Are they really trying to scam me for 5 lousy bucks?
Thread poster: Florencio Alonso

Florencio Alonso  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 10:56
Member (2013)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Jan 30, 2014

I registered on this website that I found through Elance: http://www.linguamundi.pl/en/

I seems quite legit and they even publish a telephone number.
They had me fill in some personal information in their online register form (no bank account number or anything of the sort).
Then two days later I recieve this email:


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hello Florencio!

We are pleased to inform you that you have been short-listed to work for us. You will be informed about every translation from and to Spanish and English. Remember to choose wisely between the translations that we offer. We will send information to each person that meets the requirements and provide a sample of translation to help you decide if it fits you.

After you receive this message, please transfer a 4€/5$ deposit on linguamundi.pl@gmail.com (PayPal or Skrill) within three days. Deposit will be returned with first earning for a translation. You can find more information on our page.

Should you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask.


Best regards/ Üdvözlettel/ Pozdrawiam/ Mit freundlichen Grüßen,
Linguamundi.pl team

E-Mail: linguamundi.pl@gmail.com
www.linguamundi.pl


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I then went to their site to find out more about the deposit and I found this on their short FAQ:

Why do I have to give the deposit?

First of all, the deposit is needed in order to keep our project alive. We will put a lot of effort in undertaking as many translations as possible, therefore we need to make sure that you will stay eager and concerned about our project.

Another important factor is to create some sort of hierarchy. At the moment, we are receiving applications on a daily basis. Let's imagine that we have a translation to assign that requires the knowledge of English and German. These are among the most widely spoken languages in the world. Please note that we already have a lot of candidates and this number is rapidly growing. Unfortunately, we cannot give this translation to all the people that meet the requirements. Thus, we will contact those who transferred the deposit in the first place. It is also a way of thanking those who put their trust in us from the very beginning.

Please do remember that paying the deposit is completely OPTIONAL . You do NOT have to pay that if you decide not to.

What if I won't transfer the deposit?

Of course, those who decide not to pay the deposit are still participating in our project and can expect to have job offers anytime. If there is a language that none of the people speak that paid the deposit or they simply cannot undertake the translation at the moment, we will pass it immediately to next applicants who know the required languages.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So? Do you think this is an extremely soft scam or what?


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Kevin Fulton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:56
German to English
Crowdsourcing capital Jan 30, 2014

It seems that this organization is trying to raise operating capital from its potential suppliers. Do I think it's a scam? Probably not, since the amount they're asking is hardly worth the marketing effort.

Would I send them the money? Probably not, but on the other hand, you probably waste 5 EUR on frivolities every week anyway, so there's not much to lose.


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Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Local time: 21:56
Member
Chinese to English
+ ...
Rule 1 Jan 30, 2014

You do not pay to do a job.

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philgoddard
United States
Member (2009)
German to English
+ ...
Their website is good for a laugh Jan 30, 2014

"Correction/Proofreading stands for the careful examination of a certain text in order to detect and correct mistakes in grammar, style, and spelling, recpectively."

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Florencio Alonso  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 10:56
Member (2013)
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Oh wow Jan 30, 2014

OMFG they didn't even proofread their description of proofreading.
Thad does it for me, thanks Phil and everyone else for their two cents.


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Kuochoe Nikoi  Identity Verified
Ghana
Local time: 13:56
Japanese to English
Always start small. Jan 30, 2014

Florencio Alonso wrote:
So? Do you think this is an extremely soft scam or what?

It might be the beginnings of one. By transferring the $5, you're showing your desperation and gullibility, thus identifying yourself as a potential sucker. So it's $5, then maybe $9.99 to be given "double priority" then $19.99 for "special membership" etc.

I'm not saying that this is what they're doing, of course. I'm just saying that just because they're only asking for $5 at first doesn't mean this isn't a scam.

[Edited at 2014-01-30 20:03 GMT]


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Orrin Cummins  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 22:56
Japanese to English
+ ...
this Jan 31, 2014

Lincoln Hui wrote:

You do not pay to do a job.


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Roy OConnor
Local time: 15:56
Member (2009)
German to English
It's a long shot at best... Jan 31, 2014

... a bit like buying a square foot of the moon!

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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 15:56
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Looking for investors Feb 1, 2014

Kevin Fulton wrote:

It seems that this organization is trying to raise operating capital from its potential suppliers. Do I think it's a scam? Probably not, since the amount they're asking is hardly worth the marketing effort.



Since they are doing this openly, it might not meet all the criteria to be considered as a "real" scam, even though it's still questionable. However, aside from their "interesting", rather unappealing website (thank you, Phil), the fact remains that we, as translators, are the service providers. Consequently, we are the ones to get paid for the work we do.

Just imagine asking your car dealer to pay you first before you (might!) consider buying a car from him/her?

[Edited at 2014-02-01 10:43 GMT]


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Post removed: This post was hidden by a moderator or staff member for the following reason: Empty post.

Ekaterina Kroumova  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:56
French to Bulgarian
+ ...
Not that unusual Feb 1, 2014

I personally don't see much difference from the sites you pay for membership in order to be able to apply for posted jobs before non-paying members. Except that those guys are quite cheaper.

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Natalie  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 15:56
Member (2002)
English to Russian
+ ...

MODERATOR
Re "seems legit" Feb 2, 2014

Florencio Alonso wrote:

I registered on this website ...

I seems quite legit and they even publish a telephone number.


Hi Florencio, actually, you are wrong: the website does NOT seem legit. There are no contact data (no address, no country - nothing at all); when such info is missing, it is always a red flag itself. The domain is registered in the Netherlands though it looks like it is located in Poland.

You say, "they even publish a telephone number". But the phone number itself does not prove anything at all. Moreover, this is a cell phone number, so the owner can be located virtually anywhere in the world. I have just tried to call the number, and it is inaccessible.

Summing up: this is an evident scam.


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xxxnrichy
France
Local time: 15:56
French to Dutch
+ ...
Maybe they are just Feb 2, 2014

trying to compose a qualified e-mail address database.
With your active collaboration.


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Florencio Alonso  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 10:56
Member (2013)
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
My email reply (Jan 31, 2014) Feb 3, 2014

Dear XXXXXXX,

I thank you for your email and I'll be waiting for your translations proporsals. However, I will not be transfering a deposit because I don't believe that an outsourcer should be gaining from it's vendors before they get any actual jobs. And also, because I don't think that designing a hierarchy based on a 5 dollar deposit is even remotely professional. You should be giving translations to the professional who can deliver the best quality/cost balance, with a stress on quality if you really mean to develop a long standing business relationship with your customers.

I seriously hope you reconsider your business strategy and think of the long run.

Best regards,

Florencio Alonso

------------------------------
No reply as of today.


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Natalia Mackevich  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:56
Member (2009)
English to Russian
+ ...
I think any reply would be a waste of time. Feb 3, 2014

And I'm pretty sure your letter will be ignored (it's like asking "Dear shoplifters" to be nice). Even if this business is legal in their country, your email won't change their attitude, just like "pay-us-5-bucks-and-be-happy" offers should not affect professional suppliers (going straight to the bin instead!). It is fine to pay for different memberships (to websites and/or organizations you can trust), but not like this one.

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Are they really trying to scam me for 5 lousy bucks?

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