Asking for a scam directory in Proz
Thread poster: Tanguy Przybylski

Tanguy Przybylski  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 08:39
Member (2008)
Japanese to French
+ ...
Jul 24, 2014

Hi everyone,

I have been victim for at least the third time of a scammer.

This time the scammer's named Mika Sager (probably a false name).

If you don't know wat it is, a scam or scammer is someone (or some company) who steals a real translator (and sometimes translation agency) public information (CV, competences, etc.), creates generally a GMAIL address with the name of the translator or the name of the scammer and contact potential clients and translation agencies in order to get a job. Usually, the scammers are not professional translator so they use automatic translation (Google translate, etc.) and deliver really poor translation, get the money and then disappear. When the victim tries to get the things done right, they will probably find the real translator whose identity has been stolen and blame this person for the poor job while the real criminal is at large.

In fact the problem is getting broader by the day, so some translation agencies now perform long researches about their potential new translators in order to check if they are real persons or scams.

Personally, it's the third time I am contacted by a translation agency about this issue, someone using my CV or my name or both in order to get a job.

This time, the person who received the scam found out that this person's CV was actually my CV as it is attached to my Proz account.

It is really hurting me because for any potential client who realized it was a scam, how many people have been fooled by the people falsely using my name?

I know there are several forums about this problem around the web but I think Proz should take action too and create a directory or a list of the known scammers (names, false addresses, etc.) in order to identify them and protect both the translators whose identity is stolen (and reputation might be broken) and for the clients who are victims of these evil identity thieves.

If you agree with me or if you have some ideas on how we, translators or translation agencies, can fight against the scammers, please let me know.

I will post this on my social media (LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook) and submit this idea to the Proz team who is already doing a great job when dealing with the "bad" companies.
But I think the more people will be engaged, the more impact it may have and the more we will be able to protect ourselves and our friends translator against the scammers.

Thank you

Tanguy


 

Natalie  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 01:39
Member (2002)
English to Russian
+ ...

MODERATOR
Hello Tanguy Jul 24, 2014

I am moving your post to Scams forum which would be most appropriate for it.

The Scams forum http://www.proz.com/forum/946 exists since 2009; also there is the Translator scam alert center http://www.proz.com/about/translator-scam-alerts/ where you can find an archive of known scam issues, report a new case of scam, and subscribe for scam alerts.

You may also find useful http://www.translator-scammers.com/

Natalia


 

Christophe Delaunay  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 01:39
Spanish to French
+ ...
CV Jul 24, 2014

Hi Tanguy,
Since your CV has been stolen 3 times already, why don't you remove it and use the "CV on request" option? That could be a first "better safe than sorry" step...


 

Andrew Catford  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:39
Member (2008)
German to English
What does it take to be banned completely? Jul 24, 2014

Same old story:
After long interval, bogus email offer from individual with plenty of online notoriety as translation scammer. Their supposedly Gaza-based "agency" enjoys similar reputation.

(Try expanding headers on dubious email to see the full routing and point of origin.)

Out of curiosity I turn to ProZ for any sightings. Yes! The agency in question is banned from posting job offers. That's encouraging.

Check the Blue Board. There in all their glory! Positive WWA ratings and glowing reports from happy translators. Enough to persuade anyone that this "agency" is legitimate.

So which is it? How does ProZ handle bad apples? Does the posting ban reflect a policy of escalating sanctions? Warning shots? At what point in this, or any other case, does the axe fall? Do the banned simply disappear into obscurity, never to be spoken of again? What prevents ProZ from taking a more pro-active approach in defense of its (paying) membership?








[Edited at 2014-07-24 20:01 GMT]


 

Orrin Cummins  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 08:39
Japanese to English
+ ...
The Blue Board Jul 24, 2014

Andrew Catford wrote:

Same old story:
After long interval, bogus email offer from individual with plenty of online notoriety as translation scammer. Their supposedly Gaza-based "agency" enjoys similar reputation.

(Try expanding headers on dubious email to see the full routing and point of origin.)

Out of curiosity I turn to ProZ for any sightings. Yes! The agency in question is banned from posting job offers. That's encouraging.

Check the Blue Board. There in all their glory! Positive WWA ratings and glowing reports from happy translators. Enough to persuade anyone that this "agency" is legitimate.

So which is it? How does ProZ handle bad apples? Does the posting ban reflect a policy of escalating sanctions? Warning shots? At what point in this, or any other case, does the axe fall? Do the banned simply disappear into obscurity, never to be spoken of again? What prevents ProZ take a more pro-active approach in defense of its (paying) membership?


All a person can post on the Blue Board are their own personal experiences. They cannot post the experiences of other translators that they read on other websites or hear about through the grapevine.

Very few companies are scammers 100% of the time. Usually, they will scam just enough to make some "free money" while maintaining otherwise aboveboard business practices. This means that you will rarely see a really low Blue Board rating for any outsourcer that is actually active.

The Blue Board is just one tool to use, you can't live by what it says. Especially when it comes to true scams and not just low/late payers, doing some outside research like checking out their website, calling them, emailing them, etc. goes a lot farther than anything you may find on ProZ.

This website serves many different entities: translators, interpreters, students, software developers, researchers, agencies, and even some direct clients. So there are limits to what will and will not be possible here, as opposed to LinkedIn groups or Yahoo mailing lists which aren't actual businesses and don't have to worry about angering part of their customer base.

One place isn't necessarily better than the other, they are just different. It is helpful to keep in mind the limitations of each platform, though.


 

Woodstock  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:39
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
Public CV Jul 25, 2014

If you haven't removed your 3 CVs from your profile, you should do so immediately. Also take it down anywhere else it might be posted. You can state on your profile "CV sent on request" as an option - previously noted by Christophe, and make sure that whoever you send it to is a legitimate entity. PDF or not, people can still copy them, and you are just inviting trouble these days if you don't. These scams started turning up a few years ago and have been written about here since then. Unfortunately, it seems that quite a few translators don't read the forum here (and probably elsewhere), and wind up still being victims of fraud. The only good thing about this ugly business is that at least some agencies have wised up and are also doing their own fact-checking, but it is taking extra time and effort that could be used better doing other things.

I'm very sorry this happened to you, but it might also have been a good idea to protect yourself by reading up on this topic after the first time it happened. If you haven't already done so, also check into your country's policy on identity theft, and find out from the police or other authorities if there are any steps you can take from that end. As you can see from Natalie's link, Proz has been pretty pro-active on this for some time, and the translator-scammers site is a great resource. This is all a bit late to help you, but perhaps it can at least prevent you from becoming a victim a fourth time.


 

Tanguy Przybylski  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 08:39
Member (2008)
Japanese to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
CV deleted, thank you for your help Jul 25, 2014

Thank you very much for your precious help and advice.

>Thank you Natalia, sorry I didn't find the right forum in the first place.

>Thank you Christophe and Woodstock, I followed your advice and deleted my CVs from my profile.

The last time I was victim of Scam, the scammer did not used my full CV but only my name and some data that was on my public profile so I hesitated to delete my CV as I thought it might be harmful in case a real potential client wants to read my CV before contacting me. In fact, this time, because my CV was online, the person who received the scam was able to find my real CV and compare it to the scam and thus found out it was a scam.

But I have learned my lesson the hard way, I deleted my CVs from my profile and let a message for the potential clients who might want to read it to contact me.

I think one of the problems we face now makes difficult to fight efficiently against scammers because we need to be visible on the Internet in order to promote ourselves as we are freelancers but by doing so, we also become visible to the various bad people roaming the Net in order to find preys.

I really think a public link of all known scammers would help identify them but it will never be enough as anyone can create a mail address or even a website with a false identity easily

Blue board is useful but limited because some scammers will pick up the data in Proz without being members or find their preys elsewhere so it's not easy to track them. An agency with a good rate in the blue board would think twice (I think) before scamming within Proz because it would be identified quickly as scam.

Vigilance and communication are our best alliesicon_smile.gif


 


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