Possible scam from Canada?
Thread poster: Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)

Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 18:56
Member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
Jul 25, 2015

I met with a suspicious translation agency that uses Canadian address.
The job I did for this agency was so small and I did not check for Proz.com Blueboard and the agency's website address. This made me fail to add the new Blueboard agency name (proz.com site rejected entry without a valid website address).
I raise the issue here to warn Proz.users to avoid this agency where I can never use Search Engine to access to its true office, address, email etc.
All details I have are:

Miriam West < miriamwest84 @ gmail. com >
Silver Wings Translations
Where quality and timeline excels
42 Cumberland Street,
Toronto, ON M5R 3V1,
Canada

Quoting Proz, I got the contact of "URGENT ENGLISH TO THAI TRANSLATION OF UN LEGAL DOCS" job but this contact person (PM) assigned me a smaller job later. I instruct her (?) to process with quality management standards e.g. 2nd person review.

About one week later, this contact person told me to correct the translation job by saying that the document was not accepted by the authority. This agency never pays me.
I never see any professional response out of this PM.

Soonthon Lupkitaro


[Edited at 2015-07-25 01:14 GMT]

[Edited at 2015-07-25 01:15 GMT]

[Edited at 2015-07-25 02:47 GMT]


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Tony M  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 12:56
Member
French to English
+ ...
Blue Board Jul 25, 2015

Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.) wrote:

The job I did for this agency was so small and I did not check for Proz.com Blueboard and the agency's website address. This made me fail to add the new Blueboard agency name (proz.com site rejected entry without a valid website address).


The website address is not one of the required fields for adding a new BB entry — I think there must have been some other problem with your submission.

But are you sure this is really what you say? What if there really was a problem with your translation? OK, the agency seems to have handled it rather sloppily, but one ought not to assume dishonesty without some proof.

Can you give ProZ. the reference to the original job posting? That might help them to trace it back... maybe via a support request?

PS: I have submitted a Blue Board entry request on your behalf, you should soon see it appear and be able to add your comment to it.

Do note that the fact this person uses a free Gmail address is often viewed by many users as a warning sign — at the very least, of a lack of professionalism, and at worst, as a sign of having something to hide.

[Modifié le 2015-07-25 06:39 GMT]


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Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 18:56
Member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Gmail account Jul 25, 2015

Tony M wrote:
What if there really was a problem with your translation?

Do note that the fact this person uses a free Gmail address is often viewed by many users as a warning sign — at the very least, of a lack of professionalism, and at worst, as a sign of having something to hide.

[Modifié le 2015-07-25 06:39 GMT]


I have already written to instruct the agency to proceed with translation quality management processes (due to job urgency), this is a type of translation specifications in general translation quality standards.
I use Proz.com services from 1999 and I fully aware that the free email account is a sign of warning but this trend changes a bit in recent years.
Many thanks that you successfully add entry of this agency into the BlueBoard section of Proz.com.

Best regards,

Soonthon L.

[Edited at 2015-07-25 10:38 GMT]


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Tony M  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 12:56
Member
French to English
+ ...
Blue Board entry available Jul 25, 2015

The Blue Board entry has been approved, so you can now go and leave a comment there; that is the only approved place for such comments, and this thread is likely to get deleted.

http://www.proz.com/blueboard/44987

[Modifié le 2015-07-26 07:55 GMT]


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Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 18:56
Member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Jul 26, 2015

Tony M wrote:

The Blue Board entry has been approved, so you can now go and leave a comment there; that is the only approved palce for such comments, and this thread is likely to get deleted.

http://www.proz.com/blueboard/44987


Thanks but it is likely to be tedious to utilize Proz.com to protect honest translators and agencies. Please see message below:

The LWA (Likelihood of Working Again) feedback entry you made for SILVER WINGS TRANSLATION, on Blue Board record http://www.proz.com/blueboard/44987, was rejected for the following reason: Certain conditions must be met before Blue Board entries can be made,
....
Do not reply to this message; your reply will not be read.

Soonthon L.


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Tony M  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 12:56
Member
French to English
+ ...
TEDIOUS?! Jul 26, 2015

Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.) wrote:

Thanks but it is likely to be tedious to utilize Proz.com to protect honest translators and agencies.


If your true motives are "to protect honest translators and agencies", then I really wouldn't have felt "tedious" ought to enter into it!

If your entry was rejected, then perhaps to avoid future 'tedium' you need to review the way you express yourself in EN.

There is another list, whose name I forget but which has been mentioned many times already in the forums, run independently by an individual seeking to provide a one-stop venue for reporting abuses of various kinds within our community.

Now here's a thought:
why couldn't ProZ.com automatically create a fresh BlueBoard entry for every organization posting a job offer?
That way (just as it is displayed for existing BlueBoard records) people wishing to apply for the job would have their attention drawn to the BlueBoard, and the possible absence of any entries, and would be encouraged perhaps to go back and make an entry later, after completing the job. And it would certainly be a gesture of good faith...


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Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 18:56
Member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
In this particular case Jul 31, 2015

I just got a valuable "red flag" regarding this case as I partially show below.

Author: xxxxxxxxx
Author's Profile: http://www.proz.com/profile/xxxxxxxxx
Author's IP address: xxxxxxxxx
-----------

Hi Dr Soonthon

I just received an identical request from xxxxxxxxx Translations for English to Indonesian translation of UN legal documents, but the (alleged) author was xxxxxxxxx.

Thank you for alerting us to this possible scam!

Best regards,

xxxxxxxxx
Indonesian to English translator


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Rita Pang  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 06:56
Member (2011)
Chinese to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
... Jul 31, 2015

I live in Toronto, and from what I recall, 42 Cumberland Street is a shopping mall (underground shopping mall strip) located opposite to one of our subway system's busiest stops. It'd be insane to rent an office there for translation work - you'll have to make a heck lot to remain sustainable. It's located in the core of downtown Toronto.

I remember 42 Cumberland having a bunch of food courts and small shops, and there are office buildings nearby, but chances are this is a scam indeed.

Good luck.


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Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 18:56
Member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Google Map and global friends Aug 1, 2015

Rita Pang wrote:

I live in Toronto, and from what I recall, 42 Cumberland Street is a shopping mall (underground shopping mall strip) located opposite to one of our subway system's busiest stops. It'd be insane to rent an office there for translation work - you'll have to make a heck lot to remain sustainable. It's located in the core of downtown Toronto.

I remember 42 Cumberland having a bunch of food courts and small shops, and there are office buildings nearby, but chances are this is a scam indeed.

Good luck.


Thanks a lot, Rita Pang.
I also doubtfully checked the location of this agency with Google Map since I live in the opposite hemisphere.
The Internet search of registered enterprise of Canada as well as phone registration also hit nothing.

I remember the day I first participated in Proz.com and assist Proz.com to develop this helpful website for global translators, interpreters and agencies. I was quite happy we could share information. I hope we still freely and sincerely share matters in constructive ways for sake of this career.

Best regards,

Soonthon L.

[Edited at 2015-08-01 07:43 GMT]


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Lara Daibert  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 09:56
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Same case Aug 4, 2015

I have just received contact from this same "agency", under the name of Steve Jonathan.
They were asking for: URGENT PORTUGUESE TO ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF COURT CASES
He said there were 21 pages and the rate was excellent, which made me think of it as suspicious.
Before taking it, I looked for their website (didn't find any). But I found this post, thank God!
I believe our colleagues should be aware of this!


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Laura Frazer
United States
Local time: 04:56
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Scam indeed Oct 3, 2015

Unfortunately I did some work for them - also someone using the name Silver Wings Translation (which had an actual website when I checked), e-mail sender's initials (since I cannot post his full name) S.J.. Invoice sent, no response, payment overdue by 20 days now. From the looks of it, it seems that I will not be receiving any payments.

Is there a way to post a big warning here so that more people don't fall for it like I did?


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Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 18:56
Member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I wish I have Oct 6, 2015

Laura Frazer wrote:

Unfortunately I did some work for them - also someone using the name Silver Wings Translation (which had an actual website when I checked), e-mail sender's initials (since I cannot post his full name) S.J.. Invoice sent, no response, payment overdue by 20 days now. From the looks of it, it seems that I will not be receiving any payments.

Is there a way to post a big warning here so that more people don't fall for it like I did?



I wish I have a better way to warn against such cyber crime.

Soonthon L.


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Alexander Saksonov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 13:56
Member (2005)
English to Russian
+ ...
Same case, but a little different names Mar 10, 2016

I was contacted by this person/modified agency too and thanks to this post I avoided losses - this is obviously a scammer.

Here's the message I received:

"Dear Alexander
We came across your profile in translatorscafe.com. We are in urgent need of a English to Russian translator for translation of a Gorgian Government Doc. containing 11000 words. We are paying $0.12 per source words for this urgent translation. We need it by 15th March, Tuesday.
If you are interested, please let me know ASAP. We will provide you the file to go through before finalizing the offer with you.
Regards
Jonathan Cruze
--
Rockforce Translations
Where quality and timeline excels
56 Hazelton Ave.
Toronto, ON M5R 3V1,
Canada


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Homebody
Local time: 14:56
Russian to English
+ ...
Same case, but a little different names - the same e-mail to me Mar 10, 2016

Oh, I also received the same e-mail today from Rockforce Translation.
I tried to find their website, but found none, and luckily I saw this forum topic.
Thanks for saving my time!


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