To succeed on Upwork, you need to trust that the people you're dealing with are honest, and that you're safe from things like fraud and scams.

The T&S team is here to uphold that trust —and keep you safe. We do that by establishing rules about what's allowed, and then identifying and dealing with anything (or anyone) that could damage trust in Upwork, whether the target is you, other users, or the Upwork platform itself.

 


Read about our Marketplace Standards

We create and enforce platform-wide standards that establish the "rules of the road" for our site to ensure a respectful, inclusive, and safe atmosphere.

These Marketplace Standards were developed in collaboration with internal partners and external experts to support our mission of elevating trust in the world's work marketplace and keeping our customers safe. We wrote these to help you get a quick overview, but you can click on the associated links or review our Terms of Service to learn more about each standard.

We’re always working to make thoughtful updates as the marketplace changes, enabling our community to thrive.

The basics. Here’s how you use Upwork:

  • Don’t go around us. You can’t send or receive money off the platform and you can’t exchange contact information or communicate off Upwork until a contract is in place. Learn more here
  • Use one account. If we restrict or block your account, you can’t create a new one. Learn more here
  • Don’t use our site if you’re located in a place we don’t do business. Learn more here
  • Represent yourself authentically. Learn more here
That means:
  • You - and you alone - are to use your account and submit work on your behalf. Don’t  subcontract on Hourly contracts unless you’re part of an Upwork agency.
  • The name on your account should be what you use to identify yourself in everyday life. Don't use a name that describes your profession, like "SEO Expert."
  • Have a clear profile picture. For freelancers, your profile should have a professional photo of your head and shoulders. If you’re a client, you can also use your company logo. 
  • Use the site for remote, professional services.
That means:
  • Jobs should either have a digital deliverable or require some kind of experience or expertise to perform them. We don’t allow jobs like signing up for a referral program or subscribing to a social media page. 
  • In most cases, we don’t allow onsite work. We make an exception for Enterprise customers and events photography and videography jobs. 
  • We don't allow free work. You must set contracts at or above our minimum rate and you can’t charge fees for submitting proposals. 
  • Don't post content that's unclear, irrelevant, or intended to drive traffic off the platform. This includes content that’s incomplete, repetitive, or spammy. Posts should be in English or accompanied by a full English translation. 

Follow the law. As a US company, we don’t allow anything that violates the laws of the United States, regardless of your location. And as a global marketplace, it’s your responsibility to follow any local laws, regulatory standards, or contractual agreements relevant to you or the work you’re doing. You must respect the privacy rights of others, you can’t violate Terms of Service of another site, and - for most people - you need to be 18 or older to create an account.

You can post
  • Jobs that involve testing computer systems for security vulnerabilities. 
  • Jobs that provide recommendations on how to fix security issues.
  • Jobs related to gathering names, emails, and phone numbers for lead generation or marketing purposes. 
  • Jobs related to healthcare education or research.
You can’t post
  • Anything that promotes or involves fraud or scams. 
  • Jobs related to scraping information you don’t have the right to collect, including from Upwork.
  • Hacking jobs, jobs to create phishing tools, or anything else that would create a security hazard for another person or entity. 
  • Jobs that would break Upwork's or someone else’s Terms of Service.
  • Confidential information without proper consent. You also can’t ask for sensitive personal information unless you have a legal reason to do so.
  • Jobs to investigate an individual to collect their personal data, like private investigations or skip tracing.
  • Jobs that need someone under 18 to complete them, like child voiceover or acting work.
  • Money transfer jobs and currency exchange jobs.
  • Jobs that mainly consist of making purchases on behalf of a client or that request the freelancer to make a cash deposit of any kind.
  • Multi-level, direct, or network marketing jobs. 
  • Jobs where the primary work product or deliverable is a physical object or an off-the-shelf product. Contract deliverables must be primarily digital and customized for the client. 
  • Jobs requiring freelancers to gamble or place bets.
  • Jobs for medical treatment or diagnosis
  • Metaphysical or supernatural services (e.g. occult arts, casting spells, magic, energy healing, fortune telling, etc.).

Be honest. We want you to be able to offer and accept contracts with peace of mind, and this relies on you being truthful about yourself and your work. Accurately represent your identity, experience, skills, and professional abilities. We don’t allow jobs that are intended to deceive or cheat people and we expect you to stand by your word. Once a contract is set, you can't change the details without the other party's consent. The feedback on your profile should also be genuine. You can't manipulate or misuse the feedback system in any way.

You can post
  • Jobs related to educational support, like tutoring and developing course materials.
  • Jobs for career coaching and virtual assistance. 
  • Jobs that involve detecting or preventing misinformation or disinformation.
  • Content that uses publicly available information as an example or inspiration.
You can’t post
  • Jobs that involve academic or professional cheating, like providing work for a student to submit under their own name or completing a professional certification on behalf of someone else.
  • Jobs that involve deceptive marketing, like creating fake social media followers to boost a company or writing fake product reviews. 
  • Harmful misinformation, like fake election or health information. This includes jobs to create harmful misinformation.
  • Jobs to create or share deepfakes or other kinds of manipulated media. 
  • Plagiarized content or attempts to pass off someone’s else’s work as your own.

Be civil. We expect everyone on our platform to behave with courtesy. This means we don't allow discrimination, abuse, bullying, hateful content, or threats. You can't share content that promotes or encourages violence and we restrict depictions of nudity and violent content in public areas of the site. You shouldn’t contact someone you met on Upwork outside of the platform without their consent.

You can post
  • Jobs that include appropriate and necessary age, racial, or sex requirements related to the nature of the work, like voiceover or advertising campaign jobs.
  • Jobs that involve sexual education, sexual health, and romance fiction.  
  • Content that may include violence or nudity in a private channel as long as it’s directly and legitimately related to the job, doesn’t promote or glorify violence, and isn’t sexually explicit.
You can’t post
  • Anything that calls for or encourages the harassment or bullying of others. 
  • Jobs that involve the creation of pornography or facilitate sex work (including content for platforms like Onlyfans).
  • Jobs with a discriminatory preference (e.g. prohibiting someone of a certain nationality or ethnicity from applying).

Be safe. We don’t want anyone to get hurt while using Upwork. We don’t allow any jobs that exploit others or may result in physical harm. We take suicide and self-harm seriously and provide resources to those in need. If we believe someone is in imminent danger, we’ll attempt to engage local law enforcement where possible.

You can post
  • Jobs related to building tools for preventing exploitation.
You can’t post
  • Anything involving child exploitation or child sexual abuse material. 
  • Jobs that could be harmful to another person or entity or that could pose a danger to the person performing the task. 
  • Content that encourages or promotes self-harm, including eating disorders.


Report Suspicious Activity

You can help keep Upwork secure for you and everyone you work with on the platform. If you see anything violating a Marketplace Standard or our Terms of Service, report it.

We take every report of suspicious or inappropriate behavior seriously. Every report goes directly to our Trust and Safety team for investigation. 

Report any suspicious activity anywhere you see it on the platform — in freelancer profiles, portfolios, projects, client job postings, or Upwork Messages. These links are often marked by a flag.

  • Freelancer Profiles: Choose the (…) options menu on the freelancer’s profile and select Flag as inappropriate to submit a report.
  • Freelancer Portfolios: Choose Report on the portfolio item.
  • Job Postings: Choose the flag button on the job posting to submit a report.
  • Projects on Project Catalog: Choose the flag button on the project to submit a report.
  • Upwork Messages: Messages don’t have a flag, but you can find the link to report suspicious or inappropriate inactivity with these steps:
    • Hover over the message that you need to report, and an options menu (…) will appear
    • Select the (…) options menu and choose Report message
  • You can also report a Zoom call within Upwork Messages with these same steps, except that in step 2, you will choose Report call from the (...) options menu.
    • Report a phone call

When you flag something that looks suspicious or inappropriate, you’ll have options to describe the reason you’re flagging. Please flag it for our review and let us know what you saw with these steps:

Job Postings:

Report Job Post on Upwork

  • Choose the Flag as inappropriate button on the job post that you need to report
  • Select a reason why you think the posting is inappropriate
    • Client is offering payment outside of Upwork
    • Client is asking for free work
    • Client is misrepresenting their identity
    • Person is attempting to buy or use my Upwork account
    • Job post looks like a scam or contains a suspicious link
    • Job post contains contact information
    • Job post is illegal or unethical
    • Job post is unclear or incomplete
    • This is a freelancer ad, not a job post
    • It's something else
  • Choose Submit
Freelancer Portfolios:

Report freelancer portfolio

  • Flag any portfolio item you see that contains violations of our policy, including confidential materials or copyright infringements.
    • Choose Report on the portfolio item.
    • Select a reason you think the profile is suspicious
    • This contains contact information
    • This contains confidential material
    • This contains a copyright violation
    • This content is inappropriate for Upwork
    • Something else
  • Choose Submit
Freelancer Profiles:

Report a freelancer profile on Upwork

  • Flag any profile you see that contains violations of our identity policy, including fake names, logos as portraits, and duplicate accounts.
  • Choose the (…) options menu on the freelancer's profile
  • Choose Flag as inappropriate
  • Select a reason you think the profile is suspicious
    • Person is requesting payment outside of Upwork
    • Person is attempting to buy or use my Upwork account
    • Person in the profile is not the person working on Upwork
    • Profile looks fake or contains stolen/plagiarized content
    • Profile contains contact information
    • Something else
  • Choose Submit
Projects in Project Catalog:

Report a Project Catalog project on Upwork

  • Flag any project you see that contains violations of our Terms of Service, including our Terms of Use, including confidential materials or copyright infringements, or offering services that aren’t allowed on the platform.
  • Choose the flag by Report this project to submit a report
  • Select a reason why you think the project is suspicious
    • This contains contact information
    • This contains confidential material
    • This contains a copyright violation
    • This content is inappropriate for Upwork
    • This project template is plagiarized
    • Something else
  • Choose Submit
Freelancer Proposals:
  • Select the (...) options menu and choose Flag as inappropriate
  • Select a reason why your think the proposal is inappropriate
    • Person is requesting payment outside of Upwork
    • Person is attempting to buy or use my Upwork account
    • Person in the profile is not the person working on Upwork
    • Profile looks fake or contains stolen/plagiarized content
    • Profile contains contact information
    • Something else
  • Choose Submit
Upwork Messages:

Report a message on Upwork

  • Hover over the message that you need to report, and an options menu (…) will appear
  • Select the (…) options menu and choose Report message
  • Select a reason you think the message is inappropriate. This person:
    • Asked me to spend money to submit a proposal, like purchasing gift cards, background checks, or equipment
    • Asked me to share my contact information such as an email address or phone number before starting a contract
    • Asked me to accept a payment upfront or outside Upwork
    • Wants to purchase my Upwork account
    • Is misrepresenting their skills or skill level
    • Sent a suspicious link or something that looks like a scam
    • Sent threatening or abusive messages
    • Something else
  • Choose Submit
Zoom call or meeting within Upwork messages:

Report a Zoom call on Upwork

  • Hover over the message that you need to report, and an options menu (…) will appear
  • Select the (…) options menu and choose Report call
  • Select a reason you think the call was inappropriate. This person:
    • Asked me to spend money to submit a proposal, like purchasing gift cards, background checks, or equipment
    • Asked me to share my contact information such as an email address or phone number before starting a contract
    • Asked me to accept a payment upfront or outside Upwork
    • Wants to purchase my Upwork account
    • Is misrepresenting their skills or skill level
    • Was threatening or abusive
    • Something else
  • Choose Submit

You can also report Marketplace Standards or Terms of Service violations by contacting Upwork Support using the Get Support button on any Help page.

When you contact Upwork Support, please be prepared to provide a clear account of the situation and any proof you have, such as chat transcripts and email messages.


Learn about how we enforce these standards

When we learn of a potential violation of our Marketplace Standards or Terms of Service, we'll do our best to establish the facts. If a violation is found, our response will depend on how serious the issue is and whether you’ve violated the Marketplace Standard before.

These are the three routes we might take:

  1. Provide education—to let you know you've broken a rule. We may also remove content you’ve posted or ask you to make an edit. Otherwise, your account will stay active and you won't need to do anything else other than agree to follow our Terms of Service moving forward.
  2. Give a restriction—to limit your activity on Upwork after you've broken a rule.  Your account will be reactivated when the problem is fixed and you commit to following our Terms of Service in the future.
  3. Implement a block—to permanently stop you from using Upwork. This happens if the offense is very serious or you've repeatedly violated our rules. If your account has been blocked, you won’t be allowed to work on our platform again. Any new accounts you create will be closed.

Your account could also be limited if we suspect fraud may be taking place. In these instances, we might ask you to provide us with more information or complete identity verification to restore your account.

How will I know if Trust & Safety has taken action on my account?

We'll send you an email explaining the situation and what you need to do to resolve it. Replies to that email go straight to the team handling your case. We’ll also alert you with a message banner when you log in.

Note:

Make sure to keep the contact information on your account updated so we can reach out to you.

Should I contact Upwork Support if there's been an action?

You'll get a faster response – typically within 48 hours – and sort the issue out sooner if you reply directly to the email from the Trust & Safety team. For some actions, you can click on the link in the banner and respond to the prompts there to learn more about what happened and get your account resumed without having to reply to our email.

I didn't do anything wrong. Why have you taken action on my account?

The best thing to do is reply to the email we sent. That way our Trust & Safety team can address the issue with all the necessary information.

We may restrict or permanently block your account if we believe fraud or a Terms of Service violation is taking place. When this happens, we’ll email the details to the current email address you have associated with your Upwork account. You’ll also receive a notice when you try to log in. 

If you don’t find an email from us but your account appears to be restricted or blocked, please make sure to check your spam folder. You may also contact Customer Support.

What happens while my Upwork account is suspended?

If your account is restricted, you’ll still be able to log into Upwork and manage and complete any current work. You won’t be able to post jobs, submit proposals, or start new contracts. Your account will be reactivated when the problem is fixed and you commit to following our Terms of Service in the future.

If your account is blocked your contracts will be canceled and you won’t be able to post content or interact with other customers. In some cases, we may prevent you from logging in entirely.

In instances where we believe fraud may be taking place, we’ll prevent you from using your account (in some cases, this may prevent you from logging in or withdrawing funds) until you’ve provided more information or verified your identity. 

You may not open a new account.

I think the freelancer/client I’m working with is restricted or blocked, what should I do?

First and foremost, don’t take the relationship and payments off Upwork. This is both against Upwork’s Terms of Service and opens you up to risk that Upwork can’t protect you from.

If their account is restricted, they’ll be able to resolve the issue themselves. Once it’s fixed, you can continue working with them as normal. 

In the rare instances where their account is blocked, it means they’re no longer able to use Upwork and you may lose access to your message room with them. Remember, we don’t block accounts lightly. When we do, it’s because we believe it’s in the best interest of our marketplace.


Appeal an enforcement action

If you believe we made a mistake, reach out. While it doesn’t guarantee your account will be reinstated, submitting an appeal ensures that we review your account history and the accuracy of our decision.

There are three ways to submit an appeal: 

  • Respond to the email we sent you. This is the fastest way to contact us. 
  • If you can still log into your account, you can also appeal by messaging us from the ticket in your My Requests inbox. 
  • Use the link below.

Note:

If you’re an Enterprise customer, please reach out to us through your account manager or Customer Support to submit an appeal.

FILE AN APPEAL NOW

What happens after I appeal?

Our Trust & Safety team will review your appeal and your account history, then email you with a final decision. We want to be thorough, so please give us at least 48 hours to review and reply back to you.

If we determine that your account will remain permanently blocked, the decision will be final. You cannot appeal the decision again.

Need help logging in?

If your account wasn’t restricted or blocked and you’re still having trouble logging in to Upwork, read our tips for common login issues.

Want to learn more about how we protect and store your personal information?

You can learn more and access the data request form in our Privacy Center.

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