I’m a freelancer and sometimes utilize the UPWORK platform for contract jobs. I recently experienced a scammer on the platform working to get my personal information to most likely steal my identity.

The perpetrator responded to my proposal and requested I communicate to his Gmail account. We connected on Google Hangouts and started a text conversation which was supposed to be a 15-20 interview. In the midst of job performance and character questions came a question about my bank name and subsequently a request for my full name, address, dob, email and phone number. This quickly raised my suspicions about his intentions and I ended the session and blocked his account.

Be extremely careful when dealing with people of the internet, even if they are offering a job. And more importantly, know what questions cannot be asked during an interview.

Here are 4 tips for avoiding scammers on the platform:

1. Communication – don’t respond or communicate outside of the platform. There’s video, chat and messaging built-in to the platform.

2. Personal Information – guard it with your life….no one needs your DOB, Email, Phone, Address and Bank Account to make payment. It’s as simple as using Paypal which requires on an Email.

3. Verify – confirm that Upwork has verified the employer and that they’ve done business before.

4. Report Them – be sure to alert the administrators if you feel someone is trying to scam or engage in fraudulent activity.

Internet scammers are extremely savvy and constantly look for ways to exploit innocent people. They explore victims on everything from Social, Emails and Dating sites to Freelance applications. Once they have gained your trust, they will ask you for money, gifts or your banking/credit card details. Always consider the possibility that the approach may be a scam, particularly if the warning signs listed above appear.