Wow, this is a huge scam. I don't care if they're legally right, the way Upwork handled this situation is pathetic. The entire point of sites like Upwork is verification - you don't have to trust Guy X, but you can trust Upwork so go ahead and do business with Guy X. Making you responsible for Guy X's mistakes is very low. You should pitch this to mainstream media I think they might like it

In quest of understanding how humans work.