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Suspected scam (overpayment method)
Thread poster: Jennifer White
Jennifer White  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:56
French to English
+ ...
May 22, 2011

I received this through Proz today. I suspect many others have too. I have no intention of answering. Unlikely to be genuine I think.

Greetings!

My name is Fred Michel from Denver,colorado and a
resident of Paris,France.I am presently in the United
Kingdom on a business trip.However,I will need your service
to translate some documents for me.I need to make a
presentation to some groups of English speaking people in
Edinburg on 20th of June,2011.I will need you to help me
translate the papers from French to English,so each of my
audience can have a copy in English language and they can
follow through.I will also need that the work be delivered
by/before June 17,2011.Please,let me know your rate(in GBP)
for a total of about 7199 words presentation(See
attachments) and your methods of payment so i can instruct
my associate here in Uk to have the payment dispatched to
you as soon as we are able to agree terms.I look forward to
hearing back from you.


Best Regards,
Fred


(there were no attachments)


[Edited at 2011-05-22 20:07 GMT]

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2011-06-15 12:28 GMT]


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Diana Coada  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:56
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Of course it is! May 22, 2011

The ''associate'' will pay you more than agreed, will apologise for the mistake and will then ask you to send the difference back to him.

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Jennifer White  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:56
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Well, yes May 22, 2011

but this one wasn't quite so obvious as others I've had.

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Yasutomo Kanazawa  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:56
Member (2005)
English to Japanese
+ ...
Looks perfect, except May 23, 2011

as Diana wrote above, the "associate" part is fishy. Also, no attachments, but was that intentional to get a reply from the translator, or simply forgot to attach??

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Jennifer White  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:56
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Why through Proz though? May 23, 2011

This is the first scam to come to my email through Proz. That's why I posted.

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Yasutomo Kanazawa  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:56
Member (2005)
English to Japanese
+ ...
Nothing new May 23, 2011

Jennifer White wrote:

This is the first scam to come to my email through Proz. That's why I posted.


Similar threads regarding scams have been posted many times in the past, and not all but certain numbers come thru Proz. It's plain simple. Create a fake user ID, pick names from the directory, and voila! it's done.


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Yolanda Broad  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:56
Member (2000)
French to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
Please report suspect profile messages to ProZ.com staff May 23, 2011

When you receive a scam message sent through your profile, you should let ProZ.com staff know so they can take action. Here is the Support request link:

http://www.proz.com/support?mode=ask&sp_sub_mode=ticket_submit

Jennifer White wrote:

This is the first scam to come to my email through Proz. That's why I posted.


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Jennifer White  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:56
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Yolanda May 23, 2011

Have done that.

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FrenchJane
France
Local time: 20:56
French to English
I wrote back and was sent attachments... May 24, 2011

I thought this was a bit fishy but I wrote this back:
"Sorry, Fred, no attachments. Please resend. What is subject, please? Who is your associate in the UK? What are your credentials and what are his?"

Then I got an answer back with three attachments and this reply:
" Thanks for the quick response.Please see attachments to view the texts and let me have the exact quote before we proceed further.I look forward to seeing your response. Best Regards, Hanks"

No reply to my direct queries and who is Hanks? The email says it's from Fred Michel. I found this ProZ thread in a Google search for "Fred Michel Denver Colorado" which resulted in listing for a physchiatrist from Denver of that name. Totally unrelated!!

But wait for it, it gets better: the attachments are word files totalling the stated 7199 words, but listen to the titles:
"Foreign Exchange Markets"
"Mergers and Acquisitions" and... get ready for it...
"Human Trafficking" !!

All three docs are written in different styles and formatting, and are undoubtedly written by different authors. My "watch out" antennae jumped higher on my head when I saw the Human trafficking doc. It's very straightforward and informative, actually; but all three docs are probably plagiarized from the web.

Thank you so much, Jennifer, for posting this thread. I might have been tempted to quote really high just to see what they would say (everyone wants their translations for $1 a page these days) but now I will definitely leave this guy and his so-called associate alone. I'm glad I did a bit of reasearch and came across your thread!!


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Gene Selkov
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:56
Spanish to English
+ ...
I received a copy of this message May 24, 2011

The message Jennifer quoted hit my mailbox on the same day. I asked about the missing attachments and received a reply. Got three unrelated documents matching the word count. One of the documents was a French translation of this slide show:

http://cactus.dixie.edu/mahmud/Fin4400/Slides/SlideSet05_3ed.ppt

(quite a few copies of which are scattered over the web)

I wondered why would he need to do a reverse of that, and he wrote:

Thanks for your heads-up.I will like you to proceed with the job since i will still have to give the translated docs to a proofreader.However,let me know the exact cost of the project.


A proofreader? Anyway, I gave him the exact cost and sent my address. Let's see what happens.


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Lany Chabot-Laroche  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 14:56
Member (2009)
English to French
Right of the bat May 25, 2011

"My name is Fred Michel from Denver,colorado and a resident of Paris,France.I am presently in the United Kingdom on a business trip." "people in
Edinburg "

Whoever starts by saying where they come from and where they are right now automatically gets the spam treatment from me. No client or agency would try to give you as many useless details.

I really don't get it, is saying that you live in 2 different countries and work in 2 others is supposed to boost your credibility?


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Peter Bissmire
Local time: 19:56
French to English
+ ...
Further evidence May 25, 2011

Also received this message.

Found many Fred Michels on Linked-In but best candidates from Denver region did not match with any from Paris region.

The Author's IP address given is probably spoofed.
A DNS query (dig) does not get beyond the root servers,
Whois yields no result.
These are very strong hints that the address is unallocated.
Proz gives this address so you can check - its a good idea to use it, even if you only use the Windows NSLookup command!


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 16:56
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Credibility May 25, 2011

Lany Chabot-Laroche wrote:
I really don't get it, is saying that you live in 2 different countries and work in 2 others is supposed to boost your credibility?


Some day this might be the theme for postgraduate research, and bring up good candidates for the IgNobel prize: credibility factors.

This two-country, two-workplaces scammer here is paraNigerian, if such a thing exists. Most Nigerian scammers - regardless of if they are actually Nigerian - introduce themselves to the tune of:
My name is Attorney Hwuong Parson...
I am Professor Naughta Betrawsted...

and they make it a point to include those presumed titles in their e-mail addresses. They feel some urge to add something to their fake names, even if it's just a Ms. Gunnilla Undermunny. But there is always some title; they seem to think its a must-have for credibility.

The brighter side of it is that it makes bulk-deleting on webmail easier.


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Gene Selkov
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:56
Spanish to English
+ ...
they tell you where their name comes from May 25, 2011

José,

Their treatment of personal names is a parody of the traditional British style. I know quite a few people who will never say or write their name without prefixing it with a "Dr.", not necessarily meaning any harm.

After all, this is the only country I know where every paper or web form asking for personal details has a title field pre-filled with "Mr."

The fraudsters, including our new friend, have a funny way of introducing themselves:
My name is from Denver,colorado

Isn't that telling enough? We are informed not only about his name, but also where he found it.

Anyway, I have launched a small reality show, and you are all invited to watch. Act 2:
Good Morning Gene

Thanks for the details.I will let you know as soon as cheque is on the way.Have a nice day.

Kind Regards
Fred


I have quoted him for £267; I'm taking bets for how large the amount will be on the cheque.

[Edited at 2011-05-25 17:34 GMT]


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Adela Lees
Local time: 19:56
French to English
+ ...
Thanks for your help and warning! May 26, 2011

Hi, many thanks to all of you for taking the time to post these comments, I also had the same email from Fred Michel and was looking for some kind of information on him. It seemed a rather strange introduction to make for someone supposedly looking to placing an order for translation. Can't imagine what he intends to do with our invoicing information, I'll not bother making any further reply to him. thanks again! Adela

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