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Scam?
Thread poster: Rolf Kern

Rolf Kern  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 01:21
English to German
+ ...
Jun 1, 2012

I received the following e-mail:

"Hi Rolf,

Please could you say me if in the attached file those translations from
English or French into German are correct?

I translated myself those English phrases into German but I suppose there
are a few errors and spelling mistakes.

I thank you so much if you could check these translated sentences and send
me back the modified file.

And if the translations are fine please confirm me.

Thanking you again for your help,

Kind Regards

[Name] [French e-mail address]
[Excel file attached]"

I did not reply nor open the attachment.
What would you have done?

Thanks
Rolf


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Valery Shapovalenko  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 02:21
English to Russian
+ ...
I would send him my price-list, Jun 1, 2012

having deleted contact details first

kiddin'...

I would act the same way - remaining inactive.

We say here "lookin' eagles for a dime'



[Edited at 2012-06-01 20:09 GMT]


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:21
English to German
+ ...
I received the same one Jun 1, 2012

After poking around a little bit it was easy to figure out that this is not a scammer, this is only some book author who crafted some lines via machine translation or something and who naively thinks that he can ask established translators around the planet to edit those few words at no charge. I didn't reply. The good man needs to learn that some things only happen in fiction.

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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:21
English to German
+ ...
The attachment. Jun 1, 2012

The xls.thingie is harmless. Not everyone is a criminal. The file contains a line that he must have concocted himself by help of a dictionary or MT and he wants freebie-help with that...

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Rolf Kern  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 01:21
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Hallo Nicole Jun 1, 2012

Vielen Dank für die Bestätigung der Nichtantwort. Der Name ist tatsächlich als Buchautor bekannt. Aber eben...

[Bearbeitet am 2012-06-01 20:36 GMT]


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Marina Steinbach  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:21
Member
English to German
+ ...
I do not know if this is a scam, but... Jun 1, 2012

Rolf Kern wrote:

Aber eben...

[Bearbeitet am 2012-06-01 20:36 GMT]


I don't know if this is a scam, but just as this thread is starting to get interesting, you don't finalize your sentence. Oh, come on!


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Rolf Kern  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 01:21
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
@Marina Jun 2, 2012

I only wanted to confirm what Nicole wrote.

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 01:21
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes he did Jun 2, 2012

Marina Steinbach wrote:

Rolf Kern wrote:

Aber eben...

[Bearbeitet am 2012-06-01 20:36 GMT]


I don't know if this is a scam, but just as this thread is starting to get interesting, you don't finalize your sentence. Oh, come on!


According to my own particular Weltanschauung, three dots (...) is a perfectly good (and sometimes the best) way to "end" a sentence...


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:21
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
A nice one Jun 2, 2012

Nicole Schnell wrote:

The good man needs to learn that some things only happen in fiction.


You think he will?


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Rossana Triaca  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 21:21
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
Just a heads-up... Jun 2, 2012

If the inquiry was personally addressed to you, in compliance with the Proz Professional Guidelines you should "answer, courteously, inquiries related to services, fees and available equipment". Not replying is not an option.

I do fear he's looking for a freebie, but a quick mail detailing your fees should suffice to deter him from wasting any more of your time.


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:21
English to German
+ ...
The email was not sent via ProZ.com Jun 2, 2012

Rossana Triaca wrote:

If the inquiry was personally addressed to you, in compliance with the Proz Professional Guidelines you should "answer, courteously, inquiries related to services, fees and available equipment". Not replying is not an option.


It was sent from a freebie email address and didn't contain any information about the sender. The mere fact that anyone addresses a total stranger by first name doesn't make it "personal" either.


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Rossana Triaca  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 21:21
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
... Jun 2, 2012

The guidelines apply to all inquiries, whether received via your Proz email, a phone call, from a free email, or... well, by just about any means. My point with "personal" is that it was addressed to him, and (at least apparently) it was not a mass email (like the "Hey Guys!" version posted earlier in the forums).

I don't think mass emails from unknown sources classify as inquiries; but an email addressed to you, signed with a clear identification name and return address would definitely classify as a formal inquiry (scammy as it may be!).


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:21
English to German
+ ...
If I would pick up each and every phone call... Jun 2, 2012

Rossana Triaca wrote:

The guidelines apply to all inquiries, whether received via your Proz email, a phone call, from a free email, or... well, by just about any means.


... from every phone solicitor, I wouldn't never get any work done. Small businesses are bombarded with telemarketer calls all day long and I have to screen all calls for reasons of sanity. The same goes for incoming email. Names can be made up. Before I reply to any email without proper sender information and probably confirm my valid email address to a spammer or potential scammer, I have to take the security of my other clients' data on my machines into consideration.

As for made up names, here is a recent and highly interesting example:

http://www.proz.com/forum/scams/226232-mean_spam.html

Every business is responsible for its own time management and risk management and this has nothing to do with being unprofessional. Quite the opposite.


Edited for typo

[Edited at 2012-06-02 21:56 GMT]


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Rossana Triaca  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 21:21
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
Serious inquiries vs. diversions... Jun 4, 2012

I think we all agree that real inquiries do not include mass emails, spam/scam emails, telemarketer phonecalls, door-to-door salesmen pitches, or calls from visitors, well-wishers and distant relations

My point was just that Rolf subscribes to the Proz Pro Guidelines, and they are very clear as to how to reply to inquiries. Of course there's a lot of leeway into what we can ascribe to that word, but when in doubt, I find it's better to err on the side of caution and send a quick reply; it certainly takes less time than posting here and fretting about it afterwards. Also, if I may note, answering courteously does not imply you can't quote an exorbitant price to make sure you never get a reply back, if so inclined.


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:21
English to German
+ ...
Yes, but Rolf didn't reply at all Jun 4, 2012

Rossana Triaca wrote:
My point was just that Rolf subscribes to the Proz Pro Guidelines, and they are very clear as to how to reply to inquiries.


Which is perfectly in line with the ProZ Pro Guidelines:

Those guidelines state that a subscriber is supposed to
"- answer, courteously, inquiries related to services, fees and available equipment,"

IF the subscriber replies.

The guidelines do NOT state that each and every request must be slavishly answered at all times, for a good reason. This might work as an internal company policy but no external website, portal, association or other membership can dictate any freelancer / translation company / agency how to organize their office and their working hours.


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