Recently, freelancers from Kyrgyzstan, working for Upwork, started receiving messages on Telegram from strange personalities from China, asking them to "lend" them their Upwork account for a certain fee per month.
Most of them, without hesitation, sent these users to spam. Although some began to bargain, offering to pay the rent of the account in advance.
The mystery of why we saw such a sudden invasion from Chinese users remains unsolved.
The dark side of freelancing
The sale and rental of accounts on freelance exchanges have existed for a very long time. There are even special services where you can buy a ready-made promoted profile. Take the PlayerUp service, for example.
There are offers to buy accounts and rent. The price varies:
rent per month: from $ 50 to $ 500
purchase: from $ 200 to $ 20,000
Accounts with only one order in the work history are also sold and leased. People just create a bunch of accounts, win one job, and give it to others for money. Here is such a black business.
In addition to buying and renting accounts on freelance exchanges, you can also buy reviews.
As you can see, there are a lot of people willing to purchase a ready-made profile. The most important thing is that no one is ashamed to provide their contact information. Everything is in the public domain.
Should you rent or sell your account on a freelance exchange?
Of course, at first glance, the proposed amount may seem attractive. But is it worth it, especially if you have a well-promoted profile?
If you rent out your profile to someone, you can lose it forever. Firstly, this person can ruin your entire history of work with bad reviews. Secondly, you can get banned - for example, Upwork can get banned if you log into your account from a different location.
Even if you are not embarrassed by the fact that your reputation can be ruined, and you still decide to rent your profile, this will not give you a guarantee that you will be paid. After all, you entered into a deal with a person who already has dishonest intentions.
How to deal with scammers on freelance exchanges
In the fight against this black market, exchanges have actively begun to tighten conditions for freelancers. The most popular exchanges now require verification, which includes checking your documents.
Any suspicious account activity is now suppressed. This applies even to those who have promoted profiles. On the Upwork exchange, there have been many cases when a freelancer logged into an account while in another country, and the next day received an "Account Suspended" notification.
Not only the exchanges themselves are struggling with those who sell or rent their account, but also other freelancers working on these exchanges. It becomes a shame that someone is trying to find an easy way out while honest freelancers have been working hard to get feedback and projects.
The future of the freelance black market
Fraud on the Internet has always been and will be, although many services are actively trying to fight it. There are always those who want to go the fast track, bypassing the rules. This is also the most dangerous path, which usually does not last too long.
You should not get involved with scammers, and even more so - be a scammer himself. Sooner or later, this deception will be revealed.