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Off topic: Funny (or sad?) spam received
Thread poster: Katalin Horváth McClure

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:01
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Mar 26, 2011

Today a spam advertisement landed in my mailbox, and I just have to post it here:

"We are very pleased to announce the opening of [*******], the first plateform dedicated to creating, translating and proofreading text. [*******] is a service putting clients with specific needs in contact with writting specialists."

Well, they obviously did not run this text through their "writting plateform" [sic]...

icon_biggrin.gif


 

NancyLynn
Canada
Local time: 18:01
Member (2002)
French to English
+ ...

Moderator of this forum
Ah well, take what you like and leave the rest Mar 26, 2011

This is just a side effect of publishing your contact info on the web.

Another side effect, of course, is actual jobs.icon_smile.gif

So delete and move on. It's junk mail, what can you do? At least it beats reading junk mail about a pharmaceutical product I am very certain I will never use...icon_biggrin.gif


 

Ildiko Santana  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:01
Member (2002)
Hungarian to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
Level of ESL - is it a reliable indicator? Jul 14, 2011

This just landed in my inbox:

"My name is Barrister XXX YYY, Representing YYY & Associates Chamber, a legal practitioner, I am the personal attorney to Late Eng. ZZZ, a contractor and businessman. On the 1st October 2008, our deceased customer, his wife and their only daughter were involved in an automobile accident and It was unfortunate that our deceased customer and his family all lost their lives in an accident."

This is an obvious scam, but messages of similar quality often come from translation agencies. Makes me wonder why I automatically ignore unsolicited mail like this one. For instance, I regularly receive collaboration offers worded so poorly that I usually discard them after I get through the first paragraph. Recent examples:

- "This is XXX from YYY Translation company basing in China. I am writing for asking your help for an existing Hungarian to English - word count is listed at 10,900 Hungarian words. It's about a questionnaire, but it's urgent (...) Please send an E-mail to me directly if interested with your acceptable rate (Dallor US$ per Hungarian word). First come, first service, thanks again!"
- "Dear, I am xxx Translation Company in china, we have many projects from English to Hungarian , and so we need at least 10 part time translators. We are in china, we can offer rate 0.030 USD per SW. So please feel free to contact me asking about more information."
- "Please confirm, If you accept /meet our requirements, please reply ASAP with your valid phone number, and please be noted with following attention. (...) please do not start the job when you have not received our PO. Our company does not pay for any job that is done without PO."

But what if I am wrong? Is their level of proficiency in a second language truly indicative of the seriousness of their offer? Who says all project managers are required to be fluent in any language other than their mother tongue? What is your experience?


 

John Fossey  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 18:01
Member (2008)
French to English
Its the money that talks Jul 15, 2011

Ildiko Weinberger wrote:

...
we can offer rate 0.030 USD per SW.
...


To my thinking, that's the red flag, not the language. Outsourcers who are trying to do business in their second or third language can't be expected to have perfect English. But business is pretty much the same everywhere. Some good clients of mine can hardly write in English or French, yet they pay well and on time.


 
they're quite dismissed Jul 15, 2011

I really don't like spam, they usually make me stress when I open my mail.
I can't focus on my mail. Although I know they are only advertising mail of some companies, they aren't suit for me
So I think, with spam move or delete them immediately.


 

Ildiko Santana  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:01
Member (2002)
Hungarian to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
red flags Jul 15, 2011

John Fossey wrote:
"we can offer rate 0.030 USD per SW"

To my thinking, that's the red flag, not the language. Outsourcers who are trying to do business in their second or third language can't be expected to have perfect English.
But business is pretty much the same everywhere. Some good clients of mine can hardly write in English or French, yet they pay well and on time.


Yes, of course, you're absolutely right John. In that particular case the low rate was the red flag, in other cases I decide not to respond because they send a file already attached to their request for quote, which I find very odd. Perhaps I should start a new topic on "red flags" in unsolicited inquiries.. ; )


 

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:01
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Why is it odd to send the file they request your quote for? Jul 15, 2011

Ildiko Weinberger wrote:

in other cases I decide not to respond because they send a file already attached to their request for quote, which I find very odd.


I wonder why you find it odd. In fact, I rarely give a quote without seeing the translatable materials, or at least a representative sample of it. If they don't attach the file, I have to request it, and it is additional time wasted.
So, I do not find it odd at all, I think exactly the opposite way, I find it odd to ask for a quote without providing the actual text.

Katalin


 

Yasutomo Kanazawa  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:01
English to Japanese
+ ...
Just my humble opinion Jul 15, 2011

Katalin Horvath McClure wrote:

Ildiko Weinberger wrote:

in other cases I decide not to respond because they send a file already attached to their request for quote, which I find very odd.


I wonder why you find it odd. In fact, I rarely give a quote without seeing the translatable materials, or at least a representative sample of it. If they don't attach the file, I have to request it, and it is additional time wasted.
So, I do not find it odd at all, I think exactly the opposite way, I find it odd to ask for a quote without providing the actual text.

Katalin


I understand the concern which Ildiko has. This is my personal opinion, but isn't it weird that they send you the document to be translated even before you don't know whether the translator would accept the job or not? A decent agency would not disclose any information, unless requested. Almost all decent clients I work for send me the file AFTER I request it so that I can take a look at them for evaluation. Maybe it's a waste of time like you said, but if you were to outsource a job to someone you have never met or talked (wrote) to, would you just attach the file and send it to that person? The only time I would do that is when the file to be translated is not confidential, such as for personal use.


 

Ildiko Santana  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:01
Member (2002)
Hungarian to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
*initial* contact Jul 15, 2011

Yasutomo Kanazawa wrote:

Katalin Horvath McClure wrote:

Ildiko Weinberger wrote:

in other cases I decide not to respond because they send a file already attached to their request for quote, which I find very odd.


I wonder why you find it odd. In fact, I rarely give a quote without seeing the translatable materials, or at least a representative sample of it. If they don't attach the file, I have to request it, and it is additional time wasted.
So, I do not find it odd at all, I think exactly the opposite way, I find it odd to ask for a quote without providing the actual text.


I understand the concern which Ildiko has. This is my personal opinion, but isn't it weird that they send you the document to be translated even before you don't know whether the translator would accept the job or not? A decent agency would not disclose any information, unless requested.


Precisely. Katalin, you might have missed the basic premise, that I was only referring to emails from companies I have never had any contact with, and one day they approach me asking about my services, expertise, rates, availability, etc. Usually I think they are just building their database. This is the initial introductory phase. I don't expect to see the file right away, nor do I expect them to ask for my banking information or other sensitive data. (Another 'red flag'!) Without having a minimal established working relationship, I think it is rather unusual and risky to send an actual job to a perfect stranger, without any agreement/commitment, without an NDA.


 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 23:01
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
I have had some very good clients whose English is not perfect Jul 15, 2011

Perfect English is what they want from me. icon_biggrin.gif

But it is quite obvious that an agency is serious when they offer an acceptable deadline and ask for my rate.

Germans in particular sometimes write very short mails and sound a little nervous! I answer with freundlichen Grüß and my best polite phrases in German, although I write the serious business in English. There are good reasons why German is not one of my working languages!! No problems there.

Other clients are equally serious, but it turns out that they cannot or will not come up with realistic rates for the kind of work they want.

I feel sorry for them, but I know that the end clients are usually European companies that earn good money and can afford European rates. "Everybody can English", and they will be picky about the results. So I apologise, but I do not have time for their jobs.

I think as a rule you can see when a client knows what is involved, and when they have no real idea how translation actually works. The style of helpless English is completely different.


 

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:01
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
You were talking about a request for quote Jul 15, 2011

Let me repeat my post (bold emphasis is mine):

Ildiko Weinberger wrote:

in other cases I decide not to respond because they send a file already attached to their request for quote, which I find very odd.


Katalin wrote: I wonder why you find it odd. In fact, I rarely give a quote without seeing the translatable materials, or at least a representative sample of it. If they don't attach the file, I have to request it, and it is additional time wasted.
So, I do not find it odd at all, I think exactly the opposite way, I find it odd to ask for a quote without providing the actual text.


Many jobs are about translating materials that are not confidential - such as websites, product descriptions, even user manuals etc. that are already in the public domain. I am always careful about whom I do business with, but having the file attached to a request for quote is not a red flag for me.

I hope it is clear now.
Katalin

[Edited at 2011-07-15 15:30 GMT]


 

Ildiko Santana  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:01
Member (2002)
Hungarian to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
The newest spam/scam (came with attachment) Jul 24, 2011

The latest job scam came in tonight, with an attachment that is a copy of a summary of an actual seminar that took place seven years ago (October 2004) in Lithuania. The text can be easily found using a search engine.
http://www.itu.int/ITU-D/finance/work-cost-tariffs/events/tariff-seminars/lithuania-04/final-report.pdf
The sender of this email, a certain "Bill Bord" conveniently deleted the paragraphs that contained the real dates and inserted "August 27th - 31st August, 2011". He also replaced the speaker's name with his own. If you received this email recently, please don't fall for it. Here is the original email, with the header and the file name:

From: billbord507@gmail.com
Subject: Enquiry About Your Translation Service !!!
Date: July 24, 2011 12:23:11 AM PDT
To: undisclosed-recipients:;

On Jul 24, 2011, at 12:23 AM, Engr Bill Bord wrote:

My name is Bill presently on an official assignment in cairo,Egypt and will be proceeding to your country for official Engineering conference meeting with Hungarian council on the 27th of August.I will need your service to translate a write up for me.

I actually need to make a presentation to some group of Hungarian speaking people in US.so i will need you to help in translating the paper to Hungarian,so each participants can have a copy and they can follow through.

Let me know your rate and charges for a total of presentation of word.Presentation is attached.
Thank you.
Bill
+20165542633(EGYPT)

(fake IP: 10.68.41.129)


 

yongmeili  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:01
English to Chinese
+ ...
Scam "Bill Bord" +20165542633(EGYPT)" Jul 24, 2011

Original scam emails that landed in my Spam box

1. "My name is Bill presently on an official assignment in cairo,Egypt and will be proceeding to your country for official Engineering conference meeting with Chinese council on the 27th of August.I will need your service to translate a write up for me.

I actually need to make a presentation to some group of Chinese speaking people in US.so i will need you to help in translating the paper to Chinese ,so each participants can have a copy and they can follow through.

Let me know your rate and charges for a total of presentation of word.Presentation is attached.
Thank you.
Bill
+20165542633(EGYPT)"


A search of "Bill Bord" and "Scam" led me to several websites that identify this sender as a scammer. Same name and same phone number. Incredible!!

In subsequent email, the scammer asked for my name address, phone number and assured me not to start the project until I have received a check.

Watch out!!


 

Ildiko Santana  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:01
Member (2002)
Hungarian to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
Scam warning signs Jul 24, 2011

In subsequent email, the scammer asked for my name address, phone number and assured me not to start the project until I have received a check.

Watch out!!


Thank you for your comment. In the unlikely event that you actually did give out your contact info, you can expect a check for a higher amount than what you have agreed on, followed by the sender's request that you refund the difference. The check from this sender is guaranteed to be fraudulent. I have found a very useful article that I am sharing here in hopes that you all exercise caution and always be mindful of certain typical warning signs.

"Scam warning signs
Every scam is different. With “Nigerian 419″ or “advance fee” scams you will be sent a check for your services and the check will be issued for more money than the job requires or the job will be scaled back or canceled entirely. Phishing scams will try to elicit personal information for you. Never tell someone your bank information or credit card information. Some scam artists will hire you for a big job and then never pay you. Always research any potential job or contact through Payment Practices, the ProZ.com Blue Board, Translator-Client Review or another payment practices services specifically designed to provide information on the payment practices of translation agencies and other companies and organizations who use the services of freelance translators and/or small translation agencies."
The list of warning signs and other useful info can be found here:
http://translationscams.wordpress.com/scam-warning-signs/


 

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:01
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Please discuss scams on the Scams forum Jul 24, 2011

There is now an entire forum area on scams, including discussions about the advance payment+fraudulent check and other well-known schemes.

Here is the link to that forum area:
http://www.proz.com/forum/scams-946.html

There are a few sticky topics there, including one that is a summary entitled "Some reference links related to detecting scams and risk management":
http://www.proz.com/forum/scams/198052-some_reference_links_related_to_detecting_scams_and_risk_management.html

There is also a Wiki page on scams, contributions are welcome:
http://wiki.proz.com/wiki/index.php/Detecting_and_reacting_to_false_job_offers_and_other_scams

This topic was marked Off-topic, and it wasn't originally about scams, but a funny spam, advertising a "writting plateform".
I would like to ask to discuss scams on the scam forum, not here, as it would be more useful for other translators that way.

Thanks
Katalin

[Edited at 2011-07-24 23:46 GMT]


 
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