strange message via Proz by unknown user
Thread poster: Madeleine Chevassus

Madeleine Chevassus  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 10:22
Member (2010)
English to French
Dec 4, 2011

hello

this morning I received a rather vague message via Proz:

"Hello,

I need a translator who understands English and French to
help me with some evaluation project.
Are you available at the moment,so we could proceed?

I expect your urgent response.

Best Regards,"

The point is that the author's Proz id doesn't exist anymore.



I didn't answer.

Have a good day

Marie


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Tony M  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 10:22
Member
French to English
+ ...
Me too! Dec 4, 2011

Yes, I got the exact-same message, and I too found that the ID had already been deleted. So either the sender wasn't genuine and deleted their own profile, or ProZ was incredibly reactive (for a Sunday monring, to boot!) and caught them very quickly indeed! I received the message at 3 am (GMT+1), and by 11 am the profile no longer existed.

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Albert Golub  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:22
English to French
Me too Dec 4, 2011

no answer from my side

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Woodstock  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:22
German to English
+ ...
Probably a scam attempt Dec 4, 2011

Most likely a scam attempt. I haven't had any of those since I changed my ProZ e-mail settings to not allow anyone not registered or not logged in to contact me. My attitude is: that type of person has either something to hide or is too lazy to register/log in, so I don't think I'd want to work with them anyway. Delete on sight.

Be suspicious of ANY e-mails you are sent from people you don't know, it's just good internet sense these days. I do open e-mails that come via Prozmail because I know the sender has to be logged in and/or at least registered. That certainly helps increase the trustworthiness of the sender.


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Tony M  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 10:22
Member
French to English
+ ...
Yes, Woodstock, but... Dec 4, 2011

This was apparently from a registered user (who no longer is) — so you might still have got it anyway!

Like so many people have said, the only sure way is to trust one's own intuition — and I think publicity in threads like this is very helpful, both in terms of consciousness-raising to the general problem, and also, in citing specific culprits; it's a pity the ProZ.com system prevents us from naming names, perhaps they could look into a legally-safe way of doing so? In the meantime, it seems people are ingenious enough to find various ways of explaining who they're talking about without actually mentioning the name as such...


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:22
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Perhaps Dec 4, 2011

Tony M wrote:

it's a pity the ProZ.com system prevents us from naming names, perhaps they could look into a legally-safe way of doing so? In the meantime, it seems people are ingenious enough to find various ways of explaining who they're talking about without actually mentioning the name as such...


Now, I'm not a lawyer, but perhaps there might be a way ProZ.com could permit the naming of scammers, and still not be held legally liable.

Since many of our colleagues seem to receive scam email, also via ProZ.com, from apparently the same sender, ProZ.com could allow us to name the company, email address and/or the poster country along with an invitation to comment on our statements. This should be feasible since the sender (scammer) seems to be active here,, at least in those cases when the email was/is being send via ProZ.com.

Just doing a little brainstorming.


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Woodstock  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:22
German to English
+ ...
Right you are Dec 4, 2011

Tony M wrote:

This was apparently from a registered user (who no longer is) — so you might still have got it anyway!

Like so many people have said, the only sure way is to trust one's own intuition — and I think publicity in threads like this is very helpful, both in terms of consciousness-raising to the general problem, and also, in citing specific culprits; it's a pity the ProZ.com system prevents us from naming names, perhaps they could look into a legally-safe way of doing so? In the meantime, it seems people are ingenious enough to find various ways of explaining who they're talking about without actually mentioning the name as such...


Sorry, misread the OP, because I was in a bit of a rush. So yes, theoretically I could have received this, but the wording is so mushy it would have gone straight to my trash bin in any case. Intuition has less to do with it than experience, I think. Hopefully ProZ caught it before anyone fell for it. Nasty stuff.


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Val Traductions  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 10:22
English to French
+ ...
I have been contacted as well Dec 5, 2011

As usual I asked that person to send me some details about his/her company i.e. address, phone, registration number... and the answer was a a long list of points to fulfill during the job :

"JOB SUMMARY:


The WESTERN UNION is a company that offers money transfer services.


The sole aim of this job is to evaluate the services of WESTERN UNION in your area.
We have received a lot of reports about their poor services.
Hence i will give you a detailed job description in key points.




1. You are to locate a western union office you intend to evaluate.( If you need a list of WESTERN UNION in your area please specify.)


2. A cheque would be sent to you to enable you have funds that would be transferred to another mystery shopper
like you who would be evaluating another western union office in his / her location


3. You deposit the cheques into your account.




4. You deduct your wage of 200Eur


5. You transfer the balance (after the subtraction of your wage and possible bank charges) to the name and address that would be attached to the cheque.


*NOTE* during the transfer process, you observe key things that would be sent to you inform of a questionnaire via email/post to enable you give us a detailed feed back of the whole process.




6. After the transfer, you fill out the questionnaire and give a general comment about the whole process.




The reports would be based on how true/false the complains of these worried customers.
Materials needed for the evaluation would be posted to you.


Hence your duties would be to go to a WESTERN UNION outlet in your locality as a customer.


You do not require any experience in this field as detailed guidelines
would be given to you to ensure a successful completion.


This role would pay 200Eur per Evaluation.


Your details would undergo security checks before the position is granted to you.




First Name: Last Name:
Age: Address:
City: Country:
Postal Code: Mobile Number:
Home Phone: Current occupation:
Email Address:


We await your urgent response. Thank you for your help, we look forward to working with you.
Best Regards,

Howard Twine
Secret Shopper®
+447965658971 "

So after some inquiery on the Web I found out that "Secret Shopper" does exist but is located in the USA (not in the UK as the phone number suggested) and also that they have an alert page on scammers see : https://www.secretshopper.com/info/shoppers/ScamAlert.asp

I hope this will hel^.

Valerie


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Madeleine Chevassus  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 10:22
Member (2010)
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
isn't that money washing? Dec 5, 2011

hi Val

thanks for having investigated,

isn't that money washing?

have a good day

Marie


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Woodstock  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:22
German to English
+ ...
Money laundering Dec 5, 2011

Marie Chevassus wrote:

isn't that money washing?

have a good day

Marie


No, this is not about money laundering but is an advance-fee fraud, one of numerous so-called Nigerian or 419 scams, which have a long and ugly history. More info on how it works is here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advance-fee_fraud

The ProZ forum is filled with entries about these scams in many variants (link here: http://www.proz.com/forum/scams-946.html), and it's important that everyone educate themselves on how to recognize these situations.

Thank goodness you just deleted it, and avoided being defrauded. Others here have not been so fortunate.


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Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:22
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
This thread is instructive Dec 6, 2011

First of all, it is on the face of it highly unlikely that *any* individual who is genuinely interested in translation services of any kind would write such a vague message. I therefore have a hard time understanding why a discussion re the possible authenticity of such a communication is even necessary for anyone but a rank beginner.

Secondly, the fact that a translator is in a position of entertaining such dubious offers should give him or her serious pause.



[Edited at 2011-12-06 07:25 GMT]


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piazza d  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 10:22
French to English
+ ...
about strange message Dec 6, 2011

I had the same experience with the same message, same sender, I reacted exactly as Val traductions did... so just sharing with you all!
piazza d'


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