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Entering bank info on an agency online questionnaire
Thread poster: Woodstock
Woodstock  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:16
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
Apr 7, 2008

Hi,

I just received an invitation to become a supplier to a translation agency (in a Scandinavian country) via my Proz e-mail address. To qualify you must fill out a very detailed online questionnaire in order to register as a supplier. The questions include the normal ones about experience, fields, language pairs, etc. While the company and website appear to be solid (i.e. legitimate), I have a problem with the section requiring bank information, from A - Z, bank account, number, IBAN No., etc. It rang some serious alarm bells, so I stopped filling out the questionnaire.

Am I being paranoid or what do my colleagues think of posting this kind of information on a website? Yes, it is on your own account page, so theoretically no one else has access to it, but I still have strong reservations about it, mainly because I have no idea what kind of security measures are in place.

Thanks for your input in advance.


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nordiste  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 12:16
Member (2005)
English to French
+ ...
not on a first contact - wait for a real job assignment Apr 7, 2008

Usually I don't fill these details on a first contact. Insead I try to write something in the line "to be given after first job", or I let it blank, or fill with 11111111111 .

The reason is that you don't know how long the questionnaire will stay silent in their database, maybe when they contact me some years later I have changed my account, so I am sure to update it and give the right details when required.


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Thorson
Local time: 12:16
Danish to English
that's good advice Apr 7, 2008

nordiste wrote:

Usually I don't fill these details on a first contact. Insead I try to write something in the line "to be given after first job", or I let it blank, or fill with 11111111111 .

The reason is that you don't know how long the questionnaire will stay silent in their database, maybe when they contact me some years later I have changed my account, so I am sure to update it and give the right details when required.



That's good advice. They don't need it until they're ready to pay you anyway.


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Daniel Bird  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:16
German to English
Broadly agree with the above Apr 7, 2008

Bank info is surely not required until you submit your first invoice and in any case, does nothing to establish or reinforce one's bona fides.

BTW I've sometimes wondered why so many German firms print their bank details on their letterheads (or letter-foots) and how many have been taken to the cleaners as a result of this sharing approach. Perhaps there was a time in the now distant past when there was some kudos attached to having a bank account.

DB


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Clare Barnes  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 12:16
Swedish to English
+ ...
food for thought... Apr 7, 2008

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/7174760.stm tells the story of what could happen to you if your bank details become public knowledge.

/Clare


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John Cutler  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:16
Spanish to English
+ ...
Trust your common sense. Apr 7, 2008

I agree with the posters above. No one needs your bank info until they're ready to put some money in it!

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Woodstock  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:16
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Apr 7, 2008

Thank you all for your comments, and I will take your (collective) advice. As it turns out, the company in question is well-known and reputable, and responded promptly when I e-mailed my reservations. They are even having their accounting person send me details on the security for their system, which has been in use for five years without incident. Now that is what I call professional, and I think I will be quite happy working with them.

However, it is never a mistake to get second, third, fourth, etc. opinions from colleagues!

Cheers

Woodstock


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Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:16
Spanish to English
+ ...
Good advice Apr 7, 2008

nordiste wrote:

Usually I don't fill these details on a first contact. Insead I try to write something in the line "to be given after first job"



This is my longtime policy regarding several types of information, including my fax number.


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:16
English to German
+ ...
No problem with a German bank account Apr 8, 2008

Hi Woodstock,
Assuming you have a German bank account, there should be no problem, provided you keep an eye on your statements. Direct debits can be reversed within six weeks.

Best regards,
Ralf


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