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Is this another scam?
Thread poster: Susana E. Cano Méndez

Susana E. Cano Méndez  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:01
Member
French to Spanish
+ ...
Mar 1, 2015

Hello, fellow-translators,

I have been sent two e-mails via Proz.com as follows (I didn't reply to first):

"Hello,

My name is ---. I represent a new translation company -- --- Translations. We are currently looking for qualified translators to translate from English into French relatively easy manuals on smartphones, etc.
If you are interested, please let us know.

Rate: 0,07 per word
Volume: about 50 pages per week; long-term
Payment terms: 50% advance payment, 50% after separate project
stages

(signature)"

In his first e-mail, this person didn't mention any rate or volume and I discarded it, full of suspicions. He said their webpage was under construction, which I find it was true (a practically blank webpage). The profile of the company (from Russian Federation) has almost nothing in it, but they are a paying member since late 2014 (registered since 2012). Their BB is under his personal name and no entries have been recorded yet (but he has written an entry for an outsourcer that seems legit).

I'm wondering if I'm being too picky and this person is just a newbie in the industry, or is this another scam.

What do you think?

TIA!

[edition: I forgot to tell you that I replied via Proz.com and he has sent me a third e-mail asking me to send my CV to a strange @mail.ru address (not under his name or the company's).]

[Edited at 2015-03-01 12:18 GMT]


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Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:01
Member (2014)
French to Danish
+ ...
I received something similar Mar 1, 2015

I received something similar yesterday, although the wording is a bit different:

"Hello,
My name is {English-sounding first name, Russian surname}. I represent {company name with two English words, the first usually being used in contexts of passenger transportation}.
We are currently looking for highly qualified translators from Danish into English to take part in long-term projects in the following fields: legal, finance, IT, corporate, literature, banking, engineering.
Please forward the replies to the email. Please specify in the letter your approximate minimum rates for medium difficulty texts and specify your preferred fields.
Please attach your CV. Please specify in the subject of the letter your language pair, for instance, German – English.
Best regards,
{English-sounding first name, Russian surname}"


The profile of the company (from Russian Federation) has almost nothing in it, but they are a paying member since late 2014 (registered since 2012). Their BB is under his personal name and no entries have been recorded yet


Same thing.

I could find no web site or any Google hits for the company, and a lookup in the Russian company register gave no hits, but that could be because of an alphabet mismatch. A Google search on the address didn't give any hits either.

It does look dubious.

Apart from that, the conflict between "highly qualified translators" and "minimum rates" doesn't look promising. I think I'll pass.


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 23:01
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Me too! Mar 1, 2015

I received a very similar email one or two days ago. Can’t point out exactly what it was but something sounded fishy to me as it went directly to the bin (that’s usually where most of these emails end up anyway)...

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Aakash5555
India
Local time: 03:31
Member (2014)
English to Hindi
+ ...
I too received a similar mail Mar 1, 2015

Hi,
I also received a similar mail from this person not only once but twice today. I think this person is sending these mails to almost all the Translators registered in proz.


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Tony M  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 00:01
Member
French to English
+ ...
Me too — binned it! Mar 1, 2015

I didn't initially suspect an actual scam, but the fact that the writer 'forgot' to say he was based in Russia (which I subsequently discovered from the IP address) doesn't exactly inspire confidence for an open and frank futrue relationship; then again, given the difficulties of payment transfers with certain of the former Eastern Block countries, I wouldn't even consider doing business with someone in Russia without VERY STRONG safeguards first.

In any case, the rate offered was WAY too low for me to accept — most of the enquiries I receive from Eastern European countries are very cordial and promising, UNTIL I mention rates, when they almost invariably throw up their hands in horro and say "You're too expensive!" If I bother to reply at all, my usual response is "No, YOU're too cheapskate!"

I'm glad to say I no longer need customers like these.


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LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:01
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
.07 a word = Mar 1, 2015

Definite scam!!!

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Nicholasl  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 18:01
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
Run - Run Far Away! Mar 1, 2015

Yes, the mysterious address quoted in Susana's post sounds far from promising. Maybe the Russian Federal Security Service is short of good translators and is trying to outsource??
.
Seriously, there are no doubt some good, bona fide Russian translation companies around, but this doesn't seem to be one of them.


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Susana E. Cano Méndez  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:01
Member
French to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks... Mar 1, 2015

... to all of you...

Fortunately, I haven't sent anything, not even my rates.

Have a good -and free of scammers- Sunday!

[Edited at 2015-03-01 16:42 GMT]


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Kevin Fulton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:01
German to English
Might not be a scam as such ... Mar 1, 2015

... but yet another would-be "agency" that doesn't have its act together.

Best policy is to avoid getting involved if you have any doubts about an inquiry. There are already plenty of well-run agencies. There's no need to encourage scamsters or even amateurs.


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Faruk Atabeyli  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 01:01
Member (2009)
English to Turkish
+ ...
Russian to Klingon Mar 1, 2015

I received a similar message. The sender has a BB record but no entries. They recently posted for a Russian to Klingon translator (and someone actually quoted).

[Edited at 2015-03-02 05:38 GMT]


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Susana E. Cano Méndez  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:01
Member
French to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Unbelievable Mar 1, 2015

Faruk Atabeyli wrote:

They recently posted for a Russian to Klingon translator (and someone actually quoted).




OMG, nobody reported this?

[Edited at 2015-03-02 07:36 GMT]


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dianaft  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:01
Member (2013)
German to English
+ ...
Why not? Mar 1, 2015

Faruk Atabeyli wrote:
They recently posted for a Russian to Klingon translator (and someone actually quoted).



I know a few die-hard Star Trek fans who spend their holidays at role-play meetings arranged all over the world. They speak Klingon at these events (and sometimes at home, which is really annoying when you visit). Arguably, it's not their native language, but they certainly attained a reasonable level of Klingon language skills. There's a Klingon language institute and Klingon dictionaries. You can do Klingon language courses and gain proficiency certificates. For this niche market, there is merchandise in Klingon. You can buy a limited range of books. Meetings are advertised in this language, forums are held entirely in it. This target market might be bigger and have bigger buying power than some of the rarer "natural" languages would provide.

[Edited at 2015-03-01 18:29 GMT]

[Edited at 2015-03-02 02:49 GMT]


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Susana E. Cano Méndez  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:01
Member
French to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Sorry Mar 1, 2015

dianaft wrote:
There's a Klingon language institute and Klingon dictionaries. You can do Klingon language courses and gain proficiency certificates. For this niche market, there is merchandise in Klingon. You can buy a limited range of books. Meetings are advertised in this language, forums are held entirely in it. This target market might be bigger and have bigger buying power than some of the rarer "natural" languages would provide.

[Edited at 2015-03-01 18:29 GMT]


I should have held my tongue, then O_O.


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Sery Media  Identity Verified
South Korea
Local time: 00:01
Korean to English
+ ...
I received one as well. Mar 1, 2015

The exact same wording as below, only with different language pairs. It must be a mass email campaign by a new setup - at best. If not, then maybe this post does belong in this category.
As a side-note, the concept of artificially constructed languages like Klingon is fascinating. Although what Russian - Klingon was doing in a Chinese project post is rather baffling.


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Vanda Nissen  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 08:01
Member (2008)
English to Russian
+ ...
If you need a hand... Mar 1, 2015

I can search the company's name in Russian.

Mail.ru is a free email service in Russia, similiar to hotmail.

The whole thing sounds fishy to me, and yes, rates offered by the Russian companies are usually extremely low. I do not have a single customer from the Russian Federation, or as a matter of fact from Eastern Europe although I work with Russian. They simply cannot afford me.


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