Agencies + Affiliate/Sister Companies = New scam formula?
Thread poster: Veronica Lupascu

Veronica Lupascu  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 01:42
Dutch to Romanian
+ ...
Jun 15, 2010

Hello All!

I would like to share my experience, because it looks like a scam to me and we should be aware of new scamming formulas and trends.

I've recently submitted an online application for a translation agency based in UK. After submitting it I received a nice personalized email, thanking me for the application, etc.

The very next day the same person contacted me, because suddenly s/he remembered that they have a sister company which is operating in the ecological field. I paste below the email:

Hi again Veronica,

Re: Another way to earn some extra money

I forgot to mention yesterday that we have another way which you can make money when your translation work is slow.

Our sister company, XXXX, is paying people £50 for helping them generate business. You'd also be doing something good to help protect the environment.

It might be something you'd like to have a look at. For details, see the page below.

link to the website

Just a thought.


I visited the website (a very poor quality website). The address of the company is the same as the address of the translation agency. They are offering 10 GBP directly into my paypal account if I submit an application until 1st of July. I didn't bother to submit an application there as well. It is not my type of activity.

The other day I received another email, from a person representing the sister company:

Dear Veronica,

RE: IMPORTANT - ACTION REQUIRED BY YOU

We're very glad that you've decided to take action and join our
affiliate programme.

Before we can being tracking your commissions, we need you to
create an account on our secure affiliate tracking system.

PLEASE VISIT THE ACCOUNT CREATION LINK BELOW IMMEDIATELY. We will
play you a short video containing important information before
automatically transferring you to the signup form:

link to poor quality video

Just in case you are worried, here's our commitment to you:

* We will NEVER ask you for money
* You can unsubscribe and cancel at any time
* We will NEVER ask you to purchase anything from us
* We will NEVER ask you for your bank details or personal
information
* The programme is global so it doesn't matter which country
you live in

You have absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain!

Remember, the sooner you take action, the sooner you can begin
earning commission.

and finally today:

Dear Veronica,

RE: URGENT ACCOUNT CREATION REQUIRED

Not sure if you received my email yesterday but I can't seem to
find your details on our system.

We need you to create an account on our secure affiliate tracking
system before we can send you your marketing materials and pay you.

Maybe you are concerned that this might be some sort of scam? It
definitely isn't. Have a look at this video which tells you how
the system works:

link

Would you mind creating your account NOW please Veronica?

Simply click on the link below. We'll play you a short video before
automatically transfering you to the signup form - it only takes
a couple of minutes:

link to the same video


Thanks



I am not sure if it is a scam or not, maybe colleagues from UK could make a research and confirm if the company exists. But if this is the normal way a company uses to attract collaborators, then I am out of the market.

Thank you for reading all this.

Do you think it is a scam? I reported the email as a spam, so I won't be bothered anymore by such messages. Even it is a normal company, with good records, I certainly don't want to cooperate with such "professionals".


Have a relaxing evening!

Veronica




[Editat la 2010-06-16 08:05 GMT]


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LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:42
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
The End of the Virtual Agency Jun 15, 2010

I am personally receiving more and more e-mails of this type as failed "agencies" attempt to transition into other money-making schemes. It seems that many people with an MBA degree and/or other business acumen, but no practical knowledge about the language services market, decided or were convinced that there was easy money to be had by setting up a virtual on-line translation company. Unfortunately for them, they failed to realize that while someone might entrust them with a small birth certificate or an odd school project, it would be the rare person or company indeed who would order a thousand-dollar plus translation from a faceless virtual store without real-time human or telephone contact with a knowledgeable human being and/or a company without a proven track record with handpicked translators rather than just whichever "linguist" happens to log-on first that day.

[Edited at 2010-06-15 21:58 GMT]


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xxxNMR
France
Local time: 01:42
French to Dutch
+ ...
Spam Jun 16, 2010

I received this kind of things for a while and it was one of the reasons to get rid of my profile on a certain social website and one of my email addresses. They think translators are always in need of some money and, as they can issue invoices, are in line with the laws and therefore can do everything they want.
- selling cosmetics at home in an MLM-scheme
- selling houses, with and without MLM-scheme
- recruiting people
- finding translations for an agency on a commission basis
- clicking on advertisements in an advertisement website (1 click = 0,000X $)
- answering food questionaires (not one or two, but dozens in a month)
- testing online games
- collecting valid e-mail addresses
etc.


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 22:42
English to Portuguese
+ ...
The cash-flow game Jun 17, 2010

Jeff Whittaker wrote:
I am personally receiving more and more e-mails of this type as failed "agencies" attempt to transition into other money-making schemes. It seems that many people with an MBA degree and/or other business acumen, but no practical knowledge about the language services market, decided or were convinced that there was easy money to be had by setting up a virtual on-line translation company. Unfortunately for them, they failed to realize that while someone might entrust them with a small birth certificate or an odd school project, it would be the rare person or company indeed who would order a thousand-dollar plus translation from a faceless virtual store without real-time human or telephone contact with a knowledgeable human being and/or a company without a proven track record with handpicked translators rather than just whichever "linguist" happens to log-on first that day.


Jeff, my guess is that what I call the cash flow game was born exactly in such places you describe so accurately:
people with an MBA degree and/or other business acumen, but no practical knowledge about the language services market, decided or were convinced that there was easy money to be had by setting up a virtual on-line translation company.


There definitely is! These people realized that translation is a unique business where the end-user finds it normal - and is often willing - to pay up-front or COD, while the vendors (translators) often accept getting paid in 45, 60, 90, or more days without charging any interest. So it's a source of interest-free cash. If they get that contrivance flying, simply pushing files back-and-forth, they'll always have cash to live on, and the whole setup will allow them to pay their translators with the up-front payment from the next job. Of course, the risk is in a slowdown - or worse, a halt - in demand.

I'm not talking about agencies' markup nor profit, hence neither about translators' rates. The point is in translators accepting longer payment terms at no extra charge.

My suggestion is for each translator to make a one-sided agreement with their bank. No need to ever tell them about it. Just say it aloud to yourself: Hey, Bank X, as long as don't offer translation services, I won't lend interest-free money to anyone. This will prevent us both from compromising each other's business."


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Agencies + Affiliate/Sister Companies = New scam formula?

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