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Scammed on Upwork

When you're very eager to land your first freelance stint you'll do almost anything in your might to stand out and receive that very first contract. You will keep on refreshing your feed for new jobs and you’ll try one-too-many times convincing your prospect employer that you’re the best person for the job with your polished cover letter.

I did all of those - to a very exhausting extent honestly. I kept on checking my job proposals hoping someone sends an invitation for interview or that I’ll receive a message for 3 days.

On the fourth day since the day I started scouting for jobs on upwork I received a lengthy message from someone. I read the content intently hoping not to miss a single detail and started working right away.

It was an easy task - a bit tedious, but not bad for my first freelance stint. I did not complain because at last I landed my first online job. And it only took me 3 days to finally receive a task.

Being the hardworking person that I am, I tried working for long hours. I even brought my work at the hospital (because my mother was confined then) hoping I could reach the quota before the given deadline. That's how eager I was to please my client. Since it was my first upwork stint it was fitting that I deliver a very satisfying job. Because it would open up new opportunities for me and would help me land my next job contracts. I can also be offered another job if I excel on the current one that I have.

I pulled an overnighter just so I can finish more entries for the day. It was exhausting. By morning I was not feeling fine anymore. I got sick because of sleep deprivation. But I still continued working on the task, taking into consideration that the results would somehow be more satisfying than the work itself. I continued with patience and perseverance. I need this thing done before the deadline!

I told a friend from who is also a freelancer on upwork about my new work. I shared to her the first stint I received and gave her the details of the work.

As I was giving her the details of the job:

The 5000 entry quota.
The contract that was not established on upwork.
The mode of payment stated on the email.
The job itself.

Everything came in together (for her). 

It never dawned on me. 
Not a bit.

She asked me how legit the job was and the contractor.

I myself was not even sure how to answer her. I was blinded by the job pay that I was not able to verify the specific details of the task. I just started working on it non-stop.

After consulting with her, she sent a link to a forum on upwork.

Unfortunately I was scammed.

The modus operandi of this easy-money bait is to lure new and inexperienced job hunters to work on a task which in my case is data entry of captchas that are automatically generated. They have this application which displays a pair of captchas on a window. Below are two textboxes for each captcha where you can type in the characters displayed by the captchas.

I was disappointed with myself. I was tricked into working for nothing in return. The excitement and zeal that I have while looking for a freelance job has gotten me into this scam of a job. I wasted my time, money, effort, and even my sleep for nothing. If people experience beginner’s luck, this has nothing to do with it. 

I am writing this to educate every one of the perils of working online. People who'd take advantage of anyone had taken over the www. And they would do anything to lure newbies into these scams. 

Always be on the lookout for scams. Double check information that needs verification. Everything should be verified first before starting on a task: mode of payment, the nature of the job, the client, etc. Be extra careful. Always!

I know landing that first online job is difficult. Nothing comes easy nowadays. That is why being vigilant and knowledgeable about online scams would really be helpful for you. It will save you from wasting your precious time and energy for nothing.

Good thing I have a friend who helped me spot a fake job. If it wasn't for her I could have finished the quota, received nothing and felt miserable after the big reveal.

So, if you happen to come across an obvious online scam, immediately report and flag it down. In doing so you help yourself by avoiding it and you can help other people by educating them.

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