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Unsolicited bulk email - "Medialocate"
Thread poster: Ildiko Santana

Ildiko Santana  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:24
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...

MODERATOR
Nov 10, 2003

I recently received a piece of spam from medialocate-usa.com asking me to apply for the opportunity to test some new software. This whole situation stinks for several reasons.
First, spam is NEVER justified. Just because I am in the translation business does not constitute permission to send me unsolicited bulk email.
Second (and more important), they are asking for information that they have no business needing. Specifically, my driver's license number and my social security number. This is exactly the information needed for identity theft.
Finally, according to my network administrator, the medialocate-usa.com mail server is configured incorrectly. Specifically, it includes an illegal character (underscore) in the domain name used in the helo/ehlo command. When trying to view their alleged "home page," I ended up on a maximized page that does not give me an option to exit, and it tried to force me to download something (seemingly Japanese fonts). I've never found out what exactly was there - I graciously hit ALT+CTRL+DEL at that point...


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Alexandru Pojoga
Romania
Local time: 09:24
Japanese to English
+ ...
Social Security Number? So 80's... Nov 10, 2003

ildiko wrote:

Specifically, my driver's license number and my social security number.


Are they kidding?


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Lins
Local time: 23:24
English
Medialocate USA Response Nov 11, 2003

As the CEO of Medialocate USA, Inc. I wanted to respond to your somewhat accusatory email.

1. I am sorry my company contacted you regarding this testing opportunity. We do not use spam mail, but do occasionally take advantage of listings with ProZ, the ATA, [...], etc. in order to expand our pool of translators. In your particular case, we had contacted 4 Hungarian linguists at the same time - this hardly qualifies as bulk mail, let alone spam. If you do not wish to be contacted, I recommend you do not disclose your contact information to these types of organizations.

2. Regarding this testing assignment specifically, yes, the security requirements were indeed stringent, but requested by our customer, who happens to be the world's leading supplier of networking equipment. As was clearly disclosed to all candidates who participated, a third party background check company routinely performs these types of security checks on all resources who work at this particular client's premises. Our client and its affiliated background check company are well known and very reputable and contact information was readily available for verification. In fact, 17 different linguists took part in this particular software testing project and secured long term contracts.

3. Our homepage is not "alleged", but real! We do not use any underscore characters in our domain name, nor elsewhere. We also do not trap visitors, nor force them to download Japanese characters.(?!) Please have your IS administrator check your system settings.

BTW: While visiting your website, I was greeted by a very eloquent: "Oh Crap. Hardware Failure". Your server had apparently "committed suicide", losing all hard drives and files. Before you throw rocks at a reputable localization company, perhaps your time and energy are best spent fixing your own shortcomings.


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Ildiko Santana  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:24
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...

MODERATOR
TOPIC STARTER
Public domain vs spam Nov 11, 2003

If you do not wish to be contacted, I recommend you do not disclose your contact information to these types of organizations.


Just because you can come across my e-mail address here or elsewhere does not constitute permission to spam me.

Regarding this testing assignment specifically, yes, the security requirements were indeed stringent, but requested by our customer, who happens to be the world's leading supplier of networking equipment.


Unless this (undisclosed) customer and this (undisclosed) software in particular is for national security, there is no excuse to require the social security number and background check, and even then it should be dependent on a non-disclosure agreement signed by both (or all three) parties involved.

As for your homepage, today it did load (with some pop-ups offering Japanese fonts), so I stand corrected. I am truly sorry that you, on the other hand, seem to have no tolerance towards other Internet users' technical problems.

Sincerely,
Ildiko V-Wentworth
Dublin, CA


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sylver  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:24
English to French
Please Nov 11, 2003

Ok, receiving unsolicited email may be unpleasant, but please, do we need to have a new thread for that?

For little jesus' sake! If just a few of us did the same, Proz servers would go down for real.

Beside, from the looks of it, that company was simply inquiring about services. Sorry, but if you publish your email address as a service provider, how could service inquiries be unsolicited?


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Evert DELOOF-SYS  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 08:24
Member
English to Dutch
+ ...
I'm closing this thread now. Nov 11, 2003

Involved parties may or should take this up in private.

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Eno Damo  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:24
English to Albanian
+ ...
It is illegal to request private information - do not give it Dec 31, 2003

Hey Sylver,

First of all, watch your language, please. If you have no respect for religion don\'t forget that someone else may.

Then, I don\'t know about things in France, but in the States and Canada, no one needs your social security number and driver licence for any legal activity. The government doesn\'t need to ask you for that: it already has it. The others: it\'s none of their business.

My two (or less:-) cents,

Eno Damo


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Claudia Iglesias  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 04:24
Member (2002)
Spanish to French
+ ...
I thought this thread was closed Dec 31, 2003

Anyway, I'd like to tell you something that exists in Chile and that I've never seen in another country.

We're given an ID number, that should be private. It's in our ID and passport. Children are asked to have it for school, you must have one to work...it's not related to social security or taxes. Just identity, but in fact you're asked to give it everywhere.
When we first came here and didn't have it, we were buying our furniture and couldn't be delivered because we didn't have that number, the computer system didn't accept us as clients. With one number you can access all the information about everyone, even criminal record.
Yes, I feel a little bit unconfortable.


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