An interesting scam - but what are the motives ?
Thread poster: Michael Mestre

Michael Mestre
Local time: 15:11
English to French
+ ...
Sep 23, 2010

Dear colleagues,

I replied to a job offer advertising a large non-technical translation job.
I was surprised to see that the "client" (a debt-collecting company, or so they claimed) contacted me quickly and offered to send the document for review.
I accepted, and sent my quote.

I was surprised at how quickly they accepted my quoted price - which was not low.

The document was a badly written essay. I had some serious reservations about this potential client, so I asked them if they would accept to split the delivery (and payment) in installments.
Also, the client insisted on paying by "Certified Bank Check", to which I replied that I would only accept Paypal or wire transfers.

The answer was bewildering - quote:

I pretty understand what you have elaborated to me in your previous mail, all i want from you is just TRUST, as for me i will never be a cheat to you.

Sending you the whole document is not a big deal and i am promising you that you will get paid . I want you to confirm this mail if you still want me to pay you through a Certified Bank Check, so i can mail you the payment to the address you have provided in your last mail.

I have declined this dishonest offer which now appears to have been a scam, but I am curious about the motives behind it.
Was it a disguised, but real translation agency (in a remote and unruly country) that tricks translators into working for them for free ?
If not, what would it be ?
They also asked me for contact details (which I gave) and a copy of a driver's license or passport (which I didn't send, being too aware of all the things you can do with such a document). Maybe this was also one of the aims of the "attack".

The company that the person claimed to work for has a website which looks real albeit too plain to be true. A google search revealed nothing tangible about this hypothetical company.

Any similar experiences or possible explanations ?


LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:11
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Very old scam Sep 23, 2010

They will send you a fake check for an amount that is more than your invoice and ask you to wire them the difference (before you realize the check is fake and you have also worked for nothing).

Another reason not to work for someone without a deposit.

[Edited at 2010-09-23 21:09 GMT]


madak  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:11
Swedish to English
+ ...
Read all other threads about "Certified Bank Check" Sep 23, 2010

Michael Mestre wrote:

Also, the client insisted on paying by "Certified Bank Check", to which I replied that I would only accept Paypal or wire transfers.

Search for "Certified Bank Check/Cheque" or similar in the forums.

This type of client has no interest in your ability to translate. All they're after is someone gullible enough to accept a cheque and who will assume that the fact that this is displayed as a credit on their account (usually after a very short time) indicates that the monies have actually been credited to their account.

Generally the cheque you receive will be for a much larger amount than your fee. You will then be asked to return the overpayment by an instant payment measure, such as Western Union. If you fall for this, by the time your bank informs you that the cheque was a dud, you will already have sent your own money to the scammer.

[Edited at 2010-09-23 21:46 GMT]

[Edited at 2010-09-23 23:39 GMT]


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An interesting scam - but what are the motives ?

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