I am a newbie here; I am a voice over talent who got an email from FCI after they reviewed my proposal and listend to my reel. They sent non-disclosure docs and a W-9. I'm ok with the non-disclosure but the W-9 doesn't sit right. I called and spoke to the actual person who sent me the email and she sounded professional (but scammers sound professional.) I tried to click on the verified employer and see the ratings but it isn't a hotlink so I don't know if I should trust it. I'm skeptical! Has anyone does voice work for them?
I'm not a voice over artist and I don't know anything about FCI, but here are my general observations:
Not a big deal. I sign these all the time.
I read them, and if there's nothing weird in them, I sign them.
Basically they just mean I'm not supposed to talk about the client's project with anybody, which I wouldn't do anyway.
If you're a freelancer, it isn't uncommon to fill in a W-9.
Not really supposed to be asked for these on Upwork. But this doesn't make me think you're dealing with a scammer. Sounds like you are simply dealing with somebody who has a protocol they follow for hiring, and may not be completely aware that they don't need W-9 in order to hire Upwork freelancers.
Anything's possible... and there ARE scammers who target Upwork freelancers. But I really haven't heard of scams on Upwork that entail asking freelancers to provide a W-9.