Did someone ask to make a payment outside Upwork?

Getting paid outside Upwork is dangerous and against our Terms of Service. Help us keep Upwork safe by reporting it.

Report Circumvention

Telegram, my client wants to contact me through Telegram, Whatsapp, give my Whatsapp number

When a client and freelancer meet through Upwork but try to continue their relationship elsewhere, we call it circumvention. The most obvious example is trying to pay or get paid outside Upwork, but it also includes people trying to contact you outside the platform, such as through Telegram, Whatsapp, etc.

We consider circumvention a serious breach of our Terms of Service for several reasons.

First, it can hurt you

  • Taking work or payments outside of Upwork can be an easy way to get involved in a scam. For example, freelancers put themselves at risk of not getting paid, getting paid in a fraudulent manner (e.g., fake checks), etc.
  • Moving outside of Upwork means you no longer have the security of Upwork’s Trust and Safety programs, including payment protection
  • Breaking our Terms of Service by circumventing forces us to permanently close your Upwork account, meaning you can no longer use Upwork for any work

Second, it hurts our business

  • We can't keep running our marketplace without the fee we get when clients pay freelancers.

What should I say if someone asks me to move payments off of Upwork?

Let them know it’s against our Terms of Service and doing so will mean that neither of you will have valuable safeguards that are included when you use Upwork. These include payment protection and help if a dispute arises.

Sample replies:

  • Unfortunately, if we move payments off of Upwork, we both lose some really important payment protections and support from Upwork. It's also against Upwork's Terms of Service and doing so could result in our Upwork accounts being permanently closed, meaning we wouldn't be able to use the site to find work or get work done.

  • I want to be able to use Upwork for other contracts and work in the future. If we take payments off Upwork we are violating their Terms of Service. This means we could both permanently lose access to Upwork.

What should I say if someone asks to reach me outside of Upwork?

The person you’ve met on Upwork may not realize that contact information sharing isn’t always allowed. You can tell them our Terms of Service prohibits you from sharing your contact information before a contract is in place. Learn more about what contact information can and cannot be shared, and when, here.

Sample replies:

  • Let’s keep our conversations regarding the project on Upwork. It will be easier for both of us to keep track of what we’ve agreed to if we have a single point of reference for our discussions.

  • Let’s keep our conversations here. That way if either of us has an issue we need Upwork to assist with it will be easier for them to provide support.

  • Hi! I’m excited to work together and I’m happy to share my contact information once we have a contract in place as outlined in Upwork’s Terms of Service


Frequently Asked Questions

Is asking to be paid outside of Upwork a violation?

Yes, even if the person who requests it doesn't go through with it.

Is there a way to move contracts off Upwork without violating the Terms of Service?

Yes, you can pay the Upwork Conversion Fee. Once the conversion fee has been paid, we'll let you know that you're both OK to work together off of our platform. Learn more here

What do I do if someone asks to pay me, or get paid, outside Upwork?

Just let them know you'll have to decline since it's against our rules. Please also report it to us.

Report Circumvention

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