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A cheater on the board - what can be done?
Thread poster: Jana Zajicova
Jana Zajicova  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Member (2007)
English to Czech
+ ...
Oct 23, 2007

Hi all,

I translated something for a member of Proz, the amount several hundreds of EUR (not exactly peanuts). It was a new member without any credentials (actually I think they had one positive evaluation, and a lot of Kudoz activity) but they were very meticulous about POs and everything, so I had little doubts about their trustworthiness.

Well... I contacted them about payment and they never replied. They also deleted their entry from proz.com but it still indexed by Google:
There is no longer--or not yet--a user in this database with that ID.
For other language professionals, go to ProZ.com home page

Is there anything the community can do to warn the others against the cheaters? Perhaps proz.com could track their IP and block another attempt at registration?

As for my money, I'd better write it off right away, right?


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:44
English to German
+ ...
Post a Blue Board entry (plus a new record, if necessary) Oct 23, 2007

Hi Jana,
Sorry to hear about your experience.
On a general note, a ProZ.com profile or even a paid membership don't tell you anything.

If there is a Blue Board record for this outsourcer, please post an entry. If there is no record yet, please enter one, providing as much data as you can.

When you post a BB entry with an LWA level of 1 or 2, the system will automatically prompt you whether you wish to submit a non-payment complaint. This will help moderators take action under the ProZ.com Termination Policy.

Don't hesitate to contact a Jobs/BB moderator (one at a time, please) if you have any further questions.

Best regards,
Ralf


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xxxBrandis
Local time: 20:44
English to German
+ ...
you have these all the time Oct 23, 2007

not only as agencies and employers but also as translators. Lately I have given a small project of 5000 words to a translator and three days back I have recd. it back, time was less and the there were claims, immediately I had assigned this to another group of translators, again the same stuff. I said we can forget any collaboration and forget the payment. I had studied their profiles and initial communication was also very knowledgeable, but the workings were not. This attempt is not to sooth your hurtness, you should really post on the BB and inform the community of a possible danger of an eventual non-payment. Best regards, Brandis

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Ms.Straus  Identity Verified
Slovenia
Local time: 20:44
Member (2007)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
Look for verified identity and credentials Oct 23, 2007

Thank you very much for sharing this!

I had no idea such a thing could happen, especially since you mentioned the user had WWA entries and KudoZ (answers, not only questions, right??). Funny they invested so much into buiding their profile and then disappeared. Quite an elaborate plan I must say I guess this user planned to cheat some translator from the start.

One way of preventing this is to work only with people who have a verified identity and - just in case - verified credentials too (because it means they sent a copy of their diploma to Proz and can therefore be tracked down).

I'm really sorry this happened to you. And again thanks for calling our attention to this risk.


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Ms.Straus  Identity Verified
Slovenia
Local time: 20:44
Member (2007)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
Track them down through WWA!! Oct 23, 2007

Just occurred to me: kindly ask ProZ staff to look up the cheater's profile (it must be somewhere in the archives) and see who gave them the WWA entry. Then contact the outsorcer and try to get some data on the translator they recommended. Use the data to scare the crook

This of course will work only if the WWA entry wasn't a fake too. No, I have no idea if that's in line with ProZ rules on confidentiality


[Edited at 2007-10-23 15:23]


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Marinus Vesseur  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 11:44
English to Dutch
+ ...
How do you know they intentionally cheated? Oct 24, 2007

The person, or company, disappeared. That happens. Company went bankrupt, the person suddenly saw The Light and is preaching God's Kingdom now, or he/she died or is now reading your posting from a wheelchair. We don't know, do we?

It's good to look for help and search for your client, it's not helpful to make bad assumptions permaturely.

Good luck with your search.


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Jana Zajicova  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Member (2007)
English to Czech
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you all. Oct 24, 2007

Thanks for the replies.

Marinus, the person is most certainly not sitting in a wheelchair. She was ignoring my e-mails but she frequently used Skype, albeit as invisible (but if you hover over someone's Skype name, you see when they were last online even if they were invisible).

After opening this thread, I discovered that the cheater has one 5 and four 1 in the LWA record (because of payments that never happened) - it was not easy to find because the cheater changes names. However, I contacted a person who submitted the latest 1 just a few days ago, and she confirmed that we had the dubious pleasure of interacting with the same person.

Well, I know her name, I probably know her address, her phone number but what can I do? It is not an easily accessible jurisdiction for me, and if a translator who lives not far from her is not able to get her money, how would I?

Now something really funny: The cheater had the cheek to contact me yesterday with another urgent translation and a promise that I'd get my money soon. After weeks of ignoring me. When asked why she deleted her Proz account, she claimed that the Blue Board entries are there by mistake, that she is not affiliated with any of the companies (but as I said, I talked with the person who submitted one of the entries) and that the Proz.com staff did not respond to any of her numerous requests to remove them.

Thanks for listening. It's so therapeutic.


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xxxwonita
China
Local time: 15:44
A hard-working cheater Oct 24, 2007

Marinus Vesseur wrote:

The person, or company, disappeared. That happens. Company went bankrupt, the person suddenly saw The Light and is preaching God's Kingdom now, or he/she died or is now reading your posting from a wheelchair. We don't know, do we?

It's good to look for help and search for your client, it's not helpful to make bad assumptions permaturely.

Good luck with your search.


The whole plot was already planned, as early as the cheater started to learn a foreign language...


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:44
English to German
+ ...
ProZ.com staff is aware of this Oct 24, 2007

Hi Jana,
When asked why she deleted her Proz account, she claimed that the Blue Board entries are there by mistake, that she is not affiliated with any of the companies (but as I said, I talked with the person who submitted one of the entries) and that the Proz.com staff did not respond to any of her numerous requests to remove them.

Not true - but the person removed the profile before ProZ.com staff had a chance to respond...

Best regards,
Ralf


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