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Possible scam: "agency" asking translators to buy software from them
Thread poster: xxxTradstitute
xxxTradstitute  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:19
English to French
+ ...
Aug 5, 2008

Dear all,
it is the first time I am writing on this forum to warn you against a new scam (even if I think that most of you are used to them and would not fall for it).

Some days ago, I have received from a firm a mail saying: “We currently have openings for French and Spanish translators if you’re interested, let me know by e-mail as soon as possible”. As I was running out of job, I have replied. Then the “Administrative Manager” asked me to have an interview via Yahoo Messenger. As the chat went by, I was very surprised to see the little interest he showed in my experience. I wanted to know more about our possible collaboration but he remained very vague (regarding the working time, the rates…). BUT to work with them, I definitely needed to buy a Systran software (not at all possible for me to use my regular mainstream program!) which was sold at about $499 on Systran’s website. BUT if I were to collaborate with them, I could have it at $270 only! Although I was finding this a bit strange (I was surprised to learn that Systran had created a translation memory software), I decided to do the test (250 words).

The day after, he announced that I had passed the test (of course) and that I had to be ready to begin work two days after. Therefore I had to buy Systran at a special price of $320 (+ $50 in 2 days!). It was very simple: I just had to send money on his Western Union account situated in Nigeria… Trying to look naive, I have answered and asked why I had to transfer money on a personal account and why we had to use Systran which was not a software using a translation memory. He simply answered to me that he was appearing on the website of the company (a free website…) so that all this was reliable… To have confirmation that it really was a scam (although I was 99% sure) I offered to buy the software directly on Systran's website and asked for a contract proposal. Still got no news...

(I have seen on other forums that they already managed to sell free software to some translators!)

I am really upset with all these scams and I hope that this post can be useful to someone.

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2008-08-06 22:52]

[Edited at 2008-08-07 06:14]

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Alfredo Fernández Martínez  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:19
English to Spanish
+ ...
Key: never transfer money to someone who contacts you Aug 5, 2008

Sometimes, they also offer you some payment, asking you to resend it to someone else.

By doing so, you would be, in fact, accomplice and part of some illegal money-laundering operation to some off-shore tax paradise.

Thanks in any case for the warning!


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Local time: 08:19
Spanish to English
Probably nothing to do with Systran Aug 5, 2008

Nigeria is the tipoff.
Nigeria became the new home to the hoary "Spanish prisoner" mail scams in the 60s, and really took often with its (and numerous variants') migration to the Internet in the late 90s.
I have been using Systran for over 6 years, and have found it generally problem free and a most reliable company to deal with. I am extremely doubtful that Systran is in any way related to this scheme, just as GM is not involved in the various schemes for receiving a new Chevy.

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Alexandra Goldburt
Local time: 06:19
English to Russian
+ ...
Thank you for the warning Aug 6, 2008

As old schemes stop working, they keep inventing newer and newer once... you have to be continuously vigilant!

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Jeff Allen  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:19
Member (2011)
+ ...
Yes, there is embedded based TM module in Systran MT high-end desktop versions Jan 24, 2009

I have just commented on this topic in another post as well.

As for TM within Systran MT, yes it is there, as an embedded module, but not with fuzzy matches with other TM tools. However, it is supposed to support TMX TMs that can be attached and used like dictionaries. Read my post:

The mixing of TM and MT technologies


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xxxTradstitute  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:19
English to French
+ ...
Thank you Jeff Jan 28, 2009

I did not know that Systran offered such MT modules.

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Anca Petrescu  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:19
Partial member (2006)
Italian to Romanian
+ ...
They are still trying... Sep 3, 2009

I've got an email today sent through the online form:
Message from: Earl (

We currently need English to Romanian Translators.If you"re interested
to work with us please contact us by e-mail as soon as possible.
(Use the email address given above to respond to the author)

[IP: (; Country: ]

I asked for the price of Systran and they replied:
I"ll briefly give you details about the job then you canchoose to continue or not.We have a long term project fortranslations and the topicareas are:Business,Medical,Legal,Technical,Humanities,History,Arts,Politics,Economics,I.Te.t,cwe pay about 0.19$ per word source.and we can offer as much as 3000words 4 days in a week depending on how much work you can handle.And because ofthe kind of companies and the kind of project we are doing.We also require thatyou get Systran software(Business version).Even as you start work andwe can send one for you atvery good discount rate or you can get it by your self from a shop close toyou.I"ll be expecting your feedback on this so we an start theprocess.ThanksRegards,DonaldEXCEL TRANSLATION

Watch out for this scam!


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Daniel Grau  Identity Verified
English to Spanish
It's been around for a while Sep 4, 2009

See this thread: .



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