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Stijloffensief company information being used for scams
Thread poster: Stijloffensief

Stijloffensief
Local time: 17:32
Jul 8, 2011

Dear Proz.zom readers,

I am sorry to have to warn you that a scammer is using my company information to dupe people into translating for him/her. I have posted a warning on my company website, but have been asked by one of the targets to post here as well.

The scammer is using a gmail address with my company name (Stijloffensief, or StijloffensiefVerzoek), but signs the emails with my company information. Please be aware that I do not send professional emails via a gmail address (I have my own domain for that, which I hope is reasonably secured by the ISP).

The translators that have contacted me have been from anywhere from Japan to the US.

I urge all freelancers to verify all job offers from Stijloffensief via telephone or via the email address on my website (info@stijloffensief.nl).

I have contacted the local police and the Dutch Chamber of Commerce, but am unsure what they can do and how long this may take.

Kind regards,

Arnoud Alting van Geusau
Stijloffensief


 

Giuseppina Gatta, MA (Hons)
Member (2005)
English to Italian
+ ...
Did you try contacting Google? Jul 11, 2011

I think that Google may help you out in this. I would give it a try!

 

Ayşe Kıvılcım Karazor  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 18:32
Member (2009)
English to Turkish
+ ...
I am one of them Jul 11, 2011

I translated a web site for them. I contacted the owners of the website to obtain more information about this scammer.

 

Ayşe Kıvılcım Karazor  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 18:32
Member (2009)
English to Turkish
+ ...
One More Detail Jul 11, 2011

I contacted the direct customer, regarding the project I did for that scammer. They said that they contacted the oursourcer via Elance website and had the translations done. I told them about the scam and gave a link to this page.

As long as I receive more information about the scammer, I will let you know for legal proceedings.


 

Michele Johnson  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 17:32
German to English
+ ...
Lot of this going on right now - PM me Jul 12, 2011

Thanks for the warning. There is a bunch of this going around right now unfortunately. Someone from Austria is emailing many German-speaking translators (including me), pretending to be a bakery in Dortmund or an IT company in Munich (and presumably other companies). Same scam - fake gmx or hotmail email address. I noticed it in time but many colleagues did not, so *multiple* police reports have been filed and are being filed. I wonder if it could be related? Do you have any IP information? If it's the same person I'd be happy to share the police reports and file numbers. Why don't you PM me.

 

Ayşe Kıvılcım Karazor  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 18:32
Member (2009)
English to Turkish
+ ...
Probably Jul 13, 2011

Also final customer told me that a Chinese company got English-Turkish translation job.

However, I don't know what can be done for someone in China?

Anyway, he started to abuse with his words, it is not just a non-payment problem any more.

[Edited at 2011-07-14 22:18 GMT]


 

Marinus Vesseur  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 08:32
English to Dutch
+ ...
Buyer of stolen services Jul 15, 2011

Hi Avse

Sorry about your troubles. Do not be intimidated by the abusive language of the end client. Now you know you don't have to spare them, so start applying the pressure. They are the receivers of stolen goods - in this case 'services'. If they purchased these services in good faith they should be cooperative in the solving of the crime.

At the moment they seem to think "I've paid for it, so how can I be to blame? Leave me alone." But it isn't that simple. The buyer of stolen goods or services is culpable and it would be good to point that out. You want their cooperation to solve this crime and you have the legal right to demand it. Also you have the legal right to forbid any use of your work in any way whatsoever. Make your demands clear to them and offer a solution that is satisfactor to you.

Be strong!

- Rien

Ayşe Kıvılcım Ulucak wrote:
..

Anyway, he started to abuse with his words, it is not just a non-payment problem any more.

[Edited at 2011-07-14 22:18 GMT]


 

ODB Translation  Identity Verified
China
Member (2010)
Russian to Chinese
+ ...
We have to be careful of Stijloffensief Jul 23, 2011

That sammer 's email is stijloffensief@gmail.com
We did three projects for him,he did not pay us,and when i asked his money,he said many dirty words.
Arnoud,if you someone use your company's information to scam translators,you have to take some measures to stop him from doing it now.I did that scammer project on May,i did lots of researches before we did three projects for him,i did not found any warnings about scammer,you said someone used your company's information before.Why did not you take measures to stopping him for doing it at that time.
When i found he is a scammer,i called you,then you posted a warning on proz.com,it is kind of late.


 

Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 17:32
French to German
+ ...
Interesting questions... Jul 23, 2011

at least for me, and I would give them some thought:

How come that end clients apparently never check the company information of translation providers?

And how much credibility do free e-mail addresses carry?

At some point, I wonder if some scammers are not the end clients themselves!

Look at this for example:
http://www.elance.com/r/contractors/q-Stijloffensief/cat-writing-translation

[Edited at 2011-07-23 07:21 GMT]


 

kchansen
Local time: 17:32
English to Danish
Just wondering Jul 25, 2011

Has anyone tried to contact Google with this information and asked them to close down the scammer's email address? It would surely disrupt his "business" if the address he had been using all the time suddenly didn't work.

I don't believe it would stop him completely but it would at least slow him down a bit.


 

Stijloffensief
Local time: 17:32
TOPIC STARTER
Developments Aug 10, 2011

Dear Proz.com users,

It's been relatively quiet in the last weeks regarding the scammer, but I have gotten one or two more emails from duped persons.

I have contacted the Dutch police and Chamber of Commerce, and have asked several of my contacts in legal professions. Unfortunately there is nothing I can do against this type of identity theft. It is theoretically possible to hire a law firm with contacts in China, where I believe the scammer is located, but the expenses would most likely bankrupt me. I am, after all, a one-man business.

As to why I did not report this scam earlier, I did not know this was going on until late June, early July. The emails and phonecalls were most numerous in the first weeks of July. As soon as someone gave me the tip to post here, I did. I had not thought of this myself since I never use this platform.

If you are contacted by anyone using my information, please report them both here and to gmail (or the other email service used). I contacted Google, but they do not respond at all to my abuse reports. I checked their website and noticed that, unfortunately, that is standard procedure for them.

I never do business outside of the Netherlands, so the likelihood of me contacting translators outside of my own network is slim to nil. Please take this into account.

Once again, my apologies to anyone being abused in this fashion.

Kind regards,
Arnoud Alting van Geusau


 

Stijloffensief
Local time: 17:32
TOPIC STARTER
Question for Laurent Krauland Aug 13, 2011

Dear Laurent,

You provided a link to an Elance profile, but when I click on it there is no such profile for my ccompany. Was there one when you checked the link? I wonder if I should contact Elance to tell them to do a background check before placing outsourcer profiles.

Kind regards,
Arnoud Alting van Geusau

[Edited at 2011-08-14 00:06 GMT]


 

Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 17:32
French to German
+ ...
In fact, no profile! Aug 14, 2011

Stijloffensief wrote:

Dear Laurent,

You provided a link to an Elance profile, but when I click on it there is no such profile for my ccompany. Was there one when you checked the link? I wonder if I should contact Elance to tell them to do a background check before placing outsourcer profiles.

Kind regards,
Arnoud Alting van Geusau

[Edited at 2011-08-14 00:06 GMT]


Dear Arnoud,
it has been mentioned by one of our colleagues that their end client said they found the fake Stijloffensief company through Elance.

In fact and when I did my check on Elance, there was no-one bearing this name in the database, which can mean only 2 things:

1) the scammers deleted the profile in the meantime or
2) the end client lied about finding the fake company on Elance.

My innuendo suggestion was that you could ask Elance to tell you whether or not they know about a (current or past) "Stijloffensief" user or not.

Another thing you could ask Elance about is to do, as you suggested, at least a minimal background check on the "companies" who register with them - by phoning them back for example.

Some agencies managed to detect that competitors bearing a very similar name were in fact ghost agencies. A simple search through Google Maps revealed for example that the address of a competitor was actually a vacant lot in the same street.

I also used Google Maps on such occasions and found out that the "international headquarters" of a "renowned translation agency" consisted of a post office box in a small town (68 inhabitants) somewhere in a Southern state.

[Edited at 2011-08-14 12:53 GMT]


 

Stijloffensief
Local time: 17:32
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Aug 16, 2011

Thank you for your reply, Laurent.

I will send Elance an email asking for more information.

Also, I have been trying to inform Yousendit that its services are being used for illegal purposes. The scammer used this service to upload large files which he has translators work on. Unfortunately, yousendit cannot take any action unless they have legal documentation. In their own words:

"After we last emailed, I had a discussion with one of the company's lawyers about your situation, and explained in detail what has happened. He reiterated for me that for this situation, we would need to have the person who was affected by this provide us with a court ordered subpoena so we would be able to make actions with this account."

I assume that 'the person affected by this' refers to the scammed translators, as I have already found out that I cannot press criminal charges myself. I urge anyone who has been scammed and has downloaded files from yousendit at the request of the scammer to eport this to the authorities and have them provide the legal documentation required to close the yousendit account of the scammer.

Kind regards,
Arnoud Alting van Geusau
Stijloffensief


 

servien  Identity Verified

Local time: 10:32
English to Chinese
+ ...
Attention. There is a scammer using Stijloffensief.nl name. Aug 16, 2011

This is a very annoying matter, and my principle is "never accuse wrongly of one person" and "punish the bad guy". We all know how hard a translator working. We sat there for several hours to finish a translation project and get little pay, which can never compared to those high pay jobs. Most importantly, this scammer might be a Chinese, so this make me feel even more shameful!!

So please read my story. I registered both on Proz.com and translatorscafe.com.

Hi everyone.

Recently I have just added my working experience on my resume for http://www.stijloffensief.nl/ and I received a message from the owner of the company, saying that I have never worked for him. He said he never does Chinese-English language pair. So I checked his profile on translatorscafe and confirmed that he is right. Through our conversation, we found that a person was using his name to get translators to finish the job and not pay. (I am not sure about this point yet, because the scammer supposed to pay me the first week of next month, so I will keep you updated). The scammer was polite and when I asked what happened why someone sent me an email saying he is a scammer, he replied:

Hi XXX,

Sure, we will pay you by due. But I am very suprise that your mesage, can you please foward it to us, include his contact information. I will take legal action for it!!!

Regards,
Arnoud

My email to him
Hi Arnoud,
I got a message from a person also called himself Arnoud and the owner of your company. He said I was scammed and someone used his name to recruit translators to work without paying them. So I am a little bit worried. Can you pay me the first time since we just started to corporate.
Thank you very much.

Best,
XXXX

The sammer uses emails so far are:

arnoud.altingvangeusau@gmail.com and stijloffensief@gmail.com




Two suspecious facts I have so far.

1. He replied to me an email I sent to a person named Peter Tan (shquicktrans@yahoo.com.cn) on April 23, 2009 to assign me jobs. This morning I sent an email to shquicktrans@yahoo.com.cn, but the system showed the failure of delivery. And I googled it, it seems it is his another disguise email.

2. The PO he sent required me to provide my bank account. It looks like so real, but rarely translation company paysus by bank account, but paypal or moneybookers.





[修改时间: 2011-08-17 22:58 GMT]


 
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