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An weird agency - does anyone know about them?
Thread poster: boostrer

boostrer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:25
Member (2007)
English to Russian
+ ...
Mar 17, 2016

Hi,

I have received an email asking to translate EU materials. The rate was reasonable and fairly good. They said that they found me on PROZ.

However, their PM uses gmail, and it doesn't look like they have a site; neither I was able to find any information about them over the Internet.

This is their information and address:
White Interpreting and Translating Service
2/340 Bourke St
Melbourne
VIC 3000 Australia

The PM's name is Katherine White

Has anyone worked for them? If yes, what is your experience?

Thank you!


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Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:25
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
If in doubt, walk away, right? Mar 17, 2016

boostrer wrote:
However, their PM uses gmail, and it doesn't look like they have a site; neither I was able to find any information about them over the Internet.

Nothing on the Blue Board, nothing on paymentpractices.net, no web site, "PM" uses gmail address - I think you know that it isn't worth the risk.

Regards
Dan


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texjax DDS PhD  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:25
Member (2006)
English to Italian
+ ...
IP address Mar 17, 2016

Did you check whether the IP address is Australian?

That might provide a clue.

Good luck!


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boostrer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:25
Member (2007)
English to Russian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
2 texjax Mar 17, 2016

Thank you. It's a good advice.
The IP is Australian, but the location is far from Melbourne.


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mag013
Local time: 06:25
Italian to English
+ ...
Address Mar 17, 2016

I live in Melbourne. There is a building at 338-352 Bourke St. There is no 340 Bourke St.

Also, she is not listed as a business in the local phone book and its pointless looking up a common name like K White as there would be several.


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boostrer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:25
Member (2007)
English to Russian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
2mag Mar 17, 2016

mag013 wrote:

I live in Melbourne. There is a building at 338-352 Bourke St. There is no 340 Bourke St.

Also, she is not listed as a business in the local phone book and its pointless looking up a common name like K White as there would be several.



Thank you, it's very helpful, because Google Maps did find this address.


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deryaun  Identity Verified
Turkey
Member (2016)
English to Turkish
White? Mar 18, 2016

boostrer wrote:

Hi,

I have received an email asking to translate EU materials. The rate was reasonable and fairly good. They said that they found me on PROZ.

However, their PM uses gmail, and it doesn't look like they have a site; neither I was able to find any information about them over the Internet.

This is their information and address:
White Interpreting and Translating Service
2/340 Bourke St
Melbourne
VIC 3000 Australia

The PM's name is Katherine White

Has anyone worked for them? If yes, what is your experience?

Thank you!


Hi,

Looks like they are not a "white service" , in fact the opposite is probably true as the question "why a professional wants to hide contact points? can it be because they are in "black service" biz? I am just saying

All the best
Derya

[Edited at 2016-03-18 02:37 GMT]


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Stepan Konev  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 23:25
English to Russian
Pay before work Mar 18, 2016

Who cares of their wierdness if they can pay 100% upfront...
Ask for full prepayment. It's easy


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 22:25
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Not all "agencies" have web sites Mar 18, 2016

boostrer wrote:
[surname] Interpreting and Translating Service
The PM's name is Katherine [surname]


Does not sound suspicious.

However, their PM uses gmail, and it doesn't look like they have a site; neither I was able to find any information about them over the Internet.


Does not look suspicious either. Several translators that I do know do exist are not on LinkedIn etc, have non-public Facebook accounts etc, do not have web sites, and use cheap e-mail services.

mag013 wrote:
There is a building at 338-352 Bourke St. There is no 340 Bourke St.


What would "2/340" mean in Melbourne?

Also, she is not listed as a business in the local phone book...


Is it free to have a listing as a business in a Melbourne phone book? Or must you pay for the listing?



[Edited at 2016-03-18 06:53 GMT]


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MamaG  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:25
French to English
+ ...
I got one of these (strange mail) from another person with initials K.W. Mar 18, 2016

...but not the person you mention.

This person asked for my rate first and then sent a base64 "PDF" attachment I am scared to open.
I just have a funny feeling - very little info except to ask for my rate and then to ask for a quote. But
the salutation was...odd.

That said, I have been written to through this site by perfectly valid real people (yes, some with poor English) who turned out to be very honest and good customers.

edit: checked IP address and they are not in Oz...



[Edited at 2016-03-18 08:00 GMT]


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Dani Karuniawan  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 03:25
English to Indonesian
+ ...
Be aware Mar 18, 2016

boostrer wrote:

Thank you. It's a good advice.
The IP is Australian, but the location is far from Melbourne.


Be aware!
1) IP address could be masked using proxy.
2) No real photo/ name = doubting

[Edited at 2016-03-18 09:21 GMT]


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Katarzyna Slowikova  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:25
Polish to Czech
+ ...
Why don't you ask HER? Mar 18, 2016

I'm always left wondering why people prefer to ask in this group, where we know nothing more then what you tell us, and then indulge in all sorts of speculation and conspiracy theories instead of just asking the suspicious client.

Do you have something like a VAT number in Australia and a registry of business subjects (incl. small freelancers)? If so, that'd be my question. Asking for a prepayment.... it can be a good tactic if they send you like 200-300% of the amount, otherwise I can't imagine any of agencies I know to be willing to do this (i.e. to send a genuine prepayment). So imho it'd actually be a sign the agency is legit, if they refuse.

My thought was also it can be a small one-person agency but I've been working for a couple of them and even the tiniest always had a website (though some use free email addresses). It's no special costs or trouble nowadays, so why wouldn't they have one.... but again, the right person to answer this would be the "owner".

[Edited at 2016-03-18 11:14 GMT]

[Edited at 2016-03-18 11:15 GMT]


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Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:25
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
Not sure how that would work? Mar 18, 2016

Katarzyna Slowikova wrote:
but again, the right person to answer this would be the "owner".


Here's how that conversation might go.
OP: "So, are you a scammer?"
Scammer: (in tones of amazement) "Yes, actually I am! I... But... How did you know?! Drat! I will immediately give myself up to the nearest police station."
OP: "Hah, justice shall prevail!"

Here's a more likely conversation.
OP: "So, are you a scammer?"
Scammer: (calmly) "No."
OP: "Er... okay."

Regards
Dan

[Edited at 2016-03-18 10:48 GMT]


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mag013
Local time: 06:25
Italian to English
+ ...
Good questions Mar 18, 2016

'What would "2/340" mean in Melbourne?'

In a big city, it is a nonsensical number as all addresses in big buildings would have to specify the floor level and room number, as well as street number.

Again, No. 340 does not exist. No. 338–352 consists of an old historical building, and is actually one of the most famous addresses in Melbourne: the old, main post office. Google Melbourne GPO.

'Is it free to have a listing as a business in a Melbourne phone book? Or must you pay for the listing?'

It's free and is called the Yellow Pages.

'Do you have something like a VAT number in Australia?'

Yes. It's called the Goods and Services Tax or GST. But not everyone has to be registered for this.

A more pertinent number is the Australian Business Number or ABN. All traders and companies must have one for tax reasons. ABN searches can be conducted at http://abr.business.gov.au

If you have a local phone number, I can try it for you tomorrow.


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Katarzyna Slowikova  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:25
Polish to Czech
+ ...
Not sure how THIS would go either Mar 18, 2016

Dan Lucas wrote:

Katarzyna Slowikova wrote:
but again, the right person to answer this would be the "owner".


Here's how that conversation might go.
OP: "So, are you a scammer?"
Scammer: (in tones of amazement) "Yes, actually I am! I... But... How did you know?! Drat! I will immediately give myself up to the nearest police station."
OP: "Hah, justice shall prevail!"

Here's a more likely conversation.
OP: "So, are you a scammer?"
Scammer: (calmly) "No."
OP: "Er... okay."

Regards
Dan

[Edited at 2016-03-18 10:48 GMT]


In the sentence you quote "this" referred to the fact she doesn't have a website. You can perfectly reasonably inquire about this or why is she using a gmail address, or couple of other things. I would also have no problem with explaining why I'm asking - because it doesn't look trustworthy. A reasonable person wouldn't take an offense, quite contrary, imho. Any answer you get back is more material to analyze.
But sure, you/boostrer can ask her straight away "are you a scammer". Be sure to report how that conversation unfolded.

[Edited at 2016-03-18 11:10 GMT]


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