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interpreter / cheque fraud - was contacted via proz
Thread poster: Sandra Emberger

Sandra Emberger
Germany
Local time: 09:57
English to German
+ ...
Jun 1, 2010

Hi,

Last week, I was contacted by a supposedly English person requesting my services as an interpreter. The person in question wanted to pay by cheque in advance and in fact I received several cheques a few days later. However, I received about double the necessary amount and was asked to send back the excess amount.
During the next days, the person actually phoned. However, the accent was very strange - just like all emails and the whole procedure. So I checked the cheques and figured they were fake. Then I called American Express for verification. As it turned out, the cheques were fake so I took them to the police to let them take care of it.

Please be aware!

Regards,
Sandra

Here's the contacting email:

Hi,
I am ##### from #####, UK.I will need the service
of an interpreter while i will be coming for a 4days program
in GERMANY.The service would be for duration of 2hours
daily from, ##### Monday through ##### Thursday,2010.

I would want you to get back with the price quote for the
service , so i could make deposit payment to reserve this
spot for me from your schedule.I will furnish you every
necessary further informations needed.

Waiting to read back from you at your best convenience.

Rev. #####

[Edited at 2010-06-01 18:13 GMT]

[Edited at 2010-06-01 18:13 GMT]

[Edited at 2010-06-01 18:15 GMT]

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2010-06-01 19:00 GMT]


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Steffen Walter  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:57
Member (2002)
English to German
+ ...
Sent from a profile? Jun 1, 2010

Hi Sandra,

Was this message sent from a registered ProZ.com profile? If so, please submit a support ticket so that ProZ.com staff can take care of the matter and remove the profile. http//www.proz.com/support

Best regards,
Steffen


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Sandra Emberger
Germany
Local time: 09:57
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
No, not a member Jun 1, 2010

Hi Steffen,

no, the person was not registered or at least not logged in.

However, the following email contact was via a yahoo.com address, so if necessary I can forward the emails.


Regards,
Sandra


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Alfredo Fernández Martínez  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:57
English to Spanish
+ ...
Same here for Spain.... Jun 1, 2010

http://www.proz.com/forum/spanish/172010-fraude_:_pago_por_adelantado_desde_nigeria.html#1517824



This one was sent via Proz, but not from any profile....

The IP, however, was there...

This keeps going around, reoccurring...


Best,

Alfredo

[Edited at 2010-06-01 18:29 GMT]


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:57
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Contacted via ProZ? Jun 1, 2010

Was this through your ProZ profile, Sandra? If so, I imagine ProZ staff would like to know about it.

By the way, even if the cheques were perfectly valid, they still MUST NOT BE CASHED. This is a classic form of money laundering:-
1) money from drugs dealing or other illegal activity is banked
2) cheques are sent to unsuspecting, honest people
3) refunds are demanded - and given - from your bank account. The money they receive from you is "clean".

Even if they don't ask for a full refund, and even if the bank accepts their cheque, the money is "dirty" and you are liable to have it confiscated at the least, and liable for prosecution at the worst.

Normally, the poos, unsuspecting receiver presents the cheque to the bank, then reimburses the sender before the cheque has been cleared by the bank - they then lose everything they have sent and still risk prosecution for presenting a forged cheque.

Thanks for warning us of this, Sandra.

P.S. It sounds as though they are running short of mugs to rob! We can't be their best candidates, surely? Do they really think they pass for English speakers?

Edited to make it clear that very often step (1) does not happen - there never is any money. But even if there is, you don't want any of it!

[Edited at 2010-06-01 18:46 GMT]


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Ildiko Santana  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:57
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...

MODERATOR
cashier check scam Jun 1, 2010

I was also contacted with a similar offer from the email address puresthoney1 [at] yahoo [dot] com and when I asked how (s)he found me, the answer was "On Proz website." The email did not come through my profile page but directly, otherwise I would have reported it. As we had not done business before, I asked for 50% upfront via PayPal. The response was "I can only pay via cashiers check in full before translation is recieved." I found this so strange on so many levels that our communication ended at this point. Around the same time a colleague posted a warning on the WPPF list; he received similar emails, from someone using the same name and the doyenski09 [at] yahoo [dot] co [dot] uk address, and later received a check that was six times the agreed amount and turned out to be fraudulent.

This apparently very active individual is using a method 'Cashier Check Scam' as Snopes calls it. Snopes is a very useful site to get our online scam/fraud education, where cases such as this one are discussed in detail, and actual victims are providing warnings and feedback as well. See here:
http://www.snopes.com/crime/fraud/cashier.asp

When you have no information on the sender other than a (most likely fake) name and a disposable email address, always proceed with caution!


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Sandra Emberger
Germany
Local time: 09:57
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Yes, through Proz profile Jun 1, 2010

Sheila Wilson wrote:

Was this through your ProZ profile, Sandra? If so, I imagine ProZ staff would like to know about it.



Yes, I was contacted through my ProZ profile.

Sandra

[Edited at 2010-06-01 20:59 GMT]


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Giuseppina Gatta, MA (Hons)
Member (2005)
English to Italian
+ ...
Nigerian-like scam Jun 2, 2010

This is a pretty well-known scam and even if I don't like to use cultural/country-related stereotypes, it mostly originates from UK by people that are not originally from there. I have received similar messages through Proz and always ignored them. I think they are pretty easy to spot because they insist in paying in advance, by check, and they usually write in a pretty poor style, so you can tell they are not businessmen like they are trying to make you believe.

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Translation-Pro  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:57
Member (2007)
English to German
+ ...
More info in this thread Jun 2, 2010

Hi Sandra,

Please check out this thread:

http://www.proz.com/forum/business_issues/170947-suspicious_email.html

Take care,

Christa


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Jan Neersoe  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:57
Member (2004)
English to German
Use the visitors page Jun 2, 2010

For dodgy-looking inquiries like these, I have found it very helpful to look at the Visitors page to find out who visited my profile around the time the message was sent, and where their IP is located. If it says "Lagos, Nigeria" (as it was the case with a message very similar to the one you received), that should ring a bell.

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Lydia De Jorge  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:57
English to Spanish
+ ...
I fell for it! Jun 3, 2010

I received the following through ProZ (non-registered user):

Hello,

My name is #### from Huntington Beach,California but presently on an official assignment in Bucarest, Romania. I need your service to translate a write-up for me.I actually need to make a presentation to some group of Spanish 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 Spanish,so each participants can have a copy in Spanish language and they can follow through. Let me know your rate for a total of about 22 pages presentation(see attachments).

Thank you.

#####
#####

After several email, I accepted and began to work. Two weeks later he sent an email indicating that the assistant that took care of matters at home would be leaving the country and he would send a cashier's check for my services (I had not yet delivered) before leaving. A check with no return address and triple the owed amount arrived a few days later. Sure enough, it was a fraud. Hours of work down the drain!


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Post removed: This post was hidden by a moderator or staff member for the following reason: Unedited since 3 days
Post hidden: The author has been asked to edit this post in line with site rule
John Correa
United States
Local time: 03:57
English to Spanish
Not only in PRO Z Jun 30, 2010

They don't only operate here in PRO Z but in the ATA website as well.

[Edited at 2010-06-30 18:07 GMT]


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Fabian Deckwirth  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 11:57
Member (2010)
Portuguese to English
+ ...
ATA website Jul 2, 2010

Indeed, the ATA website is used for that scam as well. Happened to me last week with a translation request from English to German. I requested advance payment through paypal, but the guy only wanted to pay through bank checks and had a myriad of awkward explanations for that. I finally gave up.

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