Middleman
Thread poster: Hikmat

Hikmat  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 06:33
Member (2005)
English to Indonesian
+ ...
Aug 29, 2011

I was contacted by someone who works as a consultant to a bank. He wants me to quote directly to his client but ask 50% commission payable after I received in full from client.
I sensed a scam here. It looks like a kickback than commission to me.
Can anyone advise what to do? The job involved is huge 200K or more.
No actions taken as for now. He gave me his address and institution where he works, although I cannot find the details by Googling.
Can anyone advise?

Hikmat


 

Neil Coffey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:33
French to English
+ ...
Just ignore it Aug 29, 2011

Hikmat wrote:

I was contacted by someone who works as a consultant to a bank. He wants me to quote directly to his client but ask 50% commission payable after I received in full from client.
I sensed a scam here. It looks like a kickback than commission to me.
Can anyone advise what to do? The job involved is huge 200K or more.
No actions taken as for now. He gave me his address and institution where he works, although I cannot find the details by Googling.
Can anyone advise?

Hikmat


I would just ignore it and think no more about it.

Assume that a real job of 200K words will be for a large, reputable company and all parties involved will also be reputable of proven identity. If you feel you're negotiating with some shady Delboy type or there are other unusual circumstances, just ignore it.


 

Dave Bindon  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 02:33
Member (2010)
Greek to English
No... Aug 29, 2011

...reputable 'middleman' in this industry would ask a total stranger for help!

 

Peter Linton  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:33
Member (2002)
Swedish to English
+ ...
Might be worth investigating . . . Aug 29, 2011

Hikmat wrote:
. . . but ask 50% commission payable after I received in full from client.

Asking for his commission after you have been paid in full suggests to me that it is not a scam, just a greedy opportunistic deal with a large kickback.

If the kickback were smaller, say 10%, you might find it much more acceptable. So your objection is not so much the principle, but the percentage kickback you regard as acceptable.

So the first question is ethical – are you prepared to run with this, to negotiate? If so, you should decide what this job is worth to you, then price it higher than usual so that you receive enough money to make it worth your while and to pay off the consultant ( and you might try to bargain him down to 20%). In short, if you look at it from a strictly business point of view and disregard the ethics, there does seem to be potential for a mutually satisfactory arrangement here.

Some of my translation colleagues will no doubt regard this suggestion as disreputable and immoral. I half agree. But there are times when we need to behave like business people, not ivory tower translators.


 

Dave Bindon  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 02:33
Member (2010)
Greek to English
Real life Aug 29, 2011

Hikmat,

Do you know the person who contacted you? Or are you somehow known as the number 1 translator of financial texts in your language pair?

If not, it's a scam. Pure and simple. After all, you've already said that you can't find his details on line. The middleman doesn't exist (except as a bank account), nor does the job.

Forget it!


 

Neil Coffey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:33
French to English
+ ...
Not necessarily the 50% Aug 29, 2011

Peter Linton wrote:

Hikmat wrote:
. . . but ask 50% commission payable after I received in full from client.

Asking for his commission after you have been paid in full suggests to me that it is not a scam, just a greedy opportunistic deal with a large kickback.

If the kickback were smaller, say 10%, you might find it much more acceptable. So your objection is not so much the principle, but the percentage kickback you regard as acceptable.


Without wishing to put words in the poster's mouth, my take would be that it precisely isn't the 50% per se that's so unusual, but more the overall arrangement.

It's quite usual for an agency to cream off 50%. (I think a *good* agency wouldn't take 50% without giving any added value to the client, but...)

But I would posit that it's not so usual for an "agency" involved in a 200K job to blurt about how much commission they're taking, especially if to the end client it means they're effectively doubling the price of a large translation job...


 

Hikmat  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 06:33
Member (2005)
English to Indonesian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Findings Aug 29, 2011

Thank you guys for the response.

I research a bit via google. the dot com domain from his email is: pdgky.com
After I search the whois database the result is this: http://whois.domaintools.com/pdgky.com
I further googled the yahoo email there and found this http://db.aa419.org/fakebanksview.php?key=57488

I checked the email and found the sender ip is 41.206.12.52

http://www.ip-adress.com/ip_tracer/41.206.12.52
Yes it's Nigeria.

I would like to forget it but would really want to investigate further to find out the MO.

But I guess it's better to alert everyone now and forget further email.

Thanks all.

Hikmat


 

Eddie R. Notowidigdo  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 06:33
Member (2006)
English to Indonesian
+ ...
It's against HPI's Code of Ethics Aug 29, 2011

Dear Hikmat,

From your findings it's pretty clear that we're dealing with a scam. But even if it were not, I would advise not to entertain this inquiry. Since we are both members of HPI (the Association of Indonesian Translators) we are bound by the Code of Ethics of our association to maintain an 'appropriate ethical conduct' (mempertahankan perilaku etis).

Best regards,
Eddie R. Notowidigdo
President of HPI


 

Roula Kokoliou
Local time: 02:33
English to Greek
Advance payment scam variation? Aug 29, 2011

This would be my guess as to the MO. I'm pretty sure that at some point you would get an advance payment and then asked to give the middleman his share, upon which both he and the bank would vanish into thin air.

But thank you for looking into it, Hikmat. This is very interesting.


 

Neil Coffey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:33
French to English
+ ...
pdgky Aug 30, 2011

Hikmat wrote:
I research a bit via google. the dot com domain from his email is: pdgky.com
After I search the whois database the result is this: http://whois.domaintools.com/pdgky.com


You mean to say the domain is "pdgky" and you bothered to do a WHOIS search...?icon_smile.gif


 


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