New customer — income or expenses?
New way of scam on Upwork
Let us tell you something to be aware of as it might have happened with anyone with you and while you are overwhelmed with a good conditions and payment you simply get trapped and fooled.
A couple of weeks ago Brainence received quite interesting proposal via email from a guy (Frank) from New York which caught our attention and we decided to dig into it and find out more how we can cooperate as the development part was really suitable for our developers. Well, after such a persuasive introduction no one would resist:
I found your profile on Clutch. After reviewing your Company’s Bio I’ve
short listed you with 8 other firms from there. I’d like to begin a
$150,000 contract with your firm. Brainence seems perfect for this
It was supposed to be a large project for $150,000 for
This project was funded by government, where our developers will be paid with higher rate than our regular rates what was again quite good technique as it makes ‘victim’ so excited about the cooperation. Frank promised to pay us $70 per hour BUT every day we should buy Bitcoins for them for 10$ per hour + $10 per hour to cover any fees for sending Bitcoins daily. Still not too bad, right?
In their documents customer said that we should buy bitcoins ONLY for 2 weeks, however, due to Upwork rules ± 2 weeks is period when developer can receive payment if there are no complaints from customer side (www.upwork.com/legal#escrow-hourly — 6. PAYMENT PROTECTION (6.1)).
So where is the trick? First of all, they create a couple of fresh-new accounts on Upwork with different descriptions which don’t even suit our tech stack, so eventually after sending Bitcoins to them they can easily make a complaint that we didn’t provide right services for them and we are left with nothing. Another things which made Frank look suspicious, the client was online always when we were in Skype but wait for a moment, isn’t there 7 hours difference with Ukraine?
Another fail — price for the project is different here
Frank said it’s really big project and it’s better to keep it in secret until launch, no NDA needed, no technical interviews. After getting that he was not the one who he is we started asking him some provocative questions trying to unmask him and his answers were predictable. So here is what we get — client promise to pay you 70$, you buy and send Bitcoins to that guy and after receiving them, our Frank makes a complaint about irrelevant services which we provide and in the end he has his Bitcoins, we lose around $5600 and that is the end of our “big” project for us but who said that they didn’t open such projects with other IT companies?
So stay aware and filter all your incoming proposals as you never know whether that American guy isn’t your neighbor.
P.S. Right now, we contacted Upwork Help Center and trying to do everything, so that guy will get trapped as well.
Have a wonderful and productive day!