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scam / fraud job offer : translating a book about Child Care and Parents Obligations...
Thread poster: Catherine Boissée

Catherine Boissée  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 11:46
Member (2009)
English to French
+ ...
Oct 20, 2009

Yesterday I received this mail (via ProZ.com mail) :

"You have been sent a message via ProZ.com.
Author: john spencer
[NOTE: The author is not a registered ProZ.com user or was not logged in when sending this message.]
Author's IP address: 41.207.162.4
Message type: Job-related

Let me know if you will be available for translation of a
book written in English language to french. The contents of
the book is Parent Obligations and related topics. The core
languages of interest is French."

I replied to this mail asking for further information and received this answer :

"Hello,

Thank you for your response to the Translator/Interpreter job. I am John Spencer. I am a social enterpreneur and I'm having a project with UNICEF Asia Projects. It is a material on Child Care, Parent Obligations and similar topics. The previous editions have been published in English Language but the need right now is for the same material to come in FRENCH. Please let me know if you can expertly translate the book into FRENCH without the book losing its original meaning.

In as much as there is a time frame within which I expect this job to be completed which is 2 weeks, I want to make it clear that I expect it to be carried out expertly. That is, ensuring that the book does not loose its original meaning in the course of translation. The book has 30 pages and the words count is between nine thousand and eleven thousand..

I will be offering you 1000 euros for this job considering the the time limit. I will also ensure that you recieve the payment in full before you start the job.

You will receive a copy of this book from my publisher and you are expected to send the interpreted copy back to him within 2 weeks from the day you receive the book. I want to emphasize that I need you to prove to me that you are reliable and trustworthy and above all, that you will not let me down as regards the deadline for this job. For reference purpose, you can also send an email so we can reach an agreement on time and you get started with the job.

Also, Kindly get back with the following information so I can start making arrangement for your payment:

Full Name:
Full House Address with zip code;
cell Phone number:
Acceptance of offer:

All I need from you is total honesty and time consciousness. I will be waiting to hear from you.

Thanks
John Spencer"

This email sounded odd to me for several reasons so I checked it with Google and I found this forum (started in 2001) concerning the same topic and establishing the scam : the same email text (except for the sender's name and the languages required) :

http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3206271

Hoping not many of you have received the same offer...and spent their time with it !!!

Now I'm wondering if my email address can be shown to "outsourcers only", I mean "registered Proz member only" in order to avoid this kind of fakes ?


Catherine


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:46
English to German
+ ...
You need to exercise due care regardless of the channel Oct 20, 2009

...which, thankfully, you did.

Now I'm wondering if my email address can be shown to "outsourcers only", I mean "registered Proz member only" in order to avoid this kind of fakes ?

The first time when your e-mail address was shown to that person was when you replied: unless you openly display it in your profile, the address is not visible to those sending you a message through your profile.

Restricting profile messages to logged-in users (or even to paying members) will not prevent fraudsters from trying to contact you - but it will block potential (genuine) clients who might not be registered.

Essentially, I believe you should treat a profile mail just like a normal e-mail received outside ProZ.com.

Best regards,
Ralf


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Yasutomo Kanazawa  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:46
Member (2005)
English to Japanese
+ ...
Two possibilities Oct 20, 2009

Hello Catherine,

I think there are two possibilities behind this scam.

It first began in 2001, that's 8 years ago, and people (translators and interpretors) in this business have a) either forgotten that this kind of scam with the same contents with a different person is been overlooked because it's history, or b) there are people who joined the translation industry after 2001 or newbies and are not aware of this kind of scam.


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:46
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
The whole message stinks Oct 20, 2009

Catherine Boissée wrote:
All I need from you is total honesty and time consciousness. I will be waiting to hear from you.

HA HA HA!

Well. Thanks a lot for sharing Catherine. It is important that translators are aware.


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Catherine Boissée  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 11:46
Member (2009)
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you for your advice... Oct 20, 2009

I'm a newbie and I'm glad to discuss with "oldbies"....:D

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Chiara Righele  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 11:46
English to Italian
+ ...
Just a quick note Oct 20, 2009

Presently, there still is an offer in the job section which looks suspiciously similar to this one, even though it is much shorter and does not give many details.
Maybe the ProZ staff can check this?

I'll try and contact a job moderator as soon as I have a bit of time if that is needed...

Chiara


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:46
Member (2008)
Italian to English
He can't spell Oct 20, 2009

Catherine Boissée wrote:

Yesterday I received this mail (via ProZ.com mail) :

"You have been sent a message via ProZ.com.
Author: john spencer



ensuring that the book does not loose its original meaning [...]

[/quote]

I note that this "john spencer" can't spell "lose"

[Edited at 2009-10-20 10:21 GMT]

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


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Nicolette Scholte  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:46
English to Dutch
+ ...
It is indeed the same scam Oct 20, 2009

I've took the time to send a "quote" to that job post on Proz.com and got the exact same reply back, except the fee to be paid has been raised by a few 100 Euro plus the name of the person replying was different.

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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:46
English to German
+ ...
Submit a Support Request Oct 20, 2009


I'll try and contact a job moderator as soon as I have a bit of time if that is needed...

The Jobs moderator team was disbanded earlier this year - you will need to contact ProZ.com support staff, who are monitoring job postings.

Best regards,
Ralf


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Geraldine Oudin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Japanese to French
+ ...
Got it too Oct 20, 2009

Didn't answer that one, I am getting used to that kind of spam.

Yesterday for instance I had a lady on the phone pretending to be British when she had such a strong French accent! When I told her in French that she could speak French, she got offended and answered (in perfect French) that she was British and didn't speak French. She was tryong to convince me that she could put my website on top of google results within a week, but I have to admit was busy and cut short the conversation....And she got my phone number from Proz, too.

When I am not sure about an offer, I just write a short answer giving my rate and asking for 50% in advance. When you get no answer, you know. I have started to do that with all new clients now, because even real clients tend to have finances problems those days...


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Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 11:46
Member (2008)
English to Italian
got it too Oct 20, 2009

I have read it twice, and couldn't stop laughing!
the smell of scam has spread all over the room!!!

I hope there can be a bit of control

Thanks a lot for sharing and starting this forum... cooperation is essential!

Have a nice day!

[Edited at 2009-10-20 10:53 GMT]


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Andreas Nieckele  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 06:46
English to Portuguese
Disturbing Oct 20, 2009

What I find most disturbing is that I can't imagine the reason behind all of this. I mean, he mentions that he will pay upfront, so the translator will never actually start working on the project and lose valuable time. So, what exactly are they after?

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Catherine Boissée  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 11:46
Member (2009)
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
by overpaying you ... Oct 20, 2009

with a false check and then asking you to return (quickly) the sum in some form or another.

There a (old) thread for this scam here : http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3206271


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Annett Hieber  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:46
English to German
Just got it too! Oct 20, 2009

I just informed this "Ms. Paloma Something" that they were officially unmasked on Proz!

Such mails are increasing. Is there anything we can do about it? (Beside the regular care with unknown senders etc.)?

Annett


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