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Pay to Verify PayPal account?
Thread poster: Jenn Mercer

Jenn Mercer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:55
Member (2009)
French to English
Sep 8, 2009

I recently signed up with a translation agency who had posted an ad on ProZ. They mentioned that there would be a test to determine "expert status" which I can accept as part of the cost of doing business. However, now that I have registered, they are also asking for a $1 fee to be paid through paypal to verify my paypal account. I have used paypal with a variety of clients both for translation and other work and have never been asked to verify my account by paying a sum.

My first thought was that this was a scam, but the company seems to have a good track record. In reality, the time spent taking the test will cost me more than the $1 through paypal, but I imagine a company could make a good profit by asking $1 from all translators in its database.

Has anyone seen a similar request before? Has anyone done this and later been happy with the results of working with such a company? I have paid far more for advertising/marketing efforts, but this is giving me a bad feeling.

Thanks,

Jenn


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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:55
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
The other way around, right? Sep 8, 2009

If you are going to work for them, they will have to pay you in the future. The direction of the money will go from them to you. If any sort of verification is required, that should be in that direction.
They should be paying you that $1.00, to see if their payments would arrive to your account. Nothing else makes sense.

Katalin


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Howard Cooper
Local time: 03:55
French to English
No experience of that with an agent, but... Sep 8, 2009

I cannot speak about giving an agent $1 to verify a paypal account, but I personally had to do something like that with Paypal itself. Basically Paypal paid a few cents into my account in order to verify it. But that was only a few cents. Why a dollar? Are they charging you for the time it takes to do it?

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Jocelyne S  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 09:55
Member
French to English
+ ...
Odd indeed Sep 8, 2009

I don't accept PayPal payments, but I do find it odd that a customer would ask you to pay them to verify your ID. Can you ask them for further explanation?

There is a way to have your account verified through PayPal during which PP debits 1.50€ from your bank account and then re-credits it to your PayPal account when you enter a code they send you. (I clicked the wrong button on my PP account and this was done automatically. I now have a 1.50€ credit on my PP account and no longer use the account for anything! Sorry for the slight digression - PP is a current source of annoyance.)

Anyhow, could your customer actually just want you to have a verified PP account? If so, it would make more sense to tell them that you'll have the account verified yourself, so that you'll at least get the money back (even if it's only a dollar!).

Good luck!
Jocelyne


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Stanislaw Czech, MCIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:55
Member (2006)
English to Polish
+ ...
Well if they find a few hundread applicant... Sep 8, 2009

IMHO even if it is a real test, a penny would be absolutely enough.

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Jenn Mercer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:55
Member (2009)
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
Agreed and thanks for input Sep 8, 2009

Howard and Jocelyne,
They do mean for me to pay them, as the link provided says "pay now." I had my account verified by paypal years ago so I am familiar with their procedure.

Stanislaw,

Absolutely, a penny would do and it would be much more believable as a test instead of an income generating mechanism.

Katalin,
Exactly! Now if they want to pay me a dollar to make sure the system is working, I would be a-ok with this.

Thanks everyone for taking the time to give me your input. I think this is one of those situations when I *knew* the right answer, but still could not believe the question.

Best Regards,

Jenn


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Anders Warnqvist  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 09:55
English to Swedish
+ ...
Answer to the mystery? Sep 8, 2009

If they do tell you why they have this odd procedure, would you mind sharing with us in this thread?

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Jenn Mercer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:55
Member (2009)
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
Certainly Sep 8, 2009

I will report back on this thread if I learn anything of substance.

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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 06:55
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Who "is" they? Sep 8, 2009

PayPal does ask you to pay them (PayPal) some nominal amount to verify your account there. It may be from your bank or your credit card. The reason is that this enables them (PayPal) to get a four-digit code printed on your (bank/card) statement. When you enter that code on your PayPal record, it means that you are really getting that (credit card/bank) statement, so it is actually yours.

The reason for PayPal to have your account verified is for them to have some account to charge if anything goes wrong. Imagine this: You sell something on eBay, the buyer pays via PayPal, you fail to deliver, and the buyer proves it. So PayPal backdrafts the money to that buyer. If you have already withdrawn the money from PayPal, where will they charge it? Your bank account or credit card.

I can give you an example. I transfer my PayPal funds to my bank account in Brazil via Xoom. Once I miscalculated Xoom's fee, so I made an overdraft from PayPal. They charged that amount to my credit card.

After your account is verified, they'll credit that nominal amount to your PayPal account.


On the other hand, the agency has no business in verifying your PayPal (or any other) account. If you provide them with a nonfunctional account to get your payment, that's your problem, not the agency's.


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Jenn Mercer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:55
Member (2009)
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
The "they" in question Sep 8, 2009

My account has been verified by PayPal as in your example.

The "they" in this case is the translation agency, who, as you point out so well, has no business verifying my account. I have sent a complaint to ProZ, but I am beginning to wonder if I should send one to PayPal as well.


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 06:55
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Unprepared businesspeople Sep 8, 2009

Then they don't know what PayPal is all about, and are groping in the dark. Chances are you won't get paid for your work, not because they are dishonest, but because they just don't know how they should do it in any other way than sending a guy on a motorcycle carrying cash to your place.

Some serious outsourcers ask me to request money via PayPal to spare them from checking and double-checking for typos on every payment they make. This kind usually pays within one hour from delivery, they seem to abhor wasting time.


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Geraldine Oudin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Japanese to French
+ ...
Same here...x3 ??? Sep 9, 2009

I have received the same offer via Proz and was about to post a thread.

I have created a profile WITHOUT paying the 1 EUR (which means I cannot actually work for them), thinking it's always good to have as many links to my website as possible on the net (and because at the begining it looked like it was going to be free).

Within an hour, I have received two more offers of similar companies which operate on the same system : they all accept free registration but you have to pay 1EUR via paypal to actually start working with them. The funniest thing is that they claim they will not give your email address to anyone...either it is a lie, or it is the same entity earning a profit through all those sites.

Of course, I have not created a profile at those and have asked to be deleted from the first one.

The registration process looked quite serious at first (all those questions about your specialties, tools, a section on ethicsand so on and so forth), but it seems to me like no one will ever receive any real translation offer through those companies. I might be wrong, but...

I also didn't like the fact that the process is not straightforward : you find out that you have to pay something at the very end of a time consuming process.


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xxxPaul Daubreu
Local time: 09:55
French to German
+ ...
PayPal procedure Sep 9, 2009

The PayPal procedure is clearly the one José described. Anything else would call me for caution, as I would at least ask the outsourcer for the reasons behind their internal (?) procedure.

My PayPal account has been checked by PP, there is a special address I use for paying and getting paid through this system. Period.



[Edited at 2009-09-09 05:55 GMT]


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avsie  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:55
English to French
+ ...
Nice scheme to earn money Sep 9, 2009

Get hundreds of translators to sign up and pay you 1$, promising them work. Afterwards, just run away with the money because there's no work to give the translators anyway

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Mira Stepanovic  Identity Verified
Serbia
Local time: 09:55
English to Serbian
+ ...
Ask them Sep 9, 2009

politely to pay you 1$ through your PayPal account and promise that you will send it back to them immediately upon receipt

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