Welcome! We are really excited you are here and have chosen to grow your business on Upwork. We put together this page to walk you through some crucial information that will help you have a safe and successful journey on Upwork.
What is Trust & Safety (T&S)?
The Trust & Safety team consists of dedicated product managers, policy managers, engineers, data scientists, operations managers, and agents. The goal of T&S is to create a trustworthy and safe work marketplace by addressing risk areas and identifying anyone set on abusing the work marketplace, other customers, or Upwork itself. The team also implements programs that educate customers and promote a great customer experience.
What should I know about staying safe and succeeding on Upwork?
Upwork’s Terms of Service lay out the specific requirements and expectations for activity on and engagement with Upwork’s marketplace. You can find further guidance in the Trust & Safety space of the Upwork Help Center, but there are a few essential things you should be aware of.
Identity. In short, you should be who you say you are. Your profile picture should be a real representation of you. The name and contact information you provide should be accurate and match your identification documents, which we check to verify your identity. Your skills, business, experience, etc. must be truthful representations and not fraudulent or misleading.
Circumvention. Circumvention occurs when a client and talent meet on Upwork, decide to work together, and then choose to carry out their contract outside of Upwork. They make their own contract arrangements and conduct payments directly with an online transfer service, direct deposit, or other methods. In doing this, these users “circumvent” Upwork’s fees, which is how we recoup our costs of running the marketplace and reinvest into making the product better for our customers. Circumvention is explicitly prohibited in Upwork’s Terms of Service.
It’s important to recognize that users who engage in circumvention are likely to be victims of fraud or scams, but because they choose to leave the Upwork platform, we cannot protect them or their transactions.
You can read more about the dangers of circumvention here.
Feedback building. This is when an independent professional either opens a client account to hire themselves or colludes with a client to work on a project for the sole purpose of building job history and getting a good rating. Feedback building contracts create biased and/or fraudulent reviews that undermine the trust Upwork creates through showing talent’s accurate contract history. This is explicitly prohibited in Upwork’s Terms of Service.
Accounts. Independent professionals are only allowed to have one Upwork account, although they can maintain separate freelancer and client profiles under one account. Businesses or company entities can be added under a single freelancer account to allow for easy access. Clients are highly recommended to keep all their businesses under one account, which does allow for each business or company to have its own identity in the work marketplace.
Your account is yours alone, and you should not provide any other person access to it. Account sharing is a violation of Upwork’s Terms of Service and could lead to your account being restricted or blocked.
Content standards. Profiles and job posts should be complete and contain real information, not gibberish or unfinished content. Overall, you should maintain professional and honest communication on Upwork, whether this be in a proposal, an invite, or direct contact with a client or talent.
Certain job types are not allowed on Upwork, you can learn about these here.
Behavior. Upwork is a place for professionals, and with that we expect a standard of professionalism to be maintained by our users. Specifically, we do not allow any behavior or language that is defamatory, profane, vulgar, threatening, unlawfully discriminatory, or harassing. A user going out of their way to be abusive towards another user will not be tolerated.
Reporting violations. As a community, there is a role we can all play in making sure the marketplace remains a safe and trusted place to do business. You have the power to let us know when someone isn’t following the rules, and we welcome and encourage you to do that. Learn more here about reporting suspicious activity.
Oh no, I made a misstep. What should I do?
Don’t worry - we’re here to help. Once you realize that you made a mistake, take whatever steps you can to correct it on your end. If you receive a ticket (email) from one of our teams, read it carefully to identify what steps can be taken to resolve the issue, reply to the ticket, and take those steps. If you have questions or believe the ticket was sent in error, please reply with your concerns and our team will work to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. You can learn more about Trust & Safety account actions here.
Again, we’re so glad that you’re here. Our door is always open, and we’ll do whatever we can to help you succeed!