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Another Gaza scammer or a reliable company?
Thread poster: Jitka Komarkova (Mgr.)

Jitka Komarkova (Mgr.)  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 05:59
Member (2013)
English to Czech
+ ...
Mar 5, 2014

Dear all,
I would like to ask you whether any of you has had a similar experience.

I was previously, through [ProZ.com mail], approached by a person claiming to be a representative of an agency which has very good scores on the PROZ web, however, the email contained the following notification: [NOTE: The author is not a registered ProZ.com user or was not logged in when sending this message.]
As it sometimes happens with clients, they do not log in when sending a job/cooperation proposal, so I replied this person as usual setting out my conditions.
Now the person got back to me - not using an official email address of the company (using a strange gmail.com address) - asking me for more information and I wonder why he/she has not asked for my bank account login data... urging me to send the data as soon as possible so that I am eligible for the upcoming project...

1. Sign up the attached Confidentiality Agreement
2. Your updated CV and Cover Letter
3. A copy of your certificates and diplomas
4. Passport, ID or a Driving License (one of them is necessary)
5. Your VAT number if applicable
6. Samples of your previous work
7. 2 reference emails or 2 reference letters

The agreement contains the following:
Our policy is to send and publish the translator CV to these clients who we deal
with. Marketing translator CV to these clients will be very beneficial and will lead
to ongoing paid projects.
We have the right to market translator CV with a cover letter to our clients.

It all seems so strange to me... Someone might build a fake identity out of these - I am not really going to send anybody a copy of my identity card or identity document whatsoever.

Have you been approached by the person as well? What has it turned out to be?
Could you help?
Many thanks in advance


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:59
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Stinks Mar 5, 2014

Sorry for being so blunt. This clearly reeks of scam. I would not touch it with a barge pole.

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Woodstock  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 05:59
German to English
+ ...
It absolutely reeks of scam Mar 5, 2014

Frankly, I do not let any unregistered, not logged-in person contact me, because I don't believe a serious customer could not take the minimum amount of time (it takes me a second or two) to log in. When I still permitted it, I got scam attempts, since I have opted out of that possibility, I have not had one scammer annoying me. I do not want such people to have any information about me, not my e-mail address, not my real name, nothing. Let's be clear: These are criminals doing illegal things, and they know what they are doing is illegal, which is using other people's identities for their own profit.

In addition to the ProZ information page on scams, there is this excellent reference:
http://www.translator-scammers.com/translator-scammers-directory.htm

If you aren't already, I would also recommend becoming a member of LinkedIn, where there are numerous translators' groups you can join that discuss all kinds of issues without the restrictions we have here, like not mentioning names.


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Little Woods  Identity Verified
Vietnam
Member
English to Vietnamese
So I know now this may be scam Mar 5, 2014

I used to get such request from agencies save for the part about my work sample. They asked me about reference letters too. They seemed to be legitimate agencies with 5 star BB but now I am really confused when I hear all about this. Lucky that I didn't continue communication with them due to too much hassle with all the requirements.

[Edited at 2014-03-05 09:21 GMT]


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M. Anna Kańduła  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:59
English to Polish
Sensitive information Mar 5, 2014


4. Passport, ID or a Driving License (one of them is necessary)

7. 2 reference emails or 2 reference letters


Even if it weren't scam, there's no way I'd send such information.


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xxxnrichy
France
Local time: 05:59
French to Dutch
+ ...
With all this information Mar 5, 2014

or even a part of it, the receiver can easily take your place.



1. Sign up the attached Confidentiality Agreement
2. Your updated CV and Cover Letter
3. A copy of your certificates and diplomas
4. Passport, ID or a Driving License (one of them is necessary)
5. Your VAT number if applicable
6. Samples of your previous work
7. 2 reference emails or 2 reference letters



Warning: if you give this, you give the keys for identity theft. And you even sign for this in the confidentiality agreement.


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:59
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Or... Mar 5, 2014

M. Anna Kańduła wrote:

4. Passport, ID or a Driving License (one of them is necessary)
7. 2 reference emails or 2 reference letters

Even if it weren't scam, there's no way I'd send such information.

Or copies of diplomas!


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 05:59
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Possible identity theft Mar 5, 2014

With all this information the scammer can easily "become you". And you never know what they have in mind, aside from selling your information.

Even when asked to send my business brochure (CV) I do so without the contact details, but with a note that these will be available upon first job assignment.


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Jitka Komarkova (Mgr.)  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 05:59
Member (2013)
English to Czech
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you! Mar 5, 2014

Dear all,
thank you all for letting me know about your opinions!
I do agree that providing such information is unacceptable and would be foolish.

I did two things - I informed PROZ staff and will see if they are going to do something about it (if anything can be done at all).
And I replied to the scammer - very honestly - that I consider them scammers and asked for removing all information about my person from their systems.

The "agency" actually replied: "Just we need to deal with professional translators with professional certificates to prove your qualifications, as we can't deal with a person without looking at his certificates. This is the policy of our company"
So I insisted on deleting all information. But you know what they are likely to do...

It still surprises me how these beasts of prey operate... they steal your identity, get translation done by a nobody or a MT and get the money...

I am so foolishly honest and fair that my brain is not simply capable to understand it...

Anyway, thank you all once again and beware!


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 05:59
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
And even more Mar 6, 2014

Jitka Komarkova (Mgr.) wrote:

It still surprises me how these beasts of prey operate... they steal your identity, get translation done by a nobody or a MT and get the money...

I am so foolishly honest and fair that my brain is not simply capable to understand it...

Anyway, thank you all once again and beware!


And one of the well known scammers goes even a step further, they "exchange" LWA's for WWA's to give themselves a great appearance. Whenever a colleague makes a realistic entry in their BB-record (1) and warns others, they somehow find translators to give them the best BB-entry (5) in exchange for a positive LWA.

This is how they display themselves as an honest agency.


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Angeliki Kotsidou
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:59
English to Greek
+ ...
I wonder if it's the same as the email I received.. Mar 6, 2014

I received the same email but checked the company on BlueBoard and they seem to have 5/5 feedback. I haven't sent them any id but forwarded my CV.

The company I refer to has the number 24 incorporated in its name.

[Edited at 2014-03-06 15:41 GMT]


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Jitka Komarkova (Mgr.)  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 05:59
Member (2013)
English to Czech
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
the same Mar 6, 2014

Angeliki Kotsidou wrote:


The company I refer to has the number 24 incorporate in its name.



Yes, it corresponds to my experience. It is highly likely it is the same company (or not). For the sake of being safe, I refused to cooperate with them. You will see - I cannot be 100 % sure they are scammers - maybe you will be lucky - if you end up processing jobs for them and being paid, I would be very happy if you could let me know.
Good luck and many thanks!


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aslimnb  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:59
Member (2009)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Same here Mar 12, 2014

I've just received the same "offer". The scammer approached me saying they need translators in my language combination. The first thing I did was checking the agency on Blue Board and since it seemed fine I replied, although I had my doubts because the English level was very poor. Next, he/she sent me their "agreement" and I realized it was a scam. I'll report it to the ProZ staff, but I'm not sure whether they can do anything about it.

You can't be too careful these days.

[Edited at 2014-03-12 19:54 GMT]


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jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:59
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
I think the email was sent by the same person(s) that operate(s) the ...met.com Mar 12, 2014

You know what I mean.

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philgoddard
United States
Member (2009)
German to English
+ ...
Isn't it sad... Mar 12, 2014

that if you tried to set up a legitimate translation business in Gaza, you wouldn't stand a chance of getting any translators to work for you?

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