Possibly a scam? (French editing project)
Thread poster: Oliver Walter

Oliver Walter  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:42
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
Oct 18, 2013

I've received an email which my webmail shows as being from:
"translation master" with email address trenslationmaster@gmail.com
(note "trenslation") and which contains the following (It does not address me by name and there is nobody's name in it):
---- begin quote ----
We have an urgent French Editing project (improve the level of French language and make it of high quality) which we would like to offer you. I am attaching the file and reference material. Considering this would be our first project with you we have a limited budget and we can pay $130 flat fee. Please deliver very high quality for this French editing project and we can then regularly send you editing and translation projects. The deadline for completion is Sunday 21st 10am Canada time.

If you have any questions please let me know. We look forward for your confirmation.
---- end quote ----
It is to "undisclosed-recipients" so presumably it was sent to a number of people, in its "Bcc:" list.
In any case, I don't do editing in French - my target language is English. Also, notice "Sunday 21st" - there is no such day this month (October 2013)!
The attachments are two documents: File_ForEditing.docx (63 kB) and Reference_File.docx (26 kB), which I shall not open in Word because I wouldn't trust them to be free of harmful macros. (However, .docx files are in fact compressed files that can be opened with, for example, WinZip, and contain mainly a number of .xml files.)

Have you received something similar? I wonder whether this is some kind of scam, perhaps spam, simply an amateurish attempt to get some work done cheaply, or perhaps something else.

Any ideas or useful experience?

Oliver


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Helen Hagon  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:42
Member (2011)
Russian to English
+ ...
Limited budget / very high quality Oct 18, 2013

Anything which states up front that they have very little money but want very high quality sets alarm bells ringing for me. I can forgive the odd spelling or grammar mistake for anyone writing in a language which is not their native tongue, but there are some serious factual errors here, such as the completion date, and the fact that they have not bothered to check whether you work into this language. Also, the lack of names - either the person or the company - prevents you from doing any background checks, which makes things more risky.

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Kirsten Bodart  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:42
Dutch to English
+ ...
Me too Oct 18, 2013

I received one yesterday evening. I hadn't figured the dates out, but now you say it, there is no such date. I tried looking up the email address or company, but couldn't find anything. I also don't dare to open the files, not knowing what's in them.

I guess, even if this was serious (without address or signature and faulty target language), I suppose if it is a mass email, they'll find a soul willlng to take it on. I for one don't trust it either.


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Trudy Peters  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:42
German to English
+ ...
Not only Oct 18, 2013

is the date wrong, but what is "Canada time"?

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Enrique
Local time: 19:42
SITE STAFF
Most probably an overpayment scam Oct 18, 2013

Hi friends, thanks for sharing this information.

This is most probably an overpayment scam attempt, where your conditions are accepted and you receive a check for an amount higher than the agreed price, and then you are asked to credit the check and wire the difference. When the check bounces (forged or stolen) you lose the "overpayment" you wired, and you may have a legal problem because of the bad check.

The golden rules when you receive a business proposal from a stranger are:
a) if it is below your standars of rate, trust, etc., simply dismiss
b) If it could be interesting, ask for verifiable contact information
c) once you receive verifiable contact information, check it until you are sure you know who you are dealing with
d) After that, check payment practices and other information (for instance in the ProZ.com Blue Board).

You can find more information, and members can subscribe to our alert reports, visiting the Scam alert center.

Kind regards,
Enrique Cavalitto


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Michael Barnett
Local time: 18:42
English
+ ...
Canada time Oct 18, 2013

Canada has six time zones.

It's an obvious scam.

Michael


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Oliver Walter  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:42
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Canada time; gmail Oct 18, 2013

Yes, the use of the undefined term "Canada time" hadn't struck me. Presumably the sender doesn't know how big Canada is! There would then also be an ambiguity: Canadian Dollars or USA Dollars?
The sender's use of a gmail address is (1) not very professional, and (2) can conceal the originating country: by examining the IP addresses in the email header I can sometimes discover the country where an email originates (I use http://en.utrace.de/), but this one was 209.85.219.66, which belongs to Google in Mountain View (USA) - not surprising!
In April, for example, I received an email pretending to be from PayPal Customer Service in the UK, but the header said it was in fact from Argentina. (Yes, I keep a few of these emails to show to other people as examples.)

Oliver


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John Fossey  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 18:42
Member (2008)
French to English
Definitely a scam Oct 18, 2013

I received this yesterday and again the "Canada time" hadn't struck me! I responded "Who are you?" and got no response. I didn't even open the attachments, fearing a virus, but I just went back and scanned them with Malwarebytes and they come up clean. In the properties of the file is the Japanese name Kozuka, which doesn't in itself mean anything.

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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:42
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Canadian time zones Oct 20, 2013

Oliver Walter wrote:

Please deliver very high quality for this French editing project and we can then regularly send you editing and translation projects. The deadline for completion is Sunday 21st 10am Canada time.

If you have any questions please let me know. We look forward for your confirmation.
---- end quote ----
It is to "undisclosed-recipients" so presumably it was sent to a number of people, in its "Bcc:" list.
In any case, I don't do editing in French - my target language is English. Also, notice "Sunday 21st" - there is no such day this month (October 2013)!
The attachments are two documents: File_ForEditing.docx (63 kB) and Reference_File.docx (26 kB), which I shall not open in Word because I wouldn't trust them to be free of harmful macros. (However, .docx files are in fact compressed files that can be opened with, for example, WinZip, and contain mainly a number of .xml files.)

Have you received something similar? I wonder whether this is some kind of scam, perhaps spam, simply an amateurish attempt to get some work done cheaply, or perhaps something else.

Any ideas or useful experience?

Oliver



At least the delivery time is quite flexible, considering that Canada has 7 time zones. And the delivery sounds like February 30th.

This does look like a scam, being send to undisclosed recipients without the "outsourcer" having bothered to check your language pairs.

If I'm in the mood of replying, then it looks something like this:

Thank you for your offer. Apparently I am not the person you have intended to send it to, since my name is not Undisclosed Recipients.


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nordiste  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 00:42
English to French
+ ...
What's in a name? Oct 20, 2013

Thayenga wrote:
If I'm in the mood of replying, then it looks something like this:

Thank you for your offer. Apparently I am not the person you have intended to send it to, since my name is not Undisclosed Recipients.


Excellent!


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Tony M  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 00:42
Member
French to English
+ ...
Never reply! Oct 20, 2013

Thayenga wrote:

If I'm in the mood of replying, ...


However tempting it is to reply with sarky comments etc., I would most strongly urge you NEVER to reply to these sorts of mails; the recipient doesn't care, and may not even understand what you write. So doing so only serves to validate your e-mail address, which could potentially open you to even more spam or scams in the future.

If you get an e-mail which you feel may be suspicious and which you do not wish to follow up as a potential genuine job, then PLEASE just bin it (after reporting, if applicable).

By the way, I receive most of my e-mails in parallel on my 'emergency' Gmail account, so when I receive scams there, I make a point of reporting it as spam, since their filtering system is quite sophisticated, and the more we report things, the more we are helping to protect each other from such attacks.


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:42
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
It's only one Oct 20, 2013

Tony M wrote:

Thayenga wrote:

If I'm in the mood of replying, ...


However tempting it is to reply with sarky comments etc., I would most strongly urge you NEVER to reply to these sorts of mails; the recipient doesn't care, and may not even understand what you write. So doing so only serves to validate your e-mail address, which could potentially open you to even more spam or scams in the future.

If you get an e-mail which you feel may be suspicious and which you do not wish to follow up as a potential genuine job, then PLEASE just bin it (after reporting, if applicable).

By the way, I receive most of my e-mails in parallel on my 'emergency' Gmail account, so when I receive scams there, I make a point of reporting it as spam, since their filtering system is quite sophisticated, and the more we report things, the more we are helping to protect each other from such attacks.


Thank you, Tony, for confirming my thoughts. However, the only one I "reply" to is someone I used to work with, and who then turned out to be one of the biggest scammers (they weren't when I started working with them).

Other than this, I never reply to any offers that smell "fishy".


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:42
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
:) Oct 20, 2013

nordiste wrote:

Thayenga wrote:
If I'm in the mood of replying, then it looks something like this:

Thank you for your offer. Apparently I am not the person you have intended to send it to, since my name is not Undisclosed Recipients.


Excellent!


Thank you. nordiste, for your "agree". Just please check Tony's post and my reply to her.

The general rule I apply is not to answer, but to send such emails straiight to File 13.


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Possibly a scam? (French editing project)

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