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Is it normal and OK for a company to request a copy of a freelancer's identification?
Thread poster: Cleo Patch
Cleo Patch
Saudi Arabia
Local time: 20:38
English to Arabic
+ ...
Jan 27

I am a translator with 0 experience in working online so I don't know if it's ok for a company, to ask for a copy of my ID. Giving out a photocopy of my ID just seems too much (2 actually, one by mail and the other by email and to two different branches in two different continents). The rates they offer are lower than dirt but I need the experience.
What are your thoughts on this? And if its ok any tips on how to recognize scammers that are only looking to steal personal information or to do something worse?

[Edited at 2017-01-27 06:02 GMT]

[Edited at 2017-01-27 13:39 GMT]


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DJHartmann  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2014)
Thai to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
Put yourself in their shoes Jan 29

If you were about to hire someone online to complete a job for you, wouldn't you like to know who they were?

Get as much experience as you can before you go full time. It took me 2-3 years, it takes others less, others more.


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Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:38
English to German
+ ...
Some info for you Jan 29

Cleo Patch wrote:

I am a translator with 0 experience in working online so I don't know if it's ok for a company, to ask for a copy of my ID. Giving out a photocopy of my ID just seems too much (2 actually, one by mail and the other by email and to two different branches in two different continents). The rates they offer are lower than dirt but I need the experience.
What are your thoughts on this? And if its ok any tips on how to recognize scammers that are only looking to steal personal information or to do something worse?

[Edited at 2017-01-27 06:02 GMT]

[Edited at 2017-01-27 13:39 GMT]


Don't send out any copies of personal documents or photos. And don't work for rates that are ridiculous. You open yourself up to being scammed and/or exploited. It's better to do something else. Approach translating by way of online job sources very carefully and as a part-time activity at first. Don't rely on it.

Here are three helpful links:

http://wiki.proz.com/wiki/index.php/Determining_your_rates_and_fees_as_a_translator

http://wiki.proz.com/wiki/index.php/Translator_career_path

http://www.proz.com/forum/899

[Edited at 2017-01-29 17:13 GMT]

PS:
I recommend you expand your profile, specify subject fields and point out the skills and experience you have and add translation samples.

[Edited at 2017-01-29 17:21 GMT]


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DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
I agree with Bernhard Jan 29

The worst thing you could do in the era of digitized abuse is to deliberately send your sensitive data so potential schemers (namely everybody, who are NOT your people or haven't shown their worthiness).

Also check recommendations, including this free ebook
Protect yourself

Think twice about what you say and do in an online environment
Be careful sharing information about yourself online, including
social media, blogs and other online forums. Stop and think
before filling in surveys, entering competitions, clicking on
links or attachments, or even ‘befriending’, ‘liking’ or ‘sharing’
something online.

Beware of any request for your details or money
Scammers will try to trick you into handing over your data by using
the names of well-known companies or government departments.
If you think it’s a scam, don’t respond. Use the phone book or an
online search to check the organisation’s contact details. Never use
the contact details provided in the original request.


One thing if it's about signing a contract at the office, the other thing is 'anonymous' who requires too much info and adds too much fuss even WITHOUT providing their ID's; is it really worthy?

Assess and mitigate the risks, for modern fraudsters know how to pretend, gain your trust, and social-engineer!


Take care


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:38
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
No, it is not OK Jan 29

It isn't uncommon but it's unnecessary and a downright invasion of privacy. You're offering your services as a professional, whereas your passport, ID card, driving licence etc are personal papers.

I know it's difficult when starting out, and you have to make certain compromises, but you do need to draw the line somewhere. An agency that makes that sort of demand will also probably want stupidly low rates, unrealistic turnaround times, discounts for every conceivable TM match... and will probably unilaterally apply penalties for what they see as errors in your work. You don't need that type of client.


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Cleo Patch
Saudi Arabia
Local time: 20:38
English to Arabic
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
already did it Jan 30

Thanks for the feedback everyone. By the time my post was approved I had already decided, after much debate, to go ahead and just submit the documents they asked for. They turned out not to be scammers, but after listening to what everyone had to say, this will probably be the last time I submit personal identifications to anyone. It's just too risky, especially now that I know that it's an unusual request too.

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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 19:38
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Set up a business identity Feb 1

The precise details vary from one country to another, but if you are registered as a small business, this proves that you exist, and you are traceable, but you do not have to give personal details.
It is also reasonable for clients to ask for professional credentials, but be careful with these, as they can also be abused.

In much of the EU, small businesses are registered for VAT, and if they have a valid VAT number, then their business is traceable and identifiable. The Danish companies register also tells you if a company is insolvent or has ceased trading, so you can avoid any who will not be able to pay you.

Other countries have different systems, but see what applies where you live, and refer clients to that.


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Naomi Long  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:38
Member (2014)
English
+ ...
Is there any form of non-invasive ID we can give as translators? Mar 5

I've had to provide a passport scan for one client, which I was very unhappy about, but they have proven to be a very reliable and very professional customer since,. However, I've never had anybody else request this. Another client is currently asking for a certificate of tax residence, which is proving difficult to get at present because I don't know exactly why they need it. Most of my clients have been happy enough with my UTR... Is there any other form of ID anybody knows of which would be less invasive and dubious than sending a scan of your passport but which is an additional proof that you are who you say you are?

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liviu roth
United States
Local time: 13:38
Romanian to English
+ ...
Beg to differ Mar 5

Sheila Wilson wrote:

It isn't uncommon but it's unnecessary and a downright invasion of privacy. You're offering your services as a professional, whereas your passport, ID card, driving licence etc are personal papers.

I know it's difficult when starting out, and you have to make certain compromises, but you do need to draw the line somewhere. An agency that makes that sort of demand will also probably want stupidly low rates, unrealistic turnaround times, discounts for every conceivable TM match... and will probably unilaterally apply penalties for what they see as errors in your work. You don't need that type of client.


There are LSP (agencies) that cater to governmental agencies (DOJ, DHS, FBI, CIA, IRS, USSS) and they require proof of who you are, including driving license, passport etc. It is nothing out of the ordinary and it is necessary. I provided and will provide my photo ID whenever I am asked, but before doing it I do a careful vetting/research of the asking agency. We must exercise due diligence before we accept anything.

Lee.


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Sorana_M.
Romania
Local time: 20:38
English to Romanian
+ ...
Copy of my ID Mar 5

I have just received the same request from a translation agency I have contacted and I don't see why they should ask for it and why I should provide it.

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