Personal information theft?
Thread poster: Takkim

Takkim  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:55
Member (2013)
English to Japanese
+ ...
Feb 5

Hi, a few days ago, I received a direct mail from a company asking me to do a translation job. They sent me the text to be translated, asked me my rate and until when I can complete the job. First I checked on BlueBoard about this company and found out that it has excellent rating, so I responded positively (also the first name and surname of the sender corresponded to the name mentioned in the feedback). Then they asked me to send them my CV, which I did. After that, nothing-- no go-ahead sign for the translation nor anything else.

Today I checked again with their email and noticed that it is a gmail, when yellow light started blinking. I cannot login to the website marked on the mail (red light) , and their logo seems to be different from what I found by searching the company's name on internet.

Thinking back, it was strange that they addressed me by my first name, and it was not a ProZ message service.

No monetary issues, but I feel uncomfortable that they have my personal information (address and telephone number). Could they be misused? Did anyone have similar experience? Thanks for any advise.


Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:55
Member (2007)
+ ...
Advice for the future Feb 5

Takkim wrote:
I feel uncomfortable that they have my personal information (address and telephone number). Could they be misused?

I'm sorry that happened to you, Takkim. It does sound as thought they were phishing for something. I really don't know whether they're likely to misuse your personal details. Clearly as they have them then then they could use them for all sorts of things, but I doubt they're likely to do more than change the personal details on your CV and pass it off as someone else's. That's not good, but neither is it too bad.

For the future, my advice would be to remove your postal address and your telephone number from your CV. Potential clients really don't need either. The country is definitely useful for them, as is that country's time zone, but certainly nothing more specific than the town is needed. I would also advise you to scour all the sites where you have a registration to see which of them displays your email address. It might be in a Word version of your CV uploaded to some site, for example. That needs to go too.


Thayenga  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:55
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Possible fraud Feb 6

I'm sorry that you had to make such an experience.

After a look at your profile, all required information is there. Therefore, you could refer potential clients to your profile page here.

Sending your business brochure (CV) with all your personal information included to unknown people is not a very good idea. When potential clients ask me to send them my business brochure, I always refer them to my profile on, and mention that all contact details will be included in my first invoice. Those clients, who were interested in a collaboration with me, always accepted this.

In case a potential client insists on my business brochure, I send one with the note that all relevant/personal information will be available...yes, in my first invoice.


Alexander Chisholm  Identity Verified
Italian to English
+ ...
Another possibility Feb 6

There are some unscrupulous companies that collect CV to send to clients to boost THEIR profile and no work will ever come in your direction.

Similarly, I no longer reply to companies asking for CVs and degrees etc. for EU tenders. These companies need technical degrees (languages don't count for the EU) and you can spend days doing this for their benefit, not necessarily yours!!


Takkim  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:55
Member (2013)
English to Japanese
+ ...
Thank you for your advices Feb 6

Thank you very much for all your advices. They are all very useful.

Sheila, I will delete my address and telephone number from my CV. In this age of internet, it is true they are not really needed. Somehow I had included these information "by default" from pre-Internet age practice, but that will be over. As for the CV I have sent, it was in PDF format, so hopefully they cannot modify it....

Thayenga, thank you for your advice about referring potential clients to profile. It also makes sense why we took time to fill in all the relevant information. I will definitely make good use of it from now on.

Alexander, I think these people who contacted me has nothing to do with the "real" agency. It simply looks too suspicious (if one starts to look in that way).

After having worked for free (unintentionally!) a few years ago, I thought I became more careful, but apparently not enough. Since translation is a rather lonely work and it is not easy to speak to colleagues about different problems, I became all worried, but now I feel much better.
Thank you once again!


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