"Reverse scam" - anyone know how this works?
Thread poster: Colin Smith

Colin Smith  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 01:38
French to English
Mar 16, 2011

In the last week I have received almost daily emails from supposed translators offering me their translation services.

The first one caught my eye as a fake because the person was unable to spell their name consistently in the email and attached CV ("Alica Robert vs Alica Rebort). According to the CV, "Alica" lives in France, studied at Oxford and has worked extensively for "Salt and Life Ministries"...so she must be trustworthy then!

All emails come from gmail addresses with slightly incongruous names (haven't had one from my favourite scammer so far though, "Mohammed Soames"icon_smile.gif..

So if I were to 'employ' them for a 'job', how would they scam me? Presumably payment up front, which of course no-one does in this business anyway. Shall we try it and see?

Colin


 

Sommerfeldt
Norway
Local time: 01:38
English to Norwegian
+ ...
A classic, probably... Mar 16, 2011

You're absolutely right - it's going to be payment up front, probably not the whole fee, very likely a smaller sum that will seem negligible at first, and then go up when the stakes are higher (i.e. you paid the first little nugget, and then some other problem shows up - you'll pay because, after all, you've already shelled out some money for this thing, so now there's actually something riding on this...)

It's a shame that GMail strips the sender IP from the headers, but I think it's at least a chance that this map will indicate a location...icon_razz.gifhttp://www.419eater.com/scamtracker/

If you want to "scambait" these people (yup, going along with the scam to see what happens, waste scammer time etc. actually has a name), I'd recommend you follow basic baiting precautions (http://www.419eater.com/html/baiting.htm ).

-S-

[Edited at 2011-03-16 09:56 GMT]


 

Radosveta Golden  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:38
Member (2010)
English to Bulgarian
+ ...
Don't try Mar 16, 2011

I say, better don't experiment responding. First of all, because they will probably flood you with more e-mails and this on its own is a good reason not to answer. Second, this is what the anti-scam people advise you. I am not sure how credible it will be to ask you for advance payment, but it is always safe not to volunteer a lot of information to scammers. I mean you have already volunteered enough info by being in public domains, but why share more than necessary. And who knows, may be Alice will send you a sluty picture and would like to meet you or soon after you contact them, they will write you back that they got in trouble somewhere (lost/stolen wallet or something), you are the only person they know and they are pleading with you for help. I guess when it comes to this, the possibilities are overwhelming:)

 

Mark Cole  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:38
Polish to English
+ ...
If you've got time on your hands... Mar 16, 2011

If you've got plenty of time on your hands, you could go down Neil Forsyth's route:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2010/oct/23/emails-solicit-money-king-arawi?INTCMP=SRCH


 

Colin Smith  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 01:38
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
follow-up Mar 17, 2011

thanks for that link Mark, very entertaining. A bit like the Henry Root letters.

Well I got another email today, this time ChineseEnglish. Same font, similar content as the rest:

"Dear Sir/Madam

I found your Web site and know you are a translation agency. I'm very interested to join you and work on projects that need to be translated from Chinese to English or from English to Chinese.

I've been working as a translator for more than five years. I graduated in 2004 with a degree in computer.

My specialties mainly include computer, IT, education and literature.

Besides translation, I'm also a professional practitioner in SEO (search engine optimization) and SEM (search engine Marketing). That means if you have projects on localization (such as Web site localization) for Chinese language, I can be especially helpful.

You will find details about me in the attachment.

Looking forward to working with you.

Thanks for your time
Lx Fxxxx" (name of a real person with a page on Facebook)

What is interesting about these is the quality of the language is way superior to your average 419 scam. I suspect these are from a team of angry translators fed up with their lot (working for Txxxperfect, probably) and looking for an easier way to make a living.

I have decided to "employ" Ms Mxxxx Axxxx (ESEN, not on Facebook) with a little 100,000 word project, but first she must sit a fiendish translation test. Watch this space...


 

Sommerfeldt
Norway
Local time: 01:38
English to Norwegian
+ ...
Just be careful... Mar 28, 2011

...since "baiting" - just like that Forsyth-guy has been doing - isn't necessarily safe. Don't use your own name, and don't use and email address that is associated with you or your name - also, expect spam coming to that email address in the future...

-S-


 

Wilmer Brouwer
Netherlands
Local time: 01:38
English to Dutch
+ ...
Different scam Mar 28, 2011

I think the scam is not to make you pay upfront, the scam is that they are not who they say they are and they will either do a bad job or deliver a machine translation. They may even deliver excellent work but are not able to get work because they are in the wrong location or have the wrong name.
For example if you live in a poorer country and no agency wants to work with you because you are not a UK native speaker, it may be tempting to present yourself as someone from England.


 

Colin Smith  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 01:38
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
that "scam" again - misrepresented identities Mar 30, 2011

wilmer-brouwer wrote:

...They may even deliver excellent work but are not able to get work because they are in the wrong location or have the wrong name.
For example if you live in a poorer country and no agency wants to work with you because you are not a UK native speaker, it may be tempting to present yourself as someone from England.


I think you are probably right on this one.

I did ask a SpanishEnglish translator supposedly based in Spain to send me full names and addresses of references. "She" sent me two email addresses of agencies in the Czech Republic. This would confirm what you are saying.

Got another one today, Arabic this time, always from a made-up gmail address, pretty well identical spiel, usually the same font, smart CV...

It almost looks as if someone is out there doing CV + presentation services for translators, does that exist?

[Edited at 2011-03-30 13:19 GMT]


 

madak  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:38
Swedish to English
+ ...
Like this outfit? Mar 30, 2011

[quote]Colin Smith wrote:

wilmer-brouwer wrote:

It almost looks as if someone is out there doing CV + presentation services for translators, does that exist?


http://www.proz.com/forum/internet_for_translators/195361-blast_your_cv_to_17000_email_addresses_for_only_$49.html


 


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"Reverse scam" - anyone know how this works?

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