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new nice scam - Mr. Cox goes to China ....
Thread poster: Liviu-Lee Roth

Liviu-Lee Roth
United States
Local time: 09:27
Romanian to English
+ ...
Dec 15, 2011

Before I post the scam I would like to suggest that from now on we name the scams, in order to "personalize" them. It would be easer to look for a certain scam, instead of the "new scam" we use.

The latest received yesterday:

"From: sun []
Sent: Wednesday, December 14, 2011 6:44 PM


My name is Benjamin Cox. I got your contact after a search for a translator on the internet. I will be making some paper presentations in January 2012 at a conference in China. A considerable number of participants are expected to understand spanish,french,german,russian and italian language hence it is imperative to have copies of my presentations in these languages. Please let me know if you are available to handle the translation and which of these languages falls within your area of specialisation

I will expect a price quote to translate the attached papers in your reply.


Benjamin Cox
4023 W 7th St,
Los Angeles CA 90005"

It looks so real !

Why is it a scam ?

1 - too many details
2- I opened the documents (over 3000 words each) and they are not related
3- " I got your contact after a search for a translator on the internet" ...but asks "which of these languages falls within your area of specialisation " (none !)
4- "spanish,french,german,russian and italian " ;I thought it is Spanish, French, Russian etc.
5- no phone number

Therefore, be aware !



Joakim Braun  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:27
German to Swedish
+ ...
More Dec 15, 2011

6. Funny Gmail address.
7. Can't punctuate, although apparently an academic.
8. Starts message with "My name is XY" - yes, we can read your signature.
9. Pseudo-managerial jargon with a south-of-the-equator feel: "hence it is imperative to have..."


Annamaria Amik  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:27
Romanian to English
+ ...
Plus the future tense Dec 15, 2011

They tend to use the future tense ("I will be... I will need you to.. I will expect you to...") and impressive, pseudo-academic attributes: "considerable number of...".


Thayenga  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:27
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Greetings Dec 15, 2011

It's quite colloquial for an initial contact. And w now have a new country: China.icon_eek.gif

lee roth wrote:
Before I post the scam I would like to suggest that from now on we name the scams, in order to "personalize" them. It would be easer to look for a certain scam, instead of the "new scam" we use.

I agree with you, though I'm not sure ProZ moderators will.
Personally, I think that naming the scammer, one as obvious as this one, will save us a lot of time contacting our colleagues for more information on a particular scam.


Judith Kiraly  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:27
English to Hungarian
Same letter Dec 15, 2011

I have received the same letter today, although "the participants are NOT expected to understand" my language pair...
The email address was different in my case.



aronakos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:27
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Received too Dec 15, 2011

I didn't even bother to open the filesicon_frown.gif


Alex Shapiro  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:27
Member (2006)
English to Russian
+ ...
His articles are widely available on the Web Dec 15, 2011

I took the first sentence from one of the articles he sent me, put it in the Google search and - voila! - got several hits with this article. It looks like this guy does not suffer from extra creativity... It is definitely a scam.


Patty Black
United States
Local time: 06:27
Spanish to English
+ ...
I received the same spam. Dec 16, 2011

Mine did not have an address. I also agree about identifying each of these spams; I did have a little chuckle on this one, it sounds like the title of a movie...


Eleftherios Kritikakis  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:27
Member (2003)
Greek to English
+ ...
Hello! Dec 16, 2011

My name is Bond. James Bond...


At any rate, no need to even analyze it. Legitimate clients will not contact you by email if they "found you on the internet". And scam letters today are so obvious... all of them. No company, address, phone number, etc. etc.

Those are not even scams... the dangerous scams are:

a) to have convinced the entire community of translators that most agencies, especially the large ones with tons of expenses, make less than 150% - in many cases they make even 200% and up.
(I have been a project manager, I know, and I get to see contracts regularly, and I've also been an end client a few times myself).

b) to have convinced the project managers that "the translator is your enemy". In the past, it used to be your best friend. Without the translator, the agency will close immediately. And without the project manager and the agency, the translator will not fnd enough jobs.
These two should be the best friends - instead, agencies have promoted the mentality "Take from the Little Guy (the translator) and give it to the Big Guy (the agency itself and the end client-corporation). It's the "anti-Robin Hood approach".

c) to still have editors who change a lot of things without explaining in detail why they' re doing it (other than the obvious reason "to steal the client").

Those three are the real "scam situations" in this industry, and they are active and in force continuously.

[Edited at 2011-12-16 18:42 GMT]


Liviu-Lee Roth
United States
Local time: 09:27
Romanian to English
+ ...
Dear Eleftherios, Dec 17, 2011

I agree with most of your post, but there is a difference between your "scams" and the scam I posted. While your post is about a blatant abuse of unethical business practices committed by some of our peers (and shold be the subject of another topic), the scam I presented warns about the way some outside offenders "bait and hook" unsuspecting, gullible translators.
You mentioned that there is "no need to analyze it." I beg to differ.
As long as there are colleagues, who asked me to remove the name of the "outsourcer," it is clear that some of us do not understand the difference between an "outsourcer” and a "scammer". It means that they do not understand the implications and perils of such scams and treat them lightly. For some, being "politically correct" is more important than having the guts to name a crook (who uses a fake name anyway).
Therefore, whenever I come across a scam, no matter how ill-conceived it is, I think that it is imperative to warn my fellow colleagues.
Well, some people "are more James Bond than others"....:-)


[Edited at 2011-12-17 02:11 GMT]

[Edited at 2011-12-18 03:58 GMT]

[Edited at 2011-12-18 03:59 GMT]


jenbikkal (X)

Local time: 09:27
French to English
+ ...
Received too Dec 17, 2011

Glad you you all posted in the forum about this.


Local time: 09:27
English to Spanish
+ ...
scams scams Dec 17, 2011

I received this one today also...didn't even bother to open the docs.


De Sena Viegas  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:27
English to Portuguese
+ ...
... Dec 17, 2011

Hello everybody,

Please let me to introduce...
I am a nice Portuguese male that found his way in Germany as a translator, translating German and English into European and sometimes also into Brasilian Portuguese.

As lots of other translators, I always be carefull with privat translation offers sent per e-mail. They are always suspicious, specially if the amount of words is relative big, say 6,000 words.

I just received an e-mail with the same text, same address and 3 files with some related content (I would say "personal management"). After searching in Internet for possible fakes or scams, I found this forum.

The modus operandum of the translator could be: ok mister nice guy, first you pay, than I will translate. Once again, I wonder which risks are involved if you send your bank data or an invoice to an impostor...

Of course that, with a little bit of humour inside, if our person sent until now 6 or 7 e-mails to several translators and everybody thinks he is an impostor, the poor man will have more and more problems finding the right people... But now imagine: And if he is really not an impostor?

Merry X. Mas to everybody

De Sena Viegas

[Bearbeitet am 2011-12-17 18:05 GMT]


Stanislav Pokorny  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 15:27
English to Czech
+ ...
The ALL CAPS red flag Dec 17, 2011

Whenever I see a message from an uknown e-mail address with the subject shouting at me with all caps, I simply delete the message instantly.


Lamis Maalouf  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:27
Member (2006)
English to Arabic
+ ...
Arabic too! Dec 17, 2011

Though Arabic is not listed among the languages needed, I still received the same email!


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new nice scam - Mr. Cox goes to China ....

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