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Does this look like a scam?
Thread poster: Susana E. Cano Méndez

Susana E. Cano Méndez  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:48
Member
French to Spanish
+ ...
Aug 28, 2014

Hello, I have been sent an e-mail through Proz website by someone that is a basic user and is registered from july '14. They have a website that seems legit (in two languages, with phone numbers, set in UK). This is the message:

"Dear Susana,

Sorry to bother you. Can you please, send me a quote for a written translation of 33 pages of letter of attorney translated from English into French?

Thank you in advance.

Kind Regards,
XXX"

The letter is too short, too straightforward (we have never collaborated before), the amount of words is not small, well maybe I'm being too suspicious. I have written a short response with the quote.

What do you think?


 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 17:48
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
It could well be a scam (or not)... Aug 28, 2014

But am I to understand that you have sent a quote without seeing the document first?

 

Trinh Do  Identity Verified
Australia
Member (2007)
English to Vietnamese
+ ...
It could be a potential customer who has no idea of the market price Aug 28, 2014

Hi Susana,

It's common for customers to ask for a quote and they do not have any idea what the translation industry is like. The ball is in your field; most likely it is not a scam. Just demand a price that is worth your time.

Good luck!

Cheers, Trinh.


 

Susana E. Cano Méndez  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:48
Member
French to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Quote Aug 28, 2014

Teresa Borges wrote:

But am I to understand that you have sent a quote without seeing the document first?


Not really a quote, but my rates for this pair.


 

Susana E. Cano Méndez  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:48
Member
French to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Happy to see you're optimistic Aug 28, 2014

Trinh Do wrote:

Hi Susana,

It's common for customers to ask for a quote and they do not have any idea what the translation industry is like. The ball is in your field; most likely it is not a scam. Just demand a price that is worth your time.

Good luck!

Cheers, Trinh.


Well, Trinh, I have been very polite and I have demanded my normal rate.


 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 18:48
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Check them out Aug 28, 2014

Hello Susanna,

what strikes me as odd is, why would a potential client start an email to you (or any LSP) by apologizing for... well, yes, for a request for a quote on a possible job?

Set in the UK? Well, if the sender of the email and the company know each other, then why would said company have someone write the request for a quote who is actually capable of using "of" three times in one sentence and within 8 words? Well, 7 words and one number.

If this potential job interests you, go ahead and call the number stated on the website and ask to speak with that person.

Since the email was sent via ProZ.com their IP address will be listed, but Have you checked the email in the translator scammerdirectory?

You can also reply to that email and state your rate, then see what happens.


 

deleted. (X)
Australia
Local time: 13:48
English to Chinese
+ ...
33 pages Aug 28, 2014

33 pages and no previous dealings, I would be very cautious and will not start work until all sides are covered.

 

Julien Mulas  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 18:48
Member (2013)
English to French
Be careful... Aug 28, 2014

Hello everybody,

Be careful, I received this today:

"Dear Julien,

Sorry to bother you. Can you please, send me a quote for a
written translation of 6 pages of letter of attorney
translated from English into French?

Thank you in advance.

Kind Regards,
Elis
"

I vote for a scam.


 

Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
Danish to English
+ ...
It 'smells' wrong Aug 28, 2014

A recent Proz profile without Blue Board entries (you didn't say that, but that's what I presume) calls for caution.

Have you googled the company to try to find out more about them? I had a somewhat similar case recently, and nobody seemed to have heard about that company before. Their web site in Asia was written in poor English, and they claimed to be a translation agency. In your case, if they claim to be a translation agency and nobody has ever heard about them, it would sound suspect.

Is the Proz profile in the same name as the official company name, and is their web site domain name? If not, why? It's not difficult to set up a web site looking genuine even if there is no real business behind it. Are they in the Companies House register?

When it is impossible to determine if it is a scam or not, I take the way of precaution and decline, but we don't all have the same risk profile.


 

Enrique Cavalitto  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 13:48
Member (2006)
English to Spanish
Get verifiable contact information (and verify it) Aug 28, 2014

The first step when an unknown person contacts you with a work proposal is to get enough verifiable contact information and then verify it until you are confident about who you are dealing with. There are many tools for that (IP addresses, info in the web, Google, phone call, etc) and a lot has been written in this forum , the Scam alert center and related wiki pages.

If you know who you are dealing with, you still need to verify if then can be trusted with your confidence (other set of tools for this, such as the Blue Board, other similar tools, Google, etc.

Regards,
Enrique


 

Susana E. Cano Méndez  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:48
Member
French to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
You're right Aug 28, 2014

Thayenga wrote:

Hello Susanna,

what strikes me as odd is, why would a potential client start an email to you (or any LSP) by apologizing for... well, yes, for a request for a quote on a possible job?

Set in the UK? Well, if the sender of the email and the company know each other, then why would said company have someone write the request for a quote who is actually capable of using "of" three times in one sentence and within 8 words? Well, 7 words and one number.

If this potential job interests you, go ahead and call the number stated on the website and ask to speak with that person.

Since the email was sent via ProZ.com their IP address will be listed, but Have you checked the email in the translator scammerdirectory?

You can also reply to that email and state your rate, then see what happens.



Yes, it is odd that he apologized. And you're right, not a standard UK English, but I thought it was probably because it is a Russian-English company. I have their IP, their e-mail was not in the Scammers directory. I have already replied, but, once again you're right, I think I will phone.

Thanks Thayenga.


 

Susana E. Cano Méndez  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:48
Member
French to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I won't start working Aug 28, 2014

he-li wrote:

33 pages and no previous dealings, I would be very cautious and will not start work until all sides are covered.


No, he-li, I won't start working until all sides are clear to me. I will ask for 50% payment beforehand. If they ever reply...


 

Susana E. Cano Méndez  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:48
Member
French to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Same e-mail! Aug 28, 2014

Julien Mulas wrote:

Hello everybody,

Be careful, I received this today:

"Dear Julien,

Sorry to bother you. Can you please, send me a quote for a
written translation of 6 pages of letter of attorney
translated from English into French?

Thank you in advance.

Kind Regards,
Elis
"

I vote for a scam.


It was the same wording. Here 6 pages. Maybe they are sounding out 2 or more translators? hmm, fishy.


 

Susana E. Cano Méndez  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:48
Member
French to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Details about this company Aug 28, 2014

Thomas Frost wrote:

A recent Proz profile without Blue Board entries (you didn't say that, but that's what I presume) calls for caution.

Have you googled the company to try to find out more about them? I had a somewhat similar case recently, and nobody seemed to have heard about that company before. Their web site in Asia was written in poor English, and they claimed to be a translation agency. In your case, if they claim to be a translation agency and nobody has ever heard about them, it would sound suspect.

Is the Proz profile in the same name as the official company name, and is their web site domain name? If not, why? It's not difficult to set up a web site looking genuine even if there is no real business behind it. Are they in the Companies House register?

When it is impossible to determine if it is a scam or not, I take the way of precaution and decline, but we don't all have the same risk profile.


Thomas: They have a BB record, with 4,9 average rating, but though they have recently joined (2014), translators are rating them since 2007. Is this possible? I googled the company and been directed to a webpage that "looked" ok (more or less) written in Russian and English. The English was ok. They have another services that are a bit strange: "property and concierge" but no info is available about this. And yes, same name in my e-mail and on BB. Thanks for your advise.


 

Susana E. Cano Méndez  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:48
Member
French to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Verifying everything Aug 28, 2014

Enrique Cavalitto wrote:

The first step when an unknown person contacts you with a work proposal is to get enough verifiable contact information and then verify it until you are confident about who you are dealing with. There are many tools for that (IP addresses, info in the web, Google, phone call, etc) and a lot has been written in this forum , the Scam alert center and related wiki pages.

If you know who you are dealing with, you still need to verify if then can be trusted with your confidence (other set of tools for this, such as the Blue Board, other similar tools, Google, etc.

Regards,
Enrique


Thats' what I will do, thanks Enrique.


 
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