Scam warning: overpayment is alleged and refund is requested
Thread poster: ETC LTD

ETC LTD  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:48
Member (2004)
German to English
+ ...
Aug 28, 2010

10 days ago we received a translation request from English into French. The translation cost agreed was EUR 1,200. Shortly after, the client contacted us saying that he would like to send a cheque, a Barclays Bank Draft. We agreed to that. However the "client" contacted us again saying that his partner has sent the draft but has made a mistake with the amount and the amount exceeding EUR 1200 should be returned. - Today we received a Barclays Bank draft for EUR 4870.- I have stopped the translation shortly after the "client" has announced the problem with the "exceeding amount". Today, I contacted the Fraud Squad with the following result:

Dear Mr Kohler

This is a regularly used scam method in which an alleged overpayment is
made and a refund of the difference requested. Would advise that if you
are in any doubt to the validity of the request, either ignore it or
confirm with Barclays that the draft for EUR 4780 is genuine before you
proceed any further.

Thank you
NSY email office

Just to let you know.............

Good luck,

Joachim
European Translation Centre

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2010-08-28 12:12 GMT]


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:48
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
It surprises me that you did not know already! Aug 28, 2010

We have been discussing these scams for a decade. Where have you been?icon_wink.gif

If I were you, I would or touch ANY of that money. Ask your bank to return all the funds IMMEDIATELY to the source, unless your local police advise you to do otherwise.

I mean TO THE EXACT BANK AND ACCOUNT THE MONEY CAME FROM!! Do not accept to send the money to any other place, either in full or in parts, or you will be contributing to money laundering. Personally I would ask your local police about what to do, and would also bring a lawyer to the police station with you. Do not allow the bank to use or put those funds into your account for the moment, if that is at all possible.

The attorney fees you will have to pay will help you be much more careful in the future. It really strikes me that an advance payment does not look immediately suspicious to you! How many customers do you have who pay you a relatively big sum in advance?

[Edited at 2010-08-28 12:22 GMT]


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:48
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Scam Aug 29, 2010

Joachim Koehler wrote:

.....This is a regularly used scam method


Thanks Joachim. I, for one, did not know about this particular scam and thanks for mentioning it. I've heard of similar types of scam, but not this one. I will be careful not to accept suspicious payments.

This raises a question in my mind: how can I prevent unauthorised people from paying money into my bank?


 

Oliver Walter  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:48
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
Return it Aug 29, 2010

I suppose, if you are sent a cheque or draft (really the same thing, I think) for an amount larger than the correct sum, you could post it back to them with the request to send a correct cheque. If you don't have an address to send it to, (a) that would be suspicious, and (b) you can inform them by email that you will not try to bank a cheque that is not for the correct amount, and in any case you will not send them the translation until the cheque has cleared and the sum really is in your account.
Oliver


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:48
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Yes, but Aug 30, 2010

But what if someone acquires my bank details and makes an unauthorised direct transfer? I send my bank details to all my clients.

 

Oliver Walter  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:48
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
Thoughts about money laundering Aug 30, 2010

Tom in London wrote:
But what if someone acquires my bank details and makes an unauthorised direct transfer?

Thinking aloud: Well, I suppose you can't prevent it if they have your bank account details.
If it's part of a money-laundering operation, I wonder how they are going to receive the apparently clean money. One possibility: they transferred too much and ask you to return the surplus, which then looks clean when they receive it, and the amount you retain is your unwitting fee for your participation.
Perhaps it is a fair fee for a real translation which they didn't actually want - it was just a way of laundering the amount that you return. I don't know what the law says about this.
If you are suspicious I think Tomas CB is probably right and you should ask your bank (on the record) to return the money to exactly where it came from. If that fails, at least you can prove you tried to refuse to accept the money - perhaps put it into a separate new account to hold it until the issue is dealt with.
If it did look like a correct fee and you return the surplus, your records for the job will presumably be evidence that you thought you were doing a paid-for translation job, if any question arises of participation in money laundering.

I send my bank details to all my clients.

When do you send them? I wouldn't send my bank-account details before the time that they are sent as part of the invoice. They are not part of my contact details (e.g. in email "signatures").

Oliver


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:48
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Of course Aug 30, 2010

Oliver Walter wrote:
When do you send them? I wouldn't send my bank-account details before the time that they are sent as part of the invoice. They are not part of my contact details (e.g. in email "signatures").

Oliver


Of course.


 

Enrique Cavalitto  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 19:48
Member (2006)
English to Spanish
There is a community wiki page on scams Aug 30, 2010

You may read (and contribute) on this issue here, in ProZ.com wiki page on Detecting and reacting to false job offers and other scams.

Enrique


 

Angie Garbarino  Identity Verified
Member (2003)
French to Italian
+ ...
Thanks for posting Enrique Aug 30, 2010

Enrique wrote:

You may read (and contribute) on this issue here, in ProZ.com wiki page on Detecting and reacting to false job offers and other scams.

Enrique


Hi Enrique
I have quoted this post of yours in the Italian forum just to help a young colleague who seems not to be aware and is presently working for a scammer. With this information he hopefully can at least avoid to refund the difference of the overpayment.

Best regards

Angio

[Edited at 2010-08-30 13:06 GMT]


 

Neil Coffey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:48
French to English
+ ...
Just tell your bank Aug 30, 2010

Tom in London wrote:
But what if someone acquires my bank details and makes an unauthorised direct transfer? I send my bank details to all my clients.


If you leave the money where it is and immediately inform both your bank and the police about the transaction and that you have no record of the money, I would *hope* that you would have nothing to worry about.

If you withdraw the money and use it to run off to the Bahamas...


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:48
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Not the Bahamas Aug 30, 2010

Neil Coffey wrote:

Tom in London wrote:
But what if someone acquires my bank details and makes an unauthorised direct transfer? I send my bank details to all my clients.


If you leave the money where it is and immediately inform both your bank and the police about the transaction and that you have no record of the money, I would *hope* that you would have nothing to worry about.

If you withdraw the money and use it to run off to the Bahamas...


It wouldn't be the Bahamasicon_smile.gif


 


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