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What do you reckon - smells bad?
Thread poster: Sian Cooper

Sian Cooper  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 03:30
French to English
+ ...
Aug 24, 2015

Hi all. I have received a job inquiry from an outlook.fr email address. I shall hide the lady's name, in case it is real. She doesn't appear in the scammers directory, and it does not have all the usual features of a scam. Nonetheless, it is making my nose itch. Anyone else had something similar? Thoughts?

For the moment I have answered cautiously asking for more details, including details of the establishement/organisation/company she is working with, and a phone number; and to have a look at the doc.

Thanks!


Bonjour

Je suis [name] . Je réside actuellement au Sénégal. Je suis à la recherche d'un traducteur, pour la traduction du Français vers l’anglais, d’un document de 105 pages qui servira de support de programme scolaire ou universitaire.

Je m’adresse à vous pour vous proposer le projet de traduction du document .Je suis désormais à votre disposition pour de future conversation et pour vous faire parvenir une copie. Afin que vous puissiez voir la cible, les objectifs. Ensuite me dire en combien de temps vous pouvez finir et me faire un devis.

je dispose d’un budget de 13000 € pour la traduction, (révision et correction). La traduction sera destinée à des fins pédagogiques dans les universités d’Afrique de l’ouest.

Délais de livraison la traduction : 4 mois.

Nb : je serais heureuse si vous me mettez en contact avec un collègue qui puisse faire ma traduction dans le cas où vous ne pouvez pas faire la traduction du français à l’anglais.


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Susana E. Cano Méndez  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:30
Member
French to Spanish
+ ...
Yes it does Aug 24, 2015

Hello, Sian.

It does smell bad in my opinion.

French is bad (not fit at all for an academic person from Sénégal).
She tells you her budget before knowing your fees (not a single person/company would do this, in my opinion).
Why a University from Sénégal would need an English text instead of the original in French (maybe for Ghana)?

Be careful and stay safe.


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Joakim Braun  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 03:30
German to Swedish
+ ...
Somewhat fishy Aug 24, 2015

"Je réside actuellement au Sénegal". Scammers often try to impress with irrelevant travel schedules.
"programme scolaire ou universitaire" - she doesn't know which?

Why not hire a local translator instead of someone on another continent?
There should be thousands of people available who write excellent English and know something about local academia.

And 13,000 EUR is way too much, and 4 months way too long, and an outlook.fr address isn't what someone with a 13,000 EUR translation budget would be likely to use.


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 02:30
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Yes, it does... Aug 24, 2015

... and anyway the budget is extremely low. I have no idea how much you charge, but 13,000 € : 105 pages = 123.80 € : 300 words = 0.412 for translation + revision!!!

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Sian Cooper  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 03:30
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Yes, thanks for confirming my feelings Aug 24, 2015

Thanks Susanna. As you say, giving the budget up front like that is certainly dodgy. If she hadn't done that, my nose would have been a lot happier.

In her defense, the French is of much better quality than the language used in most of the scam mails I get! (ok that isn't saying much...)

Anyway... I'll let you know if she answers and seems any more real; if she looks like a definite scam, I'll provide her name/email for us all to enjoy.


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 02:30
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Way too much? Aug 24, 2015

Joakim Braun wrote:

And 13,000 EUR is way too much, and 4 months way too long, and an outlook.fr address isn't what someone with a 13,000 EUR translation budget would be likely to use.


Or... are my maths wrong?


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Katarzyna Slowikova  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:30
Polish to Czech
+ ...
Have you noticed... Aug 24, 2015

... most scam emails tend to begin with "I am/my name is XY"?
I believe it works also the other way round.
I'd discard it after reading the 1st sentence (or continue reading just for amusement, admit).
Have fun with your scammer.
Kat


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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:30
French to English
Interpretation Aug 24, 2015

Teresa Borges wrote:

Joakim Braun wrote:

And 13,000 EUR is way too much, and 4 months way too long, and an outlook.fr address isn't what someone with a 13,000 EUR translation budget would be likely to use.


Or... are my maths wrong?


Your maths looks fine. You seem, however, to be of the opinion that 41.2 cents/word is a low rate. Please let me know if you have any French to English work you'd like to outsource


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Michael Le Cruguel
France
Local time: 03:30
English to French
Same email Aug 24, 2015

I received the same email last night and looked for the address on Google as it looked quite dodgy.

You can find it on the Translator Scammers Directory (http://www.translator-scammers.com/translator-scammers-emails.htm).


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 02:30
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Well, well! Aug 24, 2015

Charlie Bavington wrote:

Teresa Borges wrote:

Joakim Braun wrote:

And 13,000 EUR is way too much, and 4 months way too long, and an outlook.fr address isn't what someone with a 13,000 EUR translation budget would be likely to use.


Or... are my maths wrong?


Your maths looks fine. You seem, however, to be of the opinion that 41.2 cents/word is a low rate. Please let me know if you have any French to English work you'd like to outsource


It seems that I know my maths, but apparently I do need a new pair of glasses as I wrote correctly but read 0.0412... Sorry!


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Sian Cooper  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 03:30
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Yup it looks bad eh :) Aug 24, 2015

Thanks all for your replies. I am usually really good at identifying and discarding scams, but for some reason this lady got past my defences just enough to solicit a response from me. I'm not really sure why.

Yes, she starts with "I am/my name is" (totally right, Kat, and indeed I usually don't get past that first sentence).

Yes, she includes irrelevant information about current geographic situation.

Yes, the French isn't brill.

Yes, an outlook.fr address is far from reassuring.

Yes, she mentions the budget, which acts as a tempting lump of money and is quite abnormal.

Yes, I think it works out as an attractive rate (by my maths, depending on the word count, it could be anything from 0.25€/word to twice that) (translation+revision+proofreading).

Yes, of course it could be done much faster.

And she is looking for details of other translators to scam.

I'm still going to wait to see how/if she responds before publishing her details, but I'm sure she's a fake.


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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:30
French to English
Served a useful purpose Aug 24, 2015

Teresa Borges wrote:

It seems that I know my maths, but apparently I do need a new pair of glasses as I wrote correctly but read 0.0412... Sorry!


No worries. It has served to highlight the suspiciously generous nature of the proposal, especially given the geographical area concerned and the academic field, not famously awash with filthy lucre. I wouldn't bother with an amateurish textual analysis or gross generalisations on the basis of the email service used. The bare facts of the proposal alone are enough to make me wary. It seems designed to appeal to the recipient's greed, rather than constitute a serious proposal.


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ibz  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:30
Member (2007)
English to German
+ ...
Definitely scam Aug 24, 2015

I know this message and received it several times over the last couple of years, exactly the same wording. So I would say it's definitely not a genuine outsourcer.

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Alistair Gainey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:30
Member (2009)
Russian to English
If it looks like a canard... Aug 24, 2015

If you google the phrase 'Je suis à la recherche d'un traducteur, pour la traduction du Français', you'll see a few links to similar 'jobs'. One has already been discussed on here at http://www.proz.com/forum/portuguese/254543-cuidado_com_as_fraudes_por_e_mail.html



[Edited at 2015-08-24 10:51 GMT]

[Edited at 2015-08-24 10:53 GMT]


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Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:30
French to English
Rate - too good to be true Aug 24, 2015

Consider the following :
1 page = 400 words
105 pages = 400 x 105
Total estimated volume = 42,000 words

Budget = 13,000€
Rate = budget / n° words ST
Offer = app. 0.30€ per word

Even if 800 words were to be squeezed onto a page, which is no doubt not the case, for that volume, well, it is too good to be true. Most would negotiate a reduction in rate for such a volume.

However, it is not that uncommon for potential clients to state their budget. Usually though, it is to inform a potential translator that they have 13€ to pay for the translation of 105 pages.

Either way round, it cannot be a serious offer.


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