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Scam ? (Certified check)
Thread poster: jthink

jthink
United States
Local time: 11:12
French to English
+ ...
Mar 2, 2010

I am puzzled about a job I've been given. A private person contacted me directly through my profile to translate some financial policy papers as back-up for a talk he's supposed to give in a foreign country. This didn't correspond at all to my profile but I can do it, and I accepted. He gave me a name and address, and said he will pay by certified check. I was a bit worried when I found no sign of him on the people search services, and even more when I discovered that he has another proZ member working on it as well. I requested clarification and he said he always pays for multiple translations and chooses the one he prefers. But neither of us are expert in this area. Also the texts are badly copied-out extracts from a big paper- which he doesn't attribute.

This is so strange- does anyone know what it might mean (if in fact it isn't on the level ?) I have given him my name, address and phone no. but nothing else, of course. Any insight or similar experience will be appreciated!


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PCovs
Denmark
Local time: 17:12
Member (2003)
English to Danish
+ ...
RUN!!! Mar 2, 2010

jthink wrote:

...and said he will pay by certified check.


Never accept such things from people you don't know very well.

A foreign check will take several weeks or even months to clear - if they don't bounce, which they just might.

I wouldn't be too surprised if, when you receive the check, your client has "accidently" paid you too much for the job, and you should make a bank transfer or send back the surplus amount by Western Union or something.

This is the typical scam, because you would send this money instantly without any chance of stopping the payment, whereas the check, you received will take weeks at best to bounce, and then you'll know you've been had. You did a translation AND you paid to do it.


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P Forgas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 14:12
Portuguese to Spanish
+ ...
fraud Mar 2, 2010

read this thread:

http://www.proz.com/forum/money_matters/158975-ata_members_beware:_fake_translation_job_linked_to_fraud.html

P.


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Noni Gilbert
Spain
Local time: 17:12
Spanish to English
+ ...
Oh dear Mar 2, 2010

It sounds all too similar to Tomás's warning doesn't it, dear Ann Arborite.

Have you finished the translation? If not, STOP NOW! Contact your client and say that you need confirmation of identity. No doubt you won't hear back... And if possible contact the other Prozian you say you know is translating the same project.

Edited for typo

[Edited at 2010-03-02 13:19 GMT]


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Mafalda d'Orey de Faria  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 16:12
Member
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Too risky Mar 2, 2010

Even if desperate for money, do not run the risk of never see the result of your efforts!
Use the time to look for other jobs.


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jthink
United States
Local time: 11:12
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks, all Mar 2, 2010

i have indeed stopped, contacted the other guy (that I know of) and written to proZ to see if they can't put a warning up front- when I tried to find these threads myself on the Forum I didn't turn them up. Does amyone know of a way to report the IP address somewhere ?

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Yolanda Broad  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:12
Member (2000)
French to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
Tracing IP address Mar 2, 2010

If you were contacted via your ProZ.com profile, please submit the IP address (and other header information) to ProZ.com via a support request. They can check their system to see if your scammer was present on ProZ.

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Anya Lester
United States
Local time: 11:12
English to Russian
+ ...
Scary Mar 2, 2010

I had a proposal from a Russian "company" who were going to travel to NYC in order to start selling some pastries to some clients (yeah). Anyhow, they asked me to come there and stay with them for 2 weeks and interpret their sales proposals. I asked them where their office is and it turns out that they didn't have and office and planned on renting a studio apt. I asked who would pay for my traveling expenses (I live 8 hours away from NYC), they said they won't pay for travel or food, but I should "feel free to travel back home at my own expense on weekends". I told them my rate, they said they would agree to pay half of it.

I had to decline the job and was frustrated that people like that wasted so much of my time.


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Benno Groeneveld  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:12
English to Dutch
+ ...
I was once asked Mar 3, 2010

to act as an interpreter for a "client" who wanted to send his wife and daughter on a shopping expedition. He sent a check in advance, for a nice round (way overpaid) $5,000. Two days before the shopping trip was supposed to happen, I received an email: terrible accident, wife and daughters killed in a car accident.

I was told to cash the check, keep $500 and Western Union the remaining $4500 back to the client. When I wrote back saying I hadn't cashed the check yet and would send it back, I never heard from them again.

Interestingly, I contacted the US bank on whcich the check was drawn. They said they knew about it and weren't interested in even looking at the forged check.


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Yasutomo Kanazawa  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:12
English to Japanese
+ ...
Wow! That was a close one, wasn't it? Mar 3, 2010

Benno Groeneveld wrote:

to act as an interpreter for a "client" who wanted to send his wife and daughter on a shopping expedition. He sent a check in advance, for a nice round (way overpaid) $5,000. Two days before the shopping trip was supposed to happen, I received an email: terrible accident, wife and daughters killed in a car accident.

I was told to cash the check, keep $500 and Western Union the remaining $4500 back to the client. When I wrote back saying I hadn't cashed the check yet and would send it back, I never heard from them again.

Interestingly, I contacted the US bank on whcich the check was drawn. They said they knew about it and weren't interested in even looking at the forged check.


Typical scenario of a fraud where they send you a check. And too good to be a non-fiction where the supposed party dies in a terrible car accident two days before the shopping expedition which I believe they were very much looking forward to. Maybe this guy's former job was to write telescripts for cheap soap operas?

Anyway, lucky you that you didn't cash in the check. Or else you would be sharing a story here with a different outcome...


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:12
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Let's stay together! Mar 3, 2010

Yes, you did the right thing by warning the other person!

If we stay together and don't give these people a chance, they will stop trying soon.

[Edited at 2010-03-03 07:06 GMT]


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jthink
United States
Local time: 11:12
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Lucky I tipped in time Mar 3, 2010

But I feel dumb not catching on quicker- in fact, I had a similar situation with a request for English lessons once.

It isn't possible to catch the guy calling himself Hanks Blake, as his IP address is hidden, but I do think proZ would do well to send or publish a visible alert to those who don't follow the forums- this kind of thing will be more and more prevalent as people are hurting for work!

Another variant, posted on Craigslist:

SCAM ALERT - affiliate scammers are posting bogus ads promising (nonexistent!) employment, paid research trials, or other compensation, but then notifying repliers that they'll need to jump through a hoop first, directing them to:

* background checking services
* credit checking or reporting sites
* sites where you are instructed to enter your resume or other personal information
* sites where you are asked to sign up for a "free" trial offer
* sites offering training or education
* sites offering a "system" for making money
* survey or focus group sites
* sites designed to deliver malware or misuse your identifying information


all in hopes of earning affiliate marketing commissions or otherwise profiting at the expense of persons seeking employment.


Lots of variations on this scam, but each generally involves dangling (nonexistent!) compensation, and then directing you to a website where you are asked to sign up for something, use your credit card, or input personal information such as your email address.


FUN FACT: If you are able to determine a scammer's "affiliate ID" and report it to their affiliate marketing program, this will often result in termination of the scammer, and confiscation of the scammer's ill-gotten gains by the affiliate program.




[Edited at 2010-03-03 17:32 GMT]


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Merline
Local time: 11:12
English to French
IP address of possible scammer Mar 10, 2010

Yolanda Broad wrote:

If you were contacted via your ProZ.com profile, please submit the IP address (and other header information) to ProZ.com via a support request. They can check their system to see if your scammer was present on ProZ.


Hi, I'm Merline and here is the IP number of Mr. H.B., as received in an email:

You have been sent a message via ProZ.com.
Author: [H. B.]
[NOTE: The author is not a registered ProZ.com user or was not logged in when sending this message.]
Author's IP address: 64.62.196.30
Message type: Request for quote

This message was not directly sent to me but to a colleague and friend who is a Proz member (her actual workload did not allow her to look at that project, so she forwarded the request to me). I worked two days and a half on the guy's project before I realized other Proz translators were working on the same document as I was.

Merline

[Modifié le 2010-03-11 14:33 GMT]


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