Poll: Do you distrust job inquiries sent from a free email account?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 13:13
SITE STAFF
Jun 24, 2010

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you distrust job inquiries sent from a free email account?".

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Interlangue (X)
Angola
Local time: 22:13
English to French
+ ...
NO Jun 24, 2010

My free mail accounts are much more reliable and quicker than the only paying one (and it is rather expensive) I have!

 

Jocelyne S  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 22:13
French to English
+ ...
It depends on who sends it Jun 24, 2010

If the email is from an alleged company (agency, end client, etc.), then yes, I am generally wary of free email addresses.

If the email is from a colleague looking to collaborate on a project, then no, I find it quite normal.

I do, however, always ask for the person's VAT number and/or other proof that they are a legally registered business.

There are several things which can sound off alarm bells; a free email address may be one of them, but in my experience it is not necessarily a tell-tale sign of trouble.

Best,
Jocelyne


 

Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 22:13
Member (2008)
English to Italian
agree Jun 24, 2010

Jocelyne S wrote:

If the email is from an alleged company (agency, end client, etc.), then yes, I am generally wary of free email addresses.

If the email is from a colleague looking to collaborate on a project, then no, I find it quite normal.

I do, however, always ask for the person's VAT number and/or other proof that they are a legally registered business.

There are several things which can sound off alarm bells; a free email address may be one of them, but in my experience it is not necessarily a tell-tale sign of trouble.

Best,
Jocelyne


 

Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:13
Member (2006)
German to English
yes Jun 24, 2010

I only view mails from companies that contact me via ProZ.
There is no other eason why they should (or where did they get my mail address from) contact me in any other way. Once I have familiarised myself with them, then I accept their direct mails.


 

David Wright  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 22:13
German to English
+ ...
never look Jun 24, 2010

To be honest, I never look at the email address - but then again, pracvtically all my work comes from established clients. Work from others gets rejected largely because I have not time rather than the specifics of their email address.

 

Wil Hardman  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:13
Spanish to English
+ ...
It is the content of the email not the address Jun 24, 2010

I am yet to read a scam email written in good English, they always seem to say really bizarre things and can be spotted a mile off.

 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:13
Spanish to English
+ ...
No Jun 24, 2010

... although I do have some spamophobic clients (Regional Authorities and at least one large company) whose firewalls often reject my own emails (I use a free Yahoo account), especially out of office hours.

 

Parrot  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:13
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
Not necessarily Jun 24, 2010

but before I send in my rates sheet, I check given data (BB, company, address, phone numbers, IP concordance) to reduce any chances of spoofing.

 

Lydia De Jorge  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:13
English to Spanish
+ ...
Translation Scams Jun 24, 2010

About 2 months ago I received an email via Proz from a person identifying himself as a Financial Consultant needing 3 large documents translated for a conference he had scheduled in Europe. After exchanging several emails (his English was impeccable), we agreed on rates and deadline. About a week before the project was due, I received an email from him indicating he was leaving for Europe and had asked his assistant to mail me the check for my services. He also indicated that his assistant would be leaving town in a few days and that's why he wanted to send payment ahead of time. Up until that moment, everything seemed 'normal'. A few days later I receive a check (cashier's check) for 3 times the amount of my invoice. I emailed him immediately and he wrote back apologizing profusely for the error and also asking that I send the difference back via Western Union since he would be gone for over a month. I asked him to send ME the right amount via Western Union and I would send him the documents. I never heard from him again!!!

I lost MANY hours of work and of course I never got the money I had worked so hard for.

[Edited at 2010-06-24 18:45 GMT]


 

Tai Fu  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:13
Chinese to English
free address does not mean dubious Jun 24, 2010

My current client uses a free address but he hasn't caused any issue as of yet (pays fast, etc.)

I wouldn't use free email address as a dis-qualifier because it's not that hard to make a domain name and an email address with name@yourcompany.com. All it takes is 7 dollars a year (at godaddy.com) and a hosting service such as hostgator (it's around 10 bucks a month but its a very good/fast/reliable host... there are other hosts out there) which will offer SMTP/sendmail/etc that gives you an email address with your domain name. There are even free hosts (www.110mb.com comes to mind) that offers this kind of service!

If their intention is to rip people off or scam people, these small investments means nothing to them. Even a 6 year old boy can afford to set up these types of services with his lunch money, if he knows how to do it. It used to be a bit more expensive to set up a domain and your own email domain (often requiring you to establish your own server) but now it's not difficult at all, in fact it's only a little harder than getting a gmail account.

Do not trust or distrust an agency solely based on whether or not they use a free or their own email address... it may seem unprofessional to not have their own domain but there could be various reasons for that... I would definitely check the blue board. If the job looks dubious and the agency have no blueboard rating, and uses a free address, then I might be more worried.


 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:13
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
What about private individuals? Jun 24, 2010

I have gotten some nice jobs from private individuals--and they have been willing to pay my rates. In addition to the usual CVs, academic transcripts, and medical reports, sometimes they need a text translated for research purposes. This happened to me a couple of months ago. It was a long medical article. I asked them to make a 50% deposit in my PayPal account. It shows their good intention. And if I don't perform, they know they can report it to PayPal.

 

Kaiya J. Diannen  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2008)
German to English
As usual... Jul 3, 2010

As usual, I wouldn't be able to vote in this poll, because its simple choices lack the nuance necessary to provide an accurate answer.

I could say "yes, generally" I distrust job inquiries from free eMail accounts, but that doesn't mean I will refuse the work in the end. On the other hand, "No, not necessarily" also fits - an eMail address is just information. A lot depends on where the information comes from, and what you do with it.

As people point out, there are ways of establishing whether or not distrust is warranted. My answer would be "often, but I take precautions and may accept the work".

As with many translators, I was scammed once. ONCE. In English we say "once burned, twice shy". I work to make sure it will not happen again.


 

gad
United States
Local time: 16:13
Member
French to English
Yes, but it depends Jul 11, 2010

Yes, no company should have a free email account - unless it's Gmail.

An individual with a free email account would not automatically make me distrust him or her, but I might want to advise that person against it.


 


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