Mobile menu

How to stop an ex-colleague nabbing my clients
Thread poster: Anne Spence
Anne Spence
Local time: 02:21
French to English
+ ...
Oct 5, 2006

Please help!

I used to have a shared profile on Proz with another translator. We worked together on some translations for a few months. After a while she proved to be unreliable, so I stopped working with her.

I have recently found out that she has been replying to emails addressed to me (sent to our old shared work email) and has been accepting translations by pretending to be me. Thankfully, one of my old clients brought this issue to light, and says she'll pay me for the translation and disregard my ex-colleague's one. (She has proof that i'm telling the truth.)

I no longer have access to our old shared work email account, but I am able to contact my old clients to warn them.

Any ideas how to tackle this girl? My monther tongue is English, but English is only this girl's 3rd language, and thus she doesn't have the same level as me. I'm worried that my reputation with these old clients will be damaged if she continues to send substandard work off pretending to be me. Help!!!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:21
Italian to English
+ ...
contact all your old clients Oct 5, 2006

I suggest you contact all your clients who used the shared email address, telling them that you no longer use it and that for translations into English they should now use your new address.
You can also warn them that any emails they receive from the old address do not originate from you.

I'd avoid being more specific to make sure you don't risk creating any legal problems for yourself with your old colleague.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Terry Richards
France
Local time: 03:21
French to English
+ ...
Keep it professional Oct 5, 2006

Send your customers an e-mail saying that you are no longer working with X and your new e-mail is xxx@yyyy.

Do not say anything about X (positive or negative), just a simple statement of fact.

It is OK to add some little newsy item about yourself ("I am now offering translations from Breton to Hindi").

Terry.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Heather Chinchilla
United States
Local time: 22:21
Spanish to English
+ ...
Ask for help Oct 5, 2006

Hi Anne, what a difficult situation! It's good that you're contacting your clients to warn them. I'd also try contacting a ProZ.com moderator for help and/or suggestions. I'd contact your ISP and warn them about the fraudulent activity, and depending on the amount of clients and size of the projects, I'd consider contacting a lawyer. I also wonder if there's a professional way to put a warning on your profile/web page. Good luck to you in resolving this!

Direct link Reply with quote
 

PAS  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:21
English to Polish
+ ...
Shut down the e-mail account Oct 5, 2006

Provided you "own it", i.e. you registered the account.

That's the first thing I would do, as well as contacting the clients.

Pawel Skalinski


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Anne Spence
Local time: 02:21
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Good advice so far Oct 5, 2006

I've contacted Proz staff about this issue and asked them if they can help me with this issue.

I've also contacted two of my main clients. Thankfully they believe me.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Anne Spence
Local time: 02:21
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Is that legal? Oct 5, 2006

PAS wrote:

Provided you "own it", i.e. you registered the account.

That's the first thing I would do, as well as contacting the clients.

Pawel Skalinski


I'm not sure if I can do that, seeing as it was a joint account. I agreed to her changing the password and keeping the account, (I have another full-time job now, but continue with translations on a part-time basis from a separate account) as I understood that she didn't want to confuse clients by changing her address. I obviously didn't expect her to start impersonating me and stealing translations which were offered to me!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

PAS  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:21
English to Polish
+ ...
Maybe not illegal, but probably impossible. Oct 5, 2006

If the password has been changed, then you probably cannot delete the account without it.

As to the legality, I have no idea...
I don't know about actual "ownership" of e-mail accounts.
You did not say in your first post about handing over the account to your ex-colleague.
Besides, why are you worried about legality if she is impersonating you? That's illegal.

Pawel Skalinski

[Edited at 2006-10-05 14:12]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Michele Johnson  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:21
German to English
+ ...
Neutral email to clients + confront former partner? Oct 5, 2006

I agree with my colleagues about notifying your clients that you can now be reached under a new address.

Instead of holding out hopes that the proz.com moderators can somehow intervene, I would be inclined to confront this person personally. She should know that you are aware of this deception, how unethical (if not illegal) it is, and that you will pursue legal channels if it continues. She doesn't need to know how you have this information, i.e. you don't have to reveal who "ratted" on her. I'd get on the phone or send a registered letter and be confident, assertive, and succinct.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
xxxLia Fail  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:21
Spanish to English
+ ...
Similar situation to deal with today! Oct 5, 2006

Hi Anne

As it happens I had a similar although not so disagreeable situation to deal with today, essentially centred on working with someone else and not feeling too happy about it, yet finding myself in a situation where I couldn't see a way to terminate an unsatisfactory working relationship.

I wrote to the client and without blaming anybody in any way, merely described a new way of working with them that left them free to make their own decisions.

I was subconsciously worried today about this issue (and have been for months), which is how you must be feeling. I suppose the only solution is a stiff upper lip and to put a professional face on things, let the clients draw their own conclusions ... and hope for the best:-)


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Anne Spence
Local time: 02:21
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Take action sooner rather than later! Oct 6, 2006

Lia Fail wrote:

Hi Anne

As it happens I had a similar although not so disagreeable situation to deal with today, essentially centred on working with someone else and not feeling too happy about it, yet finding myself in a situation where I couldn't see a way to terminate an unsatisfactory working relationship.

I wrote to the client and without blaming anybody in any way, merely described a new way of working with them that left them free to make their own decisions.

I was subconsciously worried today about this issue (and have been for months), which is how you must be feeling. I suppose the only solution is a stiff upper lip and to put a professional face on things, let the clients draw their own conclusions ... and hope for the best:-)


Dear Lia,

I hope you've managed to sort out your problem. You can see what happens when things go horribly wrong! I really hope you won't find yourself in my situation.

Good luck!

PS I know I shouldn't blame anyone when I contact my clients as it is likely to look unprofessional, but it's really bothering me that this fraudster is going to get away with it scot free


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Jo Macdonald  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:21
Member (2005)
Italian to English
+ ...
Agreeing to give profile to ex colleague or identity theft? Oct 6, 2006

Hi Anne, this is the way I see it:

- I have recently found out that she has been replying to emails addressed to me (sent to our old shared work email)
If these mails don’t specify they are for Anne and/or are for an e-mail address that’s for a shared profile even if it’s Anne@proz.etc imo she has every right to answer them just as much as you do, especially as you agreed to her using and having control over the profile. Actually in that case she has more right than you to answer them. You should have deleted the profile if it wasn’t representative. Also, any clients who contact you at that profile are contacting both so either can answer and do the job.

However if someone is pretending to be you this is serious and illegal and could even be considered identity theft which as far as I know is a criminal offence and one you can go to jail for in many countries.

- I no longer have access to our old shared work email account,
Because it’s no longer yours, it’s hers. Because you don’t have access doesn’t mean that your ex partner can’t use it to do jobs that are offered through it.
Ok inform your clients, but I agree with not saying anything negative or which could be considered defamatory about your colleague, also in this forum or anywhere else.

- Any ideas how to tackle this girl? My mother tongue is English, but English is only this girl's 3rd language, and thus she doesn't have the same level as me.
That’s just your opinion unfortunately, although I’d tend to agree that in general and in most cases someone who knows the lingo can’t compete with a mother-tongue pro, but it’s not a fact unless you can prove it.

- I'm worried that my reputation with these old clients will be damaged if she continues to send substandard work off pretending to be me. Help!!!
It’s your responsibility to delete your participation in a shared profile and any mail address you no longer use. If you agreed to give this profile to your colleague it’s hers now.

But if she is impersonating you, pretending to be you, presenting documents in your name (and I mean in just your name and not in the name of a team or company or a pair of translators of which she is or was part even if you no longer are), and you have documented proof of that, I would definitely threaten and if necessary take legal action.

Good luck.
Jo


[Edited at 2006-10-06 11:21]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Anne Spence
Local time: 02:21
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Job was offered to me not her. Oct 6, 2006

Jo Macdonald wrote:


Hi Anne, this is the way I see it:

- I have recently found out that she has been replying to emails addressed to me (sent to our old shared work email)
If these mails don’t specify they are for Anne and/or are for an e-mail address that’s for a shared profile even if it’s Anne@proz.etc imo she has every right to answer them just as much as you do, especially as you agreed to her using and having control over the profile. Actually in that case she has more right than you to answer them. You should have deleted the profile if it wasn’t representative. Also, any clients who contact you at that profile are contacting both so either can answer and do the job.

However if someone is pretending to be you this is serious and illegal and could even be considered identity theft which as far as I know is a criminal offence and one you can go to jail for in many countries.

- I no longer have access to our old shared work email account,
Because it’s no longer yours, it’s hers. Because you don’t have access doesn’t mean that your ex partner can’t use it to do jobs that are offered through it.
Ok inform your clients, but I agree with not saying anything negative or which could be considered defamatory about your colleague, also in this forum or anywhere else.

- Any ideas how to tackle this girl? My mother tongue is English, but English is only this girl's 3rd language, and thus she doesn't have the same level as me.
That’s just your opinion unfortunately, although I’d tend to agree that in general and in most cases someone who knows the lingo can’t compete with a mother-tongue pro, but it’s not a fact unless you can prove it.

- I'm worried that my reputation with these old clients will be damaged if she continues to send substandard work off pretending to be me. Help!!!
It’s your responsibility to delete your participation in a shared profile and any mail address you no longer use. If you agreed to give this profile to your colleague it’s hers now.

But if she is impersonating you, pretending to be you, presenting documents in your name (and I mean in just your name and not in the name of a team or company or a pair of translators of which she is or was part even if you no longer are), and you have documented proof of that, I would definitely threaten and if necessary take legal action.

Good luck.
Jo


[Edited at 2006-10-06 11:21]




Dear Jo,

These were jobs offered to me by a client that I had done work for in the past. My ex-colleague had never worked for this client. She replied to the email (addressed to me in my name) pretending to be me. The client has sent me proof of at least one email. In this email the colleague even goes as far as to ask for the payment of the translation to be made to HER bank account!

PS. I deleted my part of the profile a few months ago, but couldn't change the username, so both our names still come up. I've contacted the website moderators asking them to remove the shared profile seeing as we both have our own individual ones.

Hope this clarifies the situation.

[Edited at 2006-10-06 12:46]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Anne Spence
Local time: 02:21
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Problem almost sorted (I hope) Oct 10, 2006

Thanks to all for you for your time and advice. Here's an update:

I've managed to get the joint profile removed from the website. I've also contacted my old clients who may have been affected by this.

It also looks unlikely that my ex colleague will get paid for the most recent translation that she did under false pretences. She is now aware that I know what she's been doing.


Direct link Reply with quote
 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

How to stop an ex-colleague nabbing my clients

Advanced search


Translation news





WordFinder
The words you want Anywhere, Anytime

WordFinder is the market's fastest and easiest way of finding the right word, term, translation or synonym in one or more dictionaries. In our assortment you can choose among more than 120 dictionaries in 15 languages from leading publishers.

More info »
SDL MultiTerm 2017
Guarantee a unified, consistent and high-quality translation with terminology software by the industry leaders.

SDL MultiTerm 2017 allows translators to create one central location to store and manage multilingual terminology, and with SDL MultiTerm Extract 2017 you can automatically create term lists from your existing documentation to save time.

More info »



All of ProZ.com
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs