A potential provider (translation agency) asking for a copy of my ID card - what should I do?
Thread poster: Kalinka Hristova

Kalinka Hristova  Identity Verified
Bulgaria
Local time: 15:12
Member (2007)
English to Bulgarian
+ ...

MODERATOR
Oct 20, 2009

Dear colleagues,

I just received a letter by a potential outsourcer, a translation agency in China (no feedback in the BB), who offers me a translation job, but asks for a copy of my ID. What should I do? To me, this is strictly confidential information and I do not feel like disclosing it just like this.

Please advice.

Best regards,

Kalinka

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2009-10-20 19:51 GMT]


 

Sushan Harshe
India
Local time: 17:42
English to Hindi
+ ...
No translation agency requirs any kind of ID Oct 20, 2009

Do not proceed with any agency who asks for any kind of ID record. No agency requires ID for any reason.

 

Mafalda d'Orey de Faria  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 13:12
Member
English to Portuguese
+ ...
What on earth for? Oct 20, 2009

Two options:

Ask the potential outsourcer why they need this
or
just say 'No'

I really cannot think of a good reason for such a request, although this problem has already been posted in the forum.

Personally I would not send it for exactly the same reasons.

All the best,

Mafalda


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:12
Member (2008)
Italian to English
It's a scam Oct 20, 2009

I believe this is a scam. They probably want your ID card for people-trafficking purposes. I cannot think of any other reason why a translating agency would want a copy of a freelancer's ID card. In fact I think the authorities might be very interested to know that this is happening.

[Edited at 2009-10-20 12:44 GMT]


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:12
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
NEVER! Oct 20, 2009

Over the last months we have seen enough ghastly reports on relationships with Chinese "agencies", i.e. people who claim to be an agency and then cause us naïve Western translators a lot of trouble.

The answer is quite simple: NO WAY! They don't need that information by no means. I have been working for dozens of agencies for 13 years and none of them required a copy of my ID!!! Chinese agencies don't need it either.

This looks clearly suspicious. Just tell them that you are pretty certain that they do not need that information for the business at hand.


 

Spencer Allman
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:12
Finnish to English
Say no Oct 20, 2009

and don't have anything more to do with them

 

Yasutomo Kanazawa  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:12
English to Japanese
+ ...
Malfada and Tomas have said it all. Oct 20, 2009

Don't ever give a copy of your ID card. Not limited to Chinese agencies, but your ID could be used for crimes. And when used in crimes, you would be the one blamed and have to go through all the trouble proving that you're not the real culprit.Why on earth would an agency need one's copy of ID card for? If they really insist, then don't work for them. I, too, have read forums here at Proz about translators been cheated by Chinese who claim to be agencies using freemail addresses.

 

Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:12
Member
English to French
I had such a request from a Chinese agency recently Oct 20, 2009

Although this Shanghai agency seemed legit, they couldn't give me any sensible reason why they needed it for nuclear translations. I declined.
Philippe


 

Attila Piróth  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 14:12
Member
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Please ask them why Oct 20, 2009

... and tell us.

While it is hard to imagine that they could come up with a plausible explanation, it is worth asking them why they would need it. (Something along the lines "As sending such personal data is uncommon practice in many countries, please specify why you need it.")

If they do not reply, you can be totally sure that this is not the kind of business relationship you desire. If they do, you can share the reasoning behind their request with others, and it can possibly help some colleagues avoid a possible fraud.

Attila


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 14:12
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Do what you feel is right Oct 20, 2009

Kalinka Hristova wrote:
I just received a letter by a potential outsourcer, a translation agency in [wherever], who offers me a translation job, but asks for a copy of my ID. What should I do?


If you feel uncomfortable providing such information, simply say no. It does not matter if they have a legitimate reason to ask for it -- the fact is that you regard the information as private or confidential or perhaps you simply feel that the request is so unusual that you prefer not to do it, and that is a very good reason not to.

When my bank phones me and asks for my ID number, I politely refuse to give it to them, even if I'm fairly confident that it really is the bank who's calling me. And the person from the bank can't be offended by my actions -- he should be glad that I'm so cautious. The same goes for your client.

There may be legitimate reasons for asking for the ID card. I know in my own country it is quite common to ask for it, and I would not think twice about providing it if I believed that it is truly required by the client. But you have to decide what feels right for you.


 

Kalinka Hristova  Identity Verified
Bulgaria
Local time: 15:12
Member (2007)
English to Bulgarian
+ ...

MODERATOR
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for your support Oct 20, 2009

Thank you all for your opinions and comments.

I would hardly surprise anyone if I say that I asked them what they need my ID card for and that there is no reply. Still, I was quite shocked that an “agency” could even think about asking for somebody’s ID, especially bearing in mind that identity theft is quite a serious problem nowadays…

By the way, the “agency” has a profile in ProZ.com, even though a virtually empty one. I wish I could disclose the name of the company, but it’s against the site rules.
To make things worse, after entering their website through the link provided in ProZ.com, I was infected by viruses and I had my computer re-installed only last week because of viruses! I will send a support request to the site administration to let them know about this issue. Let’s hope that there will be no identity thefts.

Thanks once again.

Kalinka


 

Birthe Omark  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 14:12
Member (2006)
French to Danish
+ ...
I got one as well .. Oct 21, 2009

I just had such an unsolicited contact from a non-Proz member as well requesting a copy of my passport.
No way !
My reaction was to report the mail as scam. Over-reaction maybe. I could be enough to leave the mail unanswered.

Birthe


 

Geraldine Oudin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Japanese to French
+ ...
In the same line Oct 21, 2009

Have you seen the EN>FR offer today where "date and place of birth" is one of the required details?
I really don't think that is relevant or even appropriate either.


*****
http://geraldineoudin.com


 

RominaZ  Identity Verified
Argentina
English to Spanish
+ ...
Please use the support system. Oct 22, 2009

Dear Geraldine,

Geraldine Oudin wrote:

Have you seen the EN>FR offer today where "date and place of birth" is one of the required details?
I really don't think that is relevant or even appropriate either.


Please use the support system to report any job posting that may not be in line with site rules.

Make sure you include the link to the job posting.

Thanks.

Romina


 

Aniello Scognamiglio  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:12
English to German
+ ...
Nonsense! Oct 22, 2009

Kalinka Hristova wrote:

Dear colleagues,

I just received a letter by a potential outsourcer, a translation agency in China (no feedback in the BB), who offers me a translation job, but asks for a copy of my ID.


Just ignore it!


 


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A potential provider (translation agency) asking for a copy of my ID card - what should I do?

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