Client behaving in suspicious manner
Thread poster: jelly_gill

jelly_gill  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 05:10
Member (2006)
English to Panjabi
+ ...
Feb 28, 2008

Dear all,

Yesterday a proz.com listed translator who has got a blue board record also, contacted me via my proz.com profile that he had around 6700 words project for me and asked me to confirm my availability and quote my best rate and turn around time.

I did and requested the client to reply me using his corporate email ID instead of free yahoo mail ID which he was using to contact me. I also asked them to send me the file so that I could evaluate it and quote an accurate estimation of turn around time. And I asked them to tell me when and how they will pay.

They sent me the file for evaluation but told me nothing about their payment policy and they replied using free yahoo mail ID.

I gave them an accurate estimation and again requested them to send me the confirmatory mail using their corporate ID. I also told them that if they cant reply using their corporate ID (and they have one), they will need to pay me full amount in advance before I give them the translated file. and again I requested them to tell me about their payment terms and conditions.

Within few hours they sent me their PO, along with the source file and a check list file and I was given a deadline. Mail was again sent using free yahoo mail ID. And they were completely mum about my enquiries.

I replied them that if they cant send me the confirmatory mail using their corporate email ID (I insist upon this because I have been cheated twice by the people who use free email accounts) they will need to pay me in advance.

Within 2 - 3 hrs they replied using same email ID that the job was cancelled since I didnt confirm their PO. Interestingly, the body of their email contained all the emails sent by me, so it was evident they got my each and every email.


Any comments?


Direct link Reply with quote
 

chopra_2002  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 05:10
Member (2008)
English to Hindi
+ ...
It has happened to me also. Feb 28, 2008

A person from a so called "famous agency" contacted me through proz.com a few days ago for translating a document consisting of 7000+ words . When I asked him to give me the URL of his proz.com page or the link of his website or the address and contact number, there was no reply from him. Had it been a small job, I would have considered to accept it but there is no logic in accepting a 7000+ words' job from a stranger, who is not interested in providing the basic details.

[Edited at 2008-02-28 02:58]

[Edited at 2008-02-28 03:53]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Karen Stokes  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:40
Member (2003)
French to English
Free email accounts Feb 28, 2008

Just to give them the benefit of the doubt - if they had a problem with their main email account they may have used a free one as a back-up for business continuity purposes. It's certainly happened to clients of mine. I guess you just have to look at the whole picture and make a judgement.

Best,
Karen


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 01:40
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Be careful Feb 28, 2008

jelly_gill wrote:
I did and requested the client to reply me using his corporate email ID instead of free yahoo mail ID which he was using to contact me...


It is quite possible that someone is trying to impersonate this agency.

It is, however, not usual for people to make use of free e-mail services even if they have corporate e-mail facilities. For example, the corporate e-mail may well be a forwarding facility that forwards mail to the free e-mail service. And I don't think it is unprofessional to do this, either.

However, there is an easy way to find out whether this is an imposter. Simply contact the agency via its normal channels and ask them to confirm. Even if they then reply via the free e-mail service, at least you know that they had received your query through their official channels.

You can also phone them if they have a phone number listed.

About a year ago I received a job offer from a guy who claimed to be from XYZ agency but he sent his mail from a free e-mail service. I responded with my rates and availability, and I CC'ed the mail to the agency's corporate e-mail address. I also sent a separate e-mail to the corporate e-mail address (and CC'ed it to the guy on his free e-mail service) asking in a friendly, non-confrontational manner if this guy is who he says he is. At that stage it didn't occur to me that the guy might be a fake, but that he might be a break-away consultant trying to use the company's good name for his own start-up company. It turned out that he was simply using the free e-mail service because he was contacting me after hours, but the job was real, and I still do work for the agency today.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 01:40
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
This is also true Feb 28, 2008

Karen Stokes wrote:
Just to give them the benefit of the doubt - if they had a problem with their main email account they may have used a free one as a back-up for business continuity purposes.


Yes, I remember when I was employed by a large company a few years ago, their e-mail servers kept going down at *critical* times and stuff sent to us by clients got lost in the ether. I had to use free e-mail services temporarily just to ensure that deadlines were met.

Still, in such a case one would expect the agency to mention why they keep on using the free e-mail service and not the corporate service as requested.

Also, Jelly, if someone had asked me to use my "corporate ID", I would have thought that they meant I had to mention my business name. It would not have occurred to me that they were asking me to use my corporate e-mail address. My e-mail address is not my identity. So perhaps using jargon such as "ID" should also be avoided (but perhaps this is normal in your country).


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Anne Lee  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:40
Member (2003)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Right to stick to your guns Feb 28, 2008

You did very well to stick to your guns. The fact that they refused to discuss the payment arrangements is a very clear sign they were not acting in a very professional manner and you were right to pick up on it. That in itself was sufficient reason to distrust your client, regardless of the question mark over the identity of the person you were dealing with.
I am currently waiting for two overdue payments for large projects and I wish that I had been more rigorous in agreeing on the terms of payment when I accepted the orders, rather than take it for granted that I would get paid on time.

[Edited at 2008-02-28 09:48]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Halvor Halvorsen
Norway
Local time: 01:40
Member (2007)
English to Norwegian
+ ...
Looks like you correctly identified a scam Feb 28, 2008

My contacts in the industry use their personal, free email-accounts to communicate with me all the time, nothing special about that in itself. But the point here is - he is a new customer who ignored your very reasonable and obvious security-related questions, and that should set off the scam-bells at around 120 decibels.

As Samuel Murray wrote - you could try to call or mail the bureau if you're in doubt. However, in this case, I wouldn't even have bothered. In all likelihood, given the overall situation, this is a scam, or at the very least someone trying to impersonate a reputable agent. And even if it isn't a scam, this person is incompetent: He is either unwilling or unable to answer the simplest questions regarding your payment as a first time customer, after several requests, and in a situation that would appear to be very shady, which means it would be foolish to accept the assignment unless it's fully paid in advance.

Edit: I see Anne Lee presented the general point I was trying to make before me, had this lying about for a couple of hours before submitting it - so +1 to her on this.

[Edited at 2008-02-28 10:45]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Angela Dickson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:40
French to English
+ ...
warning signs Feb 28, 2008

I was caught out by something similar to this a couple of years ago - someone purporting to be a PM from a seemingly reputable Russian agency contacted me from a Yahoo address at the weekend, asking about an urgent job. He agreed to my rather high rush rate, and sent a very official-looking PO. I assumed he was not using his agency address because it was the weekend, and accepted the job. I later found out that he did not work for that agency at all, indeed he could have been anyone.

It was a terrible experience - he treated me badly, complained that I was 'hard to contact' if I took more than 20 minutes to reply to an email, and of course I never heard from him again after the invoice was sent. A classic scam designed to take in new translators who are desperate for work (as I was then).

I'm much less trusting now, and use as many ways as possible to check out potential clients.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 19:40
English to French
+ ...
There are reasons they won't disclose the information even after several requests Feb 28, 2008

You should steer clear of such jobs. Also, e-mailing back and forth in such cases is counter-productive and if you are the least bit emotional, it can also get on your nerves. In order to avoid needless e-mailing back and forth, be clear in your very first e-mail to them that you need XYZ information, and that if they do not provide it in their reply, you will stop replying altogether. Of course, say this in a polite way - but be firm.

This has happened to me before, and I can guarantee that when they reply with some of the requested information (in your case, source file) but stay mum on the rest, they purposedly avoid telling you what you need to know because if they told you, they wouldn't have a chance to sucker you into their shady deal.

All the best!


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 »

Client behaving in suspicious manner

Advanced search







Protemos translation business management system
Create your account in minutes, and start working! 3-month trial for agencies, and free for freelancers!

The system lets you keep client/vendor database, with contacts and rates, manage projects and assign jobs to vendors, issue invoices, track payments, store and manage project files, generate business reports on turnover profit per client/manager etc.

More info »
SDL Trados Studio 2017 Freelance
The leading translation software used by over 250,000 translators.

SDL Trados Studio 2017 helps translators increase translation productivity whilst ensuring quality. Combining translation memory, terminology management and machine translation in one simple and easy-to-use environment.

More info »



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