Proz.com CVs are being hijacked by low-rate scammers
Thread poster: Beth Jones

Beth Jones  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 14:58
German to English
Aug 16, 2013

I don't know if this has already been addressed here, but I don't think a reiteration could hurt.

I just received this info from my brother. I checked the link and there is a translation agency site there, ostensibly serving military and other clientele.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Stealth Translations Ltd
Date: Wed, Aug 7, 2013 at 10:59 AM
Subject: Translation Agency Scam

Good afternoon,

I’d like to draw your attention to a scam which is currently in operation which we have just been exposed to. Fraudsters are currently taking translators CV’s from websites like Translators Cafe and PROZ and contacting translation agencies directly with these CVs and profile information. They are then winning projects with low/competitive fees and passing off machine translations as their own work.

We did actually award one of these translators with a project but our stringent quality systems immediately identified the poor quality of the translation. We checked the original CV which was sent and compared it with the CV of the same person which was available for download on PROZ and only the contact information was different.

Has anyone else experienced this within the last few months?


Kind regards,

Stephen Weir BSc
Director
Stealth Translations Ltd
www.stealthtranslations.com

Tel: +44 (0) 2828 267 103 | Mob: +44 (0) 7526 721 669 | Email: info@stealthtranslations.com

Office Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 9AM GMT - 5PM GMT
---------- End Forwarded message ----------



Not sure what to do to protect my CV here -- your thoughts?
Beth Jones
Salzburg


 

Shai Navé  Identity Verified
Israel
Local time: 15:58
Member
English to Hebrew
+ ...
Remove them Aug 16, 2013

This CV harvesting is nothing new (sadly).
The current copy of your CV is already in "circulation" so I would recommend removing it from ProZ and any other place where it is published. It takes 24-72 hours to update (removed from cache) so the weekend is a perfect time to do this.

Also, an independent translator should not have a CV in the first place (an independent translator does not seek employment). An independent translator, much like every other commercial service provider, should have a business/offer/service brochure. You can use the profile About me section here on ProZ for that purpose. If someone is intrigued by it, have them contact you to get any additional details

Even if you choose to stick with a CV, don't publish it in a DOC format (or any other editable format). Use an un-editable PDF. Sure, the scammers can just re-create it by typing the content and formatting a similar document, but I guess that they are reaching for the lowest hanging fruits and any obstacle that makes it a tad more difficult and time consuming for them to carry out their scam might deter them from trying and get them to move on to the next unsuspecting victim.

[Edited at 2013-08-16 13:34 GMT]


 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:58
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Identity and CV theft Aug 16, 2013

Both have been going on for... I assume for as long as there have been freelance translators.

As Shai has already stated, the safest way is to not post your CV or business brochure publicly. You have no control over who might "snatch" it from your profile.

A brief note on your profile will do: My CV/business brochure is available upon request.
This forces the scammer to contact you, something they might not wish to do for whatever reason.

When a potential client contacts you regarding a potential job, and asks for your detailed information, just refer them to your profile. There s/he can find all the job-relevant information.

I often receive job offers from unknown people/agencies. If these "offers" had been sent to multiple undiclosed recipients - an absolute no-go - I simply delete the email.

If, in these emails, I am addressed by my name, and the "prospective client" asks me to register on their website and/or send them my CV/business brochure, I may or may not reply. In any case, I do not send them my business brochure. Not because I consider them to be "suspects", but simply because all required information is available on my profile.

Surely, I have lost a few jobs (and I'm not concerned with the "famous" 0.02 Euro jobs, either) , but in our profession our reputation is the foundation of our work and existance; something which must not be tarnished by a CV scammer.

Stay safe!


 

João Roque Dias
Portugal
Local time: 13:58
English to Portuguese
Translator Scammers Directory Aug 18, 2013

You're invited to visit my TRANSLATOR SCAMMER DIRECTORY at:

http://www.jrdias.com/jrd-translator-scammers.htm


 

Neil Coffey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:58
French to English
+ ...
Agency incompetence Aug 18, 2013

Beth Jones wrote:
profile information. They are then winning projects with low/competitive fees and passing off machine translations as their own work.


Silly question, but if an agency receives an apparently immaculate CV from a translator then the actual result is random machine-translated gibberish, do the quality controls really need to be that "stringent" to spot this?


 

Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 14:58
English to Polish
+ ...
I've also seen that and been puzzled a little Aug 18, 2013

Neil Coffey wrote:

Beth Jones wrote:
profile information. They are then winning projects with low/competitive fees and passing off machine translations as their own work.


Silly question, but if an agency receives an apparently immaculate CV from a translator then the actual result is random machine-translated gibberish, do the quality controls really need to be that "stringent" to spot this?


Yup, it does not take 'stringent' QA to spot a machine translation.

Also, 'stringent QA' would have to be something more than having a proofreader and an editor involved in the process. Standard 'TEP' != 'stringent QA'.


 

Ana Lucia Amaral
United States
Local time: 08:58
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Dear Colleagues, Aug 19, 2013

I just answered to the same email...


"...
I had the some problems with 12 Brazilian Translators. They are using information from a Professional Translators...

I had a horrible experience with a Brazilian translator that have 49 positive entries in PROZ...

And I have a list of Agencies with unprofessional behavior too. Some Agencies are using my CV or my information to marketing themselves."

...

Read more: http://alatraduz.blogspot.com/2013/07/google-your-name.html

A similar CV with my experience, my PROZ and LinkedIn Profile was sent 6 times for Agencies last month, but with a different e-mail address.

Samples of False E-mails: analucia_brazil@gmail.com
tradelanguage@gmail.com (without s)
analucia_translate@gmail.com
analucia_translation@gmail.com

...

Please, protect your information.
For Translators: use locked PDF and just send your CV if you have references of the Agency.
For Agencies: be careful with cheap rates and miraculous deadlines. Use Skype (with Cam) to talk with the professional before you send a project and make sure he/she knows the target language. Note: Brazilian Portuguese and European Portuguese are different language, make sure you have the right target you need.


 

Carola F Berger  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:58
English to German
CV and identity protection Aug 29, 2013

I've just posted a series of blog posts on how to protect your identity. You may find this article useful in terms of protecting your CV:
Password Protection for your CV/Resume with Adobe Acrobat

And possibly this:
Protection against Identity Theft

At any rate, if your CV has already been hijacked, I would recommend immediately removing the CV, contacting the various sites where the CV was posted to notify them of the incident, and listing your name on Joao Dias' site (he replied above).

[Edited at 2013-08-29 14:59 GMT]


 


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