Agency asking for a copy of my passport
Thread poster: Bianca Coggiola

Bianca Coggiola
Brazil
Local time: 08:54
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Jan 11, 2013

Hello all!

I was contacted by an agency interested in adding me to their database. The agency is legit, I'm not worried about that. After answering a couple of questions, I was accepted and now they are asking for a copy of my passport. Since my CV was recently stolen, I became more cautious regarding this kind of disclosure of personal information. I had never been asked for such thing.

Is that a common practice? What should I do? I was thinking about sending it with a black box over the number or something like that, will that be enough in order to protect me in case it falls into the wrong hands?

Thanks!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

John Fossey  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 05:54
Member (2008)
French to English
Ask some questions Jan 11, 2013

It's certainly not common, but this request does happen occasionally, usually originating from certain countries where it's more common practice. I have been asked very occasionally for a copy of my passport, and I responded asking what they want it for, pointing out that in my country no one has any obligation at all to have a passport if they don't plan to leave the country, so how would they handle the situation if I didn't have a passport? In the end, I have never had to provide it.

Direct link Reply with quote
 
JL01  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:54
English to French
+ ...
Don't Jan 11, 2013

There is no reason for such a request, even more so for accepting.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Bianca Coggiola
Brazil
Local time: 08:54
English to Portuguese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I agree Jan 11, 2013

Perhaps they are trying to protect themselves against identity theft scams... It's a good way to know the CV actually belongs to the person who send it, or to an existing person for all it matters... But anyway, I definitely don't feel comfortable sending it.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:54
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
NEVER! Jan 11, 2013

Bianca Coggiola wrote:
After answering a couple of questions, I was accepted and now they are asking for a copy of my passport.

NEVER! How on Earth would you give them a copy of your passport with no services contract signed, actual job done, no invoice issued, and no payment expected? Do you want to spread your passport all over the world?

If this agency says that they cannot give you jobs before they get copy of your passport, tell them that you will in no case give them a copy of your passport until a services contract was signed, actual jobs were done, and an invoice is accepted and pending of payment.

Think of you asking them for their incorporation documents, passports of directors or owners, etc. before working for them. Ridiculous, right? Same with your passport.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

nordiste  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 11:54
English to French
+ ...
not SO ridiculous to ask for some document - but not passport Jan 11, 2013

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:
Think of you asking them for their incorporation documents, passports of directors or owners, etc. before working for them. Ridiculous, right? Same with your passport.


In France incorporation information are public and it is a good idea to verify them before working with an agency or a new client but you don't need to ask for the actual documents.
See www.societe.com

And the outsourcer must control that the freelancer is legaly resgistrated and ask for a specific document issued every year by URSSAF (not the tax authority but the social insurance organisation).


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 11:54
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Yes for the black box Jan 11, 2013

Bianca Coggiola wrote:
I was thinking about sending it with a black box over the number or something like that, will that be enough in order to protect me in case it falls into the wrong hands?


Yes, I think if you box out all numbers on it so that the only personal information visible is your full name and your photo, then they can't really use it for identity theft.

Unless the scan is enormous, the photo will be of too low resolution to make a good fake passport with it (remember, what looks good on your screen will look awful when printed).

As for boxing out, I use XnView: select the content to be boxed, then go Filter > Effects, and then use Spread under Effects with a parameter of about 10-15. Then you get this:



Direct link Reply with quote
 

Stanislav Pokorny  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 11:54
English to Czech
+ ...
... Jan 11, 2013

nordiste wrote:
In France incorporation information are public...

And the outsourcer must control that the freelancer is legaly resgistrated...

Which is in many countries equally easy as checking the company.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Mary Stefan  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:54
Member (2006)
Romanian to English
+ ...
Agree unless.... there is a reason behind it Jan 11, 2013

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

Bianca Coggiola wrote:
After answering a couple of questions, I was accepted and now they are asking for a copy of my passport.

NEVER! How on Earth would you give them a copy of your passport with no services contract signed, actual job done, no invoice issued, and no payment expected? Do you want to spread your passport all over the world?

If this agency says that they cannot give you jobs before they get copy of your passport, tell them that you will in no case give them a copy of your passport until a services contract was signed, actual jobs were done, and an invoice is accepted and pending of payment.

Think of you asking them for their incorporation documents, passports of directors or owners, etc. before working for them. Ridiculous, right? Same with your passport.


If they're looking to verify your identity, any form of ID should do. Sort of funny when you think that it is a passport one needs to enter most countries in the world not a driver's license etc.

However, I do recall one instance when, as a PM, I was looking to assign a government-related translation project. The main requirement was that my vendor was a US citizen. In all these years, that was the only time I requested proof of ID from a translator/interpreter.
I did mention this beforehand though so my potential collaborators would not freak out (sort of like we're doing right now). It's either that the PM/Vendor Manager is not handling the situation properly, or you should just pass this time around.


Cheers!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Rad Graban  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:54
English to Slovak
+ ...
Depends.... Jan 11, 2013

....
I've done it for agencies for which I work on government projects and where CRB check is required.

[Edited at 2013-01-11 20:30 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Bianca Coggiola
Brazil
Local time: 08:54
English to Portuguese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Well Jan 11, 2013

Thanks for everyone for commenting! I'm going to send my passport (maybe a different document) in low resolution, covering numbers as Samuel suggested, but I will ask why this is a requirement. Once the agency has replied, I'll post again here.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:54
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Which country? Jan 11, 2013

Is the agency in Spain by any chance?

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Bianca Coggiola
Brazil
Local time: 08:54
English to Portuguese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Netherlands Jan 11, 2013

The agency is not from Spain. They have a rating of 5 on the Blue Board. I'm actually not worried about the legitimacy of the agency and I was very happy when they contacted me.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Neil Coffey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:54
French to English
+ ...
Criminals don't care whether the agency is legitimate Jan 12, 2013

The agency may have the best intentions in the world, but the criminals potentially stealing data from them don't care how legitimate they are.

Assume your passport details will now be "knocking about" on the agency's database. What guarantees do you have from them regarding the security of their database?

Now obviously, we do often give out either (a) very slightly confidential information for storage in potentially low-security databases (e.g. your post code or private 'emergency' telephone number on the ProZ database-- things you readily disclose to anybody that you invoice, but wouldn't necessarily bandy about willy-nilly), or (b) "medium" confidentiality information on a mediumly secure database (e.g. your credit card number on Amazon's database). But in these cases, the risk-benefit ratio works in your favour.

The risk-benefit ratio of storing your passport details in an arbitrary database, on the other hand, probably doesn't work in your favour: you are taking on a moderate risk in exchange for almost zero benefit to anybody.

[Edited at 2013-01-12 03:08 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Agency asking for a copy of my passport

Advanced search







CafeTran Espresso
You've never met a CAT tool this clever!

Translate faster & easier, using a sophisticated CAT tool built by a translator / developer. Accept jobs from clients who use SDL Trados, MemoQ, Wordfast & major CAT tools. Download and start using CafeTran Espresso -- for free

More info »
WordFinder
The words you want Anywhere, Anytime

WordFinder is the market's fastest and easiest way of finding the right word, term, translation or synonym in one or more dictionaries. In our assortment you can choose among more than 120 dictionaries in 15 languages from leading publishers.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search