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Could this be a scam?
Thread poster: Natali Lekka

Natali Lekka  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:09
English to Greek
+ ...
Aug 5, 2010

Today I received an email for a translation offer. Could this be some kind of scam?

I am seeking a freelance translator, work from home. English into greek, Spanish into greek. Subject Areas Agriculture, Health,Transportation, Storie, immigration. Must be a self-motivated, hard working professional translator/interpreter. Very much a people person with my main strengths lying within work skills and ability to work under pressure. You are expected to work hourly every day, 3hrs to be precise. monday to friday from your personal confortable place work. As soon as you are approved part payment of 400 euros will be wired to you for motivation and negotiation is welcome as for the weekly payment within 650e to 700e weekly.

If interested contact contact me via email as soon as possible with your CV, must be a private worker. Email resumes to. XXXXXXXX@hotmail.es

Thank you.

XXXXXXX XXXXXXX


Well, what do you think? Have you received this email before? It doesn't look professional or very legitimate. Thank you.

Kind regards,

Natali Lekka


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Karletto
English to Slovenian
+ ...
scam Aug 5, 2010

Free email account + no presentation + 700Euros per week and working only 3 hours per day = SCAM

Block it and case closed.

[Edited at 2010-08-05 14:00 GMT]


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PCovs
Denmark
Local time: 21:09
Member (2003)
English to Danish
+ ...
I would not touch this at all Aug 5, 2010

Just leave it.

It sounds really weird - many mistakes in the text.
And the part about wiring you money up front? Nah, I don't think so.

Last pointer: the freemail (hotmail) - drop it and think no further about it.


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Thomas Pfann  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:09
Member (2006)
English to German
+ ...
Very dodgy Aug 5, 2010

Sounds very dodgy to me - wiring the money up front (and the first €400 "just for motivation"?) and also the hotmail address are pointers that this might not be quite kosher. (Even though a freemail address is not always a sign of illegitimacy - by no means.)

Have you checked where the email is coming from? If you received it through your ProZ profile it will tell you the sender's IP address at the bottom of the mail. Check where it is coming from (you can do that, for example, here: http://www.melissadata.com/lookups/iplocation.asp). That might give you further hints. Has the sender (apart from the email address) given any further details about themselves (company name, location)?

I have reveiced quite a few (suspected) scam mails through my profile in recent months. Usually it is best not to even reply (any maybe report it to ProZ if you are sure that it is a scam mail).

[Edited at 2010-08-05 14:31 GMT]


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Evonymus (Ewa Kazmierczak)  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 21:09
Member (2010)
English to Polish
+ ...
on the other hand Aug 5, 2010

do you risk anything? except for upfront payment

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Natali Lekka  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:09
English to Greek
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Scam email Aug 5, 2010

Thomas Pfann wrote:

Sounds very dodgy to me - wiring the money up front (and the first €400 "just for motivation"?) and also the hotmail address are pointers that this might not be quite kosher. (Even though a freemail address is not always a sign of illegitimacy - by no means.)

Have you checked where the email is coming from? If you received it through your ProZ profile it will tell you the sender's IP address at the bottom of the mail. Check where it is coming from (you can do that, for example, here: http://www.melissadata.com/lookups/iplocation.asp). That might give you further hints. Has the sender (apart from the email address) given any further details about themselves (company name, location)?

I have reveiced quite a few (suspected) scam mails through my profile in recent months. Usually it is best not to even reply (any maybe report it to ProZ if you are sure that it is a scam mail).

[Edited at 2010-08-05 14:31 GMT]



Thomas, I checked the IP address and it is located in Madrid. No, it is not proz but another translation site. I have also googled the name and email address but nothing comes up.

Thank you.


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Aude Sylvain  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 21:09
English to French
+ ...
risks Aug 5, 2010

Evonymus (Ewa Kazmierczak) wrote:

do you risk anything? except for upfront payment


Well, sadly Natali would be risking a bit more than that I'm afraid, as can be read in the (numerous) other threads on the topic, including on ProZ fora.

See for instance the two posts below, which are relevant even though we are speaking of (potential!) wire transfers here:

"This is what will happen

You may quote outrageously high rates, which they'll pay in advance by check without blinking, only that they will "inadvertently" pay more than you quoted and will eventually request a compensation payment from you.

You will diligently pay the difference, while their check takes a couple of days to bounce. You'll never hear from them again."
http://www.proz.com/forum/scams/170947-suspicious_email.html#1508740


"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".
http://www.proz.com/forum/scams/172271-interpreter_cheque_fraud_was_contacted_via_proz.html#1517927

My two cents...


[Edited at 2010-08-05 19:33 GMT]


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Aude Sylvain  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 21:09
English to French
+ ...
checkings Aug 5, 2010

Natali,
from my experience asking to the sender their full details (as well as, ideally, bank data), or even a sample text, might be enough to make scammers run away. If they do not, this will be one point to their credit.


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Arturo Delgado  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 15:09
English to Spanish
Sounds like it Aug 5, 2010

Yes, it sounds like a scam, it smells like a skunk.
As someone else has mentioned, they will send you more than what you quoted and they will ask for money back.
How many people or agencies you know in our business that want to motivate you and pay you in advanced?
Good luck,
Arturo


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Evonymus (Ewa Kazmierczak)  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 21:09
Member (2010)
English to Polish
+ ...
@Aude Aug 5, 2010

ok. you are right Aude.

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Germaine  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 15:09
Member (2005)
English to French
+ ...
May be... may be not! Aug 5, 2010

It is sad that with all the email scams raining over us these days, we are becoming suspicious of any and everything. Most of the time, with reason, I agree. But what about this one?

It is not asking too much: only English and Spanish into Greek, only five subject areas, only 3 hours a day, 15 hours a week. On the other hand, request for "work skills and ability to work under pressure" make it sound a bit ambitious. How much will be asked of these 15 hours? If you have to rush every translation, the maximum 46,6 euros/hour might not be that much after all. In any case, the client would most certainly pay a lot more should it be billed by the source word.

A "motivation" payment could be compared to a retainer and seems reasonable to me since 15 hours a week will have to be reserved for this client - with or without guarantee of work? I would check the underlying conditions of such a payment, though.

Finally, receiving (tons of?) résumés in a free email account keeps your corporate email address available for business. The only thing a bit suspicious to me in this email is the "private worker" part. Are we talking of 3 hours into the night? of saving taxes? intermediary? I might give it a shot... as long as I get all needed information with the second email, no "mistake" in payments and no translation already available on line... It is becoming too easy to overlook a good steady client.


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Ali Mohamad  Identity Verified
United Arab Emirates
Local time: 00:09
English to Arabic
+ ...
The risks Aug 5, 2010

First: It is obviously a scam. What translation agency would make you an offer before testing your work? Ask yourself, who would give you a deal with no negotiations?

The biggest risk is actually being ripped off: Many banks ask certain "identification questions" before handling any phone or online transactions. These questions could be: Your date of birth (available on facebook), your mother's name (could also be on facebook), postal code (from your CV), and similar questions. So if someone have access to your facebook page AND your CV, what is left? your account number, which will be required for the transfer!!!

If you are still unsure, ask for a company profile, then check its registration on the concerned authority's website. easy and costless!!


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xxxNMR
France
Local time: 21:09
French to Dutch
+ ...
Scam Aug 5, 2010

Aside from the rest, nobody in our profession sends money to a translator he/she doesn't know.

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Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 03:09
Member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
Too good to be true? Aug 6, 2010

This can be a scam but let's think differently.

I have experience. An agency contacted me and told to do an urgent big job. He said to pay me in advance since he failed to find other translators in this subject: accounting software translation into Thai. He actually paid me a large sum (I gave him my bank account number: not risky since bank protected my status carefully). I did the job quickly and got balance pf the payment. Weird? Yes. He was an Indian managing director of a small translation agency who lives in Japan. I never heard of him for other repeating job orders.

Best regards,

Soonthon L.


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Tai Fu  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:09
Chinese to English
make sure your bank protects you from unauthorized transfers Aug 6, 2010

My bank (or most banks for that matter) in Taiwan generally does not allow remote transfers outside of the ATM network. For online or phone transfers the bank generally requires the receiving account to be registered with my account first which I must do in person (with a valid ID) and a signature (I do not use chops because they can be stolen and used for fraudulent purpose). Only then can a transfer be made to that account, but all phone/internet transfers must first be verified with a password or pass code, so not anyone can just go and transfer money out of your account for you.

Make sure your bank has similar policies regarding remote transfers, or if the feature can be disabled.

The information I'd guard carefully would be credit card info (a lot of potential for things to go wrong there), identity numbers (Social security or ID numbers) and if a bank only requires birth date and/or mother's maiden name as a form of verification for transfers, then I'd close my account with that bank and find a more secure bank.


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