


~ Avery
Upwork

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345a0269
Active Member
Jordann S Member Since: Mar 23, 2020
3 of 9

Thank you for your advice! I thought it was a bit odd. 

alex_filart
Active Member
Alex F Member Since: Dec 18, 2020
4 of 9

I thought I'd share an example of this elaborate scam since I've been getting them so much and they are just getting better in time. 

 

**Edited for community guidelines**

bstojadinovic
Moderator
Bojan S Moderator Member Since: Mar 9, 2018
5 of 9

Hi Alex,

 

Thank you for flagging this for us and for helping us keep Upwork a safe and trusted marketplace! Please check our Stay Safe series and learn more on how to work safe online:

If you see a violation of the Upwork Terms of Service, we encourage you to use Report Suspicious User Activity feature.

~ Bojan
Upwork
lysis10
Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
6 of 9

Jordann S wrote:

Hello! I am very new to Upwork so I was excited when I got my first response. The Client wanted me to send my personal email which I did not mind doing. I have multiple emails, so I gave the email I use the least. The client, in the email, asked for my address for a "google verification" and to use google directories using my account. They said they were with a small marketing business. I did not give address information but instead asked for information about the company: the name of the company, when it was founded, what they do, etc. And sent another message saying that I was uncomfortable with such a request. They have not responded to my messages yet but I think I made a good call but I wanted a second opinion. What is this "google verification" for businesses that they speak of? Is it completely made up? They didn't ask for bank info or anything of that sort. I wouldn't know why they want my address and how it could be used maliciously. 

Thanks! 


It's a scam.  It sounds like this is to set up a fake Google business account with a US address. It's to scam other people. Probably an SEO in India who wants to scam clients by telling them they are located in the US. It's a common Indian SEO scam trick. They will use your address to verify on Google, so when people look up the scammer's business, it shows that it's in the US.

ana_adi
Active Member
Anagha S Member Since: May 11, 2020
7 of 9

Hi, I got the same request today. I did some research and straightaway replied that "Sorry, I cannot give you my address." I believe it's a scam.

gilbert-phyllis
Community Guru
Phyllis G Member Since: Sep 8, 2016
8 of 9

Anagha S wrote:

Hi, I got the same request today. I did some research and straightaway replied that "Sorry, I cannot give you my address." I believe it's a scam.


Good call. An Upwork client does not need your address. (The only exception I've ever encountered is occasasionally an NDA requires it in which case I provide it because doing otherwise puts the client in the position of having to hassle with their own legal dept.)

 

andregutierrez22
Moderator
Andrea G Moderator Member Since: Jul 7, 2020
9 of 9

Hi Anagha,

 

As Phyllis noted, clients generally don't need your address. Moreover, unless you already have a contract with the client, it would be against the TOS for them to request your contact information, which includes your physical address, with them. There are some exceptions, however, and as Phyllis also pointed out, NDA is one of them. I'll also flag the job you're referring to to the team for a review, and they will take appropriate action if necessary.

 

Thanks!

~Andrea
Upwork
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