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Possible scam: report / book translation
Thread poster: Rafa Lombardino

Rafa Lombardino
United States
Local time: 21:22
Member (2005)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Jan 20, 2008

Hello, everybody!

I'd like to warn all of you about a possible scam. A couple of weeks ago I received an email from someone who had a 50-page report / book on health tips that needed to be translated from English into Portuguese. He says he's a Chilean native who has been living in Texas "for a number of years." His English was far from "correct," but I didn't mind it so much at first, since many people who are not in the communications industry don't bother with proper punctuation and grammar on email messages.

The first message was very general, as most messages sent by individuals looking for translations services. I replied with all the specifics in order to educate him about how our industry works (i.e.: word count as crucial for providing a quote, deadline based on word count and output per day, quality assurance, payment options, etc.)

He answered me in the same general manner, this time giving me some more details about himself (disclosing his nationality and current state of residence), requesting that the job be done in three weeks, saying that he really didn't need me to be a native speaker of Portuguese, and mentioning that he and his wife had talked about it and decided to offer $1,000 for my services. Once again, I replied with my information and specifics, saying that I could not accept the offer until I knew the total word count or could see the original material myself, but was available for further negotiation once he sent me more info about the job.

Anyway, I just got his third message, which is identical to the second one. However, this time he says he is "very desperate" to get this material translated and that he and his wife had talked about it and agreed to offer me $800 for my services. I replied his message for the last time saying that, since he's ignoring my professional questions regarding the specifics on his material, I will assume that this is a spam / scam and disregard his future messages. I also let him know that I would warn my colleagues, so that nobody else wastes any more time trying to negotiate with him on this project.

If he's for real, I hope he can understand what I'm saying and reply accordingly. Otherwise, I'll keep on receiving the same message and just mark it as spam and forget about it.

Well, I hope you guys don't get this message. It's very frustrating when you feel like you wasted your time negotiating a project you believed to be real, only to find out it's actually a scam. Even 5 minutes wasted on replying these messages feel like a huge unproductive waste of time. I bet you guys know exactly what I mean!

Take care!

[Edited at 2008-01-20 18:12]

[Edited at 2008-01-20 18:14]

[Edited at 2008-01-21 04:39]


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Andrea Lorca  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 00:22
Member (2004)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Thanks for the warning Jan 21, 2008

Dear Rafa
Thanks for the warning. I know what you mean when people keep wasting your time and not answering your questions as if you didn't write them or they were not important to them. I usually suspect when people offer big translations without any further inquieries about my field of expertise or the translation process.

Andrea


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Elisabete Cunha  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 05:22
Member (2006)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Thanks for letting us know Jan 21, 2008

Thanks, Rafa

I've also had some similar requests and they all seem to have common points:

-really bad English
-lack of details about the project
-always insisting for me to accept without seeing the files

We must always be very careful and try to verify when possible the identity of the outsourcer.


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