Possible scam - Larry Gordon from Dublin
Thread poster: Josephine Cassar

Josephine Cassar  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:36
Member (2012)
Italian to English
+ ...
Feb 28, 2013

Has anyone ever worked for Larry Gordon from Dublin? I received a translation offer via Proz.com( they said he was not logged-in, whatever that means) and that he wanted a translation job by a native speaker of Maltese. He sent the text with the email. He agreed on the amount that I asked; I did it but have not sent it yet. He then asked if I could also interpret when he comes to Malta- I said he was to send me the date & times as I am following MA course & do not want to miss lectures. He was to pay by Euro bank cheque but have not heard from him yet. I have not sent him the work but wonder if others experienced something similar. Thank you

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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:36
Spanish to English
+ ...
Not with a bargepole Feb 28, 2013

The fact that he was "to pay by Euro bank cheque" but that you have not heard from him yet instantly sets off alarm bells. I suspect it might be a scam. I'd inform the client that the work is ready and ask for payment in advance.

NB: Payment by Paypal is probably quicker and less hassle, although there may be a commission.

[Edited at 2013-02-28 07:55 GMT]


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Rebecca Hendry  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:36
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Looks like you're not the only one Feb 28, 2013

Larry Gordon appears to have contacted quite a few translators recently. See http://www.proz.com/forum/scams/243613-possible_scam.html

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Marie-Helene Dubois  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:36
Member (2011)
Spanish to English
+ ...
This is almost definitely a scam Feb 28, 2013

If someone contacts you via proz and it says that they are not logged in, it means that they are not a member of proz. It's not that all messages from non-members are scams but be very careful with these. It's free to become a member so there's really no reason why someone would want to contact you without being a member, unless they didn't want to reveal personal details.
I simply ignore them myself.

If you receive a message in the future from someone who is not logged in to Proz and you think may be a genuine client (clues that they're not are usually spelling and idiomatic mistakes, an unusual urge to work with you and compliments paid to you that are not justified, unusual requests such as "I need a translation" without specifying the language combination, an unusual keenness to tell you about their personal circumstances "I have cancer" "I am on a business trip to Switzerland" etc.), ask for verifiable contact details.

It's actually better not to answer if you have any inkling that it's not a genuine request because an answer will only let the scammer know that your email address is correct and that's already more information than really needs to be in the hands of a scammer.

If you do contact the person though, let him/her know that you will need a land line telephone number, a skype, a company name, to talk to other translators he/she has worked with before, invoice details, a PO, payment upfront - everything.
It's just not worth wasting your time with people who can't provide these details to you or who are unable to confirm they are genuine.
When you do receive an address and a telephone number (if you do), check the address on google maps street view, check the IP address (you can find out how here: http://aruljohn.com/info/howtofindipaddress/) and google the telephone number. I wouldn't generally ring straight away because there are scam numbers too like the +44 070 ones where you get overcharged.

Also google a phrase from the text you've received to translate. You will probably find the text on the internet. Scammers usually copy and paste a text from the internet to get translated.
If none of this data coincides with what you have been told (i.e. the person says they are in Dublin but they've sent you the email from Burkina Faso), just don't reply to any more messages.
If you do and you give any information away on why you are unwilling to continue to converse with them, you are just educating scammers into how better to scam us next time.

And above all, if someone tells you they are going to pay you by cheque, just stop communicating with them. This is almost definitely a scam.
Check out any threads about the 'overpayment scam' on proz to see why.

I'm sorry if you've wasted any time with this pseudo-client but it's good that you've asked here because at least that prevents you from wasting any money, as many people have, and hopefully it will help you avoid future scammers.

It's good to warn others that this is a possible scam as it appears that this name hasn't been used before and this pseudo client could be doing the rounds.


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Woodstock  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:36
German to English
+ ...
It sounds like a classic check overpayment scam Feb 28, 2013

Best not to touch it. Delete and forget about it, but it's a good idea to read up on scams in the ProZ Scam Alert Center so you can recognize them and avoid becoming a victim in the future:

http://www.proz.com/about/translator-scam-alerts

"Not logged in" means he's probably not a registered user, which should be the first clue that something is off. It isn't always the case, but I have chosen to not let anyone who is not logged in send me an e-mail. If a it's a legitimate outsourcer, then s/he has nothing to hide and should log in. I haven't been bothered with any fraudulent offer since then (knock wood).

Here is the settings page, in case you are interested.
http://www.proz.com/translator/113138?sp_mode=settings&sp_submode=ef


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:36
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Not advance payment by PayPal Feb 28, 2013

neilmac wrote:
NB: Payment by Paypal is probably quicker and less hassle, although there may be a commission.

Good forclients who you trust, in some circumstances, neilmac, but not good in this case, IMO. PayPal payers have the right to demand refunds in full, and this will be done automatically. PayPal will even get the money from your bank account if you've withdrawn it. You may have the right to demand the money back in this sort of case, but only by appealing to PayPal as a special case etc, etc.

The use of Eurocheques is extremely fishy. I remember these as being great things when I lived in the Netherlands in the early '90s, but look what it says in the Wikipedia article on them:
Although still accepted as payment by a few bodies, the practice of issuing Eurocheques ceased on 1 January 2002, following the decision to withdraw the Eurocheque guarantee


Please report this here:http://www.proz.com/about/translator-scam-alerts/ (top right-hand corner). Even though they already know it exists, it's useful to know it's still continuing. And I advise everyone to sign up to the weekly alerts to keep abreast of these cases.


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Josephine Cassar  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:36
Member (2012)
Italian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Money Matters: translation job Feb 28, 2013

Thank you all for your responses. I would like to clarify some things: he was not logged in & I did not really know what that meant. Anyway, he did not want to pay by PayPal as I asked him too, as I wanted to know I would be paid by the time I did the work: he said he did not have an account, meaning he did not want to OPEN an account, I take it. I got suspicious because he had answered my emails quickly- I hadn't as I was busy with MA assignments so did not frequently check emails. Then he asked me to do interpretation for him when he came in March. It was when I said I wanted to know the dates, times he would want me, as I did not want to miss MA lectures, that he completely stopped answering emails. I was supposed to send him the work today, but did not, as useless. It was not an Euro bank cheque but a Euro bank draft- I checked with the bank and they said that the problem was that the cheque might not arrive but it would not bounce. It seems by your answers that PayPal is not even secure either. Now he knows my address anyway, even from Proz.com, I suppose. I checked him on SKYPE and he seems there, ok, but not on Facebook and the Sports company he said seems existent too. Bad job though. He did not use any useless remarks but text had mistakes which I pointed out but was to keep intact. Another company was not logged in but could be found through their e-mail address and they have a website too but not likely to get a job as language combinations-English/Maltese & vice-versa are not common and they prefer natives. Anyway, will see and thank you all so much. Disappointing and off-putting!

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Josephine Cassar  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:36
Member (2012)
Italian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Larry gordon Mar 11, 2013

seems this person is still posting to other members through ProZ.com as someone asked for a term translation on FB and I happened to recognise the title, so warned the person.Surely something can be done about this person?

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vlaiviera
English to Maltese
+ ...
This is a SCAM Apr 22, 2013

Josephine Cassar wrote:

Has anyone ever worked for Larry Gordon from Dublin? I received a translation offer via Proz.com( they said he was not logged-in, whatever that means) and that he wanted a translation job by a native speaker of Maltese. He sent the text with the email. He agreed on the amount that I asked; I did it but have not sent it yet. He then asked if I could also interpret when he comes to Malta- I said he was to send me the date & times as I am following MA course & do not want to miss lectures. He was to pay by Euro bank cheque but have not heard from him yet. I have not sent him the work but wonder if others experienced something similar. Thank you


This is a scam. I have been (partly) bitten too. If you send him then work, he will send a cheque for about 10 time the amount due and claim it was an error. He will then ask you to send him the difference.

Victor Laiviera


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Possible scam - Larry Gordon from Dublin

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