Response to an application I never sent
Thread poster: Sitiens (X)

Sitiens (X)
Sweden
Local time: 22:19
English to Swedish
+ ...
Feb 28, 2013

I received this mail yesterday, from a company I have not been in contact with:

Good afternoon

Thank you very much for your application; however, please could you provide:

your CV in MS Word format;
your degree certificate(s);
your degree transcript(s);
proof of your identity – preferably your passport and proof of your address; and
a couple of examples of your work as I must have evidence of your ability as a translator.
In your next email could you please state all languages in which you are fluent and also confirm which is your native tongue.

I look forward to hearing from you.


The sender and company appears to be an agency in the UK, and the website provides all information I would typically require from a potential, trusted client. The provided VAT on the website checks out against VIES.

My greatest issue is with the amount of information they require. Former clients have never required identity proof or my CV in Word format before, so I am reluctant to respond until I know if this common practice or not. Also, the mail appears to be a mass mail rather than a response to an individual mail, and the purpose of this agency (primarily essay writing and editing, translation and proofreading only as secondary services) makes this an agency I would typically not contact.

Thank you for your input!


 

Tony M
France
Local time: 22:19
Member
French to English
+ ...
Sounds dodgy to me Feb 28, 2013

This sounds like another of those 'identity phishing' scams; I wouldn't be surprised if you'd soon find your credentials being quoted on their website in order to make their team of outsourcers look impressive, while they in fact use cheap third-world translation resources.

I myself received a not dissimilar request just the other day, again from what appears to be a reputable UK company — funnily enough, I had been holding on taking any action while pondering what the potential risks / benefits might be.

And do note even (at least) one supposedly reputable translation agency that is a member of ProZ.com is not above stealing personal information and passing it off as their own — I was myself a victim of this!

So I would certainly be wary — especially since you say you never even applied to them in the first place!


 

Heather McCrae  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:19
German to English
contact them via another method to check it out Feb 28, 2013

if you have the agency details, call them on the telephone and ask if they sent this mail
there is a lot of phishing going on, especially via hotmail/paypal, etc. I would certainly not expect anyone to ask for passport details!!
I hope your contact is genuine
best regards
Heather


 

Woodstock  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:19
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
How did they send it? Via ProZ? Feb 28, 2013

If so, I would send/report it to Support as a possible scam. Please be extremely wary regarding any request for personal information, and doubly so from a company you have never had dealings with. It smells very, very fishy to me.

 

Sitiens (X)
Sweden
Local time: 22:19
English to Swedish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Interesting! Feb 28, 2013

Thank you for your comments! I will try to call them tomorrow and check, but I am going to be very cautious about this. Better safe than sorry, after all.

 

Sitiens (X)
Sweden
Local time: 22:19
English to Swedish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Not from proz Feb 28, 2013

@Woodstock: I can't see if they contacted me over proz, unfortunately. They did mail my company mail, which is posted here and on my website, so it is likely they took it from either source.

Also, they did not write my name in the greeting of the mail, only a simple "Good afternoon". The recipient was stated as "secret recipients", which makes me think this was sent to several people. Moreover, I looked to see if any original mail from me was included in the mail history (like on Hotmail and Gmail), which it wasn't.

It's all very suspicious.


 

Peter Shortall  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:19
Member
French to English
+ ...
Names on a list Feb 28, 2013

I agree with Tony, it does look very much like an attempt to get your details onto a list or database of translators that could, for instance, be used to win (or keep) a translation contract with a client who requires proof of ability to perform the contract. As you say, the email does look very much like a mass mailing; nothing in it relates specifically to you.

And as Tony says, even supposedly reputable companies can behave in disreputable ways! Another ProZ member recently posted a thread about a request from a UK-based agency which wanted her to send a criminal record disclosure document, of all things. Shortly before I saw that thread, I had read in the news that a translation agency (the same one, as it turned out) had been ordered by a government body to provide evidence that its linguists had been vetted, as it had breached a contract by failing to do this. But it didn't tell the translator that it needed the document to satisfy the government, instead touting a potential job which, I strongly suspect, would never have materialised anyway!


 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:19
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Multiple recipients Feb 28, 2013

Sitiens wrote:

Also, they did not write my name in the greeting of the mail, only a simple "Good afternoon". The recipient was stated as "secret recipients", which makes me think this was sent to several people. Moreover, I looked to see if any original mail from me was included in the mail history (like on Hotmail and Gmail), which it wasn't.

It's all very suspicious.


Whenever I receive an email in regards to my services from an unknown sender that is addressed to multiple recipients and starts with an impersonal address, it goes straight into "File 13", regardless of its body.

The only exception from that rule is when an email arrives from a client who I known, and who I (also) know sends this job offer to several translators requesting a service in several languages.icon_smile.gif

[Edited at 2013-02-28 16:04 GMT]


 

Sitiens (X)
Sweden
Local time: 22:19
English to Swedish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Excellent advice Feb 28, 2013

Thayenga, I am going to take that to heart.icon_smile.gif Off to file 13 it goes!

 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:19
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Risk management Mar 3, 2013

Sitiens wrote:

Thayenga, I am going to take that to heart.icon_smile.gif Off to file 13 it goes!


You're very welcome, Sitiens, Better safe than sorry.icon_wink.gif

There's always the chance that we might lose out on a potential, honest client, but at least you can be sure that your CV won't be floating through the "criminal area" of cyberspace. And if an agency is truly interested in working with you, they will contact you, addressing you by your name and outlining the (potential?) job. Yes, this does happen though seldomly.icon_smile.gif


 


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Response to an application I never sent

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