Payment by travelers cheque- A new form of scam?
Thread poster: Alexandre Chetrite

Alexandre Chetrite
France
Local time: 19:41
English to French
Apr 15, 2014

Hello,

A new client wants to pay me by travelers cheque (issued by his sponsor). I have never been proposed before this type of payment. I wonder; could this be a scam? What are the risks involved? (I live in Europe).

Here is the e-mail:

-----------------------------------
From: Alan Watzcek

Hello,

Thanks for your response, I got your contact on editors forum on www.guru.com during my search for an editor and i decided to contact you if you will be able to handle the editing of the attached article, I will like you to go through the document and get back to me with your total asking price for the editing and proofreading of the article...

I want a substantive and thorough edit, which includes checking for and correcting the following:

* Punctuation errors
* Spelling errors
* Grammatical errors
* Typographical errors and inconsistencies
* Errors in sentence structure and word usage
* Errors in consistency and appropriateness of verb usage
* Proofreading

The document will be used for a seminar on The project Tocqueville that form the basis for a democratic society. I want the edited article submitted on or before the deadline date (05/31/2014) stipulated in my first mail.However, I wish to inform you that 100% of the total asking price for the editing of the article will be paid for via a TRAVELERS CHEQUE which will be issued to you by my sponsor.I will like you to get back to me if you are OK with the payment method.I wish to have your reply soon if you are interested in handling the editing of the document.

Alan Watzcek

-------------------------




[Edited at 2014-04-15 15:45 GMT]


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Jan Willem van Dormolen  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 19:41
English to Dutch
+ ...
Start running Apr 15, 2014

...at 100 miles an hour in the opposite direction. It *might* not be a scam, but it is definitely unprofessional.

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LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:41
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Of course it's a scam... Apr 15, 2014

...I am 1000% positive.

No legitimate client would write "...price for the editing of the article will be paid for via a TRAVELERS CHEQUE which will be issued to you by my sponsor. I will like you to get back to me if you are OK with the payment method."

They would simply write:
"How much would you charge?"

or

"Can you accept traveler's checks?"

They are not concerned about your ability to do the job. Their main concern is "are you OK with the payment method) and then there's the part about the sponsor" (who I bet will over pay you and ask you to refund the difference and than oops - the check is bogus).

Hard to believe that these scams still work and that there are still people who don't know that just because the bank accepts the check, doesn't mean it's not fake.

Also, see this note from guru.com (if you scroll down, you will see some other scams by "Alan Watzcek": http://www.guru.com/answers/questions/9115/scam-alert-phishing-attempt.html?page=7&pageSize=5&sort=oldest#.U01bxldAPwI


[Edited at 2014-04-15 16:59 GMT]


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:41
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Jeff has made it quite clear Apr 15, 2014

But please sign up for alerts here: http://www.proz.com/about/translator-scam-alerts/ That way, you can keep abreast of the latest scams as they happen. And make sure you read the Wiki articles on Risk Management that are linked to from there. We really do have to take steps to avoid being scammed today. This type of scam is so obvious it shouldn't catch anyone out, but there's a lot we can and must do to ensure that we don't lose any of our hard-earned money. More difficult to spot are the offers that appear to come from legit agencies with legit needs - most of them will be just that - legit - but I'm afraid there's an increasing number of "agencies" who get rich (for a time) by never paying for anything if they can wriggle out of it.

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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:41
English to Spanish
+ ...
TRAVELERS CHEQUE Apr 15, 2014

Well, I suppose a TRAVELERS CHEQUE would have to be provided personally or by mail and then cashed. If it were fake, that could be established, but it may take some time. I don't suppose I would object to receiving payment from anyone in any manner, but it would have to be up-front and after receiving GOOD FUNDS, which means the clearing of the check would have to be confirmed before I did any work.

And naturally, if anyone requested any refunds from me, I would just inform them that no refunds could be provided until GOOD FUNDS were confirmed. If it's a scam, then no such confirmation would be received, but one has to specifically ask for such confirmation from the bank.


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philgoddard
United States
Member (2009)
German to English
+ ...
. Apr 15, 2014

I think you should check Watczek's checks.

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Sergei Tumanov  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:41
English to Russian
+ ...
I see no problem in a payment by travellers' cheque Apr 15, 2014

"...price for the editing of the article will be paid for via a TRAVELERS CHEQUE which will be issued to you by my sponsor. I will like you to get back to me if you are OK with the payment method."



[Edited at 2014-04-15 16:59 GMT]


I see the problem that it is THE SPONSOR who has to issue a cheque.
As this person is a third party to the contract between the client and the translator -- in plain English -- HE or SHE IS NOBODY in this case -- he or she will refuse to issue the cheque as he or she never ordered the translation...


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:41
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Not new! Apr 16, 2014

This has been happening for at least a decade. The checks are of course counterfeit, and your best option is to stop communicating with that person.

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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:41
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Not enough Apr 16, 2014

Henry Hinds wrote:
Well, I suppose a TRAVELERS CHEQUE would have to be provided personally or by mail and then cashed. If it were fake, that could be established, but it may take some time. I don't suppose I would object to receiving payment from anyone in any manner, but it would have to be up-front and after receiving GOOD FUNDS, which means the clearing of the check would have to be confirmed before I did any work.

I feel this is not enough. If you are sent a check or traveller's checks, it is not enough to wait until your bank clears it. I would at least wait two months to make sure that the check does not bounce later on in some remote village in the middle of the Russian steppes.


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David Wright  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 19:41
German to English
+ ...
Traveler's cheques are not issued by "sponsors" Apr 16, 2014

They are issued by banks and organisations like American Express.

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