Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
Possible scam?
Thread poster: sokolniki

sokolniki  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:41
English to Russian
+ ...
Aug 7, 2013

Last week a newly registered agency from the Netherlands placed a job in my language pair and area specialization. The translation is to be made using their web-tool.

I sent a quote with my CV and rates, the usual.

Today I received a welcome message from them with an activation link, again the usual, and a request to get registered on their website. The message is signed using just the first name, no phone/fax numbers, no mailing address, no skype, etc. Just the link to the website and generic slogan.

First red flag: the way the website looks. My 7 year-old grandson would probably create a better one (using a free template of course which was apparently the case). Registration items: after the full name and language pair, YOUR DETAILED BANK INFORMATION, SWIFT/IBAN codes, etc. Not your mailing/Skype address, not your areas of specialization, experience, references, rates, etc.

I do not mind sharing payment info if I have a few payment options to choose from, and working with European agencies I prefer PayPal, and they always agree to use PayPal. No other payment options here, but a warning about 10 EURO withdrawn from each payment to cover the bank transfer fee.

Second BIG red flag: I decided to find the agency's address on Google (God bless your heart, Google). Guess what: it is an address of a Dutch hotel in which the hotel name and street name are shown without an interval as one word, in quite a sneaky way if you ask me.

Did you send a quote to this job post and what do you think please? Thanks!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Marie-Helene Dubois  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:41
Member (2011)
Spanish to English
+ ...
looks like a scam to me Aug 7, 2013

1) Having no contact details is probably the biggest red flag I would think there is

2) Have you done a search on the IP address on the e-mail they sent you? Just enter the IP address in the website below and check that the e-mail was sent from the Netherlands:
http://www.geobytes.com/IpLocator.htm?GetLocation

3) I'm not sure I understood the hotel thing. Have they given the name of the hotel and the street as one word? Are they saying that this is their address? This could be a red flag but I have seen hotels with offices before so it could be that it's not as red a flag as you initially thought. Perhaps you could call the hotel and explain that you are planning on doing business with a company apparently registered at their address and ask them whether this is likely. If the hotel receptionist isn't busy, he/she is likely to be helpful. It's part of the job.

I must say though that from what you say it sounds dodgy and probably not worth wasting time on.

If you find out anything more that looks dodgy, I think that you should submit a support request.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Beth M F Garcia  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:41
Member (2004)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Me too. Aug 7, 2013

I also applied and got the same e-mail to register to the site. I did complete the information. However, after doing that I was unable to click on the actual work related links:

Set Your Bid
Accept Active Tasks
Accept Training Task
Withdraw Your Earnings

It does also say when you log in that "This is a beta release. Tasks might not be available at times"

When I looked at google maps its seems to be an art gallery, but it could be on the floors above.

The other thing is that they have a number starting with 001 and thats the US, not the Netherlands.

Having said all this, I'm not sure what they could do with our bank account number if they are scammers.

Also on their disclaimer it states "XXXX is a trademark of XXXXXXX."

I searched for XXXXXXX and it seems they do have an online presence.

I cant get through to them on either of their telephone numbers, Netherlands or Sand Diego.

I'm at a loss.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Beth M F Garcia  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:41
Member (2004)
Spanish to English
+ ...
More Info Aug 7, 2013

I actually found a BB link to this parent company. If a mod wants the info please let me know.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

sokolniki  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:41
English to Russian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Parent company Aug 7, 2013

We are requested to get registered and provide banking info not for their parent company but for them.

If it is not a scam, then we are dealing with highly unprofessional people - this could be worse than a scam.

What kind of translation agency needs such a thorough background check not to look suspicious? I would rather stay away.

Thanks for your help!


Direct link Reply with quote
 

sokolniki  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:41
English to Russian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Support Request Aug 7, 2013

I sent a support request to Proz.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Camelia Colnic  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:41
Romanian to English
+ ...
I don't see which job are you talking about Aug 7, 2013

Hi,

sorry, but from your comment I don't seem to recognize which job post it is. Do you have a link to the job?
Thank you!



Edit: Well, apparently I'll never find out, because of the forum rules.

How will I know if I applied to that agency or not?

[Edited at 2013-08-07 16:33 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Post removed: This post was hidden by a moderator or staff member because it was not in line with site rule

Mary Keramida  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:41
Member (2012)
English to Greek
+ ...
I registered as well Aug 7, 2013

From some details you provided, I recognized the agency. I registered almost 2-3 weeks ago, and I have used their support, mainly because some features seemed to be inactive (Set your Bid, Accept Active Taks etc). They did answer by saying that they donn't have tasks for every language-pair yet.
However, I never thought that this might be a scam-job, but I'm gonna check it out.

Best,
Mary


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Catherine Howard
United States
Local time: 12:41
Portuguese to English
+ ...
how many more red flags do you need?!? Aug 8, 2013

I don't understand what you meant, kuletatz, when you wrote, "...I'm not sure what they could do with our bank account number if they are scammers..."

Um, well, like, withdraw money from your account...

Then, er, use that information to snowball into your other accounts...

If obtaining someone's bank account number were as harmless as you suggest, why are these numbers universally kept secret? If strangers can't do anything with them, why don't we all just publish such numbers?

If you registered with these scammers, they now have your email, contact info, CV, bank account #, and probably other details you spilled. Not much more is needed for an internet thief. Even without all those details, thiefs have recently emptied business and personal accounts of millions of dollars and euros. Anyone who gave out their bank info had better talk with their bank and change their number ASAP!

How many more red flags does anyone need to see through this scam?!?

Frankly, it is hard for me to believe that *anyone* would fall for this. Why in the world would you provide bank account info to an agency that you don't know, haven't heard of, haven't screened, and never even sent you work?!? You shouldn't even give out such info on the first job, until an agency has proven they will pay you through a safer means. You shouldn't start work on a job until you've received a P.O. (purchase order). You shouldn't send out your CV to just anyone who emails you. You don't deal with any agency or direct client without screening them.

Bottom line: just like you were taught when you were a child not to get in a stranger's car, you don't give out sensitive info to strangers.

Please, people, EDUCATE yourselves by reading about the strategies used by scammers and fraudsters! Proz.com's scam alert center is a great place to start. It is unprofessional of a translator *not* to learn about risk management.

[Edited at 2013-08-08 13:43 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Beth M F Garcia  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:41
Member (2004)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Glad you re-read and edited that. Aug 8, 2013

I'm glad you toned that down from your original message.

What I meant was: Let's be realistic. Plenty of new or barely established companies request CVs to populate their databases. As far as I could see, this one was just one more and didn't think anything of it.

In fact I have gotten job requests from companies YEARS after I had completed their information requests (via CV including NDA forms and detail templates, online registration, etc...).

This is not new or unusual and to date have not had any problems because of this.

Once the OP posted, I started digging and my conclusion is this:

This is a newer than new agency. The person behind it has various online personal and company profiles dating back for years. His other companies also deal in the Service Provider field, so having a translation company is not a stretch. Even though parts of the site don't work yet, other parts seem a bit too elaborate to just be a front. Perhaps he jumped the gun on creating his translation team just yet.

This of course is only my opinion.

I know how my bank works and just because someone has my bank number does not give them access to my bank accounts (or my address or email or telephone number). Banks have security measures or at least mine does.

From what I have previously read in the Scam center forum I've yet to read one about someones bank account being emptied because they provided bank info to a bogus company. (Perhaps I missed it?)

Anyway, each of us has their own way of marketing themselves. What you may find unprofessional may be completely professional to someone else.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
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
Paweł Hamerski
Poland
Local time: 18:41
English to Polish
+ ...
Scammers can't do much with my account No. Aug 9, 2013

Catherine V. Howard wrote:

I don't understand what you meant, kuletatz, when you wrote, "...I'm not sure what they could do with our bank account number if they are scammers..."

Um, well, like, withdraw money from your account...

Then, er, use that information to snowball into your other accounts...

If obtaining someone's bank account number were as harmless as you suggest, why are these numbers universally kept secret? If strangers can't do anything with them, why don't we all just publish such numbers?.

[Edited at 2013-08-08 13:43 GMT]


Well, I never hesitated to give my account No. in my invoices. I issued thousands of them to strange customers. I gave it on other occasions too. Let's be realistic.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Tony M  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 18:41
Member
French to English
+ ...
Dangers in giving out bank details Aug 9, 2013

Paweł Hamerski wrote:

Well, I never hesitated to give my account No. in my invoices. I issued thousands of them to strange customers. I gave it on other occasions too. Let's be realistic.


I don't think it's really a question of being "realistic", Paweł — even though I don't personally know how to steal money using people's bank details (if I did, I'd be a rich scammer instead of a poor translator ), it's obvious they must have their ways and means of exploiting this information, as asking for your bank details is one of the first things they do in very many of these scams (including the classic 'Nigerian' scam). "I want to give you a very large sum of money, so first send me your bank details so I can deposit it in your account."

Maybe all the want your bank details for is so they can scam someone else, using your genuine bank details to lend verifiable credence to an otherwise dishonest deal.

Personally, I take asking for bank details way too far upfront in a business relationship as a VERY BIG RED FLAG; there is no real reason why a company should need your bank details prior to completion of a job and invoicing; at worst, they might want them slightly earlier, so as to be able to "set you up on their system" in order to be able to pay you promptly once the invoice has been submitted; but in practice, most firms I've ever dealt with didn't seem to have any problem at all dealing with that within the usual 30-day settlement period.

[Edited at 2013-08-09 12:16 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:

Moderator(s) of this forum
Alejandro Cavalitto[Call to this topic]

You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Possible scam?

Advanced search







Déjà Vu X3
Try it, Love it

Find out why Déjà Vu is today the most flexible, customizable and user-friendly tool on the market. See the brand new features in action: *Completely redesigned user interface *Live Preview *Inline spell checking *Inline

More info »
memoQ translator pro
Kilgray's memoQ is the world's fastest developing integrated localization & translation environment rendering you more productive and efficient.

With our advanced file filters, unlimited language and advanced file support, memoQ translator pro has been designed for translators and reviewers who work on their own, with other translators or in team-based translation projects.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search