Weird client, possible scam
Thread poster: Nina Khmielnitzky

Nina Khmielnitzky  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 22:47
Member (2004)
English to French
Feb 16, 2012

Yesterday, I was contacted by a "client" who wanted to have a 5k word document translated into French over the week-end.

The first time when I suspected he might be a scammer was when I saw that he had a yahoo email address and was not registered on proz.
After seeing the document, I told him what my rate was and that for new clients, I required a advance payment via paypal of half the fee.
He agreed, then when I asked for more info about the client or agency he represented, he never answered.

I think I dodged a bullet. What do you think?


 

Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:47
Hebrew to English
Maybe, maybe not Feb 16, 2012

I saw that he had a yahoo email address and was not registered on proz


Neither of these are 'crimes' as such and don't necessarily indicate a scammer.

After seeing the document, I told him what my rate was and that for new clients, I required a advance payment via paypal of half the fee.
He agreed


If he was a scammer, then there's no way he'd have honoured that agreement, in which case, you wouldn't have started the project anyway.

I asked for more info about the client or agency he represented, he never answered.


Well you (hopefully) wouldn't have started the project without a PO/solid details about the client/agency anyway (address, phone number at the very least).

...he might just be taking his time answering, or he might be as dodgy as a second hand car salesman...hard to say...

I'm presuming you Googled what details you do have? Sometimes just googling the email address will answer your question.

[Edited at 2012-02-16 22:39 GMT]


 

Peter Shortall  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:47
Member
French to English
+ ...
No way of knowing Feb 17, 2012

On the one hand, he might have planned to overpay you via PayPal and then ask you to transfer the difference to a third party via Western Union, but on the other hand, his failure to provide more information may simply have been due to the fact that he contacted more than one person and assigned the job to someone else, or had second thoughts about ordering the translation. I don't think there's any way of knowing what his real intentions were!

About a year ago, a student using a Hotmail address contacted me on a Sunday (through another website) and asked me for a translation of roughly 2,000 words, due by the Wednesday. I was a bit wary, but since it wasn't a very big job, I replied that I would take it on if she paid me half the fee up-front. She agreed and asked for my bank details. I gave them, but immediately having done so, realised that I should have asked her to pay via PayPal or MB instead, because there was a chance that the funds might not arrive by the time I was due to deliver the translation (and might, of course, never arrive at all!) Just as I was about to send her another email asking her to pay via PayPal instead, she emailed me back to say that she had already initiated the bank transfer. Too late! Convinced that she wouldn't pay, and feeling pretty cross with myself, I went ahead and translated the document anyway, intending to chalk this one up to experience. To my surprise, however, she paid both the up-front payment and the final one! So sometimes, people with non-company email addresses can surprise you.


 

jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:47
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
what is the relationship between a scammer and "not registered on proz"? Feb 17, 2012

Nina Khmielnitzky wrote:
The first time when I suspected he might be a scammer was when I saw that he had a yahoo email address and was not registered on proz.


I don't see any logical relationship there. And with this way of thinking you may let go some good direct client, because most direct clients are "not regitered on Proz".


 

Nina Khmielnitzky  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 22:47
Member (2004)
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
Got a reply Feb 17, 2012

jyuan_us wrote:

Nina Khmielnitzky wrote:
The first time when I suspected he might be a scammer was when I saw that he had a yahoo email address and was not registered on proz.


I don't see any logical relationship there. And with this way of thinking you may let go some good direct client, because most direct clients are "not regitered on Proz".


By that, I mean it was not an agency that has been rated on BB, and yahoo and hotmail addresses are disposable, so difficult to track. We're by no means protected by official agencies being registered on proz, but we can avoid bad ones according to their rating.

The client gave a sign of life, we'll see what happens.


 

Yolanda Broad  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:47
Member (2000)
French to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
Please create a BB record for the agency Feb 17, 2012

Hi Nina,

A ProZ.com profile is not a prerequisite for entering their data in the Blue Board. Please create a record for them, so anyone who might have worked for them can share their experience: the more information we have, the better protected we are.


 

Tony M  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 04:47
Member
French to English
+ ...
How to enter a BB record for non-ProZ outsourcers? Feb 17, 2012

Yolanda, please could you explain how to do it? I have tried recently as I needed to do just this, but the system only seems to allow me to select from pre-existing outsourcers, not create a new one?

[Modifié le 2012-02-17 14:16 GMT]


 

Kate Chaffer
Italy
Local time: 04:47
Member (2009)
Italian to English
Adding a new outsourcer to the Blue Board Feb 17, 2012

Tony M wrote:

Yolanda, please could you explain how to do it? I have tried recently as I needed to do just this, but the system only seems to allow me to select from pre-existing outsourcers, not create a new one?

[Modifié le 2012-02-17 14:16 GMT]


Try here:

http://www.proz.com/blueboard/?sp_mode=add


 


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Weird client, possible scam

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