Potential scammer with Secure Pro card?
Thread poster: B D Finch

B D Finch  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 12:12
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Dec 4

I've just received and reported a very dodgy-looking email from a person with a Secure Pro card (which has the effect of concealing ID information from me, as I don't have access to those cards). They have only just registered in December 2018 as an "End customer".

Here's the text:

"Hi B D Finch !

I'm french with a fluent english, but i don't have time to translate a full project presentaion document that i need to send before christmas.

I can do half of it, but for these 6 pages of "story" i need someone to make the job.

Could you help me within the schedule ? What about the fares ?

It's the first time i'm using a transaltion service, so i don't know how it works.

Thanks a lot ! "

The IP address is in the Netherlands and the contact information provided is a French mobile phone number. No return email address was provided. Note that if I send someone an email via ProZ they get my email address.

I assume that lots of other people will have received the same email and would like to know what other people think about this.


 

Marjolein Snippe  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 12:12
Member (2012)
English to Dutch
+ ...
a good english? Dec 5

His English may be fluent, but does not sound good enough to produce a decent translation. I am not sure if this sounds dodgy (after all, he states this is his first time requesting a translation and he is unsure of the way this works) or just like someone who thinks they can English, but it is not a project I would be happy to link my name to. The risk of a dissatisfied end client and several rounds of revision seems very high.

Teresa Borges
Balvir Chand
 

Mirko Mainardi  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 12:12
Member
English to Italian
Security at a price Dec 5

B D Finch wrote:

The IP address is in the Netherlands and the contact information provided is a French mobile phone number. No return email address was provided. Note that if I send someone an email via ProZ they get my email address.


Yeah, nowadays it seems more and more scammers are using VPNs to conceal their real IP addresses.

As for the second part, many moons ago I had asked proz to give us the option to reply to email inquiries (to the sender's address) through proz, without necessarily disclosing our email addresses (and this is a perfect case where this feature could have been useful), but never received a reply from staff...

At any rate, AFAIK one could very well have a "securepro" thingie without necessarily being any more "secure" than someone who doesn't... Only thing is that's on a "pay-to-know" basis...


Walter Landesman
 

B D Finch  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 12:12
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Fluent? Dec 5

Marjolein Snippe wrote:

His English may be fluent, but does not sound good enough to produce a decent translation. I am not sure if this sounds dodgy (after all, he states this is his first time requesting a translation and he is unsure of the way this works) or just like someone who thinks they can English, but it is not a project I would be happy to link my name to. The risk of a dissatisfied end client and several rounds of revision seems very high.


His English isn't "fluent"; in fact, its abysmal!

The danger signs:

1. Though his standard of English is rubbish, he pretends to be a fellow translator by saying that he can translate part of his document himself;

2. A brand-new ProZ registration with a Secure Pro card that hides the details he provided to register;

3. No return email address, no postal address and no information about himself;

4. No information about the field covered by the document;

5. A rush job to be done before Christmas.


Ivana UK
Walter Landesman
 

Mirko Mainardi  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 12:12
Member
English to Italian
No email address? Dec 5

B D Finch wrote:

3. No return email address, no postal address and no information about himself;


What kind of email did you receive? You should be able to see the sender's email address as soon as you click on "reply" to compose an answer...


Ivana UK
 

Katarzyna Slowikova  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:12
English to Czech
+ ...
Why scam? Dec 5

Unless you, B D Finch, have some additional info, I don't see any signs of scam here.

Why not ask this person to provide more details on themselves and explain that it's because of high prevalence of scams in out industry? As an outsider, he/she may not know it. He/she may be using the VPN for other purposes and may have used it here just out of habit.

And I don't see where this person "pretends to be a fellow translator". To me, it looks like it's just someone who usually writes their thesis/presentations/whatever in English. It's common practice in academia, as well as in private sector and you don't have to have a native proficiency. Good grasp of specialist jargon is far more important which is also why academics rather write in a foreign language then give the job to a random translator (at least all ppl I know do this).

The email sounds natural, unlike the rubbish produced by scammerss.
I'd give him/her a benefit of a doubt at this point...


Colleen Roach, Ph.D.
 

B D Finch  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 12:12
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Reply to Mirko Mainardi and Katarzyna Slowikova Dec 5

Mirko Mainardi wrote:

What kind of email did you receive? You should be able to see the sender's email address as soon as you click on "reply" to compose an answer...


I've deleted it, but it was from the ProZ bounce handler or something like that. I didn't want to reply, because that would have meant disclosing my email address and I get more than enough spam already.

Katarzyna Slowikova wrote:

I don't see where this person "pretends to be a fellow translator". To me, it looks like it's just someone who usually writes their thesis/presentations/whatever in English. It's common practice in academia, as well as in private sector


1. That's not how I read it. It would be extremely unprofessional for a business manager or academic to translate their own material for publication if their grasp of the target language was that poor.
2. I wasn't going to take any chances. However, I did some quick Google research and found that the sender had created a profile on a website where he said he was the French business manager for a Dutch agricultural products company. However, that company's website showed no sign of a French operation and was only in Dutch, Polish and English.


 

Mirko Mainardi  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 12:12
Member
English to Italian
You don't have to actually reply... Dec 5

B D Finch wrote:

Mirko Mainardi wrote:

What kind of email did you receive? You should be able to see the sender's email address as soon as you click on "reply" to compose an answer...


I've deleted it, but it was from the ProZ bounce handler or something like that. I didn't want to reply, because that would have meant disclosing my email address and I get more than enough spam already.


If you start writing a reply, you're not sending it (until you actually click on "Send")... What I meant is that as soon as you start writing a reply, you should also be able to see the sender's real email address(*) in the "To:" field. At least, that's my experience with personal emails from other users sent through proz...

P.S. (*) That's a pretty important piece of information for risk management (e.g. Gmail address vs. company address).

[Edited at 2018-12-05 13:27 GMT]


Walter Landesman
B D Finch
 


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