Off topic: A new scam ?!
Thread poster: Mohamed Mehenoun

Mohamed Mehenoun  Identity Verified
Algeria
Local time: 10:29
English to French
+ ...
Apr 27, 2010

Hello,

I received the text below and I am puzzled, is this a new scam ?

"Hi!



You’re receiving this because I know you as a translator.



I was wondering if you would like to join our team helping each other market ourselves to translation agencies.



This is the deal: You know about this great free place on Proz.com called Blueboard. It’s available to all non-paying members and lists translation agencies. Too bad it’s so big. So each of us goes through a certain letter of the Blueboard selecting agencies based on certain criteria, and then we exchange the info between each other.



We’re looking for people who would want to join us and take on a certain letter(s) in return for other people’s work.



If you’d like to join, contact me, and I will send you more information! Looking forward to hearing from you soon!





P.S. The purpose of the Project is only to help you process the BlueBoard information that is available to you as a member of non-paying public faster. Collaborators recognize that they should not make another database for commercial exploitation at the expense of the BlueBoard. You would use the Project Result in the same manner that is allowed by ProZ.com for the use of the BlueBoard information. You would not sell, distribute, post, advertise or otherwise profit from others’ access to the Project Result.

Participation in the Project does not require you to be a paying Proz.com member, though you can be one. Project relies only the information that is available to all non-paying members of ProZ.com either via Proz.com or the Internet. If you’re a paying member, you would not enter into the Project any information that is unavailable to non-paying members either through Proz.com or the Internet. Therefore, non-paying members will not gain free access to information reserved for paying members."




[Edited at 2010-04-28 06:46 GMT]


 

Nesrin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:29
English to Arabic
+ ...
Certainly not a scam Apr 27, 2010

There's nothing "scammy" about the message, as its purpose is clear.
It seems to me that the purpose is for a team of non-paying members to get a comprehensive overview of the BB, something which an individual non-paying member (if I remember correctly) would have to give up a lot of Browniz for, in addition to taking up a lot of time. Now I'm sure it's perfectly legal for people to exchange information available freely, even if by doing so they are outsmarting/ overriding the Browniz system.

[Edited at 2010-04-28 17:47 GMT]


 

Mats Wiman  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 11:29
Member (2000)
German to Swedish
+ ...

MODERATOR
I would not accept this invitation. Apr 27, 2010

The projected advantage is ilusory. What unites a technical translator ENG>FRA with a wine book translator ITA>ENG?
Also, I would deem this use of the Blueboard as abuse.

Mats


 

Mohamed Mehenoun  Identity Verified
Algeria
Local time: 10:29
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I didn't notice that I copied the name... Apr 28, 2010

@Nesrin: The thing is that the email is written in a weird way, hence it seemed fishy to me ! I didn't include the email of the person on purpose, I just copied/pasted the whole thing...

However, I would have appreciated to have something like : "I found your details on..." and not "I'm writting to you because I know that..."

@Mats: I don't intend to be part of the project, as it bears the smell of a "pyramid scam". I just wanted to know what it really was about and the purpose behind it !


 

Annamaria Amik  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:29
Romanian to English
+ ...
Is this about... Apr 28, 2010

... the message which includes:
This is the deal: You know about this great free place on Proz.com called Blueboard. It’s available to all non-paying members and lists translation agencies. Too bad it’s so big. So each of us goes through a certain letter of the Blueboard selecting agencies based on certain criteria, and then we exchange the info between each other.

?

Out of respect for a colleague who otherwise might be a very good translator - except for this unfortunate idea - I didn't write to anyone about this, but here's my opinion:

I cannot really agree with Nesrin's view, when she says: Now I'm sure it's perfectly legal for people to exchange information available freely, even if by doing so they are outsmarting the Browniz system.
That information is not available freely, as long as members have to pay for accessing them.

I see absolutely no advantage in the whole affair, but only a waste of time. I wouldn't send a mass e-mail to so many agencies, and yes, Mats is definitely right: there would have to be too many criteria to make it actually useful.

Not sure if the sender had this aspect in mind, but before I signed up as a paying member, I could still see the general rating of an agency I was interested in - so I skipped any "opportunities" presented by agencies with less than 4, and made sure I secured my due consideration (advance payment, partial advance payment etc.) in case of those rated between 4 and 4.5.

Annamaria


 

Mohamed Mehenoun  Identity Verified
Algeria
Local time: 10:29
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Nothing against the translator but... Apr 28, 2010

Annamaria Amik wrote:

... the message which includes:
This is the deal: You know about this great free place on Proz.com called Blueboard. It’s available to all non-paying members and lists translation agencies. Too bad it’s so big. So each of us goes through a certain letter of the Blueboard selecting agencies based on certain criteria, and then we exchange the info between each other.

?

Out of respect for a colleague who otherwise might be a very good translator - except for this unfortunate idea - I didn't write to anyone about this, but here's my opinion:

I cannot really agree with Nesrin's view, when she says: Now I'm sure it's perfectly legal for people to exchange information available freely, even if by doing so they are outsmarting the Browniz system.
That information is not available freely, as long as members have to pay for accessing them.

I see absolutely no advantage in the whole affair, but only a waste of time. I wouldn't send a mass e-mail to so many agencies, and yes, Mats is definitely right: there would have to be too many criteria to make it actually useful.

Not sure if the sender had this aspect in mind, but before I signed up as a paying member, I could still see the general rating of an agency I was interested in - so I skipped any "opportunities" presented by agencies with less than 4, and made sure I secured my due consideration (advance payment, partial advance payment etc.) in case of those rated between 4 and 4.5.

Annamaria


Hello Annamaria,

Actually I sent the colleagues name mistakenly and I am really sorry for that as I didn't pay attention at the time !

Apart from that, I do believe that the colleague in question should have written a better email, as his/her email was kind of bizarre, and I still have no idea on how he found my contact details !!

Even the subject of the email was fishy at least for me ! I'm not even sure that they didn't use the email and the link to someone existing with nothing to do with the actual person...

@Nesrin: Spamming is forbidden by the law in many countries...


 

Annamaria Amik  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:29
Romanian to English
+ ...
Just read the tiny disclaimer Apr 28, 2010

I've just read the tiny disclaimer attached to the message, it seems to focus only on info available to non-paying members, so I retract my earlier statement.
But in that case, why did I as a paying member receive the message?

@Mohamed: @Nesrin: Spamming is forbidden by the law in many countries...

I agree that it was spam, especially if sent to paying members who don't seem to be the primary target.

They say: "You would not sell, distribute, post, advertise or otherwise profit from others’ access to the Project Result."
Isn't there a contradiction? Sharing the Project Result isn't "distribution" per se?

Summa summarum, this offer comes down to huge efforts with no tangible benefit, as far as I am concerned.

My two cents: I think the most professional way to do this would have been consulting Proz staff first, and actually incorporating that database into Proz (like a BB filter or something), and gaining brownies or some other form of considerationicon_smile.gif

Annamaria


 

Lucia Leszinsky
SITE STAFF
The Blue Board is a resource for referencing outsourcers and expressing LWA only Apr 28, 2010

Hello all,

First of all, thanks for reporting this Mohamed, appropriate action will be taken.

Now, as regards ProZ.com Blue Board record and its use, site rules are clear:

Blue Board rule #1 states:

The ProZ.com Blue Board is provided as a resource for referencing outsourcers of translation, interpreting and other language-related work, and for expressing willingness to work again with given outsourcers. Use of the Blue Board for other purposes is not permitted.


Hope this clarifies.

Kind regards,

Lucia


 

Mohamed Mehenoun  Identity Verified
Algeria
Local time: 10:29
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Lucia Apr 28, 2010

Lucia wrote:

Hello all,

First of all, thanks for reporting this Mohamed, appropriate action will be taken.

Now, as regards ProZ.com Blue Board record and its use, site rules are clear:

Blue Board rule #1 states:

The ProZ.com Blue Board is provided as a resource for referencing outsourcers of translation, interpreting and other language-related work, and for expressing willingness to work again with given outsourcers. Use of the Blue Board for other purposes is not permitted.


Hope this clarifies.

Kind regards,

Lucia


Thanks Lucia !


 
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