Is Upwork Legit or Scam? Decoding the Dilemma

upwork logo suspicious maginify glass - Hire Remote Employees in No Time

Start hiring YOUR REMOTE TEAM, Today!

Enter your information below to start a discussion with one of our team members!

    Let's chat :

    If you’re here, it’s likely because you’ve heard about Upwork and wondered whether it’s a legitimate platform. Well, you’re in the right place!

    Upwork is a legitimate platform that connects freelancers with businesses for remote work. It has a vast network of skilled professionals but has some drawbacks, such as payment processing issues and potential scams. Trustpilot rates it 3.6 out of 5 based on over 9,000 reviews.

    There is a lot more to know about Upwork before you make up your mind. So later in this article, we will delve deep into Upwork, exploring its features, how it works, and the challenges you might face. So, buckle up and let’s get started!

    What is Upwork?

    Upwork, as some of you might already know, is one of the largest international marketplaces connecting professionals and businesses for collaborative work.

    It’s open to all freelancers, born from the merger of two other large freelancing platforms, Elance and oDesk, in 2013.

    Whether you’re a graphic designer, a writer, a social media manager, or a virtual assistant, Upwork has a place for you.

    Active ClientsOver 145.4 thousand core active clients
    Registered FreelancersOver 12 million
    Countries RepresentedOver 180
    EmployeesAbout 540
    Skills on UpworkOver 10,000
    Messages Exchanged WeeklyOver 4 million
    Hiring TimeOn average, 3 days

    Here’s a brief timeline of Upwork’s evolution:

    • 2013: Elance and oDesk merged to form a new company.
    • 2015: The company rebrands itself as Upwork.
    • Today: Upwork is a leading platform for freelancers and businesses.

    But what makes Upwork stand out in the crowded marketplace of freelance platforms?

    Why is Upwork Famous?

    Let’s dive into some of the unique aspects of Upwork that have contributed to its popularity:

    1- Diverse Opportunities:- Upwork hosts various job categories, from writing and graphic design to programming and legal services. This diversity makes it a one-stop shop for freelancers with different skills and expertise.

    2- Global Reach:- With its global platform, Upwork allows freelancers to work with clients worldwide. This global reach can expose freelancers to new markets and opportunities.

    3- Secure Payments:- Upwork’s payment protection plan ensures that freelancers get paid for the work they’ve completed according to the contract terms.

    4- Reputation Building:- Through client reviews and ratings, freelancers can build their reputation on Upwork. A strong reputation can attract more clients and higher-paying projects.

    5- Skill Development:- Upwork provides resources and webinars for freelancers to improve their skills and stay updated with industry trends.

    Is Upwork Legit?

    So, the million-dollar question: Is Upwork legit? The answer is a resounding yes.

    While there are bound to be scammers and fake profiles, that doesn’t make Upwork a scam.

    Its platform provides various features and services that protect freelancers and employers from fraud and scams.

    Upwork has been around for years and has established a reputation as a reliable platform for freelancers and businesses.

    Client SpendOver $3 billion in 2022
    Revenue$373.63 million per year
    Net Losses$22.9 million in 2020
    Total Assets$529.23 million at the end of 2020

    It has facilitated millions of jobs and has millions of registered users worldwide.

    It’s a publicly traded company on the NASDAQ, further cementing its legitimacy.

    However, like any platform, it’s not perfect. There are challenges and issues that we will discuss later.

    But Upwork has mechanisms to deal with these issues and ensure a fair and secure user environment.

    Reasons Why Upwork is Legit

    Here are a few reasons why Upwork is considered legit:

    1- Long-standing reputation:- Upwork has been around for years and has a solid reputation in freelancing.

    2- Publicly traded company:- Upwork is a publicly traded company on the NASDAQ, which requires it to adhere to strict financial reporting and regulatory standards.

    3- Millions of users:- Upwork has millions of registered users worldwide, further attesting to its legitimacy.

    4- Secure payments:- Upwork’s Payment Protection feature ensures that freelancers get paid for their work and that clients only pay for work they’re satisfied with.

    5- Customer support:- Upwork has a dedicated customer support team to assist users with issues or queries.

    So, whether you’re looking to kickstart your freelancing career or you’re a business looking for talented professionals, Upwork is worth considering.

    How Does Upwork Work?

    Understanding how Upwork operates is crucial for freelancers looking for opportunities and businesses seeking talent.

    The platform is designed to facilitate a smooth exchange of services for money, with several features in place to ensure a fair and secure process.

    Let’s break it down:

    For Freelancers

    1- Set up your Upwork account:- The first step is to create an account. You’ll need to provide some basic information about yourself and choose between the Basic free plan and the Plus plan, which costs USD 14.99 per month and offers benefits like more Connects (virtual tokens used to submit proposals) and a customized profile URL.

    2- Create your Upwork profile:- This is your chance to showcase your skills and experience to potential clients. A well-crafted profile can significantly increase your chances of landing jobs.

    Include a professional photo, a compelling title and overview, a portfolio of your past work, and details of your skills and expertise.

    3- Choose your mode of payment:- Upwork offers several payment options, including direct deposit to a bank account, PayPal, and wire transfer. Choose the one that’s most convenient for you.

    4- Bid for jobs:- You can start bidding once your profile is set up. Write a persuasive proposal, set your price, and wait for the client’s response. Remember, it’s not just about being the cheapest – clients value quality and reliability too.

    Content Writers Earnings$15 to $80 per hour
    Web Developers Earnings$13 to $324 per hour
    Graphic Designers Earnings$15 to $150 per hour, average rate of $25
    Freelancers Earnings$2.3 billion in 2020

    For Businesses:

    1- Register on Upwork:- The process begins by creating an account for your business. You’ll need to provide basic information about your company and needs.

    2- Post a Job:- Describe the job you need to be done, the skills required, the scope of the work, and other details. A clear and detailed job post can attract more qualified freelancers.

    3- Choose a Freelancer:- Freelancers will start bidding once your job post is live. You can review their proposals, check their profiles, conduct interviews, and hire the best fit for your needs.

    4- Manage the project:- After hiring a freelancer, you can use Upwork’s project management tools to track progress, communicate with the freelancer, share files, etc.

    5- Pay for the work:- Once the job is done to your satisfaction, you can release the payment to the freelancer. Upwork’s payment protection feature ensures your money is secure until you’re happy with the work.

    Fortune 100 Companies HiringOver 30% in 2022
    Client Spend Retention Rate102% in 2022

    Positive and Negative Aspects of Upwork

    Positive Aspects of Upwork

    1- Wide variety of jobs:- Upwork hosts various job categories, making it a hub for freelancers with different skills and expertise. Whether you’re a writer, a graphic designer, a programmer, or a virtual assistant, you’re likely to find a job that suits your skills.

    2- Configurable search settings:- Upwork allows you to tailor your job search according to your preferences. You can filter jobs based on categories, client history, budget, etc. This feature helps you find the jobs that best match your skills and requirements.

    3- In-built collaboration tools:- Upwork provides several tools to facilitate communication and collaboration between freelancers and clients. These include a messaging system, a work diary that records work hours, and a file-sharing system.

    4- Verified freelancer work history:- Upwork verifies freelancers’ work history and feedback. This feature allows clients to review a freelancer’s past work and feedback before hiring them, ensuring trust and reliability.

    5- Dedicated account management support team:- If you run into any issues or queries, Upwork’s support team is there to help. This dedicated support ensures a smooth experience on the platform.

    6- Upwork Payment Protection: This feature ensures that freelancers get paid for all completed projects. It protects hourly and fixed-price contracts, ensuring you get paid for your work.

    Negative Aspects of Upwork

    While Upwork offers many opportunities and features, it has challenges. Like any large-scale platform, it has its share of problem areas.

    Both freelancers and businesses might face issues affecting their experience on the platform. Let’s delve into some of these challenges:

    For Freelancers:

    1- High competition: With millions of freelancers on Upwork, the competition for jobs can be fierce, especially for new freelancers still building their reputation on the platform.

    2- Fake testimonials: Some clients might forge testimonials to appear more trustworthy. It’s essential to be vigilant and do your due diligence before accepting a job.

    3- Ghosting: The client might disappear without paying after completing a job. While Upwork’s Payment Protection can help in such situations, it’s still a challenge freelancers might face.

    4- Payments withheld: Some clients might withhold payment until they approve the work. This can lead to delays in payment, especially if the client takes a long time to review the work.

    For Businesses:

    1- Fake profiles: Some freelancers might create fake profiles to appear more skilled or experienced. Reviewing a freelancer’s past work and feedback before hiring them is crucial.

    2- Complaints on the BBB website: Some freelancers might lodge complaints against your business on the Better Business Bureau website. While this is not directly related to Upwork, it’s a challenge that businesses might face when working with freelancers.

    1. Wide variety of jobsFor Freelancers:
    2. Configurable search settings1. High competition
    3. In-built collaboration tools2. Fake testimonials
    4. Verified freelancer work history3. Ghosting
    5. Dedicated account management support team4. Payments withheld
    6. Upwork Payment Protection5. Fake profiles
     6. Complaints on the BBB website

    How to Ensure Your Safety on Upwork?

    Despite the challenges, there are ways to ensure your safety on Upwork. Both freelancers and businesses can take steps to protect themselves and ensure a smooth and secure experience on the platform.

    Let’s explore some of these safety measures.

    For Freelancers:

    1- Research the client: Before accepting a job, research the client to ensure they’re trustworthy. Look at their job history, feedback from other freelancers, and their verification status on Upwork.

    2- Don’t offer free samples: Some clients might ask for free samples and disappear without paying. It’s advisable to avoid such requests and instead direct potential clients to your portfolio or past work.

    3- Use Upwork’s Payment Protection: Always use Upwork to ensure you get paid. This feature offers protection for both hourly and fixed-price contracts.

    4- Report scams: If you encounter a scam, report it to Upwork immediately. This can help protect other freelancers and maintain the integrity of the platform.

    For Businesses:

    1- Check for plagiarized material: Use tools like Copyscape to ensure that freelancers aren’t submitting plagiarized work. This can help maintain the quality of the work you receive.

    2- Secure your data: Use secure methods to share confidential information with freelancers. Avoid sharing sensitive data until you’ve established trust with the freelancer.

    3- Verify the freelancer’s identity: Use Upwork’s verification features to ensure the freelancer is who they say they are. This can help prevent scams and ensure the reliability of the freelancer.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    To wrap things up, we’ll answer some of the most frequently asked questions about Upwork.

    Whether you’re a freelancer or a business, these answers will provide you with a quick overview of what you need to know about Upwork.

     How does Upwork make money?

    Upwork makes money primarily through service fees. For freelancers, Upwork charges a sliding fee based on the lifetime billings with a specific client.

    This fee ranges from 5% to 20%. For clients, there’s a 3% payment processing and administration fee on all payments to freelancers.

    Is it free to sign up on Upwork?

    Signing up on Upwork as a freelancer or a client is free. However, freelancers can upgrade to a Plus membership for $14.99 monthly, with additional benefits like more Connects and a customized profile URL.

    How long does it take to get hired on Upwork?

    Some freelancers may land their first job within a few days, while others may take weeks or months.

    So basically, It depends on factors like the demand for your skills, the quality of your profile and proposals, and the number of jobs you apply for.

    Can you get scammed on Upwork?

    While Upwork has measures to prevent scams, it’s still possible to encounter them.

    It’s important to be vigilant and follow safety tips like not starting work without a contract, not sharing personal information, and using Upwork’s Payment Protection.

    How do I withdraw money from Upwork?

    You can withdraw money from Upwork through several methods, including direct deposit to your bank account, wire transfer, and Payoneer. The availability of these methods may vary depending on your location.

    Can I trust Upwork?

    Upwork is a legitimate and trusted platform that’s used by millions of freelancers and clients worldwide. However, like any platform, it’s important to use it wisely and take measures to protect yourself.


    Upwork is a legitimate platform that offers many opportunities for freelancers and businesses. It’s a global marketplace that connects professionals with businesses seeking their services.

    Despite the challenges and potential pitfalls, Upwork can be a valuable resource with due diligence and the right approach.

    For freelancers, it’s a platform that can open doors to opportunities. It allows you to work with clients worldwide, build your portfolio, and grow your freelancing career.

    It’s a resource for businesses to tap into a global talent pool, find professionals who fit their needs, and get work done efficiently.

    However, it’s important to approach it with a clear understanding of how the platform works, the potential challenges, and how to navigate them.

    Always research whether you’re a freelancer considering a job offer or a business looking to hire a professional. Use the features and resources provided by Upwork to protect yourself and ensure a smooth experience.

    Remember, Upwork is just a tool. Like any tool, its effectiveness depends on how you use it.

    With the right approach, it can be a powerful resource for freelancing or finding the right talent for your business.

    Start hiring YOUR REMOTE TEAM, Today!

    Enter your information below to start a discussion with one of our team members!

      Let's chat :