Article on childhood obesity (Staff: overpayment scam)
Thread poster: Muriel Vasconcellos

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:04
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Nov 2, 2012

This is just a warning, in case you are contacted. A non-ProZ user contacted me to translate an article on childhood obesity from Spanish to English. She had a long story about her son's illness and how she will be going around lecturing on the subject. She told me the article was 2,400 words but never sent it to me. I quoted her a price for 2,400 words with half in advance but insisted on seeing the article before making a final commitment.

Days later, when she finally sent it to me, it turned out to be 5,600 words. She also sent me a check in advance via FedEx for a much larger amount--at least four times more than I had quoted--and asked me to send the difference to her travel agent via Moneygram. When I went to cash the check, it turned out to be no good. I wrote and told her that the check was no good, but she hasn't replied. Fortunately, I hadn't started to work on her article.

[Subject edited by staff or moderator 2012-11-02 13:03 GMT]


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 05:04
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
And again Nov 2, 2012

This same scam was in this forum sometime last week.

This is a typical overpayment scam that works along the "please pity me" line.


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Natalie  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 05:04
Member (2002)
English to Russian
+ ...

MODERATOR
Please see another thread Nov 2, 2012

http://www.proz.com/topic/232025 and especially http://www.proz.com/post/2040134#2040134 and below.

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Patricia González Schütz  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 05:04
Italian to English
+ ...
Methods to rip you off Nov 2, 2012

Endless fantasy!
She had FedEx expenses though, good for her, and most likely she's not even a mother.


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Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:04
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I received the same offer Nov 2, 2012

I have to say that I was suspicious about this person when I received her initial offer, but I thought I'd give her the benefit of the doubt on the suppositions that she was enthusiastic about pursuing a project that was personally important to her (she wrote me that her son "had died of breast obesity") and that she just wasn't a particularly well educated person (the messages she wrote were poorly written).

She sent me the article for review, and I quoted her a price and payment terms requiring her to pay me via PayPal or MoneyGram. She wrote back that payment would be by check from a third party (a supposedly wealthy benefactor of the project who lived in another state). I wrote again reiterating my payment terms, and stating that the only way I would accept a check would be if I waited until it cleared before working on the translation in question.

I never heard back from her after that.

I was victimized by a similar scam last year (the one and only time this happened to me) and ended up working on a translation for 6 hours that I found out was from a scammer (someone had posted something on another site) only after I had completed it.

What I've learned from these experiences is to insist on upfront payment before doing any work on a project whenever I am suspicious. Previously, I had thought it safe to go ahead and work, and then require payment prior to delivering the translation.


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Enrique Cavalitto
Local time: 01:04
SITE STAFF
Overpayment scams Nov 2, 2012

As described in the scam alert center, this is an 'overpayment' category, where a 'client' contacts you with a translation request and (normally another person) sends you a fake check for a higher amount, asking you to wire back the difference.

To better protect yourself against scammers you should have a look at ProZ.com's scam alert reports. ProZ.com members can subscribe to this service to receive via email each alert and/or a weekly digest.

Kind regards,
Enrique


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Attila Piróth  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 05:04
Member
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Have you reported it to the police? Nov 2, 2012

The email exchange may help them track him/her down.
Best,
Attila


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Kuochoe Nikoi  Identity Verified
Ghana
Local time: 04:04
Japanese to English
Nope Nov 2, 2012

Patricia González Schütz wrote:
Endless fantasy!
She had FedEx expenses though, good for her, and most likely she's not even a mother

Most likely "she" isn't a she at all, and the FedEx fees are usually paid for with a stolen credit card.


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Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:04
Hebrew to English
Laundry day and Sob stories Nov 3, 2012

...go hand in hand.

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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:04
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks, everyone! Nov 3, 2012

I apologize for the duplication. I had looked at the Scam topics, but I didn't see anything similar, so I started this thread. My person was Connie. I was amazed to see all the different permutations out there. What a strange way to spend one's time.

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Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:04
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Here's another one... Nov 3, 2012

...using a different name but similar story, and providing the exact same phone number as the contact I previously described in this thread. Here is the message I just received:

Hello,

My Name is Chris Johnson, widower of Dana Johnson. I have
a translation
job for you. First of all i will like to know if you can do
this.. It is on
Breast Cancer! Are you a part time translator or full time
translator. I
will attach the document for you in your reply email. I want
it to be ready
in 2 weeks time. The abstract :- Trends in incidence and
detection of
advanced breast cancer at biennial screening mammography in
The United
State Of America: a population based study. I'm doing this
to fulfill my
late wife promise , who died of breast cancer.

I want you to tell me the amount is going to cost me. I am
located in Ohio
Columbus Text me on (614)- 233-1797

Because it is clearly not a personalized message, I'm sure dozens (if not hundreds) of translators received the same message.


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Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:04
English to German
+ ...
warnings for new users/members Nov 3, 2012

Enrique Cavalitto wrote:

As described in the scam alert center, this is an 'overpayment' category, where a 'client' contacts you with a translation request and (normally another person) sends you a fake check for a higher amount, asking you to wire back the difference.

To better protect yourself against scammers you should have a look at ProZ.com's scam alert reports. ProZ.com members can subscribe to this service to receive via email each alert and/or a weekly digest.

Kind regards,
Enrique


Enrique,

Is there a warning anywhere for new users/members when they first join to make sure to check out the proz.com scam reports. It seems to me that mostly those who are just starting out as translators will fall for something like that.
Or you could put this into a welcome message for new users/members. Would probably prevent a lot of abuse.

Thanks,
Bernhard


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Article on childhood obesity (Staff: overpayment scam)

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