Beware of scam from "Kenneth Clark"
Thread poster: Peng Liu

Peng Liu
Australia
Local time: 15:31
Chinese to English
+ ...
Dec 12, 2012

I just received an email which I am 100% certain is a scam. Maybe you have encountered this before. However, i would like more collegues to be aware of similar scam:

Dear Translator,

Your service will be needed urgently for the translation of an article from English to Chinese, I have a son that studies in University of Lyon, France, He wants the document to be translated from English to Chinese on Perspectives on Racial descrimination in a society worth 12,350 words with the deadline date(28/01/2013).

Here are the details about the document:

Source Language: English
Target Language: Chinese
Subject: Perspectives on Racial descrimination in a society
Total Words: 12,350
Delivery Date: 28th January, 2013.

Please confirm to me on your availability for this project, your price rate per source word also get back to me on your terms and conditions that surrounds your service.

I await your mail while i supply you with more detail.

Best Regards,
Kenneth Clark


The above is the email. If you reply, the scammer will say to pay you by split check.
Anyway, don't bother, just move the email to junk mail folder.

I have received various emails from individual and agencies overseas. However, it is too time-consuming to verify which is geniune job offer.

Would like to share your experience and ideas.


 

Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:31
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Some common features of scam mails Dec 14, 2012

Hi Peng:

There is a lot of this kind of thing going around, and there has been a lot of discussion of it on the forums.

I nearly fell for a similar scam last month in which a woman claimed to be doing research on obesity following the death of her young son as a result of obesity [!].

Common features of these kinds of scams:
--Poorly written (i.e., non-native) English.
--Absence of solid identifying information (e.g., street address, company name).
--Ready acceptance of any rate you offer--even a very high rate (rate doesn't matter to them, since they aren't going to pay you anyway--and they haven't become smart enough to realize that indifference to rates gives away their game; in the real world of translation, buyers of services are never indifferent to rates).
--Insistence that they pay you by check (because, of course, this is part of the scam).
--They send you the text to be translated (this makes their con look more legitimate).
--Some emotional component (e.g., translation is supposedly part of a research project motivated by the death of a relative; I suppose the idea here is to "soften up" their victims and make them less likely to suspect or protest).

The way I've decided to deal with these kinds of mails is to either ignore them entirely or, if I think they might be legit, to insist on verifiable payment (i.e., via Western Union or MoneyGram) before I translate a single word). At that point, the correspondence has always stopped.

Important!: With cases in which you have any resonable doubt as to the legitimacy of the offer, you should never agree to an arrangement in which you do the work first and then receive payment prior to delivering the translation. This is because these scammers are perfectly happy to have you waste your time doing a translation before they send you their bad checks!!

I hope this helps.

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


 

Allison Wright  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 06:31
German to English
+ ...
Some of these names Dec 14, 2012

Some of the names chosen by scammers really do crack me up! For those of you not familiar with Kenneth Clark:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TxsVroiUHik


 

Enrique Cavalitto  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 02:31
Member (2006)
English to Spanish
Scam alert issued Dec 14, 2012

I have little to add to Robert's excellent summary.

I just sent a scam alert on this incident.

ProZ.com members can subscribe to these notifications to receive them via email, either individually or as a weekly digest.

These alerts are useful because when you read them you learn about the way these criminals act, and you also become familiar with the several "signature" issues and expressions, like the "discrimination" in this example.

Kind regards,
Enrique


 
Post removed: This post was hidden by a moderator or staff member because it was not in line with site rule

Peng Liu
Australia
Local time: 15:31
Chinese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Scammers everywhere Dec 19, 2012

thanks for all the replies.
Nowadays, scams are everywhere. I am even not willing to deal with any unknown overseas agency. I ve received quite a few emails from overseas agencies looking for translators but I never replied.


 

Enrique Cavalitto  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 02:31
Member (2006)
English to Spanish
Perspective and risk management Dec 19, 2012

Peng Liu wrote:

thanks for all the replies.
Nowadays, scams are everywhere. I am even not willing to deal with any unknown overseas agency. I ve received quite a few emails from overseas agencies looking for translators but I never replied.


Scams are probably just a small percentage of the messages exchanged in the Web.

Being afraid and getting paralyzed are not reasonable options.

Some risk management procedures will keep you protected from most scams (and other dangers as well). Just a few quick steps:

1 - When contacted by a previously unknown potential client think if this makes sense. If not, delete.

2 - If you move beyond this point ask for verifiable contact information and then verify it. If you do this scammers will leave you alone and simply stop answering your requests. If 'client' claims that the project is too urgent for them to comply with your risk management procedures, then simply ignore them and send their messages to the thrash bean, where they belong.

3 - If you managed to get trustable contact information then go to the Blue Board and other similar services

4 - If everything looks OK, limit your exposure by taking small first-time jobs from new clients.

Kind regards,
Enrique


 

finnword1
United States
Local time: 01:31
English to Finnish
+ ...
Andrew seems to be around again Dec 26, 2012

I'm Andrew, I need to make a presentation to some groups of business people in Paris, France ...

 

Angie Garbarino  Identity Verified
Member (2003)
French to Italian
+ ...
This is in fact a wise procedure for all kind of business Dec 26, 2012

Enrique Cavalitto wrote:

Some risk management procedures will keep you protected from most scams (and other dangers as well). Just a few quick steps:

1 - When contacted by a previously unknown potential client think if this makes sense. If not, delete.

2 - If you move beyond this point ask for verifiable contact information and then verify it. If you do this scammers will leave you alone and simply stop answering your requests. If 'client' claims that the project is too urgent for them to comply with your risk management procedures, then simply ignore them and send their messages to the thrash bean, where they belong.

3 - If you managed to get trustable contact information then go to the Blue Board and other similar services

4 - If everything looks OK, limit your exposure by taking small first-time jobs from new clients.

Kind regards,
Enrique


I think this also applies to local business not only in the web. I strongly agree.

Happy 2013


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:31
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Bad English Dec 26, 2012

"Your service will be needed urgently for the translation of an article from English to Chinese, I have a son that studies in University of Lyon, France, He..." (etc)

This English is so poor, particularly in the punctuation, that it was certainly not written by anyone whose mother tongue is English.

[Edited at 2012-12-26 17:04 GMT]


 

Annabelle Vergne  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:31
English to French
+ ...
kenneth Clark scam is back, beware! Mar 6, 2013

I received almost a carbon copy of the emails and conditions quoted in this thread, here it is:
"Dear Translator, I got your contact form atanet.org
and your service will be needed urgently for the translation of an article from English to French, I have a son that studies in University. He wants the document to be translated from English to French on Perspectives on Racial descrimination in a society worth 12,350 words with the deadline date(4/28/2013). Here are the details about the document: Source Language: English Target Language: French Subject: Perspectives on Racial descrimination in a society Total Words: 12,350 Delivery Date: April 28th, 2013. Please confirm to me on your availability for this project, your price rate per source word also get back to me on your terms and conditions that surrounds your service. I await your mail while i supply you with more detail."

second mail:
"Hello ,

Thanks so much for your mail and the availability to translate the document and am delighted to have your mail. Attached along with email
is the document to be translated and the deadline date still remains April 28th, 2013. Kindly go through the document and get back to
with the number on word count, your quote and price.

Regards, Below are my details for the preparation of the invoice."
3rd mail:
"
Thank you for getting back to me and accepting the document, the price is OK, So am using this medium to let you know that you have been commissioned to handle the translation job after all consideration. I will like to make the payment for the translation twice through bank
check

Meanwhile, I will like you to get back to with the details listed below for the 50% part payment by check

* Full Name to be written on the check
* Address where the payment would be sent to
* Personal Phone Number, so i can mail you the check immediately i receive your details.

N.B: Bank charges over the cashing of the check at the bank will be included,

I will be glad to have the details as soon as you get this mail."


 

lachacel  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:31
English to Spanish
+ ...
What can we do against these scams? Mar 15, 2013

I got also the same emails from Kenneth Clark, the exact carbon copy as you say. I am new to all these scams I received another intent of scam from a Williams Elliot, melapouwels@gmail.com: “Hello Translator, / I am in need of a translator for a document from English Language into French and i would like to have your confirmation if you will be available for the job./ I await your mail soon.” Second email: “Thanks for your response, attached with an email is the document to be translated and would like you to go through the document and let me if the you can translate the document and also will like yo know your final price for the traslation of the document. / I await your mail. / Thanks”.

I have a question for you all who seem to know all about these scams. I understand what we can do to protect ourselves from them but do you know if any authority is doing something about it besides giving advices.

I think that if nobody intervenes it will keep growing. All these advices to protect us and that we find in the Internet, the scamers themselves can read them and act accordingly, and like that they can become stronger and this will never end!


 

Peng Liu
Australia
Local time: 15:31
Chinese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Scam is, sadly, uncontrollable Mar 15, 2013

Most scammers operate from overseas because they know it is virtually impossible for them to be caught. If the scam happens in Australia, the police might do something. However, you certainly don't expect the police to chase scammers in Africa or Europe just because they sent you several emails!
Again, the best way is to be vigilant and apply common sense.


 


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Beware of scam from "Kenneth Clark"

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