Probable scam: Amaan Khan - Jason Smith - Lional Saldanha (from India)
Thread poster: Timo Eugster

Timo Eugster  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 07:27
Finnish to English
+ ...
Feb 21, 2013

Dear all,

I'd just like to let you know that I was approached on Skype during the last 2 hours by a scammer who got my details from Proz. He claimed to be "Jason Smith", a translator in Mexico, but his Skype timezone said GMT+5.5 hours, meaning he could only be in the Indian Subcontinent. I checked the IP address of the person that had viewed my Proz profile and, sure enough, it was in Mumbai, India. (I don't believe anyone in Mexico would use a VPN in India!)

He wanted me to work on part of a large file comprising many shorter documents for Pemex and insisted he would pay by wire within 10 days of delivery, with the deadline being just a few hours away.

I assume that this was a one-off use of the "Jason Smith" identity, but I just want to remind everyone to use the IP address identification function in the "Visitors" section of your profiles. It saved me a whole lot of bother


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Lau Wei Tsinn  Identity Verified
Singapore
Local time: 07:27
Member (2011)
Chinese to English
+ ...
Thanks for the tip Feb 21, 2013

Thanks for the tip, Timo.

I was just thinking of how I can check up on a "prospective client" that I found dubious. I'm going to check out the IP address from where it originates now!

Wei


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Marc Rizkallah  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 00:27
Member (2010)
English to French
+ ...
Me too...! Feb 21, 2013

and his email address (this time anyways) was "jasonsmith2490@gmail.com" -- he wanted me to translate a technical drawing "SCG-OS16-G-001_1.pdf" by Pemex, "Defensa para ducto ascendente"

He told me he was based in India and had a team of 243 translators working for him on very urgent 24h deadline projects.

Marc Rizkallah: Also, do you have a ProZ profile, or a website?
jason smith: no
Marc Rizkallah: Really? A prolific translator such as yourself, with 243 translators working for you, surely has an online identity more than "jasonsmith2490@gmail.com" and a Skype account with a photo of a white guy in Mexico City?
jason smith: i do have proz profile but i created it today only

It was really surprising to get a random Skype call.

Be careful!


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Marc Rizkallah  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 00:27
Member (2010)
English to French
+ ...
By the way ... how? Feb 21, 2013

Timo Eugster wrote:
I checked the IP address of the person that had viewed my Proz profile


How?

[Edited at 2013-02-21 22:10 GMT]


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Angie Garbarino  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:27
Member (2003)
French to Italian
+ ...
How to check IP addresses of visitors Feb 22, 2013

Hello

For checking IP addresses that visited your profile on ProZ.com just enter your profile, click on the "visitors" tab, you will see a page with IP addresses (in red) that visited your profile.

Regards

[Edited at 2013-02-22 08:18 GMT]


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Timo Eugster  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 07:27
Finnish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Beware the Jason Smiths of this world (apologies to genuine Jason Smiths) Feb 22, 2013

Thanks Angie!

Yes, the Visitors tab on your profile is a fantastic feature and not just for finding out where in the world your market lies. I believe it's a member-only feature, so well worth signing up (just one of oh so many reasons).

Marc: Yes, the photo of a white Jason Smith apparently in Mexico didn't quite add up with the distinctly Indian accent on the other end of the line. Oh and you're right, the complete online anonymity of such an esteemed translator is also something of a give-away. I dare say we were lucky to be approached by one of the clumsier scammers out there.


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Malcolm Shelley
Local time: 20:27
Spanish to English
Unfortunately I fell for this scam Apr 20, 2013

I received an offer of work on PEMEX documents through a (cant use his name? but the other posters mentioned a name. in any case his email was ´hisname´2460@gmail.com, just like the other) which I received through my profile at translatorscafe. I did a lot of work for him, and after several payment deadlines past I was told that he had received a check dated April 18th, and would pay me then. He has not. He did reply to me on April 17th, saying "ok" to my mail reminding him of payment. He has not replied since. I have reported him to translatorscafe, to google, and now here. Any other suggestions?

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Post removed: This post was hidden by a moderator or staff member for the following reason: Unedited since 3 days
Post removed: This post was hidden by a moderator or staff member because it was not in line with site rule
Post removed: This post was hidden by a moderator or staff member because it was not in line with site rule

cbouzasvording  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:27
Member (2013)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Names Apr 22, 2013

And by the way, this person seems to have been using at least 3 different names and different emails:

- Amaan Khan
- Jason Smith
- Lional Saldanha


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LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:27
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Lesson learned Apr 22, 2013

Never accept work for someone without full (and verified) contact details (non g-mail account, phone number, address, etc.).

In fact, I delete most translation requests sent from free e-mail accounts immediately without even reading them. I may lose a good job once in a blue moon because of this practice, but I don't have the time.



[Edited at 2013-04-22 12:26 GMT]


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Timo Eugster  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 07:27
Finnish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Onwards and upwards Apr 23, 2013

I'm sorry to hear that people have been conned by this guy. I really don't know how you could start to go about exacting payment for the work you have done and suspect that it may be a lost cause. Getting names and aliases out in the open is a good way to limit the amount of damage these scammers can do to our industry and to us personally.

Jeff's is sound advice: we should always check up on any clients or outsourcers that contact us, no matter how reputable they may sound, and be very suspicious of free e-mail addresses.

I strongly recommend reading the advice of Fire Ant and Worker Bee, archived on the Translation Journal site (http://translationjournal.net/journal/64fawb.htm for the latest edition). You might not learn how to deal with this scammer but you will get an idea of how you can work towards attracting a better class of client so you don't have to deal with this kind of pest again.


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davidhines23  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:27
Spanish to English
+ ...
I also fell for this scam...it was my first ever online translation Apr 24, 2013

Malcolm Shelley wrote:

I received an offer of work on PEMEX documents through a (cant use his name? but the other posters mentioned a name. in any case his email was ´hisname´2460@gmail.com, just like the other) which I received through my profile at translatorscafe. I did a lot of work for him, and after several payment deadlines past I was told that he had received a check dated April 18th, and would pay me then. He has not. He did reply to me on April 17th, saying "ok" to my mail reminding him of payment. He has not replied since. I have reported him to translatorscafe, to google, and now here. Any other suggestions?



I also fell for this Malcolm and it has shattered my confidence with online translation, it having been my first. I have previously only worked as an in-house translator/interpreter. He fed me the same line, a check was dated the 20th of April and I would receive payment on the 21st. I sent him a reminder, to which he replied "patience". My reply to that the following day bounced back as he had deleted his e-mail address.


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Probable scam: Amaan Khan - Jason Smith - Lional Saldanha (from India)

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