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Overpayment scam sent by 'Alan Cox from Atlanta,Georgia'
Thread poster: Heike Holthaus

Heike Holthaus  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:15
Member (2012)
German to English
+ ...
Jan 27, 2012

I got this e-mail today.

Greetings!

I'm Alan Cox from Atlanta,Georgia and i'll be leaving here in Atlanta for the United Kingdom on a business trip tomorrow.However,i will need your service to translate some documents for me.I need to make a presentation to some groups of german speaking people in Munich,Germany on 5th of March,2012.I will need you to help me translate the papers from English to German,so each of my audience can have a copy in german language and they can follow through.I will also need that the work be delivered by March 2,2012.Please,let me know your rate for a total of about 4626 words presentation and your methods of payment.I look forward to hearing back from you soon.


signed with name and 2 phone numbers.

Is it just me, or wouldn't somebody giving a presentation have less typos in his e-mail?

Thanks for your input.

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2012-06-21 16:37 GMT]


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 16:15
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Different versions of the same scam Jan 27, 2012

http://www.proz.com/forum/scams/159334-scam_certified_check-page3.html
http://www.translationdirectory.com/forum/messages/?2299


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texjax DDS PhD  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:15
Member (2006)
English to Italian
+ ...
Definitely a scam Jan 27, 2012

Apparently Mr. Cox travels A LOT!

http://www.proz.com/forum/scams/214211-new_nice_scam_mr_cox_goes_to_china_.html#1859138

http://www.proz.com/forum/scams/176165-feels_and_smells_like_a_scam-page8.html#1870727


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:15
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
SCAM!!! Jan 27, 2012

I have seen the same exact wording and exact situation about a dozen times... and all of them scams. Just delete and forget. Do not try to give the scammer a lecture since he will not care the least! Just forget about it and keep on with your life.

Thanks for sharing this anyway!


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LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:15
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Grammar Jan 27, 2012

I do not know if this is true, but I read somewhere that scammers intentionally use poor grammar and misspelled words to give you the illusion of being smarter than them.

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Christikane
United States
Local time: 10:15
English to German
+ ...
I received the same email a few days ago. Jan 27, 2012

He sent me his "papers" upon request and here is what he wrote today:

"Thanks for the quick response.The rate is quite fine with me and i
will like to proceed with the project.Kindly let me know if a Local
Money Order or Cashier's check is fine for payment as i do not have a
paypal,so i can have my associate send you the payment asap.I look
forward to hearing back from you.Have a great day.
Regards,
Alan"

His English made me suspicious and that's how I ended up on this forum.
I'm sure glad I checked it out.

Chris





TranslatorHeike wrote:

I got this e-mail today.

Greetings!

I'm Alan Cox from Atlanta,Georgia and i'll be leaving here in Atlanta for the United Kingdom on a business trip tomorrow.However,i will need your service to translate some documents for me.I need to make a presentation to some groups of german speaking people in Munich,Germany on 5th of March,2012.I will need you to help me translate the papers from English to German,so each of my audience can have a copy in german language and they can follow through.I will also need that the work be delivered by March 2,2012.Please,let me know your rate for a total of about 4626 words presentation and your methods of payment.I look forward to hearing back from you soon.


signed with name and 2 phone numbers.

Is it just me, or wouldn't somebody giving a presentation have less typos in his e-mail?

Thanks for your input.


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Peter Shortall  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:15
Member
French to English
+ ...
Scam techniques Jan 28, 2012

Jeff Whittaker wrote:

I do not know if this is true, but I read somewhere that scammers intentionally use poor grammar and misspelled words to give you the illusion of being smarter than them.


Pretending to be inferior to the intended victim in some way is certainly a technique used in some types of scam, yes; in this case, though, poor writing skills would actually make me warier than I would be otherwise, as I would normally expect a businessman giving a presentation to be more literate than that, so it instantly makes me think he's not who he says he is. Maybe other people would react differently to it, however.


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Giuseppina Gatta, MA (Hons)
Member (2005)
English to Italian
+ ...
Definitely a poor choice... Jan 28, 2012

Peter Shortall wrote:

Jeff Whittaker wrote:

I do not know if this is true, but I read somewhere that scammers intentionally use poor grammar and misspelled words to give you the illusion of being smarter than them.


Pretending to be inferior to the intended victim in some way is certainly a technique used in some types of scam, yes; in this case, though, poor writing skills would actually make me warier than I would be otherwise, as I would normally expect a businessman giving a presentation to be more literate than that, so it instantly makes me think he's not who he says he is. Maybe other people would react differently to it, however.


Using poor grammar and spelling with linguists is definitely not a very smart choice...I do know I am smarter than them, since I never fell for any of these scams...


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 17:15
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Poor grammar = implying superiority? Jan 28, 2012

Jeff Whittaker wrote:

I do not know if this is true, but I read somewhere that scammers intentionally use poor grammar and misspelled words to give you the illusion of being smarter than them.


I've read the same "claim" a few years ago.

However, I seriously doubt that this "sub-text flattery" would lure any professional translator into accepting personal checks, money orders or the like. In the world of professionals this is about to have the same effect as these "tear-jerker" scam emails.


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:15
Spanish to English
+ ...
Typical errors Jan 28, 2012

The very native-sounding "Alan Cox" does not chime with the typically non-native or poorly-educated writer's mistakes in the email. Bin it outright.

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Isabelle F. BRUCHER  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 17:15
English to French
+ ...
If there is one forum that every translator should track, it is the "Scams" forum. Jan 28, 2012

In spite of a heavy work load, if there is one forum that every translator should track, it is the "Scams" forum.

I am giving the path to follow for newcomers (as the proz.com website can be a real maze for newcomers!):

click on the tab "Member activities",
"Forums",
"Forum settings" (in red in the right column),
select the tab "Homepage forums"
and select "Scams" in the "Track forum" column, under the second title ("Business of Translating and Interpreting"),
then, in the tab "Forums you are tracking", choose "Notify of new topics" (not "Notify of all posts", as it might fill your Inbox unnecessarily)).

Again, mentioning this is probably the job of whoever welcomes newcomers on this site.

Indeed, I fear that if translators keep receiving alerts for exactly the same types of scams over and over again, they might turn off that feature altogether... Or postpone reading those alerts to later, then forget to read them...


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Bella13
Local time: 08:15
English to German
+ ...
Thanks Jan 30, 2012

I got the email and he seemed legit even giving me two documents. But red flags kept popping about my head and it wasn't until I saw that he wanted too much personal information for payment so I'm grateful instead of trying to look for just his email I decided to post the a bit of the email. I am so relieved that I didn't fall prey to this and ruined me in the end. Thank you so much for asking about this, I wouldn't have any idea otherwise. He said everything word from word and it's just chilling.

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hkoerner  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:15
German to English
+ ...
Scam Apr 19, 2012

I received the same from Alan Cox from Atlanta who supposedly is sometimes in the UK. I received the same email and was foolish enough to translate for him as he seemed legitimate. Luckily he has none of my personal information other than my email. He event sent a money order to me to my PO box postmarked from Cairo and I took it to the bank and they said there were insufficient funds.

The initial emails seemed normal but then he started sending emails that made no sense as the one below:


Good Morning!

I want to let you know that my email has been hijacked but an unknown person.You can request that whoever is using my old email should allow you call my UK number i gave you in my first ever email to you as he doesn't have access to it.Please do not respond to any email from it anymore.Kindly let me know as soon as you have received your check via ups today or tomorrow.Please reply me here and do not respond to the other email.You can call me via my UK number anytime.Thanks!

Best Regards,
Alan

Does anyone know if he can do any damage with just my personal email address?

[Edited at 2012-04-19 14:57 GMT]


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liviu roth
United States
Local time: 11:15
Romanian to English
+ ...
it is more to it than it seems, Apr 20, 2012

I have been following their operation for a while and Alan Cox (Mr.Cox.) Dan (Daniel) Reyes and others are just fake names that are stored in a data bank for criminal operations. Recently I played their game and sent them a „copy-pasted” text as my translation and the recipient was „thrilled” about the quality of my „translation”. Sure enough, 10 days later I received via Overnight Fed-EX an untraceable envelope with a check of $3,300.00 followed soon by the explanatory message about the „secretary's mistake". Clear an overpayment scam. The counterfeit check "issued" by Wells Fargo had no watermarks but on the stub there was a note to verify the validity of the check on a www. site. I sent them a neutral message " to verify if there are enough funds" (not if the check is genuine) and within 10 minutes I was instructed to send the "remaining balance" via Western Union to an address in Chicago, IL. After 30 minutes "Mr. Reyes" contacted me and asked me to send the money to a London, UK address. None of the messages mentioned how much money to send back and why I should send back any money. It is clear that those requests are "standard" and every crook that buys access to the illegal site is able to send these requests and the stupid follow-up answers.
Honestly, I wonder how some of our peers could fall for it. For fun, I have the whole e-mail correspondence with them, and copies of the fake check. I do not post it because it is long and maybe boring for some.

Stay safe,
Lee


[Edited at 2012-04-20 00:46 GMT]


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mche

Local time: 10:15
English to Vietnamese
+ ...
So glad to find these posts May 16, 2012

I just received an email from this Alan Cox in Atlanta, GA with the same exact wording and so glad I read these posts.

[Edited at 2012-05-16 20:35 GMT]


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Overpayment scam sent by 'Alan Cox from Atlanta,Georgia'

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