Is Upwork Legit? Tips To Avoid Getting Scammed (2023)

Like any other freelance marketplace, Upwork also has its fair share of scammers, including clients and freelancers. However, it’s important to note that Upwork is not a scam. While most users have positive reviews about Upwork, some have had bad experiences and written negative reviews online. Those who have had bad experiences and been scammed are usually the ones who don’t know Upwork’s guidelines, rules, and best practices for staying safe. 

To avoid scams, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the platform’s rules and follow their recommended safety measures.

Before we discuss the rules you should know when using Upwork, let me share some more facts and personal experiences to show whether Upwork is a legitimate platform or not.

Here are some solid reasons that prove it is Upwork legit:

  • Upwork has a long history, spanning over two decades.
  • It has become the world’s largest freelance marketplace for valid reasons.
  • It has earned the trust of numerous renowned companies.
  • In my personal experience, Upwork is very good.

About Upwork

Upwork has become the largest platform in the freelancing world, with over 18 million talented freelancers and 5 million clients. If we look at the long history of Upwork from 2013 to upto now, we can say that Upwork is a legitimate platform.

Upwork is an online platform that serves as a freelance marketplace. It connects businesses and clients with freelancers from various fields, such as writing, design, programming, marketing, and more.

How Does Upwork Work

First, we should know what Upwork is and how does it work?

The process of Upwork works is straightforward. Here are the basic steps:

1. Registration

Both clients and freelancers must create an account on Upwork. Clients outline their project requirements, while freelancers showcase their skills and expertise

2. Job Posting

Clients post job listings describing the project details, requirements, budget, and timeframe. Freelancers can browse through these listings to find suitable projects.

3. Proposal Submission

Freelancers can submit Upwork proposals to clients, explaining how they can fulfill the project requirements. They can include their relevant experience, portfolio, and pricing in their proposals.

4. Hiring Process

Clients review the submitted proposals and select the freelancers they believe best fit their project. They can conduct interviews or request additional information before making their decision.

5. Project Execution

Once the client has hired a freelancer, they can communicate and collaborate through Upwork’s messaging system. Freelancers work on the project, provide regular updates, and deliver the final work within the agreed-upon timeframe.

6. Payment and Feedback

Upwork provides a secure payment system. Clients can make payments for the completed work, and freelancers receive their earnings. Both parties can leave feedback and ratings for each other, contributing to their overall reputation on the platform.

Upwork also offers additional features like time tracking, dispute resolution, and the ability to work on long-term projects through its platform. It provides a platform for freelancers to find work opportunities and for clients to access a pool of talented professionals to complete their projects.

Tips to Avoid Scams on Upwork

I will discuss some valuable tips to help you avoid scams on Upwork, whether you’re a client or a freelancer. These tips are essential for both parties to ensure a safe experience:

For Clients

  • Verify Freelancer Profiles

Before hiring a freelancer, thoroughly review their profile, portfolio, work history, and feedback from previous clients. From this, you will know their skills and reliability.

Apart from that, you can see if freelancers have Upwork talent badges like top-rated, rising talent, etc. It is a good indicator to recognize the right freelancer.

  • Communicate Clearly

Communicate your project requirements, expectations, and deadlines to freelancers. For example, if you have a website, then you must tell about that for a better understanding of the project.

  • Use Upwork’s Payment Protection

Utilize Upwork’s payment protection system for secure transactions. Use milestones and escrow services to release funds only when specific project milestones are achieved.

  • Trust Ratings and Reviews

Pay attention to freelancers’ ratings and reviews from previous clients. This feedback can provide insights into their professionalism, communication, and quality of work.

  • Job Success score 

Make sure you review the freelancer’s overall Job success score as well, as it offers an overview of their work history and reputation. It should be 85% or higher.

  • Be Wary of Unrealistic Bids

If a freelancer’s bid seems too good to be true, it probably is. Be cautious of significantly low bids, which may indicate a need for more quality or potential scamming.

  • Never deal outside the Upwork.

One of the main reasons people get scammed is that they try to avoid paying fees by dealing outside of Upwork. Sometimes, freelancers may pressure them into doing this, but it’s important not to do it under any circumstances.

Unfortunately, if you choose to work outside of Upwork, you won’t have the protection of Upwork’s Trust and Safety programs, which include Hourly Payment Protection.

For Freelancers

  • Create a Professional Profile

Build a comprehensive and professional profile that showcases your abilities, experience, and portfolio. This will help you attract genuine clients who are looking for your expertise.

  • Communicate Clearly

Establish clear communication with clients regarding project requirements, deliverables, and timelines. Clarify any doubts or concerns to avoid miscommunication.

  • Use Upwork’s Secure Payment System

Encourage clients to use Upwork’s payment system to ensure safe and timely payments. Discuss and agree upon milestones for payment release.

  • Research Clients

Before accepting a project, research the client’s history and reviews. Ensure the client has verified the payment method and some reviews with an overall rating of 4.8 or above. Trustworthy clients will have a positive reputation on the platform.

  • Protect Your Work

Avoid sharing sensitive or complete work samples upfront. Instead, provide watermarked or partial samples to protect your intellectual property until the project is secured.

By following these tips, both clients and freelancers can significantly lower the risk of falling victim to scams on Upwork. They can also have a positive and secure experience on the platform.


In conclusion, Upwork is a legitimate and reliable platform for freelancers and clients. It offers a secure environment for individuals to connect, collaborate, and find job opportunities. With its trusted reputation and user-friendly interface, Upwork provides a valuable resource for those seeking freelance work or hiring freelancers.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Yes, Upwork is safe and legit. From Upwork, a large number of freelancers from all over the world are earning money by sitting at home.

Fiverr is good for smaller and one-time projects. But Upwork is better for larger and more complex projects. Upwork is also considered more credible than Fiverr.

On Upwork, hourly contracts are based on a weekly billing cycle. Each weekly billing period ends on Sunday, and you can withdraw your funds 10 days later.