SCAM EMAIL
Thread poster: Jason Gurvitz

Jason Gurvitz  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:48
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Feb 9

Beware of ANY company offering a translation in which they tell you they want to pay in a bank check or certified check or anything like that. Also, whenever they offer you more money than a normal translation company would offer, you should be very wary. They pray on people's desperation for money so they offer more than are used to receiving to make us forget about questioning whether it's real or not.

This latest one came from alice.bowell019@gmail.com

A HUGE red flag is whenever an email address has numbers where in the name. This is why it's never a good idea to put numbers in your own email address so people won't assume it's a scam.


 

Tina Vonhof
Canada
Local time: 17:48
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Numbers in name Feb 9

Jason Gurvitz wrote:

Beware of ANY company offering a translation in which they tell you they want to pay in a bank check or certified check or anything like that. Also, whenever they offer you more money than a normal translation company would offer, you should be very wary. They pray on people's desperation for money so they offer more than are used to receiving to make us forget about questioning whether it's real or not.

This latest one came from alice.bowell019@gmail.com

A HUGE red flag is whenever an email address has numbers where in the name. This is why it's never a good idea to put numbers in your own email address so people won't assume it's a scam.


When I started a gmail account, my name was not accepted and I tried several variations that were all rejected. Finally I decided that adding a number was probably the best solution. So beware, not all email addresses with numbers are scams, there need to be other red flags.


Liviu-Lee Roth
Teresa Borges
Thayenga
Sheila Wilson
 

Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 07:48
Member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
Scam mail writing style Feb 10

The scam mail writing styles are specific and weird. You need to carefully observe. References are found through internet searches.

Soonthon L.


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:48
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Numbers in name (2) Feb 10

Although I largely agree with the warning signs given in the original post, I'm not a fan of blanket bans as simple solutions to avoid scammers and time-wasters. In my 20-plus years in business, I've found many good clients who would have been banned that way, and had my time wasted by those who represent prestigious companies and approach me in faultless style (although I've never actually been scammed).

Starting an email with "Hello" or "Dear translator" doesn't particularly put me off if nothing else does. And as someone who likes to work with direct clients, it doesn't surprise me at all that some write to me in poor English. As for the email address, I had a paid one for the first few years, provided by my ISP. When they went bust and were bought by Orange, my email address was simply deleted overnight. Along with my contacts list, I lost every email that I hadn't backed up, which of course was a real setback. I vowed never to go that route again and have used Gmail for many years now. Does it make me a scammer?

No, due diligence calls for examining everything about the offer and then deciding on its merits. That will take a new freelancer a while, which is why I always warn them against accepting rush jobs for new clients. After a while, you get to spot the warning signs very quickly and know what checks to do first, or you simply click "delete"'. Check out the Risk Management Wiki on this site and the Scam Centre. Obvious ones include:
- Google for the email address along with "scam", and do the same with the writer's name
- Check out their online reputation
- Check premises on Google Earth
- Find an alternative contact method to the one provided and use that (e.g. send a Proz.com profile message to see if there has been ID theft)
- Check that a company is registered in their country's register of companies at the correct location, and maybe use the contact details given there.


Teresa Borges
IrinaN
Yolanda Broad
 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:48
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Gmail & Co Feb 10

The use of a free email account is, per sé, not a reason to be (overly) alarmed. Especially not when it comes to start-ups or private individuals. Even the use of a number or poor English are not necessarily sufficient reasons to raise a red flag. Some customers just don't have a degree in English, and it's not their native language.

The overall appearance and the tone of the email is what matters most. Check the IP address to see whether it matches the stated location of the sender. There are several scam lists available online to check name and email address.

If you still think it's a scam, then trust your gut feeling which is usually right.

[Edited at 2019-02-10 18:41 GMT]


Vesa Korhonen
Sheila Wilson
Liviu-Lee Roth
Yolanda Broad
 

Yoana Ivanova  Identity Verified
Estonia
Local time: 02:48
Member
English to Bulgarian
+ ...
do your research Feb 10

I have numbers in my Gmail account simply because when I created it almost a decade ago, it was my favorite number. I have too large of a contact list to bother with changing it now. If you look me up online however, you'll find my profile here and plenty of other places.

However, I agree that people should be wary of scams. I was contacted by someone with a Gmail account, who offered to pay by check. When I did my research I found out that it's actually a very well-known scam here on Proz.

The only way to avoid scams like these is to fact-check everything. Does this person have an online presence anywhere? Is the project offered part of a well-known scam? Is the person willing to provide an alternative contact method?

There are many articles out there on how to avoid scams and what the typical red flags are.


Sheila Wilson
Yolanda Broad
 


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