Bogus CVs
Thread poster: Mirelluk

Mirelluk  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:31
Member (2005)
English to Italian
+ ...
Sep 14, 2012

Dear all,

I was about to post this comment in the "Translation agencies" forum which sadly is not very active, but I thought that the issue I want to discuss is very damaging for translators as well.

We receive hundreds of CVs every year and now and then we pick some new profiles and test their skills.

I came across a suitable profile and sent a short text. After a series of unjustified e-mails which showed little experience in dealing with a translation company, we became suspicious that something was wrong with the whole interaction.

We checked whether the name of the translator "Maria Antilon" was mentioned on the web and discovered this web site: http://admerix.blogspot.co.uk/2011/04/fake-euro-translators.html

It is not the first time that we come across fake CVs, unlawful activities, incompetent translators who claim great expertise, or others who just disappear having accepted the job and never reply to any form of contact, neither by phone or e-mail. Some of them are Proz members which raises the question or reliability of the information posted on this site. But that is another story.

I would like to know whether translators are at all aware that genuine information is copied and misused.

As business, we are often prey of the other types of damaging activities, like price enquiries, requests of detailed offers, let alone the dozens of scams which are now drawn to our attention by Enrique Cavallito in http://www.proz.com/forum/prozcom:_translator_coop/218896-announcing_a_new_feature:_translator_scam_alert_center.html

I suspect that even our identity, headed paper, logo and who knows what else have been misused.

I hope there will be a way to collect information concerning all the illegal activities which surround and affect our profession and be able to fight back.

Has any of you suffered negative consequences because of such illegal activities? Do you know of ways to protect ourselves in an era when so much information is disclosed, voluntarily or not?

What role can Proz play? Even the Scam Alert Center is not easy to find (http://wiki.proz.com/wiki/index.php/Translator_scam_alert_reports) but it deals with only one type of scam, mostly fake jobs which remain unpaid.

I would appreciate your comments and suggestions on this topic.

Good day to you all.

Mirella


[Edited at 2012-09-14 12:15 GMT]


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:31
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Very disturbing Sep 14, 2012

Mirelluk wrote:
What role can Proz play? Even the Scam Alert Center is not easy to find (http://wiki.proz.com/wiki/index.php/Translator_scam_alert_reports) but it deals with only one type of scam, mostly fake jobs which remain unpaid.

I would have thought the scam centre was meant to warn about this type of scam, too - it just hasn't cropped up in an organised way before. Would you please report it to ProZ.com staff either via the centre or via a Support Ticket? I think they should at least be informed of it.

I don't know if you keep the application package together at your agency, but it looks as though the sample email shown in your link should ring alarm bells - if they are identical then they could even be filtered out by your email program. But you have to know about it first, so thanks for letting us all know, Mirella


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Recep Kurt  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 08:31
Member (2011)
English to Turkish
+ ...
Requesting CVs Sep 14, 2012

I've had an instance where a guy contacted me through Skype and the first thing he asked was to send him my CV for a potential project. I have made the mistake of sending it before I asked him any questions; never heard from him again. Only after doing a little research on the Internet did I find that he was contacting others with the same request, asking them for their CVs. I am assuming that they are simply changing the names on the CVs, applying for jobs under those names, perhaps getting a job, then approaching other translators with promisies of high rates, getting the translations from legitimate translators and forwarding the job to their initial client and getting paid for it, never paying the actual translator...

[Edited at 2012-09-14 12:14 GMT]


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Mónica Algazi  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 02:31
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
Disturbing indeed Sep 14, 2012

Thank you for bringing this to our attention, Mirella.

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Woodstock  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 07:31
German to English
+ ...
Just the other day Sep 14, 2012

someone tried to contact me via Skype, saying s/he had found the contact through ProZ. I blocked the contact request immediately, because a serious query could just as easily have gone through the ProZ messaging system. A few years ago I did have my CV uploaded to my profile page, but took it down as soon as the first scams geared specifically to translators started showing up, or perhaps it was when I got a few very fishy requests via ProZmail by "visitors not logged in", not sure anymore. In any event, I subsequently enabled the ProZ-Mail option that prevents any non-logged-in visitors from contacting me, so that is how I've managed to escape these scams, at least so far.

I also never overcame my initial reluctance to post any information under my own name here... that was for different reasons at the time, but now I'm glad I didn't. On the other hand, I'm in the fortunate situation of having enough work and good clients, so if I miss a few from agencies who are not professional enough to contact me via Proz-Mail, then I'm out of luck. I'm content if they find qualified colleagues who are happy to have the work.

Recently I received a somewhat dubious-looking e-mail from a potential client asking for my CV, so I wrote back that I would prefer having a bit more information from a potential customer before supplying additional information because the spate of scams had made some of us a bit uneasy about unsolicited inquiries. He hastily replied, with all the info I needed - so it was definitely a legitimate organization. Luckily it was someone who understood my reluctance and responded in kind. Someone else may have been offended, but I prefer to be on the safe side.

This rather long post is just to let people know how I have been protecting myself from fraudsters, and maybe it will help others. Nothing is foolproof, but if you are alert and don't take any unnecessary risks, then you are likely to remain unscathed. I tend to err on the side of caution, but it has proven to be the right way for me - it may not be so for others.


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João Roque Dias  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 06:31
English to Portuguese
Translator Scammers Directory Jul 22, 2013

Mirella raised a very disturbing point. After receiving a "Portuguese" CV from a "Carl Galician" (which, of course, turned out to be a copy of a Portuguese legitimate translator), I began collecting the names, emails and other interesting information about these scammers. And now, "Carl Galician" and many others are exposed on this page of my website:

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

You are welcome to send me any scammers data you may know of.

[Edited at 2013-07-23 12:53 GMT]

[Edited at 2013-07-23 12:54 GMT]

[Edited at 2013-07-23 12:54 GMT]


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Margarita
United States
Local time: 01:31
Member (2003)
Russian to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
Scam Alert Center Jul 23, 2013

As a moderator of this forum, I would like to resolve misconceptions about the Scam Alert Center.

The correct link to the Scam Alert Center is http://www.proz.com/about/translator-scam-alerts/default (the link above leads to the reports page, not the Center itself).

All types of known scams are covered by alerts.

It might be a good idea to subscribe to the scam alerts. To subscribe, please visit http://www.proz.com/about/translator-scam-alerts/subscribe .

This ProZ.com feature is discussed in detail at http://www.proz.com/forum/prozcom:_translator_coop/218896-announcing_a_new_feature:_translator_scam_alert_center.html .



[Edited at 2013-07-24 04:02 GMT]


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Roberto Alberdi  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:31
English to Spanish
I am the offended party and I demand satisfaction! Feb 9, 2014

Dear Mirella,

Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I must admit that I did not pay much attention to my Internet presence, and seeems that Maria Antilon decided to fill this gap. But I have learnt this lesson: No bis repetita. I have removed public access to my CV, but I am afraid the harm is already done. Who knows how many copies of my CV will be hidden in the murky depths of the Internet...

Gentlemen, walk twenty steps, turn round and pull the trigger!


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 03:31
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Shielding against scammers Feb 9, 2014

The entire www is crowded with scammers, confidence tricks have gone "virtual".

Translation is one trade where such attempts exist from BOTH sides.

In Brazil we have a saying that "A thief who steals from another thief is entitled to a hundred years of forgiveness." So the most desirable outcome would be a scammer impersonating a translation agency getting conned by someone impersonating a professional translator (and using machine translation instead).

Translators try to get protection by using the Blue Board and alikes, which may be unreliable, due to some recommendations having been secured via blackmail (i.e. Say something good about us, if you want to get paid).

Agencies often resort to tests, or obstreperously demand references. A couple of times already, I was hired for proofreading/editing some pretty bad translations that - as I ascertained later - were tests for translation agencies. Nowadays it would be quite easy to fabricate a set of three online references, in order to be able to submit the online application forms to some agencies that demand these absolutely.

Once I decided to test this "must provide three references" requirement. I got in cahoots with three loyal clients of mine, and entered their full details. In less than half an hour, all three called me to tell that they had received: a) an arm-length questionnaire on me (possibly to build a fake, but believable, set of credentals), and b) a message to the tune of "Whatever this jerk does for you, we can do it faster, better, and cheaper!" This was years ago, however I guess these three clients spam filter is still dealing with their (b) every other week.

So what would be the way out? Building mutual trust - if deserved - over time.

As it is customary that translations are delivered before payment is made, most of the burden lies on the agency's side. They should give a clear assignment, reasonable support if needed and, after the job has been delivered, they should fulfill their part of the agreement accurately, in what regards to payment.

If both sides act professionally, neither will try to take any undue advantage of the other.

Agencies struggling to impose lower rates, heavy fuzzy match discounts, and abusively short deadlines will be inducing the translator to cut corners. Even if they don't do so on the present job, after it is delivered, if the agency stalls for time in payment, they'll be inducing the translator to cut corners (or rip them off) on the next job, if there is any.

On the other hand, agencies treating their translators with courtesy, fairness, and respect will get them eager to walk the extra mile for them if it's ever needed.

So it's a matter of cultivating mutual respect, from the very first contact, and turning reciprocal due dilingence a laughing matter over time, but not before that time has elapsed.


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 03:31
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Right to the point Feb 9, 2014

Found this: http://inboxtranslation.com/blog/9-tips-spot-translator-scammers/.

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