May be a scam
Thread poster: Odette Grille

Odette Grille  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 06:25
English to French
+ ...
Jul 2, 2012

I have been offered the job posted on proz at:
https://www.proz.com/job/665671

However, the client, who says he is in Sweden has an IP address in South Africa.

He says he is going to send me a check today as a prepayment to cover costs I will incur for travel and hotel.

I asked client for an explanation for the IP address and am waiting for an answer but I feel I need advice on this. Should I cancel the whole thing ? And is this the right forum to post such doubts (as I feel if this is a scam, other interpreters should be made aware of it)

Thanks


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dragosstefany
Romania
Local time: 13:25
English to Romanian
+ ...
May be a scam, indeed. Jul 2, 2012

I think it may be a scam, indeed. If I were you, I would ask for a partial payment (flight tickets) via wire transfer.
If later it proves a scam, you remain with the flight tickets which you can either sell back or use for a short vacation in Canada.
Could you please let us know how they explained the IP address?
Take care,


[Editat la 2012-07-02 13:09 GMT]


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Odette Grille  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 06:25
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Waiting Jul 2, 2012

Hello,

I think you have a good idea there but they offered to send a check. I am still waiting for a reply about the IP address.
I am canceling the whole thing anyway. Better to loose a real potential client than be scammed again. I'll never learn ! I only thought about checking the IP address after I noticed the e-mail was sent from a logged in visitor and not a proz.com member, when I went to check if there was a Blueboard record.
I had already reserved the rooms at the hotel and even this proved to be a headache to cancel. I booked online through a site which gave me an error message but charged my credit card nevertheless, which I found out only because I went to my banx account this morning and saw a charge on my credit card. It took me two hours to get someone who finally agreed to a refund.
Now, thinking this booking had not gone through, I booked through another site but there was no problem cancelling that one and THEY did not debit my credit card.
I am telling all this because it was such a headache and partly my fault. I did not check things I should have checked in the right order. I hope this will avoid the same thing to happen to a colleague (even though I may be the dummest of the lot !)

What I wonder is: what did they expect. If their check did not go through, I would not have reserved my travel. So the only thing they could have gotten would have been three nights in a hotel in London,ON ... Or could it be a large scam where there is ID theft through reservations. I am really puzzled by the fact that my initial reservation which showed an error message did go through and charged to my account. I never received a confirmation number. So, just imagine, when I called to inquire about the amount charged, that company sent me to other phone numbers, where I was either put on hold, or directed somewhere else, each time having to retell my story. I got a headache and was in tears after two hours. Now I have to wait between two to seven days to see the refund but I did receive a confirmation e-mail of it, so I think I am good on that point.

As for the suspected scam, I will give you more on this as soon as I get an answer. If I don't, I'll just send a cancellation e-mail. But I wonder what we can do, as prozians, to prevent these guys from trying on someone else.

Regards
Ode


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 12:25
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Please notify staff Jul 2, 2012

Please submit a support ticket, and ask staff to check the profile of the user against the details in the job posting.

You can perhaps give them more details than you would post in an open forum like this.

That is what we can do at least to make life difficult for scammers, and to protect those who use the site as it was intended.

You could perhaps set up a Blue Board entry about the client to warn others. There are many outrsourcers who are not yet on the Blue Board.

I hope you find less troublesome clients in future!


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Stanislav Pokorny  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 12:25
English to Czech
+ ...
Very likely a scam Jul 2, 2012

This feels and smells like a classic check overpayment scam. Guess you'll never hear any logical explanation about the "client's" IP address.

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Trudy Peters  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:25
German to English
+ ...
Check the "scams" forum Jul 2, 2012

for similar scams.

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Odette Grille  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 06:25
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
IT IS ! Jul 2, 2012

Stanislav Pokorny wrote:

This feels and smells like a classic check overpayment scam. Guess you'll never hear any logical explanation about the "client's" IP address.


This is the next e-mail I just received as well as a call I will give you the details after:
Hello Ode,

I glad to inform you that i have received confirmation from my associate that payment has been mailed out by mail to your address at 12noon local time but unfortunately my associate mailed out my the entire payment with him which is $3500.

Please you are advise, confirm to me as soon as you receive the payment the amount. I will provide you with how to go about the balance and also you will keep the money you needed for the hotel and transportion . I honestly look forward to a fruitful and long partnership.

You will receive the payment next week. Thank you

Regards


Now the call I just received was to try and explain the IP address in those terms :
I forgot to tell you I travel a lot

So Yes it was a scam. And I said so to the person on the phone and cancelled the deal, of course.

Thanks for your support. This upset me a lot and I needed an ear or two to help me along !

[Edited at 2012-07-02 17:10 GMT]


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Odette Grille  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 06:25
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Support ticket Jul 2, 2012

Christine Andersen wrote:

Please submit a support ticket,


I will Christine and thank you for your support. I can't believe what state of stress this put me in and I find it very comnforting to have colleagues care.
Ode


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Odette Grille  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 06:25
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Scam forum Jul 2, 2012

Trudy Peters wrote:

for similar scams.


That is interesting. I checked to see if there was a 'scam forum' and could not find one. Thanks
Ode


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Neil Coffey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:25
French to English
+ ...
Glad you spotted it - but don't *rely* on IP addresses Jul 2, 2012

Hi Odette -- I'm glad you didn't get scammed this time. Unfortunately, globalisation of the freelance market does mean that we are open to these kinds of scams if we're not on our guard.

It's good that the IP address alerted you to a problem this time. But I just wanted to mention that you shouldn't *rely* on an IP address as the be-all and end-all of spotting scams. IP addresses CAN be an indication of a person's location but they're not a *reliable* indicator-- you should assume that anybody can buy a network connection in any country more or less-- and you need to develop other strategies for spotting scams.


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dragosstefany
Romania
Local time: 13:25
English to Romanian
+ ...
Don't *rely* on IP addresses Jul 2, 2012

Fully agree with Neil. They may be behind a router or firewall or proxy that can change the IP address.
Regarding the payment: please check with the bank - in my country one can reclaim an illegal electronic payment from his/her account. They have an antifraud insurance or something like this. Do not hesitate to contact the authorities in this case. We all should help to put these scammers behind the bars.


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Odette Grille  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 06:25
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
IP and other things Jul 2, 2012

Dragos-Stefan Cocis wrote:

Fully agree with Neil. They may be behind a router or firewall or proxy that can change the IP address.
Regarding the payment: please check with the bank - in my country one can reclaim an illegal electronic payment from his/her account. They have an antifraud insurance or something like this. Do not hesitate to contact the authorities in this case. We all should help to put these scammers behind the bars.


Well payment is supposed to be sent through mail. I guess I'll keep the check (if it ever arrives) and go to the police with it. But I think telling the man who called me that I suspected a scam will have stopped the whole thing, unless payment was already sent in which case the check should be a good document to stop these guys ... No ?


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liviu roth
United States
Local time: 06:25
Romanian to English
+ ...
Odette Jul 3, 2012

unfortunately, it won't stop them. I have a collection of three fake checks received " for my outstanding work " (I copy/pasted a random text), and the police, FBI or Interpol won't do anything about it because they are so overloaded with more serious cyber crimes.
If you check "Scams", you will find much more about it.

Best,
Lee


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