On occasion, you’ll see someone coming to the Community to ask, “Is this legit?” as they reference a questionable job post or request from another user.
Unfortunately, with over 17 million users on Upwork, suspicious activity does appear from time-to-time. And though we’ll continue doing our best to prevent or address that activity asap, we also count on you to continue being diligent in protecting your information and access. Educating yourself and trusting your instincts are key to safety.
To that end, here are some tips and best practices that can help you identify and avoid potential scams:
We take security seriously at Upwork. You can find more information and FAQs about Trust and Safety on Upwork here. If you think you’re the victim of a possible scam, immediately contact Customer Support – or use one of the “Flag as inappropriate” links throughout the site and in Messages.
In the end, trust your instincts and feel free to continue asking here in our Community. We’re here to help and we’ll continue doing whatever we can to make sure the good users of Upwork stay safe.
Great post Lena.
Could this be put up in the permanent greyed-out area of the Freelancer page in Community Discussions. As you can see, very few people come to the Content Corner. Everyone goes to the Freelancer page - just sayin'.
ETA 12/16/2016: I'd like to add CJINC to Lena's list . . .
@Garnor M wrote:
We'll probably keep it here for now, but will do our best to give it proper visibility for new freelancers.
I have done this sort of work, and I know that encapsulating hundreds of complaints, demands and answers, into a few coherent paragraphs requires considerable patience and expertise. Lena has done a terrific job. I think this post would be far more useful on the freelancer page than the "warning signs", which is now too top-heavy with questions and complaints to be useful.
I am new to upwork and I wish I had seen this vital info prior to responding to requests for interviews. Turns out both requests were scams and have almost all of the characteristics described above. I hate that I was naive enough to think that the requests were legit, one of the scammers even shows up in my profile as an actual candidacy.
I am new to Upwork as well and I almost got scammed today. I received a message from a place in Bosnia regarding a proposal I had sent. When I responded to the questions he had he indicated to told me the amount he was willing to pay per hour, etc. I indicated that I was satisfied until it reached the point where he said I needed a permit to work in Bosnia to do online jobs. I tried to google this but was not coming up with anything in relation to this. When I reviewed my proposals - this job was in 'active candidacy' earlier - it was now nowhere to be found. Then I got more suspicious. So I sent him a message to indicate that I did not feel comfortable to carry out this assignment and as such he should seek an alternative. It was my further research just now where I came upon this information about scamming.
I checked and the client you communicated with was removed from Upwork for violating Upwork ToS. Your proposal was archived since the job is no longer available and you can find it under Proposals > Archived. Please review these safety tips in order to learn how to identify and avoid scam jobs.
What about our Connect points when we find and report a scam? I have had several experiences just this week with people sending me links to do an outside interview, then they mention that they will be opting out, etc., etc., but they glaze over it and just want to talk about a side contract. This is a huge problem and I have lost LOTS of connects applying for jobs that were fraudulent (the jobs were listed in a way that it seemed a PERSON was looking for an editor for a small project, or it's a short-term gig for a company and when you receive the information from their contact, two different companies' names are listed; the first is unrecognizable, the second is a major publishing company - that exact scenario has happened to me twice just this week.). Ugh!
I think if people just keep in mind that if you send a proposal back and they try and get you to pay for something or move you away from Upwork, then flag it as not appropriate or report to customer service and move on to the next proposal. There are great clients out there, you just need to have your head screwed on and be wise and aware.