Scam by William George
Thread poster: Beate-Mohr

Beate-Mohr  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:56
Member (2012)
English to German
+ ...
Jun 6, 2012

William George (supposedly from GB) just tried to scam me. I have been in negotiations for a rather large project with this person over the past 2-3 weeks. Today I had an email from him, stating, that the payment was sent out, but it was the wrong amount. I did receive a check in the amount of $2,800. The original amount was supposed to be around $290.
He asked me to go ahead and cash the check, keep the payment for me, and send the rest via money transfer/western union to someone in Egypt. The person there would need the money for life saving surgery.
Of course I did NOT go ahead with his request.
Just wanted to post this here, since William George contacted me through proz.com.
By the way, the check he sent comes from Wichita, KS but is actually from UT Southwestern Medical Center and is signed by a Daniel K. Podolky, M.D. This person really exists, and I am trying to contact him, to see what he knows about this scam.
So, be aware, if William George from GB contacts you!!!!!


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Sameh Elnokaly  Identity Verified
Egypt
Local time: 11:56
Member
Arabic to English
+ ...
Thank you Jun 6, 2012

Thank you Beat

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Enrique Cavalitto
Local time: 06:56
SITE STAFF
Translators scam alerts center Jun 6, 2012

Hi Beate,

Can you please submit a support request including the email address used to contact you and the messages you received from the scammers?

I plan to use this information to generate an alert from the Translators scam alerts center. As a ProZ.com member you can subscribe to the alerts or to a weekly digest.

Regards,
Enrique Cavalitto


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xxxLaura Ball  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:56
German to English
+ ...
It's been done before Jun 6, 2012

I have heard of scams like this.

What happens is that if you go ahead and pay in the cheque, it will bounce. The scammer is counting on you conscientiously transferring the extra balance before you realise the cheque has bounced, as this will take a few days.

That means the scammer gets a good 1,000 pounds or so in cash and has paid out nothing for it. Easy!

[Edited at 2012-06-06 18:59 GMT]


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Enrique Cavalitto
Local time: 06:56
SITE STAFF
Overpayment scam and risk management Jun 6, 2012

This is a classic overpayment scam, probably the most common scheme aimed to translators.

A few golden rules:
  • Get verifiable information from the client
  • Verify it before starting the translation. Once you started working it is no longer risk management but damage control.
  • Never, ever, send money to the person offering you work. The workflow is a) translation from service provider to client, and b) money from client to service provider. Anything different should get all your red lights flashing.

    Regards,
    Enrique

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  • Giuseppina Gatta, MA (Hons)
    Member (2005)
    English to Italian
    + ...
    Contacting Jun 7, 2012

    Beate-Mohr wrote:

    William George (supposedly from GB) just tried to scam me. I have been in negotiations for a rather large project with this person over the past 2-3 weeks. Today I had an email from him, stating, that the payment was sent out, but it was the wrong amount. I did receive a check in the amount of $2,800. The original amount was supposed to be around $290.
    He asked me to go ahead and cash the check, keep the payment for me, and send the rest via money transfer/western union to someone in Egypt. The person there would need the money for life saving surgery.
    Of course I did NOT go ahead with his request.
    Just wanted to post this here, since William George contacted me through proz.com.
    By the way, the check he sent comes from Wichita, KS but is actually from UT Southwestern Medical Center and is signed by a Daniel K. Podolky, M.D. This person really exists, and I am trying to contact him, to see what he knows about this scam.
    So, be aware, if William George from GB contacts you!!!!!


    I don't think it is wise to contact the possible owner of the check. I would go directly to the issuing bank or the police. You might get in trouble if try to contact this Daniel Podolky.


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    Sophia Issa  Identity Verified
    United States
    Local time: 04:56
    Arabic to English
    + ...
    Similar scam Jun 7, 2012

    I've actually am currently going through the same situation exactly. I first responded to a person named Shana putnam (spanthonykent@yahoo.com) who told me that there was a translation project for $500. I began working on the translation but sensed something fishy with her. When I began to ask questions, she said the payment is on the way but it never arrived.

    A week later, Sarah Mcbridge wrote the same exact message (with the same mispellings and grammar mistakes) proposed a translation project which was the same document. I responded from another e-mail and went along with her to see if she actually sends the payment. Afterall, I did already translate most of the document. She eventually sent the payment ($2800) and said that she had overpaid and needed the money back. The check does seem legitimate from a legitimate compnay- Dickenson Gilroy LLC.

    Is there anything we can do against these people who are clearly trying to scam us and are just wasting our time?


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    Thayenga  Identity Verified
    Germany
    Local time: 10:56
    Member (2009)
    English to German
    + ...
    Take the legal steps Jun 7, 2012

    Giuseppina Gatta, MA (Hons) wrote:

    Beate-Mohr wrote:

    William George (supposedly from GB) just tried to scam me. I have been in negotiations for a rather large project with this person over the past 2-3 weeks. Today I had an email from him, stating, that the payment was sent out, but it was the wrong amount. I did receive a check in the amount of $2,800. The original amount was supposed to be around $290.
    He asked me to go ahead and cash the check, keep the payment for me, and send the rest via money transfer/western union to someone in Egypt. The person there would need the money for life saving surgery.
    Of course I did NOT go ahead with his request.
    Just wanted to post this here, since William George contacted me through proz.com.
    By the way, the check he sent comes from Wichita, KS but is actually from UT Southwestern Medical Center and is signed by a Daniel K. Podolky, M.D. This person really exists, and I am trying to contact him, to see what he knows about this scam.
    So, be aware, if William George from GB contacts you!!!!!


    I don't think it is wise to contact the possible owner of the check. I would go directly to the issuing bank or the police. You might get in trouble if try to contact this Daniel Podolky.


    I agree with Giuseppina. This Dr. Podolky might not even know that his name is being used to scam people - as is often the case. Let the police handle the matter and inform the issuing bank.

    Check out this link, since the scammer seems to be located in the USA.
    http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/investigate/cyber/cyber


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    Beate-Mohr  Identity Verified
    Local time: 01:56
    Member (2012)
    English to German
    + ...
    TOPIC STARTER
    Reported to FBi Jun 9, 2012

    Thank you all for your kind words. I just filed a complaint with the FBI. Going to submit a support request next.

    I am just glad, I only translated one paragraph. The moment the check arrived, I was absolutely sure that this is a classic scam.

    I did not contact the person or institution on the check. I will leave that to law enforcement.

    I just hope William is not successful with this scam. I am wondering how many people he contacted.

    Have a great day, Beate.


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    Edward Vreeburg  Identity Verified
    Netherlands
    Local time: 10:56
    Member (2008)
    English to Dutch
    + ...
    and he /she is still trying to do it again... Jun 12, 2012

    I just received a mail this morning:

    From: spanthonykent

    Date: Tue, Jun 12, 2012 9:35 am
    -----------
    You have been sent a message via ProZ.com.
    Author: Shana Putnam [NOTE: The author is not a registered ProZ.com user or was not logged in when sending this message.]
    Author's IP address: 76.73.26.76
    -----------

    Am in need of your translation service; English to Dutch.Get
    back to me as soon as possible


    ===
    of course with an annonymous yahoo address like that spanthonykent@yahoo.com and the name Shana Putman is was easy to find this thread....

    [Edited at 2012-06-12 08:20 GMT]


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