Is this legit?
Thread poster: Unni Tengvall-Unadike

Unni Tengvall-Unadike  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 04:04
English to Finnish
+ ...
Oct 1

Hi everybody,

I would like to ask if anybody knows if this offer is legit, though it is a bit difficult without naming names (!).
First of all, I received an e-mail via Proz.com from an outsourcer representative to do a rather large translation.
However, there were several discrepancies that caught my attention:

1) I was approached by them, and I have done zero jobs on Proz.com so far, so I'm really a beginner with no credentials. (I guess I should have sto
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Hi everybody,

I would like to ask if anybody knows if this offer is legit, though it is a bit difficult without naming names (!).
First of all, I received an e-mail via Proz.com from an outsourcer representative to do a rather large translation.
However, there were several discrepancies that caught my attention:

1) I was approached by them, and I have done zero jobs on Proz.com so far, so I'm really a beginner with no credentials. (I guess I should have stopped right there...)

2) They did not ask for my CV or any kind of test, just directly offered the job.

3) The company exists, I guess, since it has a website (though the English at the site is not 100% perfect, and they provide no Terms&Conditions or Vendor Policy info) and the company has OK Blue Board rating. (Obs: I'm not a paying member, so I only got to see their points and number of jobs completed.)

4) The first e-mails came from company email but then the person had to switch to gmail because of "problems with company e-mail".

5) The person's LinkedIn profile says that they have only worked for the company till 2016, and now are working for another translation agency in another country (which also has a website but with limited information to my mind).

6) The IP address of the e-mails also points to this other country instead of the country the company is supposed to be from.

7) I e-mailed the company's general contact e-mail address (given at their website) and asked for verification that the person is affiliated there since they have offered me an assignment on behalf of the company, and immediately (at 11 pm) got a reply that just said "Thank you!!" and NOTHING more, not even a signature of who in the company sent it. Isn't that just a bit odd?!?

Having listed all that body of evidence, to me it does seem REALLY suspicious. Like, one would at least expect the contact person to be honest about the company they work for, right? I'm just hoping my e-mail won't get "spoofed" any time soon...

Best regards,
Unni from Finland
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Kevin Fulton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:04
German to English
Seems suspicious Oct 1

A lot of things in your account don't add up, as you have noticed.
Receiving an offer out of the blue without a request for a CV is an immediate flashing red light.

There are a number of newbie project managers who are entirely clueless as to standard recruiting procedure, so there is a remote possibility that the offer isn't bogus. Unless the agency is located on the other side of the world, you might make a telephone call to verify the validity of the offer. At the least it
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A lot of things in your account don't add up, as you have noticed.
Receiving an offer out of the blue without a request for a CV is an immediate flashing red light.

There are a number of newbie project managers who are entirely clueless as to standard recruiting procedure, so there is a remote possibility that the offer isn't bogus. Unless the agency is located on the other side of the world, you might make a telephone call to verify the validity of the offer. At the least it will tip the agency off that someone is using their name. It might also provide an opportunity to sell your services to a legitimate company.
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Yolanda Broad
Liviu-Lee Roth
Teresa Borges
María Paula Gorgone
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 03:04
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Unni Oct 2

Unni Tengvall-Unadike wrote:
I would like to ask if anybody knows if this offer is legit...


I can think of all kinds of reasons why the offer is likely legitimate, including reasons that would excuse any of the red flags, but I think the clincher is that you are unable to verify that this person represents the company. For this reason, unless it's a relatively short job (one that can be completed in 1-2 hours), I recommend that you do not accept the job until you were able to *phone* the company and speak to the person in question.

I'm sure you know that "verify" here does not simply mean to verify that there is such a person at that agency, but that that person at the agency is the person you've been corresponding with all this time.

So, refuse the job, but try to contact the person at the agency's regular contact details for the next week or so.


IanDhu
 

Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
Danish to English
+ ...
Sounds like a scam Oct 2

It is most likely a scam.

What did that 'company email' address look like? Replace the company name with 'Acmecorp' and any individual's name with John Doe but keep everything else exactly as it is.


IanDhu
 

Unni Tengvall-Unadike  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 04:04
English to Finnish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
It looked legit, like j.doe@acmecorp.com Oct 2

Thomas T. Frost wrote:

It is most likely a scam.

What did that 'company email' address look like? Replace the company name with 'Acmecorp' and any individual's name with John Doe but keep everything else exactly as it is.


 

Unni Tengvall-Unadike  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 04:04
English to Finnish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Oh and I forgot to add this: Oct 2

There is one post on TM-town forum by a translator who is saying that this company and this person (and another person from the company also) did not pay for the job. The post is from 2017.

 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:04
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
A simple way to check Oct 2

Go to the company's primary profile here on ProZ.com - it's on their BB page. Then send an email via the profile. Nobody apart from the site staff has access to the email address you'll be using, so it must be the one associated with the company. I know you say you've contacted them through their website, but anyone can set up a website. I suspect the company has had their identity stolen.

Thomas T. Frost
Teresa Borges
 

Unni Tengvall-Unadike  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 04:04
English to Finnish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I don't have paid membership... Oct 2

...so I don't have access to outsourcer contact info on BB. What I can see there is that the company's rating is 4.8 but there are only 5 inputs from the past 5 years and none from the past 12 months.

Sheila Wilson wrote:

Go to the company's primary profile here on ProZ.com - it's on their BB page. Then send an email via the profile. Nobody apart from the site staff has access to the email address you'll be using, so it must be the one associated with the company. I know you say you've contacted them through their website, but anyone can set up a website. I suspect the company has had their identity stolen.


 

Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
Danish to English
+ ...
Company Oct 2

Unni Tengvall-Unadike wrote:

It looked legit, like j.doe@acmecorp.com


Then the next step is to check the email headers. In Outlook, it's under Properties. If it's another email client, Google how to find the email headers in that software. Check tags such as X-Authuser, X-Origin and X-Sender-Id.

It is possible to pretend to be someone you are not when you send an email, but newer and more secure mail systems and SSL certificates make that more difficult or impossible. Many spam filters might also block such emails today.

If the domain really did send the email, then try to look up the domain at whois.domaintools.com .

You can see when the domain was created and which company owns it. If an individual owns it, the personal information is likely to be anonymised.

If it still looks legit, it's time to try to find the company in the official company register and other online references.

It's easy to create a fake LinkedIn profile, so I wouldn't base a decision on that.


 

IrinaN
United States
Local time: 20:04
English to Russian
+ ...
It's a scam, it's a scam, it's a scam!!!!! Oct 2

I am sorry but I can't believe that my respected and experienced colleagues are trying to plant a seed of hope into not just a barren land but a dangerous minefield, and advise to waste some time on research rather than deleting it without opening.

It's a scam!!!


Liviu-Lee Roth
 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:04
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Membership not needed Oct 3

Unni Tengvall-Unadike wrote:

...so I don't have access to outsourcer contact info on BB. What I can see there is that the company's rating is 4.8 but there are only 5 inputs from the past 5 years and none from the past 12 months.

Sheila Wilson wrote:

Go to the company's primary profile here on ProZ.com - it's on their BB page. Then send an email via the profile. Nobody apart from the site staff has access to the email address you'll be using, so it must be the one associated with the company. I know you say you've contacted them through their website, but anyone can set up a website. I suspect the company has had their identity stolen.

My point wasn't dependent on membership, AFAIK. Mind you, it is a bit difficult for me, as a member, to be sure unless I go through all the faff of logging out and back in again. I believe anyone can get to access a company's primary profile on the site, even if they can't see their full BB details. Once you have the profile on screen, you can click on "Send email" at the top.

@ Irina: The poster, by posting this in the Scam forum, already had very strong misgivings about this job. Just telling them to delete it would probably be sound advice in the circumstances. But pointing them towards ways to perfect their risk management procedures has got to be more worthwhile in the long run. On the same lines as giving a fishing line rather than fish to communities who are struggling to feed themselves but not actually on the verge of starvation.


Yolanda Broad
Teresa Borges
 


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