Probable Scam
Thread poster: Henry Hinds

Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:56
English to Spanish
+ ...
Sep 5, 2014

This person is registered with Proz.com with an empty profile. A search of the IP address shows Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. I do not know where else to report it. It has all the appearances of a scam, poor English and all:

Good Morning, I have a 2500 words book to translate from English Language to Spanish Language. Please Kindly send mea E-mail to lawrencelawn@outlook.com with how much youwill charge to do the translation and the time it will take youto get it done and we can get started as soon as possible. I want toknow I am gonna pay you upfront before you start the writing. Thanks so much


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 07:56
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Advanced payment fraud? Sep 5, 2014

Hi Henry,

you just might be right about this being a possible advanced payment fraud. I somehow is a basic user here on ProZ.com with a "snow-white (empty) profile page, then this person might (I am not saying that he or she is!) have fraudulous intentions.

Thank you for reporting it here.

Best,

Thayenga


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 06:56
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
It looks Sep 5, 2014

very much like one of those "accidental" overpayments by cheque...

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Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:56
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Also telling here... Sep 5, 2014

...is the poor English, the poverty of content, and the immediate willingness to conclude a deal in the absence of negotiation (and without even having asked if the recipient is available to do the work or interested in the project).

I will bet all my Browniez that this is a scam.


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 06:56
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
+ a book of... Sep 5, 2014

Robert Forstag wrote:

...is the poor English, the poverty of content, and the immediate willingness to conclude a deal in the absence of negotiation (and without even having asked if the recipient is available to do the work or interested in the project).

I will bet all my Browniez that this is a scam.


... 2500 words!!!!


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Ginnett Zabala  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:56
English to Spanish
+ ...
Thanks for your postings...i was in doubt about this job.. Sep 6, 2014

this poster contacted me by email:

"Thanks so much, I will pay you $150 for it in total, because I want you to do a good job and take ur time to do it and I want to make sure we deal directly to make it work fast. Pls let me have ur name and address with phone number to send u a check for the payment today by UPS overnight delivery after you have the payment, you can then start translating. The translation will be delivered by E-Mail after completion. I will also mail you the book as well.


I will be waiting for the name and address pls. Thanks

Best Regards"

I found it weird that he wants to pay before I even get the file and also all the text abbreviations did not seem professional.

I have been a victim of this before, thankfully, I did not cash the check or send them the "accidental over payment", but it was a very large file and I wasted a few days on it. I took the check directly to the police station.


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GRI BUONGIORNE  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:56
English to Spanish
+ ...
Lawrence Lawn <lawrencelawn@outlook.com> SCAMMER Sep 6, 2014

SCAM ALERT

I got the same email from this guy a few minutes ago...

>


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IanDhu  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 07:56
Member (2005)
French to English
Watch for anything out of the ordinary Sep 8, 2014

Ginnett Zabala wrote:

I found it weird that he wants to pay before I even get the file and also all the text abbreviations did not seem professional.

I did not cash the check or send them the "accidental over payment", but it was a very large file and I wasted a few days on it. I took the check directly to the police station.



Good for you, Ginnett;

The point I made in a post on TranslatorsCafe about an advance-payment fraud that I narrowly eluded was exactly what you hinted at in the quote here: you should be watchful of anything out of the ordinary course of the translation business. That can be evidenced among others by poor spelling, slangy usage or flawed English syntax, incomplete or incoherent sentences, an amateurish tone or approach. Naturally, I'm not referring to an occasional lapse by a client in the normal course whose mother tongue isn't English (in my language pair). The client's website should of course be letter-perfect.

Another out-of-the ordinary feature that may crop up is the pretended client playing on the translator's sympathy. The fraudster I was dealing with alleged that she was handicapped, which surely isn't something normally adduced in a transaction with a professional work provider.

The other major "criterion of discernment" is straightforward: you had the same experience as I had, the unusual mode of payment, possibly using out-of-the ordinary payment instruments, and involving advance payment. With hindsight, this must surely point to the supposed client instrumentalising translation for a hidden purpose.

The footnote to my near-mishap will perhaps make you smile: I trudged all round the different legal authorities, the police, who referred me to the Tribunal d'Instance, who referred me to the Tribunal de Grande Instance - yes, the run-around! And finally, I was directed to a special law-enforcement division dealing with cybercrime. After one rather baffling response to a phone call there, I got thoroughly brassed off with the whole schermozzle and just filed the forged cheques in case somebody stopped passing the buck and took an interest.

France where I live and work, and whose people I love, has a Latin culture, and making headway with the law sometimes depends on who and how important one is. I found better going with the translators' fora. We have to look after ourselves and each in a brotherly way.

To sum up, look your client up and down, even if ostensibly respectable; look for anything out of the ordinary, anything that doesn't add up.

With kind regards,

Adam Warren,
(IanDhu - translator/41189)


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Tony M  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 07:56
Member
French to English
+ ...
Another sign Sep 8, 2014

I have nearly got caught out on some of these myself, and where the signs in the original e-mail are not particularly obvious, or leave some room for doubt, I always look at the file for translation and do 2 things:

1) Scroll right down to the end of the document — many of the examples I've seen just stop dead at some random point, the text is truncated; a sure sign it's not legit!

2) If the text does appear to be a logical whole, then I try Googling a key phrase out of it — almost every time, I find the original source of the document on the Internet, which is also a pretty sure sign it's a scam!


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Jenn Mercer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:56
Member (2009)
French to English
Received this today Sep 10, 2014

"Lawrence Lawn" is now saying the book is 5,000 words long. Deleted the email and spread the word. I don't think these scammers have any idea how well connected translators are.

[Edited at 2014-09-10 13:20 GMT]


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Preston Decker  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:56
Member (2013)
Chinese to English
Ask if they accept Paypal Sep 10, 2014

Agree that these are usually pretty easy to spot, but if you want to make sure (at least as to whether or not this is a check overpayment scam), ask in your reply if they will pay via Paypal. If they respond with "I'm sorry, but I only can pay by check", then you've got your answer

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Anna Carter
United States
Local time: 01:56
Member (2013)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Same scam, 5000 words, Sep 10, 2014

I received the probable scam as well. It says it got my name from najit.org, where I am listed.
The tell-tale sign for me is when the scammer wants me to do a translation, but asks me what language pair I work in. That and all the other hints sent this one to my spam folder. I am glad that my fellow translators at ProZ are working together to beat scammers. Thanks!
Anna
It read:
Good Morning,
I saw your contact on www.najit.org. I have a small book of 5000 words that I want to get it translated, Please Let me know
1) What Language source do you translate from?
2) What language can you translate to?
3) How much does it cost to get it translated.

I will be waiting to hear from you soonest so that we can get started.


ThanksTR


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Ginnett Zabala  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:56
English to Spanish
+ ...
another possible scam Sep 12, 2014

Have received 2emails from different people, but same IP address
Author's IP address: 74.217.200.86
Message type: Job-related
-----------

HI, Can you help me and translate an article? Please confirm
your language combination ..Thanks


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