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SCAM ALERT: Translators, please be aware of a scammer who uses other translators to propagate a scam
Thread poster: Jared Tabor

Jared Tabor
Local time: 08:21
SITE STAFF
Sep 10, 2010

Hello all,

Recent topics on this scam have been posted, at http://www.proz.com/topic/179527 and http://www.proz.com/topic/179431 . There you can see some examples of the type of message being used.

Since then, site staff have become aware of more, similar cases.

Basically, the scammer appears to be contacting translators offering work. The translators may complete this work, turn it in, and before payment is made, the scammer offers to pay an additional amount if the translator will assist him/her in contacting other translators for other jobs, like this:


Thanks for the quick response...I will add $200 to your translation job for recruiting translators only if the email address the translators will have at least 100 respond... I WILL ADVISE YOU TO SEND EMAILS TO THE TRANSLATORS AND POST A JOB AT THE SAME TIME IN DIFFERENT WEBSITES YOU CAN FIND..


It may also happen that, after providing their information and qualifications, the scammer replies that unfortunately he/she is unable to give them the job, but will be willing to pay them for helping to recruit other translators.

The translators are given a message to send out or post, and are asked to contact translators with it, signing the message in the name of the scammer (of course, it may very well be an assumed identity). Methods of propagating this scam have been through email messages and attempts at job postings-- the job postings have been removed by staff before they could be made visible.

The email addresses used by the scammer so far have used the the following email domains, and tend to contain "qbookshop" in the address:

@revenue.com
@collector.org
@washington.usa.com
@post.com

Note that third-party jobs are not permitted at ProZ.com (see http://www.proz.com/siterules/jobs_posting/1.8#1.8 ) and by posting or attempting to post translation work for others, you become the responsible party for that job.

Please be very cautious when choosing to deal with offers for work which have the above characteristics! If you receive an email message through ProZ.com of this type, do not hesitate to contact site staff through the online support system. Thank you!

Jared


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Roberto Lipani  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:21
Italian to English
+ ...
About scams Sep 13, 2010

Hi Jared,
I think I have seen a couple of job postings very similar to the ones you quoted. As far as you know, also a job offer like "seekind translator from english to italian" with no other details about subject or deadlines can be considered as a scam?
I always check before applying. Personally, I think forums are a great help
Thank you very much
Take care,
Regards

Roberto


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Jared Tabor
Local time: 08:21
SITE STAFF
TOPIC STARTER
When in doubt, contact support Sep 14, 2010

Hi Roberto,

I wouldn't necessarily consider a job posting like the ones you mention scams, though I would have to see more information, I suppose. If the job poster has a Blue Board record, you already have a first source of information in deciding whether to work with them, of course, and this would also be an indicator that there is probably no scam involved.

When in doubt regarding scams, you can contact staff via the support system, at http://www.proz.com/support/ and provide the specific page link and a member of staff may be able to further help you. Thanks!

Jared


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shstephaniepark
South Korea
English to Korean
+ ...
I wonder my case is also a scam. Sep 15, 2010

Several weeks ago, I received an e-mail offering a job as usual "a long-term basis" and asking 500-words free test.

In his first e-mail, he said he can not pay for the test because his client insisted 500 words test for quality reason and did not want to pay for it.

I refused it saying 500 words are too excessive given the fact 200-300 words are the average for a free test and suggested of paying me a minimum flat fee in his case.

The guy replied that he can not pay the minimum fee but he is willing to pay me with my normal rate only if I pass the test.

I said no because he sounds like playing a lottery and not so logical. I felt what he wants is to 500-words translation for free.

Is it not a scam?

Sincerely,

Sunghee

[Edited at 2010-09-15 07:11 GMT]


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BirgitBerlin  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:21
English to German
+ ...
500 words is excessive Sep 15, 2010

500 words for free is definitely excessive.
He would probably have taken the free translation and told you that you haven't passed the "test" but thank you very much for trying!

There are many scammers out there, trying to take advantage of self-employed translators, particularly of ones that are unexperienced with this kind of work environment (and here I don't mean unexperienced translators, but really the fact of finding clients and customers).

I have been unsure when I started, but I was lucky to have experienced colleagues who I met through Proz, who I could ask whether to take on a job offer or not, in cases where I wasn't sure.

So far, I have not ever been not paid for a job. But this is also due to the fact that I choose my clients carefully and never take on a job hastily.


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aaatrans
English to Spanish
Travelers cheques scam! Sep 16, 2010

Hello everybody!

I want you to know that I nearly have been scammed by a "disable business woman". She was an intermediate between a client and me and I arranged with her that I would translate a text for 2000€ and I would receive a 30% of the total amount in advance and that the payment would be through travelers cheques.
Unfortunately, the client had a mistake and sent to me 3000€ (6x500€) in American Express travelers cheques. (The envelope in which the travelers cheques were has no information about the sender's name nor address. Very suspicious!)

The business woman wanted me to have in cash all the travelers cheques, I could keep the agreed 30% and then I would have to send to her the rest of the amount via Western Union.

I finally did not have in cash these forgery travelers cheques.

The only advise I can give to all of you is "Use your commons sense".
Nobody mistakes in sending 3000€ instead of 600€.


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Leticia Klemetz, CT  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 12:21
Swedish to Spanish
+ ...
Prodialect scam? Sep 17, 2010

Hello!
This seems like a good place to post this.
This week I received an email from Prodialect, a Canadian company that has supposedly been in the market for three years and wants more translators in their team. So far so good.
But the English had a lot of smaller mistakes, not to be made by a native Canadian! The company is not listed in the Blue Board and has only 3 hits on google.
They request filling in a translator form (the document name is "transltors registeration form"), and in it, among other common information requests, is the full bank details.
It certainly looks like a scam to me! I hope nobody is "green" enough to give out their bank information on a registration form like this.
I couldn't find where to start a new forum post about this possible scam. Has anybody actually worked for these people or know about them, to confirm whether they really are a scam, as they look?


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Matt Sundakov  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 22:21
Member (2002)
English to Russian
+ ...
Prodialect is a good, reliable company Nov 23, 2010

Hi Leticia,


I understand your concern, but I can assure you that this is NOT SCAM at all. My company, Comprehensive Book Translation Services http://bookwebtranslation.com/, did a 4,600 words project for them in August 2009 (on recommendation of one of my regular clients).


I was dealing with George Karneth, Project Manager
george.karneth@prodialect.com
(+1) 647 - 835 - 7738


The communication with George was very good, he responded quickly to all my inquiries, and he paid me, as promised, in 15 days. Therefore, I can say only positive things about this young company.

After reading your comment I contacted them and asked why they actually needed translators’ bank details at the stage of advertising, and explained to them why it can cause some suspicion from people who do not know them yet. They agreed with me that it was a mistake on their part, and they will remove this requirement from their form.

So, Leticia, I can only recommend this company to you. Go ahead! I personally will not hesitate to work with them again, when a new opportunity arises.

With best wishes,

Matt Sundakov,

Director: Comprehensive Book Translation Services - http://bookwebtranslation.com/
Melbourne, Australia (GMT+11)
ProZcom profile: http://www.proz.com/profile/21120


My emails in the order of preference:
matt.sundakov@gmail.com
sundakrov@bigpond.com
matt@bookwebtranslation.com

Skype/MSN: matt.sundakov
Mobile: (+61) 408 124 498 Fax (+1) 775 227 7867


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Prodialect
Local time: 06:21
Prodialect Language Solutions Dec 3, 2010

Leticia, Thank you for your vigilance and volunteering information about scams and fraudulent alerts. We appreciate it and would like to encourage everyone in this forum to help stop such activities.

Prodialect would also like to apologize for the errors on the form that was sent out, which has now been brought to our notice. We will soon write to you with an explanation if needed.


Matt Sundakov – It was indeed a pleasure working with you and notably your outstanding quality of work and professionalism. We appreciate your honest response to Leticia’s message and would also like to offer any further clarifications if needed.


Prodialect Marketing management team
Info@prodialect.com
www.prodialect.com
Ph: 647 - 771 - 8348


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 09:21
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Suggestion to Proz Dec 4, 2010

To make things simpler, I'd suggest (yes, I know that I should submit a support ticket, however other colleagues' ideas could improve it) Proz to put a "Looks suspicious" button/link on job posts, so Prozians could quickly raise a flag to job moderators.

Some details on the proposal:
  • This feature would only be enabled when the job poster has no Blue Board record. Otherwise, let the BB speak for itself.
  • There should be, say, a 200-char text field (only) for the first Prozian clicking there to explain what they think looks fishy there. This entry will be visible only to the jobs moderator that attends to it (and Proz staff, of course). Making it clearer, the moderator would see that first and only explanation, and the quantity of members who clicked there so far.
  • To prevent abuse, only paying members should have this "suspicion" button/link enabled.


I shot this from the hip, so it's likely that colleagues will be able to improve and elaborate on this concept.


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Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 12:21
French to German
+ ...
Existing link Dec 4, 2010

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:

To make things simpler, I'd suggest (yes, I know that I should submit a support ticket, however other colleagues' ideas could improve it) Proz to put a "Looks suspicious" button/link on job posts, so Prozians could quickly raise a flag to job moderators.

Some details on the proposal:
  • This feature would only be enabled when the job poster has no Blue Board record. Otherwise, let the BB speak for itself.
  • There should be, say, a 200-char text field (only) for the first Prozian clicking there to explain what they think looks fishy there. This entry will be visible only to the jobs moderator that attends to it (and Proz staff, of course). Making it clearer, the moderator would see that first and only explanation, and the quantity of members who clicked there so far.
  • To prevent abuse, only paying members should have this "suspicion" button/link enabled.


I shot this from the hip, so it's likely that colleagues will be able to improve and elaborate on this concept.


Hi José,
there already is the "Contact site staff if there is a problem with this job posting". Do you actually suggest an additional link for red flags?

From my point of view, the link is badly placed at the bottom of each offer. FWIW, I think there should be lateral buttons instead of links.


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Angie Garbarino  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:21
Member (2003)
French to Italian
+ ...
I agree Dec 4, 2010

Laurent KRAULAND wrote:
I think there should be lateral buttons instead of links.


Hi José, Hi Laurent

I agree a button would be very useful, surely better than the link

Have a nice week end!


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 09:21
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Problem vs. suspicion Dec 4, 2010

Laurent KRAULAND wrote:
Hi José,
there already is the "Contact site staff if there is a problem with this job posting". Do you actually suggest an additional link for red flags?

From my point of view, the link is badly placed at the bottom of each offer. FWIW, I think there should be lateral buttons instead of links.


Laurent,

I see a problem in a job post when they require an EN-PT translator - not an interpreter - living in China (has happened already). Another problem is when the only application method accepted is e-mail, and I get a "mailbox full" or "inexistent e-mail address" message from the mailer daemon. I guess Proz staff is the only one that has access to alternate means to contact the poster.

I see a job as suspect when it doesn't fit normal commercial and/or ethical practices, stating it clearly, when it looks like a scam to more experienced eyes. In such cases, the assigned jobs moderators may ascertain that it obviously is a scam and simply delete it, or provide guidance to established translation market practices, via links to Proz pages, if possible. Bear in mind that too many translation clients don't know how it works, all they want is to get something translated.

The point is that a flood of support tickets on Proz staff will tend to hamper their efficiency. Conversely, most busy translators will just ignore an apparent scam, by simply not applying for it. Simply raising a flag with one click, and if these flags on a certain job get numerous, this will call the job moderator's attention to check it out. If a scammer becomes insistent, they'll get the Proz staff to block that rogue. This could tend to protect our less experienced colleagues, and maybe a few others too.


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Nathalie Ohana  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:21
English to French
FBI website is very well documented on this and should be consulted Dec 4, 2010

I was in contact with the person of "qbookqhop". The idea was to send me a check through Western Union. The check would be much higher than what he owed me and I would send part of this money to a "publisher" in Malaysia.

All very suspicious.

But in any case, the following link can help
http://www.fbi.gov/scams-safety/fraud/fraud#advfee

Thanks,
Nathalie


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Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 12:21
French to German
+ ...
OK, José Dec 4, 2010

So you would support a "suspect job alert button". I am all in favour of this, indeed, as long as site staff receives the alert in another form than a support request.

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