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Proof of ID?
Thread poster: Peter Berntsen

Peter Berntsen  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 18:30
Member (2006)
English to Swedish
+ ...
Oct 27, 2014

I have recently started running into a requirement for "proof of ID". In practice, it usually means sending a copy of your driver's license or passport to the agency.

I would like to ask the community, how do you feel about this? Would you do this without hesitation? Is it a reasonable request?


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Niina Lahokoski  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 19:30
Member (2008)
English to Finnish
+ ...
OK with limitations Oct 27, 2014

I've only come across this request a couple of times. Naturally I don't feel comfortable giving anyone my identity number etc. but I've usually sent a copy of my passport (I happened to choose that over driver's license), with the passport number, identity number and other sensitive info hidden (basically just my photo, name and nationality visible). This has always been accepted.

[Edited at 2014-10-27 20:24 GMT]


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Paulinho Fonseca  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 13:30
Member (2011)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Proof of ID? Oct 27, 2014

I have only been asked for CV and proof of skills (Graduation/MA).


I find it very dangerous as we have seen how scammers steal and use IDs inappropriately. For protective reasons, I usually send my Blind CV and after confirming clients' ID, I may send additional info.




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Merab Dekano  Identity Verified
Spain
Member (2014)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Never heard about it Oct 27, 2014

I usually provide the agency with copies of my degrees (language and subject matter). And in my ProZ profile I, just like pretty much everybody, am "verified".

Now, if you send copies of your degrees, why not the ID too? Just never had this kind of request. But if I did, I would have no problem sending it though.


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JL01  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:30
English to French
+ ...
Same here Oct 27, 2014

I receive such requests occasionally. Usually, they appear to have some justification (come to think of it, I usually never hear from the agency again). I have sent my NY driver's licence with important stuff, such as License Number, Birth date and address, "redacted."

Niina Lahokoski wrote:

I've only come across this request a couple of times. Naturally I don't feel comfortable giving anyone my identity number etc. but I've usually sent a copy of my passport, with the passport number, identity number and other sensitive info hidden (basically just my photo, name and nationality visible). This has always been accepted.


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xxxxxLecraxx
Germany
Local time: 18:30
French to German
+ ...
dangerous Oct 27, 2014

I would at least blot out my photo, my passport number and other information that is not relevant to a client.

However, I wouldn't work with a client who asks me to send them a copy of my passport. Do I ask them for their passports? I have a VAT Number which should be enough of a proof that I'm real.


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Merab Dekano  Identity Verified
Spain
Member (2014)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Never thought about it Oct 27, 2014

Marcel G. wrote:

I would at least blot out my photo, my passport number and other information that is not relevant to a client.

However, I wouldn't work with a client who asks me to send them a copy of my passport. Do I ask them for their passports? I have a VAT Number which should be enough of a proof that I'm real.


Makes sense, never though about it. Never had to provide such document either. Will adopt similar precautionary measures, if asked.

Thanks


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Jessica Noyes  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:30
Spanish to English
+ ...
Making sure you are who you say you are Oct 27, 2014

ProZ.com is full of reports about scammers who steal our identities and submit terrible and/or cheap translations under our names.
I can certainly understand why an agency wants to verify, in one way or another, that you are not such a scammer.
I like the idea of a photo ID of some kind with key identifying numbers blotted out.


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Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:30
English to German
+ ...
Verify through Proz.com email Oct 27, 2014

Merab Dekano wrote:

I usually provide the agency with copies of my degrees (language and subject matter). And in my ProZ profile I, just like pretty much everybody, am "verified".

Now, if you send copies of your degrees, why not the ID too? Just never had this kind of request. But if I did, I would have no problem sending it though.


Added-on suggestion

If your ID is verified on Proz.com, you could ask the client to contact you using the Proz.com email. Replying to that would be a form of verification of who you are, wouldn't it?
I would not email any copies of my personal IDs or degrees etc. to a prospective client.


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Merab Dekano  Identity Verified
Spain
Member (2014)
English to Spanish
+ ...
makes sense Oct 27, 2014

Bernhard Sulzer wrote:

Merab Dekano wrote:

I usually provide the agency with copies of my degrees (language and subject matter). And in my ProZ profile I, just like pretty much everybody, am "verified".

Now, if you send copies of your degrees, why not the ID too? Just never had this kind of request. But if I did, I would have no problem sending it though.


Added-on suggestion

If your ID is verified on Proz.com, you could ask the client to contact you using the Proz.com email. Replying to that would be a form of verification of who you are, wouldn't it?
I would not email any copies of my personal IDs or degrees etc. to a prospective client.


Thanks, Bernhard. Makes perfect sense. I now think there is no point in emailing them any of such documents. They are not, after all, hiring us as employees, are they?


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Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:30
English to German
+ ...
We are the providers Oct 27, 2014

Merab Dekano wrote:

Bernhard Sulzer wrote:

Merab Dekano wrote:

I usually provide the agency with copies of my degrees (language and subject matter). And in my ProZ profile I, just like pretty much everybody, am "verified".

Now, if you send copies of your degrees, why not the ID too? Just never had this kind of request. But if I did, I would have no problem sending it though.


Added-on suggestion

If your ID is verified on Proz.com, you could ask the client to contact you using the Proz.com email. Replying to that would be a form of verification of who you are, wouldn't it?
I would not email any copies of my personal IDs or degrees etc. to a prospective client.


Thanks, Bernhard. Makes perfect sense. I now think there is no point in emailing them any of such documents. They are not, after all, hiring us as employees, are they?


Very true, they aren't.


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:30
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
It's "business ID" they need Oct 27, 2014

They don't need our passports, ID cards or driving licences - they're all totally useless to them and potentially dangerous for us to let them have that information. What they do legitimately have need of is proof that we are in a position to invoice them legally and that we're paying taxes and social security contributions. Otherwise, whatever they pay us could be considered money laundering or something similar.

What you can send them to prove that you're a legit business varies from country to country.


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Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:30
English to German
+ ...
Identity verification Oct 27, 2014

Sheila Wilson wrote:

They don't need our passports, ID cards or driving licences - they're all totally useless to them and potentially dangerous for us to let them have that information. What they do legitimately have need of is proof that we are in a position to invoice them legally and that we're paying taxes and social security contributions. Otherwise, whatever they pay us could be considered money laundering or something similar.

What you can send them to prove that you're a legit business varies from country to country.


Although you're right about what clients need, some do fear that the person they're talking to through email etc. is not that person but possibly someone who has gotten a hold of someone else's information (CV etc.)


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Kaiya J. Diannen  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2008)
German to English
Sad to say... Oct 27, 2014

Bernhard Sulzer wrote:

Sheila Wilson wrote:

They don't need our passports, ID cards or driving licences - they're all totally useless to them and potentially dangerous for us to let them have that information. What they do legitimately have need of is proof that we are in a position to invoice them legally and that we're paying taxes and social security contributions. Otherwise, whatever they pay us could be considered money laundering or something similar.

What you can send them to prove that you're a legit business varies from country to country.


Although you're right about what clients need, some do fear that the person they're talking to through email etc. is not that person but possibly someone who has gotten a hold of someone else's information (CV etc.)


But this is very true in today's world - and as we all know, happens every day.

In response to the inquirer's implied motto:

"Trust - but Verify"

Our response (sometimes) needs to be:

"Cooperate - but REDACT"


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 14:30
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Mistrust everywhere Oct 27, 2014

Translators don't want to send evidence of their ID to prevent it from being "stolen" by a prospective impersonator posing as a client.

Prospective clients request (that very same) evidence from translators to make sure they are dealing with the right person, and not an impersonator.

If an impersonator has been successful in securing such documents via the aforementioned means, an elephant could easily pass through the hole in the logic here.


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