I have a client that messaged me through Upwork in regards to a proposal I had submitted to them. They ask that I send them my email address and that I was willing to do a simple project for $25.00 in order to gauge my work. They wanted to send me a contract via the email address I was to provide. I was already suspicious at this point and decided to give them an email address I only use for possible situations like this. I received the contract and it promises future work at the rate of $15.00-$25.00 per article. However, I received the instructions for the first article and it is not a simple project. They are wanting an article completed in a way that I would normally do for a client that includes proper formatting, photos, links, and videos. Also, they want five articles like this in total for the $25.00. I would be okay with something simple, but five seems like fraud to me, especially five with this much work involved. Their instructions stated that they wanted me to send them the first 10% of the article by 12:00 pm the following day to determine if I was following the guidlines set forth. Well, I sent in about 20% of the article at 10:57 am and I did not hear from them until 8:19 pm that night. They are telling me that they wanted some changes. The client is supposed to be in Chicago, Illinois and we are within the same time zone, so if it was important that I send them something by 12pm it is really strange that they wait over 9 hours to respond. Also, there of course is no contract showing through Upwork either. It seems that they are trying to get free work, because when I submitted my proposal, I included four samples of my work.
Thanks in advance for your time.
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Well, yes... if there IS NO CONTRACT showing on your Upwork account, it means that you are WORKING FOR FREE.
This client sounds like he is an incredible time-waster at the very least, and quite probably a scammer who has no intention of paying you for your work.
If it was me, I would do one of the following:
a) block him in the Messenger tool and stop communicating with him immediately
b) tell him: "Greg, I would like to work for you in a flexible way, so that we are not restricted by specific line items in a fixed-price contract. If you set up an hourly contract for me at my posted rate, I will accept the contract and then I will be able to do whatever tasks you need me to for the articles I work on."
In my experience as a writer on Upwork, if the client seemed suspicious, then never work with him. Even if the pay seems decent, always avoid them, because in the end, the time you waste trying to boost your rating or work with difficult people is never worth 15$.