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Dodgy Job Offer
Thread poster: Lisa Roberts

Lisa Roberts  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:27
Spanish to English
+ ...
Dec 8, 2006

Last night I received an email from an individual asking whether I would be free to take on a translation - nothing more. Curious, I replied saying it would depend on various factors and could they tell me a little more about it. In response to this, the individual concerned sent me the entire translation pasted into the email - a good 5000 words! Alarm bells ringing, I sent yet another email asking for specific details. In response, I was told that the individual was the manager of an agency in Nigeria (but neglected to tell me the name), offered to pay slightly less than I had proposed, and that no, they did not use Paypal - but would send a cheque. I have not since replied, and think I can safely assume I should steer clear - but I would be grateful to hear what other people think and whether any one else has had a similar experience and how they dealt with it.

Many thanks,


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Lorna Thomson
Local time: 11:27
Spanish to English
VERY DODGY -steer clear!!!! Dec 8, 2006

Lisa -have NOTHING whatsoever to do with this. I was contacted in August (sounds the same thing, tho' he never said he was from an agency) and I was suspicious. I kept putting him off, as other concrete (and safely-paying!!) jobs were coming in....
When I did start to negotiate with this character, I spent a solid week of work on the stuff he had pasted into the e-mail. He took a while to respond when I told him the work was complete, and finally he said he would send a cheque.
This arrived, posted in Nigeria, from a person I had never heard of (??) for more than twice the amount of my invoice....
He then hassled me by phone calls to send his "slice" of the cheque back to him. Alarm bells were now going crazy at my end
After struggling with the bank to sort this out, and waiting for the cheque to clear (ha!!) it transpired that the cheque was probably stolen and so the issuing bank clawed it back out of my account (without so much as a "thankyou" for my honesty in all this mess)
I spoke to the police who were hopeless ("can't prove a crime has been committed") (what about the money that went in and out of my account, then??)

I felt really stupid for being so trusting, but am so glad to be able to issue a DIRE warning to anyone else to run several miles from any job like this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Feel better for sounding off))

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David Brown  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:27
Spanish to English
Dodgy Dec 8, 2006

[quote]Lisa Roberts wrote:

I was told that the individual was the manager of an agency in Nigeria (but neglected to tell me the name)

Unfortunately Nigeria has become infamous for its internet scams. Unless you can verify some details you have done the right thing to ignore it. I have had offers come out of the blue, and before accepting the job usually ask for the name of agency/company then search the internet for more details. Luckily all have been truthful if from Spain, USA and certain other European countries.
Good luck

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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:27
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
I think you do right to steer clear Dec 8, 2006

Hi Lisa,

I think you do right to steer clear. You need to exercise some very healthy caution with unknown individual prospective end clients. In any event, be sure to conclude a formal written contract with them (send them something to sign and return to you), and make sure they are resident in your own country (for the purpose of chasing the debt afterwards). I have also experienced that a higher number of these "enquiries" seems to surface in December than in other months.


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Lisa Roberts  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:27
Spanish to English
+ ...
Lucky Escape Dec 8, 2006

Well, well...seems I've had a lucky escape.

Having received an email from this person just half an hour ago telling me the name (possibly made up?) of the agency and explaining that they 'can't afford the luxury of a web site', I (very politely) replied explaining why I wasn't prepared to take on the translation, and saying that I hoped they understood.

The reply: 'Whatever. I don't understand jack'...charming.

Many thanks Lorna, David and Astrid for your advice - and confirming what I already half-suspected!

Pity we can't name and shame in cases such as these...I doubt I'm the only one to receive this email

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gianfranco  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:27
Member (2001)
English to Italian
+ ...
Contact Support Desk or a Moderator Dec 8, 2006

Dear all,

if you receive these offers through your site profile, although the sender is not logged-in (external visitor), you can contact the Support desk or a Job Moderator, or me, as we can try to do something to bar them from the site.

Apparently this is a strain of scammers targeting specifically translators, and we can expect to see them active contacting other members, but something can be done.

If the offers, instead, arrive directly to your email address, there is nothing we can do from here.

Thank you

[Edited at 2006-12-08 18:19]

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Andrea Quintana  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:27
Member (2004)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Me too Dec 8, 2006

In my case, the message came from the manager of an International hotel in Nigeria. Unfortunately, I deleted it right away, but search for the word "Nigeria" in the forums and get surprised at the results!
Don't let him/them take you in.


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Vito Smolej
Local time: 12:27
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
Nigerian connection at 5k words... Dec 8, 2006

Sigh, they're getting cheaper and cheaper...



[Edited at 2006-12-08 21:43]

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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:27
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Between uhm and ahh Dec 10, 2006

Lisa Roberts wrote:
I was told that the individual was the manager of an agency in Nigeria (but neglected to tell me the name)...

There are no alarm bells ringing to me (yet), but I would like to know who my client is. If a client claims to be an agency, then I want to know what their name is and where I can find their web site to check them out. It is quite possible that the person here simply lacks the appropriate netiquette. Still, I wouldn't waste my time on this one, because if this is how they communicate even the most basic information, then I don't know what would happen if payment is late, or if I have a query about the document itself.

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Clara Duarte  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:27
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Reads familiar... Dec 11, 2006

I have read about this scheme on another ProZ forum a few weeks ago. I can't remember which one, though. If I do come across the topic, I'll post a link here.

Do stay away from these type of job!

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