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Possible scam from an Italian translation agency
Thread poster: Bogdan Dusa

Bogdan Dusa  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 06:13
English to Romanian
+ ...
Jan 10, 2013

Hi all,

I'd like to draw everybody's attention on a mass registration offer sent to freelance translators by an Italian translation agency, called Diamond Translation, which is "looking for native freelance translators/editors translating into every language pair and for every fields of expertise."

I personally consider it as a scam for several reasons:

1. This agency boasts of being one of the leading translation agencies in Italy. A "leading" agency does not need to create a pool of translations from every language, with every field of expertise. It already has it, organized per language / field of expertise.

2. Agencies usually don't mention any price they offer, they leave it to freelancers to indicate their rates. This agency offered a rate, and a strangely high one, whereas it is known that prices vary depending on the language combination.

3. This agency clearly specifies that it only accepts applications sent through their online form (http://diamondtranslation.com/translator-registration/). Nothing unusual so far. The unusual part is that at the end of the registration, there is no Submit button, but a Pay now (!) button, which sends to the PayPal site - the applicant must pay a so-called Translator Verification fee worth USD 1. Imagine there are hundreds of freelancers paying this fee...


Consequently, I sent the message from this company to the SPAM folder. Please feel free to do the same if you share my concerns.


Best regards,

Bogdan Dusa


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Barbara Carrara  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 05:13
Member (2008)
English to Italian
+ ...
You may want to refer to this other thread Jan 10, 2013

http://www.proz.com/forum/money_matters/240974-agency_requires_to_pay_to_be_added_to_their_database_and_to_be_linked_to_their_paypal_account.html

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Ezequiel Fernandez
Local time: 05:13
English to Spanish
+ ...
Certainly, a scam - and no hope of jobs Jan 10, 2013

Thank you for sharing your thoughts here, which I fully agree with.

I had not even reached the point of sending my details online to this so-called company's website, but it's quite clear now the 'Pay now' button is just a way of getting income at the translators expense! Obvioulsly, there's no hope of jobs from this.

Regards,
Larrú


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CHIARA MARIANI  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 05:13
Member (2012)
English to Italian
+ ...
Paypal details + Credit Card details! Jan 10, 2013

I got the same message today, with a link to this page:

"Translator Registration - Become a Verified Translator
To start receiving translation projects from Diamond Translation you need to Verify your account. Once you verify your account, our translators support team will review your application and certify you as a translator and a member of the Diamond Translation Community. If you have a Paypal account you will need to make a $1.00 payment (1 USD) using your account, so we can link your Paypal account to your profile and pay you for the translations (We will refund you those 1 USD along with the payment of your first translation)."

After filling in the form with your personal/professional information, the only button available for clicking is "PAY NOW". If you click it, another "Paypal" screen appears where you are supposed to enter your Paypal account details. BUT if you enter them and click Next... another window appears and you must enter your credit card number!

To summarize:
- they say they are leading translation agency but if you search the Internet, Proz, and so on, no comments are posted about it - neither positive, nor negative...
- they are in Italy - the address is via Lorenteggio, Milan, but no telephone at all is indicated - but they ask for a payment in USD;
- they don't care about your certifications, experience, diploma, background, samples of previous translations you performed, a translation test whatsoever, they only care about your payment details;
- they offer a very interesting rate for translations (0.12 per word, which in Italy is definitely a high rate for a freelance translator working for a translation agency, especially these days) and also for proofreading (0.05 per word), so you immediately go on with the registration because it sounds like gold, you know;

I leave it to you to judge, but personally I don't trust them.
Better to miss a chance then to get stuck in an unpleasant situation where you don't know what's going on with your sensitive data.




The website may seem


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Bogdan Dusa  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 06:13
English to Romanian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Definitely scam Jan 10, 2013

I haven't got to the credit card page, I stopped at the PayPal page. But even so, it's definitely a scam - no PayPal transaction requires the credit card details. The only information you would need is the PayPal address.
So, beware!

[Editat la 2013-01-10 13:55 GMT]


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 05:13
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
NOT credit card details Jan 10, 2013

CHIARA MARIANI wrote:
If you click it, another "Paypal" screen appears where you are supposed to enter your Paypal account details. BUT if you enter them and click Next... another window appears and you must enter your credit card number!


That's odd... when I click the "Pay now" button on their web site, I'm taken to a real PayPal.com payment page, with a green lock icon in the URL field (so it is really a secure connection), and the domain is really "paypal.com" and not something else. Are you sure you clicked the correct link on the PayPal screen? If you click the link that you don't have a PayPal account, then yes, PayPal will offer you payment by credit card.

I haven't tried to click beyond the PayPal page, but I'm pretty sure it is the real thing. Are you sure that you get asked for a credit card number even if you have a PayPal account and even if you click the correct link to pay using your PayPal account?


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 05:13
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Not the marks of a scammer Jan 10, 2013

Bogdan Dusa wrote:
I personally consider it as a scam for several reasons:
1. A "leading" agency does not need to create a pool of translat[ors] ... it already has it.
2. Agencies usually don't mention any price they offer, they leave it to freelancers to indicate their rates.


I think you misunderstand what "scam" means. The word "scam" is not merely an insulting word that is meant to be used for anyone you have little or no respect for. It has a very specific meaning, and neither of the two points you mention above are in the definition of a scam, nor do they indicate a scam.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 05:13
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Please try again, Bogdan Jan 10, 2013

Bogdan Dusa wrote:
I haven't got to the credit card page, I stopped at the PayPal page. But even so, it's definitely a scam - no PayPal transaction requires the credit card details.


So... you weren't asked for a credit card, but you denounce this as a scam because (as you say) it asks for a credit card? Please, check again if it asks you for a credit card, and tell us if it does.


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Bogdan Dusa  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 06:13
English to Romanian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Still a scam :) Jan 10, 2013

Scam is defined as "a fraudulent or deceptive act or operation", or a fraud, if you want. When a "leading" translation agency claims it is looking for translators in all languages, with all fields of expertise, that's a clear deceptive action, destined to attract as many applicants as possible. Same with the price indication - I think 0.01 % of translation agencies mention anything about the rate they are willing to pay - and in the form of a maximum limit, not a flat rate and only in particular projects, let alone general registration offers...

All in one, for me a deceptive action tried by somebody is scam. Especially if credit card details are asked (as I said, I haven't got to that page, I don't know if it exists, but if it's really true, I certainly see it as scam).

[Editat la 2013-01-10 14:09 GMT]


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Chiara Sodi  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 05:13
English to Italian
more than one warning sign. Jan 10, 2013

i had a look at their website and noticed the following:

1)the only people who can register are paypal accounts holders.

2) the link for the registration must be copied and pasted or it doesn't work. Isn't this strange?

3)It's an italian agency but apart from the address there doesn't seem to be a word in italian on their website. Don't they work with over 35 languages and isn't the agency founded by translators?

4) and most worrying: i copied and pasted 2 small parts of their website and in both occasions i got a link to an agency that was banned by Proz.com from posting jobs, so i guess i can name the agency: Quicklingo.

5) I did the same with a 3rd part of their website and got links to yet another agency, which seems to have offices in another country. I can't mention it yet though. Its name somehow rings a bell but i can't find here the info i need.

Even if this turned out to be a legitimate business (though it looks the opposite). Asking for payment is not a sign of good business practice.
I wouldn't bother.


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CHIARA MARIANI  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 05:13
Member (2012)
English to Italian
+ ...
Confirmed Jan 10, 2013

Hi Samuel,

I rarely use my Paypal account for getting payments since I prefer bank transfer, so maybe I don't remember the exact procedure and I am wrong when I say that they are asking for both.

When I click the Continue button after entering my Paypal details (email and password), the next screen says "add your credit card details" (Visa, PostePay, Mastercard, etc).
And there I stopped.

I think that this way of collecting sensitive details without trying to deepen the background and the experience of the translator, moreover searching for cooperation in every language, in every field, and offering a high rate for the country where the company operates, is at least strange to me to be true.

Maybe it's not a scam or an hoax, I don't know how to define it, but I am pointing this out to suggest everybody to be careful... because at the beginning of the procedure I thought it could be a reliable contact and a chance for getting translation jobs.

Ciao
Chiara


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Nelida Kreer  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 01:13
English to Spanish
+ ...
I had my doubts and yet, I fell for it Jan 10, 2013

Dear colleagues,

I too received this mass mail, and noticed all the points you raised, and yet, I thought that as the payment required through PayPal was only 1 usd, there was no harm done and no great loss in trying. The payment was confirmed by PayPal as usual.

And then, I logged on to the forum (which I should have done in the first place: hindsight) and all pieces clicked in place. Shame on me. Only thing is, I sent them my CV and street address. I hope that no other consequences come from this other than a very disagreeable experience.

Please let me know your thoughts.


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Nelida Kreer  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 01:13
English to Spanish
+ ...
An additional comment Jan 10, 2013

After my PayPal payment through my PayPal account, I did not do anything further, i.e., I did not even see the the "continue" button and so I did not provide any sensitive info. By then I had some misgivings, and that's how I came upon this thread.

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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 05:13
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Kiara Jan 10, 2013

kiara kiaora wrote:
I had a look at their website and noticed the following:
1) The only people who can register are PayPal accounts holders.


Well, the PayPal payment page does have a link for people without PayPal accounts, but since they want to pay translators via PayPal anyway, it would make sense to register with them only if you have a PayPal account.

2) The link for the registration must be copied and pasted or it doesn't work. Isn't this strange?


No, that is not true. In the actual e-mail, the link is clickable and it works.

However, in Bogdan's post above, the link is broken, due to a bug in ProZ.com's forum software (it converts URLs incorrectly). What Bogdan should have done (though it is not his fault that he did not know it) is to not add punctuation marks or a hard return directly after a URL when posting a URL on ProZ.com, because ProZ.com's forum software will then incorporate the punctuation marks in the hyperlink. This is bug that ProZ.com has known about for years and years and years, and I don't think they will fix it, ever.

4) And most worrying: I copied and pasted 2 small parts of their website and in both occasions I got a link to an agency that was banned by Proz.com from posting jobs, so I guess I can name the agency: Quicklingo.


The wording on their web site occurs on several other agencies' web site (agencies that look dubious, if I have to judge them by their web sites).

I can't say if they are somehow related to the other agency you mention, but yes, the wording on their web site certainly is not original. Their ProZ.com profile page was created in October 2012, long after some of the other agencies' web site have existed.

And their slogan on ProZ.com is "A Translation that suits your nedds!". All of these things say "steer clear".


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 05:13
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Chiara and @Nelida Jan 10, 2013

CHIARA MARIANI wrote:
When I click the Continue button after entering my Paypal details (email and password), the next screen says "add your credit card details" (Visa, PostePay, Mastercard, etc).


Thanks for the confirmation. That is odd, indeed.

Nelida Kreer wrote:
I thought that as the payment required through PayPal was only 1 usd, there was no harm done and no great loss in trying. The payment was confirmed by PayPal as usual.


Were you asked (as Chiara was) to provide your credit card details?


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