Don't get scammed: Tips for freelancers on Upwork and LinkedIn.
Updated: May 11
A new fraudulent scheme that is spreading across the Internet.
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Be sure to read this article to the end to protect yourself from scams.
If you work remotely or have a small marketing agency that finds clients through a excellent freelance marketplace like Upwork or LinkedIn, despite their popularity and huge source of professionals, these exchanges are the most dangerous because a large number of scammers are concentrated there.
The scam works like this: you get a private message, supposedly from a potential customer whose profile makes them look pretty important. He writes: "You are a good specialist; we are a serious company and want to cooperate with you. To enable you to create a specific promotion strategy for me, and in the future we will begin working together, I will send you an archive containing files containing detailed information about our projects, advertising budgets, and creatives, and you will make an offer based on all of this so that we can discuss prices and begin working". And here lies the tricky part.
At this stage, you have no idea about anything, and you think that this is a cool client who is ready to pay you well for your work. And when he sends you an archive with files in which you have to understand the project in more detail, to open this archive you need to enter the password that he also sends you. And this is done for a reason. He sends you an archive with a password so that your antivirus cannot detect any viruses within it. When you run this file, a whole bunch of Trojan viruses are installed on your computer, which transfer data from your computer to the attacker's computer. They transfer access to your webcam, access to all passwords, and, most importantly, access to your business managers on Facebook.
The scheme works as follows: the attackers automatically configure themselves to become the administrators of your business managers, your pages, and your advertising accounts.
Then, they do everything to block your advertising activity and to simply throw you out of your business manager's office. And the worst part is that they get access not only to all your ad accounts but also to the ad accounts of your clients. And this can number in the hundreds. And the worst part is that you may not even notice it, and your antivirus software may not turn on and show these viruses either.
And in the morning, when you come in and open your advertising office, your laptop, you will see that several hundred or even thousands of dollars of your advertising budget may have been spent on Facebook, and you will have to pay for it.
Another problem is that these viruses are not easy to remove. An antivirus may be able to identify them, but it is very difficult to remove them. So you have to be very, very careful. Thousands of people have already fallen victim to this fraud, and sometimes fraudsters spend tens of thousands of dollars in one or two days.
When you want to write in support of Facebook, you won't be able to do it either, because your advertising activity will already be blocked at that moment. Everything is thought out and done in such a way that you can't do anything, with the goal of making as much money as possible through advertising on other people's and your own accounts.
Therefore, be sure to be careful, and if someone writes to you in private messages and asks to send you some archive that needs to be unzipped because there are some files that you need for work, know that this is most likely a scheme that will not lead you to anything good.
Be careful not to become a victim of fraud, and also share this article so that more people learn about this scheme and no one falls into this terrible and unpleasant trap.