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Suspicious overpayment for my translation job
Thread poster: BCHAN400
BCHAN400
United States
Local time: 13:44
Member (Jul 2017)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Jun 27

I recently received a request on Gmail to translate a 4,000-word document. The "client" uses a personal email address, and didn't specify how he came across my profile. I offered my rates and he quickly accepted it. Two days later, he mailed in a Certified Bank Check with an amount three times higher than what was negotiated in the email. He stated that the extra money is to cover future translation projects. I have not deposited the check and think that this is a scam to lure me to "cash" the check, and then they will ask me for a refund using a fake reason. What does everyone here think? Please advise Thanks!

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Enrique Cavalitto
Local time: 15:44
SITE STAFF
Advance payment scam Jun 27

This is the well-known advance payment / overpayment scam. Do not cash or deposit the check. Ask your "client" for verifiable contact infornation and verify it (you should have done this anyway, and should do it each time an unknown entity approaches you with a work or business proposal.

Regards,
Enrique Cavalitto


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:44
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Scam! Jun 27

1) Stop work immediately; 2) Destroy the check; 3) Cease all communication with the scammer to minimise the chances that you are picked up by police for money laundering.

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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:44
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Are the details useful, Enrique? Jun 27

Enrique Cavalitto wrote:
This is the well-known advance payment / overpayment scam. Do not cash or deposit the check. Ask your "client" for verifiable contact infornation and verify it (you should have done this anyway, and should do it each time an unknown entity approaches you with a work or business proposal.

Would the IP address and maybe the email address and/or name be something that the Scam Centre could usefully store or do something with?


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Robert Forstag  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:44
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Agree with Tomás Jun 27

Although the advice that Enrique gives is generally useful, I think that at this stage you need to do exactly as Tomás advises.

There is near zero probability that this is a legitimate work offer, and if you continue to have contact with the individual who sent you the check, he or she will simply try to convince you of their legitimacy. They could give you bogus information re location that you can look up on Google Earth. They might even have a sad story about a dying or sick relative to play on your sympathies.

[Edited at 2017-06-27 19:53 GMT]


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BCHAN400
United States
Local time: 13:44
Member (Jul 2017)
English to Chinese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for all your replies and advice! Jun 27

Thanks all for your sound advice! As some of you suggested, I questioned the sender of the check about his identity and asked for verifiable information, ie. name of his company, address and phone number. I also refused to deposit the check telling him that such overpayment is highly uncommon in the industry. He just made up some excuses for the overpayment, claiming that it was a quick mistake and that the extra money can be used for future proofreading and editing service. But then I mentioned about verifying his identity and authenticity of the check with the local police and bank authorities. He then responded saying there's no need to contact the police, but he welcomed the idea of verifying with the issuing bank. I still think this is very fishy.
Here's his contact information which I'm exposing here to alert the rest of fellow translators:
Alfred Oritse
918-901-7682
782 Theodore Burnett CT, Apt 5
Louisville, KY 40217


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:44
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Scam, scam, scam... and scam Jun 27

BCHAN400 wrote:
He just made up some excuses for the overpayment, claiming that it was a quick mistake and that the extra money can be used for future proofreading and editing service.

Yes, as usual in any overpayment scam: it was a mistake, the client is abroad and his/her secretary misunderstood the amount, the client was temporarily sick and a colleague made the payment for a wrong amount... Scammers are experts at building credible narratives, and that is why they are still in business. They always play on our ignorance, good will, or good heart.

Honestly, do not lose a single minute on this: stop work and communication, and destroy the check. And, of course, learn from the experience! I am so happy you reported the matter here!

[Edited at 2017-06-27 20:22 GMT]


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 18:44
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
A quick Internet search... Jun 28

BCHAN400 wrote:

Alfred Oritse
918-901-7682
782 Theodore Burnett CT, Apt 5
Louisville, KY 40217


... gives exactly the same address for a medical doctor called Pravin J Shah M.D. (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mr-Pravin-J-Shah-MD/230186640684060)


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Robert Hopkins  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:44
Member (2013)
Chinese to English
+ ...
This is absolutely a scam Jul 4

I am 100% certain this is a scam. I went through the exact same thing with this "Alfred Oritse" guy. The money order he sent was obviously fake, so I never attempted to cash it.

I suspect there are at least several individuals involved in these recent scam attempts. I received another e-mail that same day from another person, and the correspondence was similar.


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Dinorah Maria Tijerino-Acosta
Local time: 13:44
English to Spanish
+ ...
Scam Translation Aug 14

I just received a request for a translation job last week. As some of you have stated in your posting, I did not get a company name, just a private name, regular address and a phone number that I just ran through google and found this postings. Her name is Joann Piercey and she send the check to my mailing service in Miami, I have not received it yet, but it got my attention that she paid me before I have even finished the translation. I should be receiving the check in a few days here in Panama and I am supposed to finish the translation work on September 19th. What got my attention is that this person never wanted to tell how did she hear from me and also many writing mistakes, it was weir and I got kind of suspicious. If indeed I receive the check and is more than the agreed amount, I guess I will have to stop working on the job and return the check. The address she gave is from Knoxville, Tennessee, so if this is a scam, I want all of you to be aware of this person with this new name.

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Tony M  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 19:44
Member
French to English
+ ...
No doubt this is a scam! Aug 15

Hello Dinorah!

There is no doubt at all this is a scam! Please don't waste any more of your time working on thie fake translation job; stop right away!

Your post shows all of the warning signs of a scam, as detailed by so many people before.

Please accept our sympathy, and by stopping now you can at least limit the amount of your "loss".


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Paweł Hamerski
Poland
Local time: 19:44
English to Polish
+ ...
Nobody mentioned the document name/content this time Aug 16

and probably it would tell us a lot.

[Edited at 2017-08-16 11:52 GMT]


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Daryo
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:44
Serbian to English
+ ...
Address already known as being used for scams Aug 18

http://www.translator-scammers.com/pdf/TSD_TRANSLATOR_SCAMMERS_ADDRESSES.pdf

Ain't rocket science:

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=Alfred%20Oritse%20918-901-7682%20782%20Theodore%20Burnett%20CT,%20Apt%205%20Louisville,%20KY%2040217

third result - bingo!

Sounds like a serious lack of even basic due diligence ...



[Edited at 2017-08-18 17:47 GMT]


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Dinorah Maria Tijerino-Acosta
Local time: 13:44
English to Spanish
+ ...
SCAM Aug 21

Definitely a scam, I received today the check for twice the amount of what I quoted at the beginning. But, I am going to report them to the FBI office here in Panama. I still do not understand how does the scam function. They ask for the money to be return after is deposit in your account? I don't see how else could it possible be done.
I thank you all for your comments.


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Tony M  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 19:44
Member
French to English
+ ...
Classic overpayment scam Aug 22

Dinorah Maria Tijerino-Acosta wrote:

I still do not understand how does the scam function.


They deliberately send you too much money, and then very quickly come up with some story as to why it was a mistake and you should send the excess payment back to them by some other means, e.g. Western Union — and urgently!
Being a kind person, of course, you do your best to comply... then, some weeks later, your bank comes back to you and say the cheque was a fake, and of course they take back the money you thought you had.

It relies on the fact that people are pressured into reimburisng quickly by an instant money transfer service like Western Union, BUT that the banks have a period of something like up to two MONTHS to discover the fake and withdraw the funds.

Apart from the warning signs early in the transaction, the fact that the Western Union destination address is almost always a long way from the supposed original source address is a pretty clear indication of what is happening; it is often in Benin or Nigeria or Ivory Coast, even if the original requst purported to come from the UK, USA, or wherever.


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