Thread poster: nathaliemagne

nathaliemagne  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:39
English to French
+ ...
May 9, 2013

Following a job offer on this site, I received this email form a Herbert Dahmen, email

"Hello Nathalie,

Thank you for your response to my posting. Sorry for my late response, i am having issue with my health at the moment. I attach the text, kindly check and get back with your quote and delivery date.

I hope to hear from you soon.


After answering with my quote and delivery date, he answered:

"Hello Nathalie,

Thank you for your response.I am about posting again this evening after not hearing from you for a translator for my text. I am fighting with cancer and mostly in the hospital. This text is private for my client and not to be published in anyway. I accept your quote and delivery date. I am pleased to tell you that i choose you to work on the project. My client method of Payment is a bank Check . If you will agree with me,let me know so i can email to you my information for invoice and you can start."

It really feels like a scam (similar to one I had before with a "sabella dora"), so I hope nobody falls for it!

Nice day to all of you,

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Natalie  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:39
Member (2002)
English to Russian
+ ...

100% scam May 9, 2013

Please submit a support request at and provide the site staff with all available information.

Thank you very much

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LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:39
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
No doubt about it! May 9, 2013

Any one of these alone are grounds for instant delete, let alone all of them in one:

gmail address and no other contact details = SCAM (without a verified phone number, physical address, etc., how do you know who this person is?)
mentions health problems = SCAM
talks about how payment will be made (and it is by check) = SCAM

Private clients do not generally lay out a payment road map for you.

Others may have different experiences, but I find it is rarely worthwhile to accept any jobs from private individuals (non companies) due to the risk of non-payment and the hassle factor of dealing with them (unless the job is for >$1,000.00 and they pay in advance by credit card or cash). This is something best left to the agencies.

Once again, I point out this article on red flags which should be required reading for all:

[Edited at 2013-05-09 13:27 GMT]

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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:39
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
100 % SCAM May 9, 2013

As stated before, a gmail address by itself is not sufficient reason to suspect a scammer at work.

The definate SCAM alert is his ailment, in this case once again cancer. A translator doesn't need to know any of a prospective client's illnesses...unless the project is about how said "client" is suffering from or has fought cancer successfully. But such a project is highly unlikely to "materialize".:O

Payment by check, most probably a larger than agreed on amount, is another "red flag".

Accepting an assignment from a private client can turn out very successfully. I've accepted projects from private individuals and was paid cash the next day.

However, the email you've received, Nathalie, has written SCAM clear across each line.
Just send it off to "File 13".

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Tony M  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:39
French to English
+ ...
Private clients May 9, 2013

Thayenga wrote:

Accepting an assignment from a private client can turn out very successfully. I've accepted projects from private individuals and was paid cash the next day.

I agree with Thayenga and the earlier poster: although I don't very often have occasion to work for private clients, in each case they have been most satisfactory operations, the people always keen to pay promptly, usually arranging it to their payment will at worst cross with my delivery of their translation. I have never once had any problem with these clearly genuine customers, who volunteered their contact details and did not give me irrelevant information about their personal lives, other than that required to carry out the translation. In fact, although they represent a tiny minority of my customers and even smaller percentage of my turnover, I've had a 100% success rate in terms of payment.

As has been said above, what really counts is ALL the various factors taken together: any one on its won might be a warning sign, but when two or more are reunited, THEN one really ought to start getting suspicious.

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Madeleine Chevassus  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:39
Member (2010)
English to French
I had a very similar scam about six months ago; May 12, 2013

the guy (Johann Adelgloss, pretended to be in Zwaziland (he was obviously in Switzerland);
He told he had a cancer and should fly to Stocholm to see a doctor..

the text to translate was a simple text about cancer and my price estimation was above 500€ (a big expense for an individual because the article was very basic.) This is how I suspected him.

He wanted to pay by check, I answered no, I want a bank wire or a certified bank check;
Then I explained him I already received fake travelers checks from another dummy client.

Adelgloss understood and did not insist.

I quoted in the scam forum to warn my colleagues; it seems many other translators were his potential victims.


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