My CV was hijacked!
Thread poster: Erik Gardekrans

Erik Gardekrans  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 00:27
Member (2011)
English to Swedish
+ ...
May 21, 2013

Dear fellow translators,

Yesterday, to my great surprise, I found out that my CV had been hijacked. Someone had changed important details about me and made minor changes to my email addresses.

The client I wished to work for thought I was acting strange, since they received messages from me saying one thing and then a little later another message saying something different. The fact is that someone else had answered their request first and turned my client's offer down due to low rates.

Beceause of this person, I might have lost this client and interesting work opportunities!

This is really an outright shame. There are people out there who make your name look bad in the eyes of your clients.

I immediately took measures. I changed email address from a free email program to my own private one and I alerted people I know in my social networks.

Erik


 

Sarai Pahla (MD) MBChB
Germany
Local time: 00:27
Member (2012)
Japanese to English
+ ...
Same here May 21, 2013

It actually seems to be the same group of companies who are doing this, and frankly I wish there was more we could do.

Also consider creating your CV in a protected PDF format, or scanning your CV as images and recombining them into a CV to deter lazy thieves.


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:27
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Or simply do not publish your CV online May 21, 2013

Do not publish your CV online, and send it over only to legitimate customers you think should have it.

 

Shai Navé  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 01:27
Member
English to Hebrew
+ ...
Spreading the CV file all over the place or making it avilable for harvesting is not a good idea May 21, 2013

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:
Do not publish your CV online, and send it over only to legitimate customers you think should have it.

I wholeheartedly agree with Tomás.
I wouldn't bother too much with protecting the content in a "read-only" file format because it can very easily be re-typed if the incentive for the scammer is good enough.

Furthermore, I advice independent translators not to use the term CV at all, and take a different approach to the terminology and content they use to promote themselves, while better protecting their security. More details can be found in the following LinkedIn discussion: CV alternatives: Let's define a more appropriate term and content.

[Edited at 2013-05-21 11:25 GMT]


 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:27
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Sending out information May 21, 2013

This type of document basically hold a good part of a translator's life, including personal information. This should never be distributed without an extra dosis of caution.

Sending out a CV or service brochure to new, potential and, above all, unknown clients is, IMHO, done with too little precautions. After all, most, if not all, profiles here on ProZ.com or any other translators' platform provide all the information a potential client needs to know. So there is actually no reason to send out one's personal data at first contact. Even when you are marketing your services, you can always refer prospective clients to your website, or invite them to ask direct, business related questions in an email.

There is simply too much identity/CV theft going on in the cyber world. And if I remember correctly, not one of my present clients has every asked me for my CV.


 

Nelida Kreer  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 19:27
English to Spanish
+ ...
'Caution' is the operative term May 22, 2013

I thank Shai for directing me to the LinkedIn discussion, I have just posted a comment there summarizing my views.
Thayenga is absolutely right. I have removed my CV from my profile already some time ago, and would send it out only if there is an actual "need-to-know" on the part of whoever requests it from you. And, also as Thayenga has said, none of my present and/or returning clients has bothered to ask me for a CV. Whatever they need to know, it's available in my website, my profiles on ProZ and LinkedIn, and a couple of fun-online bios (Brand Yourself and Vizify) - which you cannot modify without a genuine log-in user ID and password.
As an alternative description, I have suggested B+Q sheet, for instance (Background and Qualifications) - but this is just a change of terms, I don't think that it actually alters the equation.
The exercise of caution is what is really essential.


 

Yasutomo Kanazawa  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:27
English to Japanese
+ ...
Lesson learnt the hard way May 22, 2013

As Tomas wrote, you should not publish your CV online.

Also, it seems to me that people who use freemail addresses as their primary contact for work tend to be victims of not only CV highjacking, but being hacked and sending fraudulent mails. I don't understand why one would use a freemail address for one's business purpose. If I were an agency, I wouldn't trust someone using a freemail address as his/her primary contact.


 


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