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SCAM ALERT: Freelancers and agencies, please beware of a scammer impersonating real translators
Thread poster: Lucia Leszinsky

Priscila Wilke  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:23
Member (Jun 2019)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Same Scott Jan 30, 2013

I just got an email from this person, but something alerted me to research more about this person. The document he attached is "Egypt in Transition", from English to Spanish.

Spanish
From Gate Scott moniscottni@gmail.comhide details
To undisclosed-recipients:; undisclosed-recipients:;

Hello,

I'm Scott,Can you translate the attached document to Spanish and can it be delivered before
... See more
I just got an email from this person, but something alerted me to research more about this person. The document he attached is "Egypt in Transition", from English to Spanish.

Spanish
From Gate Scott moniscottni@gmail.comhide details
To undisclosed-recipients:; undisclosed-recipients:;

Hello,

I'm Scott,Can you translate the attached document to Spanish and can it be delivered before 15th of Feb,2013?

Reply asap with your rate and charges.

Scott
9548376593
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Martin Bruckmann  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 09:23
Portuguese to French
+ ...
Who to report to ? Feb 15, 2013

joyd wrote:
Please don't get me wrong. I really want to report these crooks. But I want to be very certain before I do it.


This is a good question.


I recently got a very strange request (not from a "translator" but from a potential "client") combining all sorts of potential scams at the same time :

- "corporate customer" not really identifiying himself nor his company and using free e-mail
- asking for my CV + all sorts of personal details
- asking me to translate a sample (1 full page letter, that would probablly never get paid, of course) to "check my linguistic ability"
- that sample's original text, all together with the messages, written in poor style and full of errors
- content of that sample was exactly the kind of scam e-mail you can receive from some "bank" or other online customer portal, asking to check in immediately (to spoofed website) to check and correct personal data, etc...

After a few exchanged e-mails I ended up asking for more details about himself etc... and of course... this was asking too much and I never got any further notice from him again.


Anyway, I tried to send all relevant details about this person and e-mails and leads to identification to the local Interpol office ... that did not even bother to answer back.


I think we all want those crooks to get caught, but maybe there are so many of them out there that the police authorities are just not able to run after them all, so it probably is up to us to get extra cautious and try to avoid getting scammed.


But even then, if someone out there knows of an efficient criminal activities reporting service, of a team that will care and have the skills and authority to take action, please let us all know.

Thank you.


 

Marie-Helene Dubois  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:23
Spanish to English
+ ...
Thanks Feb 15, 2013

First of all, thanks to Lucia for highlighting this. I do wonder though how recommending that outsourcers ask for a copy of our certificates reconciles with the advice to us not to provide personal information. Presumably if someone is able to effectively pose as an outsourcer, he/she will then be able to request a copy of our certificates and subsequently have them in his/her possession to send out when this is requested by a genuine outsourcer...

I received this message that you p
... See more
First of all, thanks to Lucia for highlighting this. I do wonder though how recommending that outsourcers ask for a copy of our certificates reconciles with the advice to us not to provide personal information. Presumably if someone is able to effectively pose as an outsourcer, he/she will then be able to request a copy of our certificates and subsequently have them in his/her possession to send out when this is requested by a genuine outsourcer...

I received this message that you provided through LinkedIn recently. I didn't reply to it because I thought the translator was simply misguided in thinking that I was an outsourcer but now that I've seen this, I'll look for the message and delete the user's profile from my LinkedIn account.

Equally, on this point:


Diana Lavarini wrote:
I wonder why they do this and especially why don't they learn to write better emails?


I really hope they don't learn to write better emails. Above all, alerting the person to the fact that his/her email is badly written is not a good idea (I'm not saying you have but I know people who do this). We don't want to be educating these scammers on how to scam us more efficiently.

Usually the fact that the message is badly written is the first clue that will alert me and lead me to investigate my interlocuter a little further.

Certainly, all translators should know how to check an IP address. If you don't know how to do this, google it for your email provider.
If an outsourcer claims to be based in Switzerland and their IP address shows them to be writing from Burkina Faso, this at the very least is a clue that they are not being honest.

I wonder if having a domain name of your own could make it harder for people to copy your identity?

Otherwise, this is very much a problem as presumably it's fairly hard for translators to find out they are being impersonated unless the agency checks in some way who they are before giving them the job.
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Enrique Cavalitto  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 06:23
Member (2006)
English to Spanish
Three simple and effective risk management steps Feb 15, 2013

As language professionals, we look for linguistic patterns in the messages received from strangers in order to evaluate if they are scammers or not. However, the following 3-step program could be simpler and more effective:

a) Make a quick assessment and if the message falls below a certain level simply delete and forget. You should create your own scale to measure this. Being aware of common types of scam can help. Our ... See more
As language professionals, we look for linguistic patterns in the messages received from strangers in order to evaluate if they are scammers or not. However, the following 3-step program could be simpler and more effective:

a) Make a quick assessment and if the message falls below a certain level simply delete and forget. You should create your own scale to measure this. Being aware of common types of scam can help. Our scam alert center and associated wiki pages provide a good repository of knowledge.

b) In the message survived this first go / no-go test, then ask for verifiable contact information. Most scammers will go away at this point.

c) If you are confident that the message senders are who they say they are, then look for information about them in the Blue Board, Google and other similar resources.

Regards,
Enrique
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SHI KANG DU
China
Local time: 17:23
Member (2003)
Chinese to English
+ ...
Any technical means to stop scam? Feb 21, 2013

Natalie wrote:

In case you keep receiving these messages through ProZ.com profiles, please do not forget to notify the site staff about the IP address, otherwise it is hard to stop them from further emailing.

Thank you!


Dear Natalie,

I received the same scam today, this time with a new email address PM_N@Languagemet.com. My practice for such unsolicited messages out of a free email address is searching Google or ProZ first. It will be blacklisted if turning out to be a scam. But the tricky lies in the fact that they may use new email addresses that have not been identified. There must have a mechanism in place to stop such scam. As for your method of logging its IP address, does it really work since to the best of understanding they may use a dynamic one for the purpose? Obviously, I am not savy in IT. Any colleagues with a strong background in IT can contribute something to stop such scams?

All the best.

Simon Du

2.21


 

Enrique Cavalitto  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 06:23
Member (2006)
English to Spanish
Three simple and effective risk management steps Feb 21, 2013

DU SHI KANG wrote:
I received the same scam today, this time with a new email address PM_N@Languagemet.com. My practice for such unsolicited messages out of a free email address is searching Google or ProZ first. It will be blacklisted if turning out to be a scam. But the tricky lies in the fact that they may use new email addresses that have not been identified. There must have a mechanism in place to stop such scam. As for your method of logging its IP address, does it really work since to the best of understanding they may use a dynamic one for the purpose? Obviously, I am not savy in IT. Any colleagues with a strong background in IT can contribute something to stop such scams?


There is a dedicated wiki article on getting information from email headers.

To be better protected against scammers you don't need an IT tool but some good procedures and common sense. In a nutshell:
1 - If obviously not serious, simply delete
2 - if not deleted, ask for verifiable contact information and verify it
3 - If satisfied with contact info, check the Blue Board and other similar resources.

Regards,
Enrique


 

Sergio Mori
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:23
English to Spanish
Scott Gate scam Feb 28, 2013

Hi
I got the same email, the one about "Egypt in Translation", this time to be translated into Spanish.

Why do they want our personal details?

I've asked for payment up front and they said yes.

It all sounded dodgy so I decided to investigate and found this thread.

He already got my name and phone number (not difficult, that's on my website), but now he also has my address and bank details (in the invoice I stupidly sent him before doing
... See more
Hi
I got the same email, the one about "Egypt in Translation", this time to be translated into Spanish.

Why do they want our personal details?

I've asked for payment up front and they said yes.

It all sounded dodgy so I decided to investigate and found this thread.

He already got my name and phone number (not difficult, that's on my website), but now he also has my address and bank details (in the invoice I stupidly sent him before doing some research into him).

What is it he wants with translators' personal info?

I've reported it to Action Fraud, but not sure what to do now, apart from talking to my bank to warn them.
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Sergio Mori
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:23
English to Spanish
Update on the Scott Gate Scam Mar 7, 2013

UPDATE: A friend of mine got another email from him saying he’s sent a cheque but he realized his secretary made a mistake and put too much on the cheque including the interpreter’s fee. He wants you to cash it and transfer the money that is not yours onto the interpreter’s bank account. At least we now know it’s money laundering… Needless to say, if you ever get a cheque, just ignore it!

 

Enrique Cavalitto  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 06:23
Member (2006)
English to Spanish
It is NOT money laundering! Mar 7, 2013

Sergio Mori wrote:

UPDATE: A friend of mine got another email from him saying he’s sent a cheque but he realized his secretary made a mistake and put too much on the cheque including the interpreter’s fee. He wants you to cash it and transfer the money that is not yours onto the interpreter’s bank account. At least we now know it’s money laundering… Needless to say, if you ever get a cheque, just ignore it!



Hi Sergio,

Money laundering is a rather sophisticated crime that involves real movements of money to turn "dirty" money into legalized money.

This is a plain scam. You get a forged chech, take it to your bank, the bank does credit the money in your account, you send the difference via Western Union (a non refundable channel) and then a few days or weeks later the bank lets you know that the check was not good, the full amount is debited from your account and you may need to answer some questions to the police.

Regards,
Enrique


 

Giovanna Tomaro  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 10:23
English to Italian
+ ...
Scott Gate - lovingscott12@gmail.com - SCAM Mar 14, 2013

Dear Colleagues,

please be aware of the above person who contacts you for a translation project. This is a real SCAM and he is 100% rude.

Just avoid him!


 

Lydia De Jorge  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:23
English to Spanish
+ ...
It has started again! Apr 16, 2013

I have received 3 emails this week from agencies letting me know they have received 'suspicious' emails from me soliciting work...Needless to say, I have not sent any such emails!
This had happened a few months ago and I thought it had stopped...I guess not!
We are at the mercy of these unscrupulous people and there is really nothing we can do.


 

Giovanna Alessandra Meloni  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 10:23
Member (2012)
Spanish to Italian
+ ...
smart translator Apr 19, 2013

I received a new e mail from this scammer, his/her e mail is smart.translator90@gmail.com, I received other suspicious e mail from the same address, but maybe with a different name, but he/she always introduce himself as the PM of a real translation agency.

 

Kaori Myatt  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 10:23
Member (2004)
English to Japanese
+ ...
SCAM ALERT! Apr 23, 2013

Thank you so much for this topic.

I would like to share my experience too.

Recently I was approached many times from www.TranslationSecrets.com imad@translationsecrets.com, Team@translationsecrets.com

Also Bisan Jonathan (Skype: bisan.jo
... See more
Thank you so much for this topic.

I would like to share my experience too.

Recently I was approached many times from www.TranslationSecrets.com imad@translationsecrets.com, Team@translationsecrets.com

Also Bisan Jonathan (Skype: bisan.jonathan) by Skype.

They asked me for my CV. I sent them my latest CV.
And now see what happened... they created my false Gmail addresses using my maden name and my name.

kaorisusa@gmail.com
kaorisusa@hotmail.com
freelancer.kaori@gmail.com

and impersonate and send my CV to literary all of the agencies on the proz directory. Some of my agency Project managers kindly sent me the unsolicited Emails that "I" sent to them while I am already in business with them.

These clever agencies are already aware of this type of Scam but some would believe that I sent these Emails...

I have reached to bisan jonathan and asked him not to use my CV. They admitted that they have sent my CV. They told me I have signed the agreement but I told them that I did not agree to them to impersonate. I asked them not to send my CV anymore to anyone. Then they asked me to pay 500USD to give me password of these Email addresses which they created using my names!

I am very angry, already reported this incident to Gmail and Cyber Crime Centre.

I would like to warn all the agencies. please be aware.


Thanks

Kaori
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LegalTranslatr2  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:23
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Directory of on-line scammers/CV stealers Apr 23, 2013

This may have been posted before, but João Roque Dias maintains a database of these scammers (up to 236 so far) with their names and e-mail addresses (scroll to the middle of the page):


http://www.jrdias.com/jrd-translator-scammers.htm


 

Sarai Pahla (MD) MBChB
Germany
Local time: 10:23
Member (2012)
Japanese to English
+ ...
Same here! May 2, 2013

Kaori Myatt wrote:

And now see what happened... they created my false Gmail addresses using my maden name and my name.

kaorisusa@gmail.com
kaorisusa@hotmail.com
freelancer.kaori@gmail.com

and impersonate and send my CV to literary all of the agencies on the proz directory. Some of my agency Project managers kindly sent me the unsolicited Emails that "I" sent to them while I am already in business with them.

Kaori


I have just received an email from an agency saying the same thing from my side - that someone registered onto their system using my name and details, but using a fake email address. I have previously reported this to no avail - the fake gmail account still exists. How does one get an email account shut down?


 
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