Literally the same issue for me but mine is a little different...

I am a freelance software developer and i freelance on upwork and other freelancing platforms.

Literally one of the first proposal i put out for a job and they reply to me for recruiting me for employment.

NOTE: this is literally the first reply from any of my proposals and i am high school graduate.

And they ask me to join them on telegram for an interview so i join them, then they tell me to hand in my CV and i should come back in the morning for the interview and i do exactly that.

On the interview they ask me what job am i interviewing for, meaning that they have multiple roles and positions for people who freelance for them, so i thought to myself why would they have so many roles vacant, and then i thought maybe it's a new business that planned to be totally online which i thought was a pretty cool thing, so i continued with the interview.

They started to ask me questions, now the questions they asked weren't even questions you would ask a software developer, they were questions that MacDonald's would ask you... It was as if they Googled the most generic interview questions ever...

So i passed the questions as expected, and they told me that the job was available for me and that they will send an employment confirmation agreement, they later sent it and i read the agreement and it sounded reasonable fair pay fair work.

The following morning i had another meeting with them and they told that i need to send things like my photo, ID and proof of residence, and later i sent my bank details for the payroll, and after that they told that they will be sending all the equipments i would need to start working and this the point where red flags started to pop off...

They told me that the equipment would be $2796 and that i would have to pay 10% which means i would pay $279.6 and they will reimburse when my training starts if they are going to reimburse as soon as my training starts why do i need to pay a deposit then... and that i wont be purchasing the equipment myself they will be and they will purchase it from they "private vendor" and they elaborated it in so much detail as if they were trying ensure me that everything was going to be alright without me even asking.

And then i asked them to substitute it from my payroll and they said they cant why you may ask?! I don't know they gave me some BS reason... And this was the final straw, i asked "why don't i use my own equipment" and they told me they cant and they gave me another BS reason and that's when i called it off...

It seemed way to fishy and i was really bumbled out cuz i was going to use that money i would gain from the job and i would invest it to my startups and other projects...

  • 8
    Scam. Money flows from employer to employee, not the other way.
    – jcm
    Commented Feb 17, 2022 at 11:25
  • 1
    The title says it all, no need for any other information... Q. How to know when it's a scam? A. When employer asks for deposit.
    – musefan
    Commented Feb 17, 2022 at 11:47
  • I say go with your gut instinct and don't send it over. I would just continue with the job search.
    – Dan
    Commented Feb 17, 2022 at 14:32
  • 3
    You know the answer to this, don't you. Commented Feb 17, 2022 at 15:16

1 Answer 1


If you're a freelance software developer, you generally provide your own equipment. So it's fishy to begin with.

Good job for spotting the scam.

It's likely your identity will be used to conduct scams on other people.

I recommend you immediately report this instance to the police. They may be completely disinterested in investigating, but if there any complications in the future you have a police report showing that you believe somebody stole your identity.

If you are in the US, you should immediately contact your bank as, for some reason, apparently the account number is all that is needed to withdraw funds. You should be clear about what information you handed over to the scammer. They may use the identity documents you provided to them to gain access to your account.

Going forward, to spot scams it's simple, if they ask for any amount of money, from a million dollars down to a single cent, it's a scam. It's possible that it's not a scam, just a company that can't afford to cover basic costs, which may as well be a scam.

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