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Poll: Have you ever been a victim of a scam during your career?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 21:53
SITE STAFF
Nov 29, 2013

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Have you ever been a victim of a scam during your career?".

View the poll results »



 

Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 13:53
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
No Nov 29, 2013

Not a scam as such but one customer of mine many years back went belly up before they could pay me. Only a relatively small amount was involved so I got off lightly, unlike others I know. One of the managers there was imprisoned in a windowless room by the yakuza for four months!

On the whole, though, I am very cautious. I do not rush into new business deals and relationships, and immediately step back if I sense flashing red lights. This approach has served me very well so far. icon_smile.gif


 

Kathrin Caiger  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:53
English to German
+ ...
Sadly, yes... Nov 29, 2013

Even though I am very apprehensive when it comes to spreading personal information to the world, my CV has been hijacked several times. Thankfully, most agencies have contacted me directly to find out whether I really was the sender. The scammers never are very creative, they only change a few bits and bops on the CV, often making it look very inconsistent (they made me 10 years older, but then I would have completed my A' levels at the age of 29...).

Once the scammers have set an eye on you, they register every possible e-mail combination with your name, too. Then they apply to agencies and ask for work, and get paid via Paypal (what a surprise!). Luckily, my clients know my quality, so they would be very wary if another Kathrin Caiger handed in some art work à la Google Translate.

For those who have been the victims of scammers or those who are interested in finding out more about the scammers' "tactics", I can warmly recommend http://www.jrdias.com/jrd-translator-scammers.htm provided by translator Joao Roque Dias.


 

Triston Goodwin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:53
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes Nov 29, 2013

One of my first projects as a freelancer ended up being an advanced payment scam. I was new enough to the game to know that someone wouldn't just contact me out of the blue with a big project without so much as a copy of my CV, so I didn't lose anything other than time. Either way, I really didn't appreciate it, so I wasted as much of the scammer's time as he had wasted of mine. I really enjoyed our conversations over the phone, sending him off to pick up western union money transfers with fake control numbers, and his eventual arrest. That last part was very satisfying.

On the other side of the coin, I once contacted an agency because I thought that the project that I had been offered was from a scam artist. Turns out the guy was the president of the company... oops.

[Edited at 2013-11-29 08:39 GMT]


 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 05:53
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
No! Nov 29, 2013

Julian Holmes wrote:

On the whole, though, I am very cautious. I do not rush into new business deals and relationships, and immediately step back if I sense flashing red lights. This approach has served me very well so far. icon_smile.gif


Me too...


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:53
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Nov 29, 2013

I once did a "paid-for sample translation" for a company that contacted me via proz. The text was about telecommunications, a field that I've done a lot of work in. After translating the initial few hundred words, the project manager asked if I would do some more of the same for a fee, a couple of thousand words if I recall correctly, so I did. At the end of the day, when I tried to bill them for the work, they queried my word count. I wasn't prepared to waste a lot of time arguing about it or trying to justify my side, so in the end they didn't pay me anything at all, and I feel as if I was "scammed" by this company, despite its very good Blue Board record.

Although this may not fit the profile of your usual email-type scam, I was lied to (told I'd be paid for my work then called into question when it came to billing for it) or cheated, which to me is just as bad or even worse, since I'd contacted this company personally through proz.



[Edited at 2013-11-29 10:09 GMT]


 

Enrico Zoffoli  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 06:53
Member (2013)
German to Italian
+ ...
No Nov 29, 2013

because I only work for clients whom I know personally.

 

Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
Kind of Nov 29, 2013

Kathrin Caiger wrote:

For those who have been the victims of scammers or those who are interested in finding out more about the scammers' "tactics", I can warmly recommend http://www.jrdias.com/jrd-translator-scammers.htm provided by translator Joao Roque Dias.


Interesting site. We are on the other end of this scam - bombarded with endless emails from fake translators.

This guy's naming and shaming seems pointless to me, though. We sent countless emails asking these people to cease and desist before realising what was happening and naturally they take no notice.

So then I pretended to show an interest, they took the bait, again I asked them to stop, and they haven't.

My solution, which is far from perfect but greatly reduces the irritation factor, is to channel all emails from Gmail addresses into a separate folder in Outlook and quickly check through them in one go at the end of the day in case anything legitimate gets in there. Any better suggestions would be very welcome!

What I don't get is how anyone would send these people work.


 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:53
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Once Nov 29, 2013

Last year. I reported it on this site. A woman e-mailed me with a sob story, saying she needed an English translation of a lecture she had been invited to give for a charitable cause - in memory of her son who had died. She sent me a check by FedEx from a "generous benefactor" and asked me to cash it. I was to pay myself with part of the money and send the balance (about $500) to her travel agency to pay her trip for the lecture she was going to give.

I had the presence of mind to take the check to a teller at the bank rather than deposit it in my account. The teller smelled something suspicious and sent me to the bank the check was drawn on, which happened to be across the street. They said the account was good but the check wasn't valid - they wouldn't give me a reason. Had I deposited the check in my account, the idea was that I would be using my own money to send the payment to the sham "travel agency" - only to discover later that the check I had deposited was no good - leaving me short $500.

Fortunately, I hadn't done much work on the translation. When I reported my experience on this site, I found that a number of other translators had been approached with a similar story.

It takes a really creative mind to think up a scheme like that!

[Edited at 2013-11-29 11:40 GMT]


 

Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 06:53
Member (2008)
English to Italian
Yes Nov 29, 2013

- client who asked me to carry out a test translation, which turned out to be a piece of a translation assigned as a test to several people
- unpaid work (twice)
- unreliable requests (like, we pay in advance and double rate!) - just a waste of time


 

tilak raj  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 10:23
Member (2012)
English to Panjabi
+ ...
YES Nov 29, 2013

I was vicitim of a client. I had worked for her. It was of Rs.10,500 but she gave me 9,000 rs. only. After it she did not pay any amount except giving lot of reminders and phone calls. she bluffed with various translators. This was extremely bad and scary moment for me. Apart it, some clients are late payers but they don't renege the payment.


[Edited at 2013-11-29 12:41 GMT]


 

Catherine De Crignis  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 06:53
Member (2012)
English to French
+ ...
Targeted but not fallen for it Nov 29, 2013

Hi,
I was targeted once, but the scam was so obvious (stupid random copied and pasted so-called "management" doc. to translate for some obscure person with am improbable German name - not Helmut Köhl but similar -, gmail address, in hospital and all the rest of it ! ) I did not fall for it and I reported it to ProZ.
Like the others said, I'm very cautious. Touching wood.
But there are other pitfalls that may be harder to avoid ie. clients going bankrupt.

Kind regards,
Catherine


 

John Cutler  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:53
Spanish to English
+ ...
or... Nov 29, 2013

Muriel Vasconcellos wrote:

It takes a really creative mind to think up a scheme like that!

[Edited at 2013-11-29 11:40 GMT]


I'd substitute creative for deviousicon_eek.gif


 

Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:53
Member
English to French
No Nov 29, 2013

But 2 liquidations of former agency customers in 2001 and 2011 and an overall loss of 5200 euros. One of them had been a returning client for over a year, weighing more than 20% of my business, and the next had been recommended by a colleague!

Plus one direct attempt when I tried to sell a couch through an ad site. It was known tactics: "I'll send you more money in order for you to pay the carrier company who will pick up the couch. Here are the details of their moneybookers/Paypal/Western Union account". The whole setup with associated fake paperwork. I wrote him/her to get lost, using various bird names and threats, and he replied "OK"!

Philippe


 

MikeTrans
Germany
Local time: 06:53
Italian to German
+ ...
Not sure how the question is intended...but... Nov 29, 2013

Hello,

I have seen many scam *attempts* in my mail folder during the past years. My junk settings are very good, so - hopefully - these attempts will go there almost 100% of the time.
These settings can be trained. Be sure to never click any link when reviewing junk mail ! You would review the junk just before deleting it for good.

Here at Proz.com there is a large section dedicated to scams. I remember, the last time I ventured through these forums, I thought it was worth an entire Hollywood movieicon_smile.gif

Greets,
Mike


 
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