possible homeschooling text translation scam
Thread poster: Heather Shaw
Heather Shaw  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:26
Member (2008)
Arabic to English
+ ...
Oct 19, 2011

Hi, I just wanted to alert everyone to what I suspect is a scam that I received a few days ago through ProZ mail:

This is the message that I received:

Hello,
I want you to help me translate a project book of mine
please contact me via this my personal email
rebzak01@aol.com for more information andthe document.Hope
to hear from you soon.apply with cv

Thanks,

Regards


After contacting the "client" asking for more details regarding confirmation of the language pair, deadline, etc., I was sent the following, with an attached file dealing with homeschooling in the US, for translation:

Hello Heather,
Thanks for your respond here is the document attach, am still making an arangement with my client about the method of payment,am paying 50%up front and note that my client is paying by check the total word is 10.600 let me know the total cost an if you accept the payment mode kindly email me the details below.

Full name:
Full add:
City:
State:
Zip code:
Direct phone number

Regard

Reb****

By this time I was a bit suspicious, so I sent another request for details, and received the same letter that I was sent the second time.
That made me more suspicious, so I checked the IP address that the original ProZmail came from... Lagos Nigeria!!!



I highly suspect that this is a scam based on the following:

- Poor English
- The client seems to be sending out a generalized letter to anyone who expresses interest in this project, without addressing any of the questions that were asked
- The customer's disregard for providing the typical necessary information (such as confirmation of the language pair!)
- The contradictory information in the first and second letters... Is this a book that the "client" wrote himself, or is the "client" an agent for someone else? If the client is actually a translation broker, they should be versed in the procedures for hiring translators.
- Finally, the fact that the original ProZ mail request was from a IP address in Nigeria, whereas the email address IP shows a location in the US seems extremely suspicious.

Just a warning for everyone to be careful!

Best Wishes


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Tony M  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 22:26
Member
French to English
+ ...
Confirmed scam Oct 20, 2011

Yes, Heather, I can confirm this is a scam; I have myself received it several times, supposedly from various different people; and I know that at least one other colleague has received the same.

I've already mentioned this in a previous thread in this forum, I've also had an almost identical request, for translation of a book on project management.


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:26
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Make this two Oct 20, 2011

Tony M wrote:

Yes, Heather, I can confirm this is a scam; I have myself received it several times, supposedly from various different people; and I know that at least one other colleague has received the same.

I've already mentioned this in a previous thread in this forum, I've also had an almost identical request, for translation of a book on project management.


Yes, I have also received this email and deleted it after a little research.


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Michael Bastin  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:26
English to French
+ ...
Just received it too Dec 17, 2011

Got puzzled when the only payment method they were doing was "check", which I never accept. Also, the source text was so poorly formatted that I immediately became curious to find out more about that.

Also, they contacted me asking which languages I do, although it is clearly stated on my website.

I then googled "homeschooling translation" and found this Forum.

For users's sake. Sender's name was "Anita Sequeira" and the content of the email is below:


Attached is the project. Payment shall be in 2x . First payment of 50% and the balance of 50% on completion or a week to 2 weeks interval.

I await the total estimates and necessary details to making the payment.

My client has chosen check payment this has been method of payment from the past.

Email me your

Name:
Address:
City:
State:
Zip Code:
Phone:

The details above shall be used to forward the payment to you.

Regards


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SP Sharma
India
Local time: 01:56
Member (2009)
English to Hindi
+ ...
10600 words translated into Hindi Dec 19, 2011

I translated these 10600 words into Hindi. After some days he sent a mail that payment is on the way, but till today there is no response.

Is this really scam?



[Modificato alle 2011-12-19 08:45 GMT]


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Soizic CiFuentes  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:26
Member (2003)
English to French
Received the same homeschooling translation request Dec 20, 2011

Michael Bastin wrote:



Also, they contacted me asking which languages I do, although it is clearly stated on my website.

I then googled "homeschooling translation" and found this Forum.

For users's sake. Sender's name was "Anita Sequeira" and the content of the email is below:


Attached is the project. Payment shall be in 2x . First payment of 50% and the balance of 50% on completion or a week to 2 weeks interval.

I await the total estimates and necessary details to making the payment.

My client has chosen check payment this has been method of payment from the past.

Email me your

Name:
Address:
City:
State:
Zip Code:
Phone:

The details above shall be used to forward the payment to you.

Regards


I received the exact same email. After I asked for full payment in advance through paypal, I did not hear from her. It is a scam. No doubt about it. Stay away.

[Modifié le 2011-12-20 00:42 GMT]

[Modifié le 2011-12-20 00:42 GMT]


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Soizic CiFuentes  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:26
Member (2003)
English to French
Never accept a job without checking the client Dec 20, 2011

Shripal Sharma wrote:

I translated these 10600 words into Hindi. After some days he sent a mail that payment is on the way, but till today there is no response.

Is this really scam?



[Modificato alle 2011-12-19 08:45 GMT]


Always ask for a PO, check the blue board or Payment practices and if no entries appear on the Blue board and if the client is unable to provide references, ask to be paid in advance through Paypal. No cashier check as it is a big red flag.

If it is a direct client without reference but with good intention, he or she wont have any problem paying you in advance. I did it several times.

Good luck.


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Marina Steinbach  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:26
Member
English to German
+ ...
Golden Rule? Dec 20, 2011

Soizic CiFuentes wrote:

Michael Bastin wrote:



Also, they contacted me asking which languages I do, although it is clearly stated on my website.

I then googled "homeschooling translation" and found this Forum.

For users's sake. Sender's name was "Anita Sequeira" and the content of the email is below:


Attached is the project. Payment shall be in 2x . First payment of 50% and the balance of 50% on completion or a week to 2 weeks interval.

I await the total estimates and necessary details to making the payment.

My client has chosen check payment this has been method of payment from the past.

Email me your

Name:
Address:
City:
State:
Zip Code:
Phone:

The details above shall be used to forward the payment to you.

Regards


I receive the exact same email. After I asked for full payment in advance through paypal, I did not hear from her. It is a scam. No doubt about it. Stay away.


Do you advise every linguist to ask for an advance payment?


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Soizic CiFuentes  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:26
Member (2003)
English to French
Not a golden rule Dec 20, 2011

Marina Steinbach wrote:


Do you advise every linguist to ask for an advance payment?


Marina,

Not at all. If your client has a solid reputation and can provide references, I don't.

But, if it is an individual with a unique request where checking references is not possible, I do.
So, I don't necessarily decline the job providing that the client is willing to pay in advance according to my own terms explained in a an agreement.
If the client accept, I send an agreement such as the following which is copied and pasted from the ATA site at the end of this message to give you an idea.

If the client does not agree to my terms and payment, then I decline the job to avoid any risk.

With this method, I have never been the victim of a scam or of a bad payer, late payer yes, but all my invoices have always been paid in the end.


http://www.atanet.org/careers/model_contract.php
Model Contract for Translators

American Translators Association

TRANSLATION AGREEMENT

Date of this Agreement: _______________________________________

___________________________ of _______________________________ (\"Translator\")

Translator\'s Name Translator\'s Address

and

__________________________ of __________________________________(\"Client\")

Client\'s Name Client\'s Address



hereby agree as follows:

1. Description of services. Translator, as an independent contractor, will provide the following service(s) [Identify item(s) to be translated and the particular service(s) to be performed]:

_________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________

Scheduled completion date is: _________________________

Translator shall make every effort to complete service(s) by the above date but shall not be responsible for delays in completion caused by events beyond Translator\'s control.

Method of delivery: ___________________________

Format of delivery: ___________________________

2. Fee for services. Client agrees to pay $ ____________ as Translator\'s fee for the above service(s). Payment is due as follows:

__________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________

The due dates for payment of fees and costs under this Agreement shall be the date(s) specified in this Agreement, provided that if no date is specified, the due date shall be the date of Translator\'s billing for the fees or costs. Any payments for fees or costs not received by Translator within _______ days of the due date will be deemed late and shall be subject to a ________% per month late charge. Client agrees to be responsible for Translator\'s costs in collecting late payments due from Client, including reasonable attorneys\' fees.

3. Cancellation or withdrawal by Client. If Client cancels or withdraws any portion of the item(s) described in paragraph 1 above prior to Translator\'s completion of the service(s), then, in consideration of Translator\'s scheduling and/or performing said service(s) Client shall pay Translator the portion of the above fee represented by the percentage of total service(s) performed, but in any event not less than _____% of said fee.

4. Additional fees. Additional fees will be payable, to be calculated as provided below, in the event the following additional services are required: (a) investigation, inquiry, or research beyond that normal to a routine translation is required because of ambiguities in the item(s) to be translated; (b) additional services are required because Client makes changes in the item(s) to be translated after the signing of this Agreement; and (c) Translator is requested to make changes in the translation after delivery of the translation, because of Client\'s preferences as to style or vocabulary, and such changes are not required for accuracy. Such additional fees will be calculated as follows:

__________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________

5. Additional costs. Client shall reimburse Translator for necessary out-of-pocket expenses incurred by Translator that are not a normal part of routine translation procedure, such as overnight document delivery service requested by Client, long distance telephone and telefax expenses to clarify document ambiguity, etc.

6. Client\'s review of translation. Upon receipt of the translation from Translator, Client shall promptly review it, and within 30 days after receipt shall notify Translator of any requested corrections or changes. Translator shall correct, at no cost to Client, any errors made by Translator.

7. Confidentiality. All knowledge and information expressly identified by Client in writing as confidential which Translator acquires during the term of this Agreement regarding the business and products of Client shall be maintained in confidentiality by Translator and, except as expressly authorized by Client in writing, shall not be divulged or published by Translator and shall not be authorized by Translator to be divulged or published by others. Confidential information for purposes of this paragraph shall not include the following:

a. Information which is or becomes available to the general public, provided the disclosure of such information did not result from a breach by Translator of this paragraph.

b. Terminological glossary entries compiled by Translator in the course of Translator\'s performance of the translation service(s) under this Agreement; provided, however, that Client and Translator may agree in writing that, upon payment by Client to Translator of an agreed-upon fee, such terminological glossary entries shall be the property of Client and shall be covered by the confidentiality provisions of this paragraph.

8. Translation is property of client, copyright. Upon Client\'s completion of all payments provided herein, the translation of the item(s) described in paragraph 1 above shall be the property of Client. Translator has no obligation to take any steps to protect any copyright, trademark or other right of Client with respect to the translation, except as may be expressly otherwise provided in this Agreement. Notwithstanding the foregoing, Translator shall have the right to retain file copies of the item(s) to be translated and of the translation, subject to the provisions of paragraph 7 above.

9. Indemnification and hold-harmless by Client. Client agrees to indemnify and hold Translator harmless from any and all losses, claims, damages, expenses or liabilities (including reasonable attorneys\' fees) which Translator may incur based on information, representations, reports, data or product specifications furnished, prepared or approved by Client for use by Translator in the work performed under this Agreement.

10. Changes by others. Translator shall have no responsibility whatever as to any changes in the translation made by persons other than Translator.

11. Governing law. This Agreement shall be governed by the laws of the State of _____________________.

12. Additional provisions. [Add all additional provisions required by the parties.]

__________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________

13. Complete agreement. This is the complete agreement of the parties as to the subject matter hereof. Any changes in this Agreement must be in writing signed by both parties. This Agreement becomes a binding contract only upon signature by both parties and the delivery of fully signed copies to each party.

Translator: _______________________________



Client: ___________________________________



___________________________________________________________

American Translators Association - Translation Agreement - July 1991 ed.

IMPORTANT NOTICE

THIS CONTRACT FORM OR GUIDE IS GENERAL IN NATURE AND IS NOT INTENDED TO PRESCRIBE THE USE OF ANY TERMS AND CONDITIONS HEREIN. THE ISSUANCE OF THIS FORM DOES NOT RESTRICT IN ANY RESPECT ANY MEMBER OR NON-MEMBER FROM CONTRACTING FOR SERVICE ON TERMS AND CONDITIONS DIFFERENT FROM THOSE SET FORTH HEREIN. THE USE OF ANY PORTION OF THIS FORM OF AGREEMENT IS STRICTLY VOLUNTARY, AND IS THE SOLE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE CONTRACTING PARTIES.

NEITHER THE AMERICAN TRANSLATORS ASSOCIATION NOR ITS MEMBERS ASSUME ANY RESPONSIBILITY OR LIABILITY, WHETHER BASED ON WARRANTY, CONTRACT, NEGLIGENCE, STRICT LIABILITY, PRODUCT LIABILITY OR OTHERWISE, WITH RESPECT TO THE USE OF THIS CONTRACT FORM. THE AMERICAN TRANSLATORS ASSOCIATION AND ITS MEMBERS MAKE NO WARRANTY, EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED, WITH REGARD TO THE LEGALITY OR ENFORCEABILITY OF THIS FORM OF AGREEMENT.



AMERICAN TRANSLATORS ASSOCIATION


[Modifié le 2011-12-20 04:43 GMT]


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Marina Steinbach  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:26
Member
English to German
+ ...
That's a very nice contract you've got there, but... Dec 20, 2011

Soizic CiFuentes wrote:

Marina Steinbach wrote:


Do you advise every linguist to ask for an advance payment?


Marina,

Not at all. If your client has a solid reputation and can provide references, I don't.

But, if it is an individual with a unique request where checking references is not possible, I do.
So, I don't necessarily decline the job providing that the client is willing to pay in advance according to my own terms explained in a an agreement.
If the client accept, I sent an agreement such as the following which is copied and pasted from the ATA site at the end of this message to give you an idea.

If the client does not agree, then I decline the job to avoid any risk.

With this method, I have never been the victim of a scam or of a bad payer, late payer yes, but all my invoices have always been paid in the end.


http://www.atanet.org/careers/model_contract.php
Model Contract for Translators

American Translators Association

TRANSLATION AGREEMENT

Date of this Agreement: _______________________________________

___________________________ of _______________________________ (\"Translator\")

Translator\'s Name Translator\'s Address

and

__________________________ of __________________________________(\"Client\")

Client\'s Name Client\'s Address



hereby agree as follows:

1. Description of services. Translator, as an independent contractor, will provide the following service(s) [Identify item(s) to be translated and the particular service(s) to be performed]:

_________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________

Scheduled completion date is: _________________________

Translator shall make every effort to complete service(s) by the above date but shall not be responsible for delays in completion caused by events beyond Translator\'s control.

Method of delivery: ___________________________

Format of delivery: ___________________________

2. Fee for services. Client agrees to pay $ ____________ as Translator\'s fee for the above service(s). Payment is due as follows:

__________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________

The due dates for payment of fees and costs under this Agreement shall be the date(s) specified in this Agreement, provided that if no date is specified, the due date shall be the date of Translator\'s billing for the fees or costs. Any payments for fees or costs not received by Translator within _______ days of the due date will be deemed late and shall be subject to a ________% per month late charge. Client agrees to be responsible for Translator\'s costs in collecting late payments due from Client, including reasonable attorneys\' fees.

3. Cancellation or withdrawal by Client. If Client cancels or withdraws any portion of the item(s) described in paragraph 1 above prior to Translator\'s completion of the service(s), then, in consideration of Translator\'s scheduling and/or performing said service(s) Client shall pay Translator the portion of the above fee represented by the percentage of total service(s) performed, but in any event not less than _____% of said fee.

4. Additional fees. Additional fees will be payable, to be calculated as provided below, in the event the following additional services are required: (a) investigation, inquiry, or research beyond that normal to a routine translation is required because of ambiguities in the item(s) to be translated; (b) additional services are required because Client makes changes in the item(s) to be translated after the signing of this Agreement; and (c) Translator is requested to make changes in the translation after delivery of the translation, because of Client\'s preferences as to style or vocabulary, and such changes are not required for accuracy. Such additional fees will be calculated as follows:

__________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________

5. Additional costs. Client shall reimburse Translator for necessary out-of-pocket expenses incurred by Translator that are not a normal part of routine translation procedure, such as overnight document delivery service requested by Client, long distance telephone and telefax expenses to clarify document ambiguity, etc.

6. Client\'s review of translation. Upon receipt of the translation from Translator, Client shall promptly review it, and within 30 days after receipt shall notify Translator of any requested corrections or changes. Translator shall correct, at no cost to Client, any errors made by Translator.

7. Confidentiality. All knowledge and information expressly identified by Client in writing as confidential which Translator acquires during the term of this Agreement regarding the business and products of Client shall be maintained in confidentiality by Translator and, except as expressly authorized by Client in writing, shall not be divulged or published by Translator and shall not be authorized by Translator to be divulged or published by others. Confidential information for purposes of this paragraph shall not include the following:

a. Information which is or becomes available to the general public, provided the disclosure of such information did not result from a breach by Translator of this paragraph.

b. Terminological glossary entries compiled by Translator in the course of Translator\'s performance of the translation service(s) under this Agreement; provided, however, that Client and Translator may agree in writing that, upon payment by Client to Translator of an agreed-upon fee, such terminological glossary entries shall be the property of Client and shall be covered by the confidentiality provisions of this paragraph.

8. Translation is property of client, copyright. Upon Client\'s completion of all payments provided herein, the translation of the item(s) described in paragraph 1 above shall be the property of Client. Translator has no obligation to take any steps to protect any copyright, trademark or other right of Client with respect to the translation, except as may be expressly otherwise provided in this Agreement. Notwithstanding the foregoing, Translator shall have the right to retain file copies of the item(s) to be translated and of the translation, subject to the provisions of paragraph 7 above.

9. Indemnification and hold-harmless by Client. Client agrees to indemnify and hold Translator harmless from any and all losses, claims, damages, expenses or liabilities (including reasonable attorneys\' fees) which Translator may incur based on information, representations, reports, data or product specifications furnished, prepared or approved by Client for use by Translator in the work performed under this Agreement.

10. Changes by others. Translator shall have no responsibility whatever as to any changes in the translation made by persons other than Translator.

11. Governing law. This Agreement shall be governed by the laws of the State of _____________________.

12. Additional provisions. [Add all additional provisions required by the parties.]

__________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________

13. Complete agreement. This is the complete agreement of the parties as to the subject matter hereof. Any changes in this Agreement must be in writing signed by both parties. This Agreement becomes a binding contract only upon signature by both parties and the delivery of fully signed copies to each party.

Translator: _______________________________



Client: ___________________________________



___________________________________________________________

American Translators Association - Translation Agreement - July 1991 ed.

IMPORTANT NOTICE

THIS CONTRACT FORM OR GUIDE IS GENERAL IN NATURE AND IS NOT INTENDED TO PRESCRIBE THE USE OF ANY TERMS AND CONDITIONS HEREIN. THE ISSUANCE OF THIS FORM DOES NOT RESTRICT IN ANY RESPECT ANY MEMBER OR NON-MEMBER FROM CONTRACTING FOR SERVICE ON TERMS AND CONDITIONS DIFFERENT FROM THOSE SET FORTH HEREIN. THE USE OF ANY PORTION OF THIS FORM OF AGREEMENT IS STRICTLY VOLUNTARY, AND IS THE SOLE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE CONTRACTING PARTIES.

NEITHER THE AMERICAN TRANSLATORS ASSOCIATION NOR ITS MEMBERS ASSUME ANY RESPONSIBILITY OR LIABILITY, WHETHER BASED ON WARRANTY, CONTRACT, NEGLIGENCE, STRICT LIABILITY, PRODUCT LIABILITY OR OTHERWISE, WITH RESPECT TO THE USE OF THIS CONTRACT FORM. THE AMERICAN TRANSLATORS ASSOCIATION AND ITS MEMBERS MAKE NO WARRANTY, EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED, WITH REGARD TO THE LEGALITY OR ENFORCEABILITY OF THIS FORM OF AGREEMENT.



AMERICAN TRANSLATORS ASSOCIATION


...these kind of scams don't always present their real names and addresses!

What now?


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Soizic CiFuentes  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:26
Member (2003)
English to French
Very simple process Dec 20, 2011

Marina Steinbach wrote:


...these kind of scams don't always present their real names and addresses!

What now?


Exactly why I demand a payment in advance. Very simple. This type of contract is for legit direct client, not agencies.

If a client is not legit, no need to bother, they wont accept those terms or a payment in advance through Paypal.
They will only offer you a cashier check with an amount greater than what you asked.
Very easy to spot. Just delete the email without regrets and warn your fellow translators in case they dont know.


[Modifié le 2011-12-20 07:28 GMT]


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Tony M  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 22:26
Member
French to English
+ ...
Names and addresses Dec 20, 2011

Marina Steinbach wrote:

...these kind of scams don't always present their real names and addresses!

What now?


Well, Marina, I think Soizic covered that point: one normally ought to be able to check at least the name and address details of, say, a private individual.

I got approached by a scammer once (in another field), who claimed to be a Russian living in France; but his name seemed at odds with that, and when I simply Googled his christian name, hey presto, ALL of the hits I got came from Benin (near enough to Nigeria to make me wary!)

Generally speaking, it is possible to check private individual's claimed details; for example, using the telephone directory in their country — and after all, there's nothing to stop you ringing to check if it's really them! I have even used Streetview in Google Earth to check up on someone's stated address — not at all the private house they'd claimed, but an industrial unit!

I would say if you can't at least independently corroborate name, address, and phone number — then it's probably safest to steer clear, there are plenty of other fish in the sea!

I am often contacted by one-off direct customers, and have had no problems checking their genuineness, nor with receiving payment; one lady who had trouble organizing her PayPal account was most apologetic about a few days delay. No genuine customer has ever given me the slightest problem paying at least upon delivery. In fact, I have more trouble getting my money out of certain agencies, who seem to like to hang on to it as long as possible...!

I have never asked for payment in advance (except for stage payments on staged delivery in the context of a long project) — and in fact, my suspicions would be raised by someone who actually offered payment in advance, or accepted too readily the suggestion coming from myself.

As I have said before, I really do think it is our own naïvety and eagerness (desperation?) to work that leaves us ready prey to these dishonest people. I have never been so desperate/eager to get a job that I would throw all caution to the wind and start work on it without having first checked it out.


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Soizic CiFuentes  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:26
Member (2003)
English to French
Utmost caution Dec 20, 2011

Tony M wrote:



As I have said before, I really do think it is our own naïvety and eagerness (desperation?) to work that leaves us ready prey to these dishonest people. I have never been so desperate/eager to get a job that I would throw all caution to the wind and start work on it without having first checked it out.


Exactly Tony, you said it all. Due to the vulnerable nature of our business, and any business performed mostly online, we have to exercise the utmost caution.

[Modifié le 2011-12-21 00:48 GMT]


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João Roque Dias  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 21:26
English to Portuguese
"Home Schooling" Scam Nov 5, 2013

This time, the scam comes from:

Ronald Eddy / ronaldeddy07@gmail.com
133 East Los Olivos Street,
Santa Barbara CA 93105

A brief check of the document properties shows:

Company:
Last saved by: USER

These info are frequently used on stolen CVs circulated by scammers.



[Edited at 2013-11-05 21:14 GMT]


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João Roque Dias  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 21:26
English to Portuguese
"Home Schooling" Scam -- AGAIN Nov 22, 2013

The "Home Schooling" Scam has a "new" player living in the same address as "Ronald Eddy":

Perry Williams
133 East Los Olivos Street,
Santa Barbara CA 93105

perryw964@gmail.com


Properties of the doc sent (Word format) show:

Author: *
Company: arabianhorse
Last saved by: AJAY EASY


That is, all the hallmarks of a document manipulated by scammers.




[Edited at 2013-11-22 13:07 GMT]


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