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ATA members beware: fake translation job linked to fraud!
Thread poster: Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:52
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Feb 25, 2010

Dear colleagues and friends:

I have taken the liberty to copy a message a just received from a colleague in the ATA Spanish Division about a person who asks for a quotation, sends a check for a much higher amount and then uses you to wash money asking you to return the amount.... not the check.

I happen to be one of the people the fake outsourcer got in touch with, and this person asked me for my address. I had replied with my address but stating that we don't accept checks as the payment method. If I receive the check, I will destroy it immediately.

The message below is the warning message I got from this ATA colleague:
Hello all:

I am writing to warn you about a possible scam/fraud email that has been received by a lot of the members of the ATA. If you receive an email with any of the following requests (or a variation) DO NOT REPLY and DO NOT GIVE OUT ANY OF YOUR INFORMATION.

Most of us know about these scams, but for the benefit of those who are not familiar, the fraud scheme works something like this:

The 'fake' client presents a seemingly attractive and lucrative work offer and asks for your price. Then they will send you a check and ask you to deposit it. Right after that they will contact you with an urgent cancellation request saying you should keep a nice amount of the money 'for your inconvenience' and send them back the rest of the money inmediately in a cashier's check (and they are very adamant about receiving their money right away). People who comply with that request soon find that the 'check' was actually a fraudulent check with no funds and that they were in fact scammed for the amount of cash they sent.

These are some examples of the actual emails received yesterday by our colleagues. As you can see, the only difference is the name:

Hello My name is Charles XXXXX, I am presently in the UK now for some
> > conference
> > and by the 20th of March, I will need to talk to some section of Spanish
> > Speakers.
> > I will want you to help convert my english power point slide to spanish for
> > the purpose
> > of my spanish speakers. I will like to know how much it would cost to
> > convert the 17-20 page
> > power point document and I will like to have the name and address you would
> > want my associate
> > to mail the payment to. Lastly, the duration of the work.

"Hello My name is Randy XXXXX, I am presently in the UK now for some conference and by the 20th of March, I will need to talk to some section of Spanish Speakers. I will want you to help convert my english power point slide to spanish for the purpose of my spanish speakers. I will like to know how much it would cost to conver the 17 page power point document and I will like to have the name and address you would want my associate to mail the payment to. Lastly, the duration of the work."


I hope this serves as a warning for those of you who are contacted by this "person"!

[Edited at 2010-02-25 18:59 GMT]


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LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:52
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Thanks for the warning. Feb 25, 2010

Thanks for the warning, but do people seriously reply to these kinds of one-off small jobs from random individuals?

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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:52
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I did! Feb 25, 2010

Jeff Whittaker wrote:
Thanks for the warning, but do people seriously reply to these kinds of one-off small jobs from random individuals?

I did fall... I don't consider myself as particularly stupid, but... did reply asking for the actual file and replied with a quotation. Dumb me!


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LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:52
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Translation job Feb 25, 2010

I did not mean to imply that anyone would be stupid to reply. I have found these types of requests to be a) not serious (someone price shopping), b) very time-consuming (lot of time dealing with someone who knows nothing about translation/lots of questions before and after the translation, c) not very lucrative.

I used to translate transcripts/birth certificates, etc. for local individuals, but not any more. They usually do not have access to a scanner, etc., so I would have to meet them somewhere to pick up and deliver the documents. I would also have to go and have the documents notarized. Then there would be questions about why something was translated the way it was ("I took this course and the translation should be..." or "I need this to say"). And then after all of this work, you still feel bad for taking $50 from them because they usually have very little and they are trying to make a better life for themselves in this country.

The worst part of these kinds of scams is not the fake check. I think most people would catch on as soon as the guy sends you a higher amount and/or asks you to refund the difference. The real problem is all the work you would do for nothing!

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

Jeff Whittaker wrote:
Thanks for the warning, but do people seriously reply to these kinds of one-off small jobs from random individuals?

I did fall... I don't consider myself as particularly stupid, but... did reply asking for the actual file and replied with a quotation. Dumb me!


[Edited at 2010-02-26 01:20 GMT]


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Darío Zozaya  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 00:52
Member
English to Spanish
Thanks for the information. Feb 25, 2010

I also received this message today, but did not reply.

Regards.


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xxxAguas de Mar
Received the message... Feb 25, 2010

... and deleted it immediately.

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Mariela Diaz-Butler
United States
Local time: 22:52
English to Spanish
+ ...
Got it too Feb 26, 2010

Yes, I got the message too. I didn't take it seriously at all, because it has all the tell-tale signs of a scam. The biggest one is the very English-sounding name, with very poor English grammar

Mariela


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:52
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Oh my! Feb 26, 2010

I am such a fool!

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Luisa Ramos, CT  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:52
Member (2004)
English to Spanish
I received it too Feb 26, 2010

But it is another version of the classical "Nigerian" money-laundering scam and I deleted it immediately.

Two weeks ago, I received a similar one but it happened to come from a friend in Spain. I "smelled" a hacker and, indeed, someone had hacked his email account and wrote to all his contacts. So, beware, they can come from trustworthy sources too.


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Jean-Louis S.  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:52
Member (2008)
English to French
+ ...
This is not new Feb 26, 2010

I got this one in 12/09, directly, probably with my contacts taken from ATA:
Hello My name is [American sounding name],
I will need your service to translate a write up for me.
I will need to make a presentation to some set of french speaking people abroad and I will be provided
with a translator in the country where I have to present it, but I will need you to help me translate the paper to French, so each participants can have a copy in french language and they can follow through. Let me know how much you charge for five page presentation. Thank you.

And this one today, through ProZ.com mail with an IP address in Cairo:
Hello,
My name is [American sounding name] from Georgia but presently on an
official assignment in Bucarest, Romania. I will need your
service to translate a write-up for me. I actually need to
make a presentation to some group of french speaking people
abroad and I will be provided with a translator in the
country where I have to present it, so i will need you to
help me translate the paper to french, so each participants
can have a copy in french language and they can follow
through. Let me know your rate for a total of about 22 pages
presentation.
Thank you.


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fake translation job Mar 1, 2010

I'm reporting that I also received this request on 02.28.10, some 30 hours after receiving the Systran software scam. Thanks to all who reported it previously.

[Edited at 2010-03-03 17:13 GMT]


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jthink  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:52
French to English
+ ...
there's one working pro Z now. Mar 2, 2010

Got exactly this request- is there any way to put this warning on the home page ? I know the scam but hadn't associated it with translation requests. They come up with new angles all the time.

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Post removed: This post was hidden by a moderator or staff member because it was not in line with site rule
Post removed: This post was hidden by a moderator or staff member because it was not in line with site rule

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:52
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Is forum rule 8 being interpreted correctly by moderators? Mar 3, 2010

I refer to rule 8 of forums, which says that:

Outsourcers may not be discussed specifically. Posts or comments regarding a specific outsourcer (identified by name, reference, link or other means), whether positive or negative, are not permitted. (To indicate their likelihood of working again with a given outsourcer, site users should use the ProZ.com Blue Board.)

Now. In already two cases, posts to this forum have been hidden because we used the name we received in a job proposal email which proved to be a fraud. The names received in the emails are clearly ficticious and invented by the fraudster sending out the names, so they cannot be considered an "identification of an outsourcer by name, reference, link or other means".

As we are dealing with false names, rule 8 does not apply to any names we may post here. To me, moderators should discuss this in depth with the responsible person in Proz.com, since right now, to me it feels like fraudsters are being granted measures of privacy protection that were only designed for legitimate outsourcers.

I will open a support ticket on this matter for Proz.com to evaluate this further.


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ATA members beware: fake translation job linked to fraud!

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