How to avoid scams on Upwork and Freelancer

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Scammers are not only targeting you via emails or lucrative ads, they are also common on Upwork (formerly oDesk), Freelancer.com and other freelancing marketplaces. If you are not cautious, it is easy to fall prey to scams on Upwork or Freelancer. Scammers will get their jobs done by you and then disappear without paying you for your efforts. Besides legitimate projects, there are several types of scams on online job portals. Let’s see how to avoid them.

Read the Project Description Attentively

Some newbie freelancers often apply for jobs without understanding the project description. Don’t do it ever. Read the job posting first to last. Realize what the prospective client wants. Legitimate buyers would always make their requirements clear in the job description. They will mention the desired units of deliverables, work-hours, budgets and the payment structure. If a job post invites you to apply for jobs just by telling “Tremendous work from home opportunity! Earn up to $200 per hour simply by browsing the Internet! Once you are awarded the job, you must purchase a small manual that will guide you in your daily tasks….” or something like this, most probably that’s a scam. How could you earn $200 by surfing the internet? Don’t be fooled by abnormally higher rates or peculiar tasks.

A good client should tell you at least four things: what they want, what qualification they require, their payment policy and the project duration. And an offering should sound reasonable. Use your common sense here.

Check the Client’s Profile

All of the clients with blank profiles are not necessarily bad. Still, experts suggest to be careful in dealing with them. A reliable client should have a payment method verified with the marketplace. Check the client’s ratings and their feedback from the contractors. A good client should receive mostly great reviews and ratings.

Avoid Free Samples

Most of the times, fraud buyers ask free sample works from the applicants. Some big freelancing marketplaces prohibit such demands. Providing a sample work is a crucial part of the recruitment process, because it helps the client to evaluate the candidates. But they have to pay for it. Never agree to provide a free sample – some scammers are exploring the web to trick the newbie freelancers to get their works done at zero cost.

Payment Security

Yes, freelancing marketplaces take a certain percentage from your earnings via those sites. In exchange, you get a secured payment mechanism. For your newer clients, demand up-front payments or escrow protections for fixed priced jobs. Major online freelancing sites provide escrow systems to prevent payment disputes. There are hourly contracts where you can use official time tracker apps provided by freelance marketplaces to log your job related activities and get paid automatically.

Simply, before working on a fixed price contract, ensure that the milestone payment is funded on the escrow. If it’s an hourly job offer, check whether the client’s payment method is verified or not. If yes, then go for a contract, turn the time tracker ON for the appropriate job and then start working. When you have a history with a trusted client, you do not necessarily need to continue using their time tracker. You can use 3rd party time tracking apps like Screenshot Monitor that provide more convenient way to track your time and communicate the work log to the client. It costs far less than the traditional freelancing marketplaces.

Report Scams

You can detect a scam job post just by reading its description, checking the client details and finally conversing with the prospective buyer. If you find it suspicious, feel free to report against the particular post and/or the client. This action by you will help to protect other freelancers from falling into a trap.

Summary

Freelancing is a growing trend around the world. Every day many new freelancers are joining the global freelancing marketplace. Some morally deficient people are exploiting the newbie freelancers’ interests with scam job offers which ultimately lead to a frustration for the victim. But if a freelancer takes some precautionary steps before starting to work, they can evade losing money.

114 thoughts on “How to avoid scams on Upwork and Freelancer

  1. Hi! Thanks for this informative article! I have been had twice – luckily not for big amounts and now I am much more careful about the projects I bid on.

    1. I just got invited by a company named Daewoong Pharmaceutical main hub in Korea the interview went well but I am feeling a little skeptical they hired me with out the normal screening process not sure what to do any ideas

        1. Did you hear back from them? I just got an interview today with Michael Bradley from Deanwoong Pharmaceutical and after reading all this about scams I don’t know what to think of it anymore

          1. Mine is a different name. Wants me to interview too tonight and it’s Friday night. Time is of the essence of course he said. Why? What happened with yours? Dak

      1. Medical device and pharma companies that plan on selling in the US must qualify any vendor. Unless there are forms to fill out detailing your quality system its a scam. Other countries have similar requirements.

      2. Your best bet would be to set up a work tracking system agree to a certain percent upfront of the estimated total payment to you and verify the legitimacy by verification of hard contacts

    2. This is complete fraud all the way, I was sent a 2800.00 cahier check that was fraudulent and messed up my account and caused my community to think I was apart of this fraud, do not work for UPWORK!

        1. The Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association (CGPA). I was so skeptical about this check in the amount of $2,850.00. The guy Steve told me to deposit the check via ATM or phone deposit.

      1. I was wondering about that. Just had an “interview” with a company that pursued me and was in a hurry to have me contact them. At the end of the interview, which was sort of odd (like talking to a computer), they immediately determined I was hired and they were sending me a large check to purchase office supplies. I told them, no thanks, the job wasn’t to my liking.

    3. please help, as an employer i paid eur 1160 in 2 milestones for 1 project ( they were in pending ) . the freelancer told me my project cannot be done and he refunded the payment. !!! this is where it all began … the money is in the account but it wasnt automatically refunded to my debit card. they now ask me for a verification that i will not provide since i will not be using freelancer.com anymore due to this experience… i cannot live chat because it says i need to fully verify my account !! i wont do this because they should not have accepted the payment until the verification was made. !!! please help

  2. Upwork.com is no better. They scam everywhere the good reviews. Blocks the funds for the freelancers. Freelancers is a pool of time fraudsters doing 5min work for 30-50 hours. But since its the only survival for already financially struggling UpWork, instead of canceling the fraud, they turn 5min work into 28-48h (takes away 2-4h from total amount billed), and then starts running the cards. Also the fraudsters account is suspended so all the moneys goes to UpWork. Unlike Elance – UpWork does not offer the time rejection to control the time fraud issues. For a good reason considering the “updated platform”. They also dont want to address any of these issues. Post questions about their financial situation, why do they block the accounts, where is the customer service (not the ones in the bedrooms in philippines creating the tickets and not having any answers or power to do anything) – and you will be blocked and banned on their forums + all the question posts will be removed.

    TrustPilot – UpWork has all these hired reviewers. Some say they have been up with them for 4 years. When googled – there are no profiles or shows 1-5 hours in total. A complete scam.

    Dont forget:
    10 % is the UpWork fee

    Expenses:
    2-3% Amazon AWS
    3-4% credit card processing
    3-5% chargebacks if not more
    2-2,5% office + staff

    so we have at least 9-11% for expenses, no wonder they keep begging for the more and more financing 30mln every other year. For 1 bln corporation 30mln is like earning 25,000USD/mo and begging for the cashadvance company to give you $15. Does not make any sense. Be very careful with them…

    Just google the reviews odesk scam, upwork scam, odesk is a ripoff etc. – you will find tons of real reviews. Also check their youtube -try to post your true thoughts – if its not good, it will be removed right away.

    1. Even though I was an excellent freelancer (100% job success rate) on Elance, then Upwork (no choice), I have been banned from posting on both their forum and their FB pages. Yes, my posts are negative, but honest. So are TONS of other posts! Upwork has truly ruined my online freelance business. Such a shame.

    2. I could not agree more. I recently pulled all my projects from Upwork. Their customer service is non-existent at best, the development work from their “Recommended” 5-star developer was so incompetently executed that it took 2.5 months to complete a project quoted at 1.5 weeks. Every task had to be redone, and I had to pay for the errors and missteps. Complaints to Upwork are met with the same canned response, despite repeatedly showing Upwork customer service and mediation departments screenshot after screenshot where 1) the contractors admitted to error after error, 2) the contractors were searching Google trying to figure out how to do work for which they had a 5-star rating. Upwork cannot be trusted, the filtering process to find fluent English speakers is absurdity at its finest, and the reviews are clearly fraudulent. Buyer Beware!

      1. Hi there, please contact me directly at shirls.samtani@gmail.com. I have just gotten back to freelancing after a brief hiatus and am looking for genuine clients.

        I have been writing professionally for a decade now and have an MBA in Marketing from Cleveland State University.

    3. I have just had an almost hour-long interview she seemed very pushy and rude, so obviously a scam but I was playing along. asked a thousand questions and then at the end -which country are you from? ‘UK’ sorry this is for U.s.a only LOL

  3. The best way to avoid being scammed on Freelancer is to avoid Freelancer completely.

    I took their basic numeracy skills test so I could add something else to my profile to show to prospective clients. Their tests – or at least the ones I looked at – cost $5.00 plus a processing fee of around $0.42. Here’s an actual question exactly as it appeared on the test I took:
    “John eat 2 pieces of apples a day. Now, is Thursday, but he remembered the his apples left after eating apples during Monday are 30 pieces after that, he gave the half of all his apples to her daughter. How many apples left, if today is Friday after eating the two pieces of apples?”

    At least three other questions on the test had issues, such as multiple correct answers or no correct answer. Needless to say, this is completely unprofessional, especially considering these are paid tests. How can I showcase my skills to prospective clients with a test like this? After the test was completed, there was an option to add more questions to the test. It looks like they don’t even verify new questions for accuracy.

    I contacted customer support and 4 days later I was told they do not refund the exam fees. Instead, they offered to let me take another exam for free and they offered me one free month of the lowest paid membership option. First, there’s no way I’m ever taking another exam for that site, free or not. Second, because of the exam that I did take I was already eligible for one free month of a higher-level paid membership, so offering me the lowest one is completely pointless.

    Based on this experience and the countless other reviews I’ve read about this site, I just decided to cut my losses and run. I advise you all to avoid this shady site.

    1. Hi Chris, I am Renu, I have signed up for free in freelancer. Com.l have chosen sponsor bid. They want me to pay $3.99for it. I was shocked. I didn’t have entered my credit card details at first. What to do I want to close the account but they are not letting me go

      1. Hi Renu, I had the same experience. After a month Freelancer finally shut down my account. In the meantime to stop the fraud, I removed my payment information and I updated my profile with nonsense. I removed all of my qualifications, put in a fake name and email. Anything I could do so they couldn’t leverage my account.

      2. Tell your bank absolutely no charges from Freelancer are acceptable and then just plain quit. They have no real legal recourse against you. They are a scam.

  4. Freelancer.com blocked my accound after I have made $400

    For 2 years I have been making some few projects on freelancers.com with most of the money goes to this scammer website. Today I found my account suspended after I have received the money from my employer. I have received an email telling me that the money was successful released. But when I logged to my account I was checked how I was suspended for login to my account; telling me that I have broken its rules.
    Wake up freelancer! wake up employers! dont waste you time!
    One day you will be checked like me. I was already warned by many friends but I could not take that in consideration. But with the first time with a project with good budget, I got deceived by this scammer website.
    They know everything about you, once they feel that they want take your money and get ride of you, they will do that without hesitation or a pre-warning!

    Don”t use their desktop App, it records everything on your computer to help them spy on you if you have some trouble with them. I mean, this App is a spyware!!!!!!

    Freelancer is losing its business. Its situation is going worst everyday. They make up new scamming rules everyday to control their users money. They will use any scamming, hacking or every legal power to take rid of you. Be aware!!!! The founder of Freelancer.com, Matt Barrie, is a thief

  5. As a client, I have had a lot of bad experience with freelancers. They often misrepresent their skills. And so, clients are just at risk.

    1. “clients are just at risk” But so are freelancers. And Upwork has removed so many good features that Elance had to ensure that both freelancers AND clients can work successfully together and be of benefit to each other. Such a shame.

    2. I agree with your statement as it goes both ways with freelancing. It would be nice if the clients posted as many of the negative reviews of freelancer liars and fraudsters.

  6. Avoid working on upwork with Onuora Amobi, it’s a sneaky dude, he speak very nice first then he ask for more work than agreed and make negative comments regarding your work to force you cancel the project after you spent a lot of time working for him, watermark everything you send to him he is totally unreliable and a total jerk with not a little common sense.

  7. Stay FAR away from upwork. it’s not odesk anymore!!!!

    Upwork has been on a MASSIVE downhill slide since oDesk. they no longer handling their own dispute system (they are outsourcing it to some inattentive company called “modira”). Fraud charges on my paypal account are up from the new lower class of workers and when you dispute the charge with paypal, upwork tells them they are handling it.. Instead, your dispute gets lost in a slow support system called MODIRA which is outsourced as well

    it’s BAD. 90% of of the jobs go wrong and support handles maybe 5% of the disputes! This isn’t just an issue of crap work. They don’t care about either the freelancer or the job poster.

    1. “They don’t care about either the freelancer or the job poster.” I agree. They have removed just about every tool a freelancer needs to be able to determine professionally and intelligently whether a client will be good to work with. And they accept so many scam freelancers AND clients.

      Not to mention the ridiculously low budgets of $5 or $10 dollars. There really isn’t ANY kind of work that should be done for those low amounts of money, I don’t care what country you are in or whether it’s writing, graphic design, web design, whatever. It costs that much money just to write up a proposal, and if you do get the job, interact with the client and write the job ticket!

    2. Hi.
      I just accepted a job with a Germany Pharmaceutical company.
      I’m slightly skeptical because the interview process did not seem rigorous enough.
      It’s called Boehringer Engelheim. They are sending a check, they claim, and a laptop with instructions for setting up a time tracker and various pieces of software. Would you trust it?

  8. FREELANCER website itself is scam .Freelancer platform gives you money and than after take it back from you and u have to bear loss of time and hardwork .

    pls check user agreement section 19 and 39 u will get what i m saying.

    they can take your earned money any time and there is no any guarantee or warranty here in this platform.

    be careful to work with this site.

  9. I’ve never had any business with UpWork or any of its previous incarnations, but last month found a charge on my VISA card from UpWork — for $850! UpWork returned none of my phone calls. I cancelled the credit card and my bank declared the charge fraudulent. But before the card was cancelled, UpWork charged me an additional $750!

    I have no idea how UpWork got my VISA number. They didn’t use my business card; the charges were made on my husband’s and my joint card.

    Moral: there are lots of good reasons not to deal with UpWork.

    1. You can dispute those charges and the credit card companies will require Upwork to prove they had authority to charge you.

  10. UPwork is a big scam I am a honest person trying to do some administrative work and trying to find decent clients but there all spam that contact me they ask for all my information even what bank I do business with (which they do not need to know) and say they are going to be sending me a check to pay for all the software needed for a mini office even money towards laptops and printers. Please. I am done with this site. So sad that people cant even be honest and target innocent people on these sites.

    1. hey this happening to me now . A company called Boe techolgoy has offered me a check to purchase a laptop. I dont if its legit can you help me out ?

    2. hello! May I know what company or who is the client offer you the job? I recently have the same issue now and I need help if I will have to continue working for it, if the company is scam or not.

    3. I just got a company telling me the same thing. That they will send me a check to pay for office equipment. They asked if I had a banking account and my name and address. I told them I don’t have one and they asked me to open one because they need me to handle business money. The name of the company is REWE. I gave them false information just to see what they say. Haven’t heard anything else from them. Do not use Upwork.

      1. Same type of scam was attempted on me through Upwork. Online interview (on Google Hangouts) for a Program Mgr. position with a legit company- Quisk – set up with an email from Upwork. The H.R. person turned out to be bogus. Stay away from Joanne G*** at officialdesknett*** After wasting hours on a fake interview- I was offered a job, but they wanted to transfer $$ into my personal bank account so I could buy a laptop and printer. They also requested ID ( CA Drivers License preferred). I did not provide anything and ended all communication.

      2. OK, for everyone saying the same thing about being sent a check to buy some sort of software or supplies. That is the scam. As soon as you deposit the “check” in your account they have access to your account number. The company names are different, but the end result appears to be the same, they are very generously sending you a large check to buy your “office” (how nice of them) because you are SO qualified after a 15 min interview, and as soon as you deposit the check you are screwed.

  11. Im in he same boat guys. Thought I was getting a bargain for the service and price but majority of the freelancers couldn’t work their way our of a paperboy.

    QUESTION. What is the alternative? His there a legitimate freelancing website available?

  12. Okay…. I am new to freelancing. Can I ask, if not Upwork or Freelancer then who would you guys recommend? Much appreciated!

    1. I don’t know if you are still using those sites, but I joined Freelancer over a month ago, I have not been paid 3 times now by awful clients, who just got a lot of design work out of me and then didn’t pay, and all Freelancer do it take money for fees as soon as I am awarded a job, I have complained about not being paid and they have done nothing. It’s just a complete scam all of it.

  13. I think this is what is happening to me now. At first I got nothing but spams. Now after working honestly and truthfully they are suspending my account for false accusations. This is so sad.

  14. I have been waiting since 2 months for my problem to be solved. I have mailed and had chat conversations many times with UPwork but not being solved. If it takes so long time for one issue to be solved then how can work be done properly????

  15. thanks for looking out. I was going to participate with the freelance entities mentioned in these reviews i.e. upwork and freelancers, but after reading these reviews, have decided to look in other areas for freelance work.
    thank you

  16. I have deposit project, and one man contact me good price for build my project and want i pay by skrill and make discount for me, very good man and all make trust.

    I sent 40% by skrill after finish no news, i deposit another project and man continious, i clic profil and all project is delete by user, is proof is a scam professional.
    https://www.freelancer.com/u/DecoderPro.html?ref_project_id=10828070

    after contact support, i received email if i pay again by another way my account is delete, very scandalous, i want see if with police internet have same word.

  17. Agree it’s not easy and I was lucky to have some success on the first week in upwork but I shall stay away from other sites and also avoid upgrading the membership (in case they charge my credit card ><)

  18. I have moved my 3 clients to freelancer after closing elance.com, first two months I faced problems but resolved, and now I am unable to withdraw my money from the freelancer account, see how they are doing fraud now:
    On my first withdrawal request, they accepted the withdrawal request for paypal but unknowingly they hold money untill last date of withdrawal passed, I went to their support, and they told me due to security reasons you cannot withdraw it we are in contact of your client once they reply us we will clear it, I requested to my client please spend some time contacting them for me so I can get paid. And he did this for me then freelancer.com said it is clear now, you can withdraw.
    Then I went for second request after first 7 days hold, and when date arrive for withdrawal I got notification from freelancer.com that paypla rejected your request, so money stand still in your freelancer.com. I contacted their support what is the problem they replied contact paypal, they don’t know why rejected. I am sure there is no reason paypal denied to accept money and yes freelancer are eating this money. Then I asked their support to tell me is there any other way I can get this money instantly, they said yes, withdraw with payoneer card, so this is my third attempt to withdraw in 10 days.
    When I requested withdrawal on payoneer instead of instant it made it 3 further days to get this money to my account, now I am sure I will not get paid my money from them as they are making it harder and harder even voilating their terms of instant for payoneer debit card they have given more 3 days time.
    upwork is expensive but I never ever face such problems like facing here on freelancer.com it was my biggest error working online going through them. I should not have done this foolish thing. Now I will wait for next three days to make it possible for me get money then I will close freelancer.com account forver

  19. I signed in Upwork and I asked a few questions to other members in the forum about the company’s ethics and trustworthy…. and BOOM!!! I got banned. I’m glad and lucky i didn’t have to experience their scam. Please people be careful and do a research first.

    1. I wish I had taken your precautions. Absolutely horrendous experience with Upwork. I used their “Recommended” developer, and spent 2.5 months paying multiple times for the same work, which had to be re-done periodically due to terrible quality. Complaints to Upwork are dismissed without a glance, their mediation department uses a canned response and pays zero attention to detailed screenshots – even admission of negligence by their contractors. It would be funny if it wasn’t so terrible, and ultimately so expensive for me. I’ve pulled every project from Upwork. I should have done so the first week of this fiasco.

  20. We are all better off working for ourselves, getting a grant from our local start up business centres and they help you with accounts etc, advertising locally and via social media. No Freelancer rip off fees, have your own regular clients, there are some nice clients on Freelancer site, its just finding them, had a few bad experiences on Freelancer. I didn’t work hard for my degree and then be accepted for a Master’s degree in graphic design, to be treated as if I don’t matter. Design is my life and passion, I am a down to earth person with manners and morals. All I want to do is design and make people happy with my work, but I am certainly not getting that feeling with Freelancer. I don’t feel like I am a graphic designer, I feel like a slave to Freelancer rhythm. I know working in graphic design isn’t always a bed of roses, but it can’t be this bad, can it?

  21. Ok. I have heard all the bad news. I was about to work with upwork until i decided to research it first. Thank God i did!!

    But i am in dire need of a WooCommerce expert developer. So where can i find one?

  22. Such a shame. My wife is also a freelancer and just got scammed out of 4 days worth of work from UpWork (around 1, 200$) this has happened before, although not for as much money and both people spoke English although not the best. It sucks to see this happen from an outside perspective to both my wife and other people because everyone just wants to do what they love to do. Write.

  23. I was with Elance before it became Upwork and I’m still using Upwork. I’ve read all of the reviews here and I can honestly say that I have never had a problem with Upwork. As a freelancer you have to be careful with the jobs you select so you don’t get scammed. I always select a job with a client that has verified payments. I have seen a few postings offering a huge sum of money for easy work without verified payment but very, very few. As for what clients offer to pay you for a job, it’s the client not Upwork that sets it. I have never had an issue receiving my money from Upwork and hopefully won’t have issues in the future. It’s unfortunate that some have had issues with them because overall I think they are pretty good.

  24. First my account was disabled,
    I can’t login because freelancer thinks I did not use a valid ID(I send my valid drivers licensed), I only ask to changed my username from XXX to YYY for the reason the name I used when still my wife was is living, so I would like to change username(fancy reason for good name), but freelancer banned me, its better I did not ask to changed my username. But someone from freelancer as a good member of Board of Directors(I think) I meet, he helped me restore my account after explaining to him in Facebook.

    2nd > my account was hold, I can no longer bid projects because my previous client who pays me uses a fake credit card that worth $288(I think), and was charged to my account, freelancer says I have to pay it to restore back my account that has 15 good reviews(I think), and because I have nothing to turn around for work so I have to make another account, now I’m back to zero(0to2) reviews, it’s hard to meet some clients if you have no good feedback.

    and also:
    They deduct amount percentage of work even the client or employer did not released milestone for payment, so instead your looking for money from their help, they’re the one who grab you down.

    Exchange rate is very heavy, I paid(was deducted) $48 from INR to USD.

    freelancer is disappointing! I can call it a scammer also.
    freelancer is a helper but a thief also, corruptionist online job.

  25. Freelancer smokes your money slowly

    Let’s suppose, verified client has posted a project “Need wordpress website for my small business” worth $3000GBP. Now projects was assigned to a developer. When developer accept the project, freelancer takes 10% from you and 3% from client. Now what if client cancle the project on 2nd day, same day or take off project from developer ?

    Freelancer earned :- 10% [ $300GBP] project fee + 3% [ $90GBP ] from client.
    Now developer balance is $300GBP in negative and he will need to pay that money soon or freelancer will deduct from next earnings. If you are an Indian than you must understand the value of $600 GBP..

    ——————————————-

    Cyclic Project posting

    Just think about smartness of clients, they post a project with cost $1500USD and most of freelancers put bid high or low prices to get the project. Client pick up average cost and post this project again with some lower cost again and again.
    At last he assigns this project to someone worth $200USD only. I don’t understand what is this ? Freelancers are fool, who don’t understand it and bid more blindly. They sell to yourself in order to earn little money.

  26. Avoid clients under the name SYKES Enterprises. It’s a scam and, although reported to upwork by another client as a scam, they were able to post jobs on upwork again.

  27. Upwork has a horrible ban policy. Rather than listening to my side of the story, proven with screenshots, they decided to ban me. Here’s what happened: I applied to a gig. I heard back within the same day. Now, I just have a budding reputation, like 5 max feedback total. So this really excited me especially as it looked to be really lucrative. Don’t get me wrong, I knew the job was going to be hard and required a lot of work. But it was totally doable with my experience. So the potential employer invited me to a Skype session to talk more about it. So I had a Skype session. He said he would give me 3 sample lesson plans to write and in addition start my contract. Well, after 6 total lesson plans I did for them and waiting several days (which turned into 2 weeks) and my contract still hadn’t been started, I asked to be compensated for the work I had done. Mind you, he wanted sample work done OUTSIDE of Upwork to see if I would be suitable for the job. When I asked him about being compensated, he gave an evasive answer, “oh we’re still looking at candidates.” Okay, why did you tell me you would start my contract? Also, you told me time was important and this needed to be done now. So he exploited a small user with a budding reputation. And Upwork banned ME for being taken advantage of! Also, this potential employer has over $100,000 paid on Upwork. So why did he refuse $30 for my work? Living abroad in another country, that is a week of food for me. So it’s important even though it’s just $30.

    What did Upwork say to me when I appealed? “We respectfully ask you don’t contact us again.” Thanks for nothing Upwork and zero customer support and understanding.

  28. I’ve got an offer so easily on my first day of signing up for upwork – they are “payment unverified” they started chatting with me thro “hangouts” app, didn’t accept my proposal on upwork, no chats on upwork, nothing. They are called CACI International (they say based in VA) my contact was Maureen Michaels.
    They told me they need me to have certain software and PC requirements and I won’t start work till I receive a check they are sending (where I need to cash it) to buy from their “trusted vendor” – when I said, what’s the vendor name so I can speed up process & buy from him directly – they refused to mention, and kept pressing I have to wait till I get the check they are mailing out then the next process will follow.
    I’m guessing this is a scam.
    I’ve been reading how to Spotify a scam, they fit also as they only posted 1 job.
    Has anyone dealt with them?

    1. Did these prospective employers direct you to a website to go through as a brief introduction of company? I’m currently going through something similar.

    2. Yes. I got contacted by them through text. I knew it was strange because no true employers ever text me first and they had a gmail account instead of a proper business email account. I decided to play along only to see what they would do and for the 5% possibility they were legit. I got up early for an “interview’ and actually dressed up so I was ready to turn on my camera. They came on time and I asked to see visual representation. They refused. I called them out as lying bs scammers. They logged off. It’s just horrible that people are doing this to others that just want to work.

    3. Putting the “check” (which will eventually bounce) in your account gives them access to your account number. It’s a scam.

  29. I and 3 other freelancer just got scammed for what people call as “reshipping scam”.. I’m feeling so stupid.. we got this job from Upwork.. the scammers invited us for an interview.. I and one freelancer just came back from the police.. We got possibility a bad mark as “money laundring” and it costs thousands Euro.. I hope there would be a solution for this.. For now the police try to help us, who are also victims..

    1. I was also scammed in a “reshipping scam”. Luckily I did not send most of the parcels, sent only 3 and as soon as something started smelling bad, I went to a lawyer and the police.

      1. Hey,
        Please tell me what a reshipping scam is…. I was offered some job last month by a company that needed me to package some articles. I did, and got paid for it tho.. What happens

  30. Freelancer has accessed my account and deducted 2 exam fees of which one I never sat. 2nd they failed to verify my debit card claiming its in a different currency from the agreement, so my questions are 1) why charge me for and exam I never sat 2) why are we charged deposit fee 3) if my debit card is in a different currency from their so called agreement how come they can access my account and deduct money 4) why even pay a deposit fee when am yet to get a single ‘Typing’ job (my speciality) 5) I completely failed to find the ‘free’ exam even after chating to one of their helpers who recommended it, tried to ask her but got no chat response 6) Why allow a client to ask for sample data and dont give feedback/pay…am done with this scam!

  31. Ok so here is a post dorm a legit person hiring programmers from upwork. They don’t care which side your on they just want their 20%. Updump.com is what their name should be.

  32. Just got a gig off Upwork from a company called Nthrive. I Googled them
    They have a website and a LinkedIn and Glass door account. We had a text chat interview. No Video. Could this be real or fake?

  33. I was froud twice on UPWORK.
    One game developer Carine A. asked to release money for her graphic designer then she was gone. I asked upwork to suspend her account.

    Second Dzenan I. web designer and developer asked my for direct Paypal deposit payment to start a jaob. i did it my fault. Now he refuse to work on the project and he kept the money.

  34. Hi! I am new freelancer on Upwork and I’ve recently been scammed here, so naive to think that such things wouldn’t happen on such a platform. But yes, I can see that both clients and freelancers, all of us, have to accept that there is some risk to it.
    If you are a client – please consider contacting me at kristiina.vislapuu@gmail.com.
    I am genuine and trustworthy although maybe not so experienced as a freelancer yet, but I am constantly educating myself.

  35. Thanks, everyone, for sharing your experiences. I will avoid Upwork.

    If you’re a potential client, I’m happy that you are checking reviews and hopefully will also avoid Upwork. If we all do, they can’t exist.

    I’m a freelance graphic and web designer available and happy to help you with your projects. Please contact me through my website czebrastudios.com.

  36. Upwork also scams the developers. For instance, I am looking now a two jobs posted that are almost 100% identical, the wording, the same capitol letters. A few word shave been added / removed. This may not be a big deal if they were from the same client, but what do you know they are from two different clients!?> How do I know they are different clients. Their “Member Since” Date is one day apart. Upwork’s motive for this I believe is to eat through the freelancers connects, forcing them to purchase more connects. Freelancers are only allowed to bid on so many projects without paying to bid on more!

  37. Hi,
    today i received an email which informs me that i am hired for some data filling.
    The guy name is eskiuy45. But when i tried to contact him on freelancer site, i found out that his account is deleted.
    Is it fake ? what should i do?
    This is the email that i received –

    Thanks for Bid My Project.Now you are part of my project.

    If You working everyday and your typing speed is good, In this project You can earn 400$-500$ per month.

    You must start work every day between below that time:

    WORKING STEP :====>>>>

    Download The Working Software Below That Link:

    https://www.zipshare.com/download/eyJhcmNoaXZlSWQiOiI0NjEwOTFjMC04ZWEwLTQyYWQtYTU4NC1iNWJmMTc5Y2E1YzAiLCJlbWFpbCI6IlNvbmFsZjE5NzNAZmxlY2tlbnMuaHUifQ==

    After Download, Open The Working Software And Put Your Login Username And Password.
    ———————-

    Login UserName: more86

    Login Password: 1

    <<<>>

    Your work just type the code and enter for continue.

    When Show Code/image Case Sensitive, Then Type Both Capital And Smaller. Otherwise type all code/image Smaller.

    You must space between two code/image.

    Type fast without time-out, else your id will be banned for 30 minutes.

    Check Entry:===>>>

    Please Save your entry count every time before close the software.

    You can see your entry Top Of the software.

    When you close the software and open again then your entry will be show zero(0).

    So When you take rest in every time you must count your entry and save it into a notepad or excel.

    *** working time: ****
    Best working time: 6pm to 12pm (GMT+6)

    Normal working time:12pm to 6pm(GMT+6)

    **Rate & payment method:
    ———————–
    1k=1000entry = $20

    I will pay you after every 5000 entry completed

    After complete 5k target Inform me via email, Then i will check your entry Into Our Database.

    Also send me your working username after complete the target via email.

    After earned 5000 entry please inform me via email. And also tell me your payment method.

    [ paymentinfo24@gmail.com ]

    We can pay via: PayPal/MoneyBookers/Upwork/Freelancer/Payza/Payoneer MasterCard/perfectmoney/webmoney/western union/Bitcoin.
    —————
    If you work 4-5 hours a day or more if you can then you easily reach my given target before my given time.
    After earned 5000 entry please inform me via email. And also tell me your payment method.

    [ paymentinfo24@gmail.com ]

    So if you agree then please start work from now and try to work
    Wish you all the best
    Thanks

  38. Upwork is disgusting. They don’t even bother showing reasons for their action. Freelancers should preferably avoid this website. There are several quality websites around, who treat freelancers more humanly.

  39. I just got scammed on Upwork, by a woman with the name of Ruth McCrackin from Ram International. I worked for hours on her project, sent it to her and she closed the account and I didn’t get paid, no response to my emails, and Upwork never helps.

    This is not the first time this has happened to me, there has to be a better way.

    I can relate to so many, it’s so unfair. What is happening to the human race?? So sad!!

    Thank you for posting!!

  40. just completed. 2 weeks worth of job, employer disappeared. without paying me, but he was payment verified in freelancer

  41. To avoid scam on both, Upwork and Freelancer, the best way is to stay away from both. Because worse than clients are the platforms. I had trouble with both.

    On Freelancer it took like 2 weeks to get paid. And instead of charging the fees from the money they put in my account, they charged them from my Paypal account. They did it because I was in a 30 days trial for a membership plan. Meaning, they had no right to charge the fees for a job from it. And of course it doesn’t make sense either. I consider it theft, since they didn’t really transfer money to my account at this point, but took some instead!

    After I didn’t get paid for the second job, I left immediately. Approx. 3 months later I received an email saying, I have to pay like $45, since they continued charging membership fees and I’m IN THE RED!!! So, how is that even possible? They took my money. But instead of cancelling the membership, I go in the red and have to pay them???

    Stay away from Freelancer!

    But Upwork is not better at all.

    Upwork charges fees wherever they can. Commision for job payments, transfer fees, membership fees, for connects (which you need to apply for jobs!), … making it incredible hard for new people to make money, instead of spending it.

    Also companies pay dumping prices, since obviously there are freelancers who are working for less than $4 per hours.

    You think that’s all? Take a look at http://upworkfraud.byethost4.com.

    Not only have they increased their fees from 10 to 20%. They are actually taking 25% instead of the stated 20%. As if that wasn’t enough, they are commiting tax fraud and taking taxes from the freelancers instead of the clients by twisting the transaction history.

    And support is the worst ever. No help at all. Fast at closing tickets without solving a problem, just repeating terms and condtions. On Upwork not only freelancers got hacked by people who have offered to them, but also accounts are suspended if you apply often but don’t get assignments.

    So, pick your reason why you don’t use Freelance AND Upwork!

  42. I am new to Upwork. I did one little data entry job for a lady who gave me her phone number, and I did a great job. Since then, the only thing I have gotten an interview for (Google Hangout) are for things that pay well but just seem fishy. Latest one is MedStar Health out of Maryland. Okay, ‘he’ or whoever just asked me for Passport and Driver’s license info before I even started the interview. RED FLAG! I ended it.

    Any reviews or advice for me?

    1. Just be overly cautious. Do not take any jobs that aren’t paid through Upwork and be suspicious. It’s okay if they want to communicate through Skype, but when they start asking to pay you outside of Upwork or asking for personal information- just say no. Turning something down that MAY be a scam is better than doing something just in case it isn’t. I’ve had a lot of great, legit jobs with Upwork-but all have been paid directly through Upwork.

  43. this site just steal your money, i had 730$ in that site, and i did not use my account for 1 month, after that, when i came back to release my credit, i see they have closed my account, I wrote an email to freelancer support but they told me your account is closed because you are not verified yourself, i said I will verify and release my credit but they said your account is closed and you can not release your credit any more… but we can open your account again… i and said just fuck off

  44. Freelancer.com=SCAM

    hello my friends. i hope you are doing great. from personal experience, just recently i have hard times with
    http://www.freelancers.com

    they won’t give me my money that i worked for in a valid contest. they have to give me 166GBP. but they are scam, they told me that the contest was closed to protect me as a user. this has no relevance or logic..

    short story: i have entered in a contest, with prize 500GBP to create design for an employer. the contest was GUARANTEED (this is a safety measure to guarantee us the freelancers that the money will be paid to us, for sure, meaning the prize wil be awarded 100% even if the employer does not decide a winning design). i have uploaded many valid entries, me and other freelancers. the contest holder (employer) had 14days to decide the winning design, but unfortunately he did not pick one. so the prize must be splitted between the active entries. meaning me and 2 other freelancers had active entries for the contest. i have talked with one of the support team and assured me that the money will be splitted in 3, after another 14 days. it has been passed these 14 days, and yesterday when i wait my part of the share 166.66GBP, i see the contest deleted and no money in the account.

    their explanation: “We understand your concern on this contest. However, it is better to remove the contest that will cause liabilities to users and to us even if the contest is Guaranteed. We are protecting users from this kind of contest as it will create issues in the future.”

    are you kiding me?? and so they took our prize money and for what?? AVOID THEM !!! THEY ARE SCAM AND THEY MAKE THE RULES BUT THEY DO NOT RESPECT THE RULES NOR THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS. IN THEIR TERMS AND CONDITIONS SPECIFY THAT GUARANTEE PRIZE MEANS THE MONEY WILL GO TO THE FREELANCERS 100% !! AND IS BU.LL.SH.IT !!

  45. I just got a message from one of client saying ” contact this (……) email ID for more work details.
    After I sent email to ask for what is the more details about their project, no response from them and the message in freelancer.com wouldn’t response anymore. When I click on his message it said account is closed.
    Can someone explain it to me what is that or is it scam ? Or some kind of freaky hacker?

    1. Hi, it happened to me just 4 hrs ago. The guy messaged me at freelance and gave me an email address with instruction to contact him for the project details. I emailed him and responded with the project details and gave me the option to choose which plan (Plan A to D) of typing job to do. When I was offered for the job, he asked for a certain amount as deposit to make sure that I will do the job. I got confused why would I need to give a refundable deposit prior to doing the job. I then sensed it was a scam so i told him that i don*t have money to deposit. When i viewed again his profile at freelance it was already closed.

      1. Oh my gosh, this happened to me too! I was about to deposit money from his Skrill account but then it failed because ‘the recipient can not accept money transfers at this time’. I took that as a sign that I should not take the job. Good thing, I still have my money.

  46. Be Warned! Upwork is now scamming US freelancer’s banking info! They have started a new policy of requiring additional info above and beyond your current financial data to “prove” you are a US resident for a new option for clients to request only US workers. They refuse a driver’s license and want your banking info…which does NOT prove residency. So all you guys overseas, start looking for a fake address and setup a bank account I guess. It looks like a bank scam. I contacted them, went through 3 levels of support before they said they were not interested in me proving where I live, but want my bank info!

  47. I got interviewed via skype and a client “Job Busterss” offered me 5500 USD per month without asking me if I like the job offer or not. I tried to join the training online and it was good. However, this client has a malicous interest with me and trying to buy me.

    Please review carefully, and do not give any of your identification. If you feel there is something wrong, ask the client directly and discontinue your conversation to them. They are a scammer.

  48. It seems I just got scammed from some dude called Alex Scoffin, who resides in Sacramento, California. I did some articles for him and he never paid a dime.

  49. Same story with my husband…he didnt listen and using the big company names and sending fake offer letters on big company name and scammed money.I was after my husband , he didnt listen from day 1 and he is to the point where he deposited the check what they gave and then it is holding and my husband returned money back thinking he deposited.I was tellign him from day 1 , he didnt listen and he lost money .Now he understands that there are scam.I hope these people will be punished to scam the people.Why these social Messengers doesnt block all these people or do something taking an action

  50. I’m fairly new to Upwork. I’m glad I read all of this before giving them my bank info. I had a feeling it was fishy from the beginning. There’s no reason they need your bank information. You give them that information, you give them access to your account. They should have a different method for paying people if they really cared about their system. I believe the best way to deal with this is if Upwork allowed people to use their PayPal accounts. Literally only have an account that is for Upwork. I don’t know, just throwing ideas out there. But I’m not going to pursue business with Upwork. I would advise others to do the same.

  51. One thing also I have learned is that they will set a fake description on the job and expect you to send money to clients and are not affiliated with the company they say they are. I am new to this and I have seen this scam before. It is something this common now and they will promise you a 401k for part time job and pay you weekly about $500 a week and also compensate you with medical health benefits. Yet when it comes to the job. The job description you have signed up for matches nothing to what they have said. They have basically wanted you to take money from you.

  52. There is another guy named Matt Goldberg as well who is scamming people. Just a heads up. I feel like it’s something people do. Yes, I did cash in the check and it takes 10 days for my Bank to clear it. I hope it doesn’t clear because I don’t want money in the bank that isn’t mine and be called a theif. I just don’t find this viable at all.

  53. Upwork rejected my application. I have superior writing capabilities and access to online databases like EBSCO Host. I could have brought excellent writing and content creation skills to the platform yet they rejected my application because they have too many writers. How is that possible? Why not let employers decide? I suspect they rejected me because I have started my own SaaS for business development, not at all in competition to Upwork. I guess I should have lied and showed myself to be less capable of delivering quality writing and online content.

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