Beware of a new kind of fraud specifically for Translators
Thread poster: Rosa Elena Lozano Arton

Rosa Elena Lozano Arton  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 23:25
Member (2007)
English to Spanish
Oct 14, 2011

Some months ago I received an invitation for a free month for a new Translator's Online Community. As it was for free I accepted in order to find out if it would be interesting enough as for paying a suscription afterwards. I got a very interesting proposal which offered a very good price per word, enough time and everything seemed quite right, this was not an agency but seemed to be an officer of a company.
The offer was done to several people, but I "won" due to the price I offered. Nevertheless something made me feel uneasy, since a friend of mine had been given the chance also, some hours before, and finally this guy had cancelled him because he was charging 1 more cent per word than me.
The man insisted on sending a cheque by regular mail, in order to ensure payment. I then waited for the cheque to arrive, and when it finally did, which by the way took more than one and a half month to arrive, I suddenly received the cheque with an amount of more than double the original price, which astounded me of course. I sent an email to the man suggesting payment through PayPal o other mean, but he did not accepted, so I then took the cheque to the bank and deposited it since there would be no time for cashing it after sending the translation and I was starting to doubt about the Cheque having real funds. I sent another email to the man telling him that I had deposited the Cheque, promising him to send him the difference in payment as soon as the cheque was paid. Finally he never appeared again, and the Cheque was no good, but not because it did not have enough funds to cover it, but it was a forgery. I only lost around 100 USD on bank fees, but what I now think about, is that if I were somewhere else in other country, I might have been charged for forgery, that is why I am publishing this for all my peers to beware of people sending Cheques instead of agreeing other kind of payments, and also beware of Cheques for bigger amounts than what should be. I of course never sent any translations, although I had advanced more than 25%.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:25
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Not new at all Oct 14, 2011

Rosa, this has been going around for many years already. You should certainly read these fora more often!

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Rosa Elena Lozano Arton  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 23:25
Member (2007)
English to Spanish
TOPIC STARTER
Always learning from you. Oct 14, 2011

Thank you so much Tomás, it is always a pleasure reading your comments. I am sorry you are completely right, I do not read the Forums as often as I should. Thanks for your recomendation.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 06:25
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Paying more than agreed on Oct 14, 2011

Hi Rosa,

It is always a sign that the "client" is a scammer when they send you more than the pay you both agreed upon, and the request that you return the difference. These checks are bad without any coverage. This is how these people make money.

Always check the Blue Board and, if the company is new and/or doesn't have a BB Record yet, insist on paying through PayPal. And also be careful when someone request your full data. If this potential client is legit, then s/he will wait for said information until all other details have been negotiated.

Personally, I don't accept checks or, as I had been offered before by another Scammer, Travelers Checks. If the method of payment is not stated in the original job offer, then I usually inquire about it right away.

Best,
Thayenga


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Woodstock  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 06:25
German to English
+ ...
One big clue to me Oct 14, 2011

Real agencies or legitimate businesses would NEVER VOLUNTEER to pay in advance, this is something I'm darned sure the translator has to initiate and negotiate. Always. If someone has had a different experience, I'd like to hear about it, but it just doesn't make any sense from a business perspective. So I would be very skeptical about such an offer from the get-go,even if I'd never read about this type of scam in this very forum many, many times.

Sorry this happened to you, Rosa, but you were pretty lucky considering how much worse it could have been, though losing USD 100 is not pleasant.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:25
Spanish to English
+ ...
Blood out of a stone Oct 14, 2011

Woodstock wrote:

Real agencies or legitimate businesses would NEVER VOLUNTEER to pay in advance, this is something I'm darned sure the translator has to initiate and negotiate. Always.


Yes, it's often bad enough getting them to pay on time, or even in the same tax year!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:25
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Scam Oct 14, 2011

Does anyone know how much it costs these scammers to create/print the bogus check and mail it? I wonder if large numbers of translators "accepted" the "project" in order to have them send out the check for nothing, would it cause them to waste significant amounts of their own money?

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Woodstock  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 06:25
German to English
+ ...
I wouldn't want to push it Oct 14, 2011

Jeff Whittaker wrote:

Does anyone know how much it costs these scammers to create/print the bogus check and mail it? I wonder if large numbers of translators "accepted" the "project" in order to have them send out the check for nothing, would it cause them to waste significant amounts of their own money?


This is considered a variant of the so-called 411 or 419 scams, and are sometimes run by hard-core criminals/crime rings. Would you want these people to know a lot of personal information about you? Or do you have the time to waste? There are a few sites that make a sport of scam-baiting (for example: http://www.419eater.com) if you are so inclined.

These scams are also not completely harmless even if the perpetrator seems to be an idiot or have a lousy command of English. Below is a link to a very long Wiki entry on the subject of "advance fee fraud". About 2/3 of the way down in the section titled "Consequences", there are references to known criminal acts up to and including murder that some of the scams have led to. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advance-fee_fraud

Maybe I'm overly cautious, but frankly, I wouldn't spend 2 minutes on these guys for any reason, much less to try to con the criminals.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Rosa Elena Lozano Arton  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 23:25
Member (2007)
English to Spanish
TOPIC STARTER
Good point Oct 14, 2011

Yes, Thayenga as a matter of fact I started to think of this as "laundry money" or something like that, but I was not even thinking of a scamp cheque... all the same I did not loose anything and gain experience. Thank you so much for your comments. I appreciate your advise.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:25
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Deliberate errors in English Oct 14, 2011

Thanks for the link.

I found this part interesting:
"Invariably the emails contain numerous spelling and grammar errors. This is deliberate and not the result of sloppiness or a lack of education on the part of the scammers. The bad English lulls the native English speaker or educated reader into a false sense of security. The victim is encouraged to think that he or she is superior to the scammer and even though the victim "knows" the email is a scam will still think he or she can outwit the "stupid" scammer if there is any danger at a later stage."



[Edited at 2011-10-14 21:21 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

liviu roth
United States
Local time: 00:25
Romanian to English
+ ...
@ Jeff Oct 15, 2011

Jeff Whittaker wrote:

Does anyone know how much it costs these scammers to create/print the bogus check and mail it? I wonder if large numbers of translators "accepted" the "project" in order to have them send out the check for nothing, would it cause them to waste significant amounts of their own money?



Recently I translated an Indictment against a group of scammers. Do you have an idea how much they were able to swindle ? Over $ 6 000 000 (six million USD). Plenty of money to print good fake checks or money orders.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Rosa Elena Lozano Arton  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 23:25
Member (2007)
English to Spanish
TOPIC STARTER
He supposedly offered to pay in advance Oct 15, 2011

He supposedly offered to pay in advance, since a friend and I had discovered that he had given us both the go ahead for the translation, and then we were doubting about him, so he sent an email saying that in order for me to feel sure he would pay me, he was sending a Cheque via regular mail so that I could feel sure about his intentions...

[Editado a las 2011-10-15 15:02 GMT]

[Editado a las 2011-10-15 15:03 GMT]

[Editado a las 2011-10-15 15:03 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Woodstock  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 06:25
German to English
+ ...
Gaining trust Oct 18, 2011

Rosa Elena Lozano Arton wrote:

He supposedly offered to pay in advance, since a friend and I had discovered that he had given us both the go ahead for the translation, and then we were doubting about him, so he sent an email saying that in order for me to feel sure he would pay me, he was sending a Cheque via regular mail so that I could feel sure about his intentions...



Exactly. If they are trying so hard to gain your trust, that's precisely the moment to stop all communication. A legitimate business wouldn't do that. What for? There are thousands of other translators to choose from. That you happened to know another person the scammer approached probably has a pretty low chance of occurring, and it was fortunate for you both.

I stopped getting these when I changed my ProZ email settings to disable allowing anyone to send messages via my profile. There is no good reason for a legitimate business not to register or be logged in to solicit translators for a job. Maybe I miss a job here or there, but if they can't be bothered to log in, then they probably won't pay my rates, either.


Direct link Reply with quote
 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:

Moderator(s) of this forum
Alejandro Cavalitto[Call to this topic]

You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Beware of a new kind of fraud specifically for Translators

Advanced search







Wordfast Pro
Translation Memory Software for Any Platform

Exclusive discount for ProZ.com users! Save over 13% when purchasing Wordfast Pro through ProZ.com. Wordfast is the world's #1 provider of platform-independent Translation Memory software. Consistently ranked the most user-friendly and highest value

More info »
memoQ translator pro
Kilgray's memoQ is the world's fastest developing integrated localization & translation environment rendering you more productive and efficient.

With our advanced file filters, unlimited language and advanced file support, memoQ translator pro has been designed for translators and reviewers who work on their own, with other translators or in team-based translation projects.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search