https://www.proz.com/forum/scams/338801-did_this_happen_to_you_before.html

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Did this happen to you before?
Thread poster: Iuliana Ilasca

Iuliana Ilasca  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 17:19
French to Romanian
+ ...
Nov 19, 2019

Hi,

I seem to be having a payment issue with one of my clients.
Two weeks ago, this woman sent me an email, asking for my services (she found my info on proz). She wanted me to translate a 34 pages document from English to Romanian. We settled on a deadline, a rate per word and a payment method. She said she prefers wire transfer, so I gave her all my account details. She said she will pay me half in advance and the other half when I deliver the translation. The thing is afte
... See more
Hi,

I seem to be having a payment issue with one of my clients.
Two weeks ago, this woman sent me an email, asking for my services (she found my info on proz). She wanted me to translate a 34 pages document from English to Romanian. We settled on a deadline, a rate per word and a payment method. She said she prefers wire transfer, so I gave her all my account details. She said she will pay me half in advance and the other half when I deliver the translation. The thing is after I gave her my account details she never responded to any of my emails. Tomorrow I am supposed to send her the translated document that I have been working on for the last two weeks but I still haven't received an answer from her, and of course, I didn't receive any money.
What do you advise me to do? Did this ever happen to you?
Thank you.
Iuliana
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Béatrice Marchix
 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:19
Member (2008)
Italian to English
SHe has everything she needs Nov 19, 2019

Iuliana Ilasca wrote:

Hi,

I seem to be having a payment issue with one of my clients.
Two weeks ago, this woman sent me an email, asking for my services (she found my info on proz). She wanted me to translate a 34 pages document from English to Romanian. We settled on a deadline, a rate per word and a payment method. She said she prefers wire transfer, so I gave her all my account details. She said she will pay me half in advance and the other half when I deliver the translation. The thing is after I gave her my account details she never responded to any of my emails. Tomorrow I am supposed to send her the translated document that I have been working on for the last two weeks but I still haven't received an answer from her, and of course, I didn't receive any money.
What do you advise me to do? Did this ever happen to you?
Thank you.
Iuliana


She has everything she needs: your name and bank account details. I don't think she ever intended to give you a translation job.

You should never give anyone your bank details before you actually invoice them for a job and you know who they are, their name, and their business address.


Yolanda Broad
ahartje
Kevin Fulton
Teresa Borges
Elif Baykara Narbay
Gulrukhsor Abdugafurova
Bernhard Sulzer
 

Iuliana Ilasca  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 17:19
French to Romanian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Nov 19, 2019

I am just starting to work as a freelance translator and I think this makes me easy prey. Thank you very much for your answer. I will be more careful from now on.

Laurent Mercky
 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:19
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Bank details aren't considered particularly private in France Nov 19, 2019

Tom in London wrote:
You should never give anyone your bank details before you actually invoice them for a job and you know who they are, their name, and their business address.

Everyone is very free with their banking details in France, Tom, so it's hardly a major secret. I mean, there's no public listing but banks produce what they call RIBs, which basically give the identity details of your bank account, for you to give to anyone who asks. This is because wire transfers are very common between parties, whether B2B, C2B or the other permutations.

It sounds likely that this person has the intention of depositing a false cheque into that bank account, one that would be for 10+ times the amount owed. They will then apologise for their "mistake" but say it's easily solved by the supplier (you) refunding the difference. Do NOT do that, Iuliana. And you should avoid sending the translation, simply because there's no point in doing so -- as Tom says, they never wanted it.

This is the standard "advance payment scam" -- check it out. I'm sorry you've wasted so much time on it, but I'm sure it has been a total waste. I'm surprised you haven't received a deposit yet, or a call from your bank. A French bank should not accept a foreign cheque for deposit into your account, particularly when these scams are so common, but if they do then you must immediately reject it. We've heard of a few cases lately where the deposit has been delayed or never happened. I think these poor (hah!) scammers are being encouraged to contact so many people that they occasionally drop the ball. It seems to be big business nowadays, although I doubt the people sending the emails see more than a pittance.


Teresa Borges
Stuart Hoskins
toasty
Elif Baykara Narbay
Joe France
Iuliana Ilasca
Paul Malone
 

TranslateWithMe
Poland
Local time: 17:19
English to Polish
+ ...
block the account Nov 19, 2019

Hi

If I were you I would block or even close the account ASAP to avoid any fraud.

K.


Morano El-Kholy
 

Liviu-Lee Roth
United States
Local time: 11:19
Romanian to English
+ ...
Did you search the title of the document you translated? Nov 19, 2019

To me, it looks like one of the overpayment scams. If you receive a check for an amount larger than you agreed upon, it is fake. Don't fall for it.

Since you are a the beginning of freelancing, I would suggest you to read the SCAM forum, at least onece a week.

Good luck,
Liviu


Teresa Borges
Mr.Venturini
toasty
Sheila Wilson
 

Stuart Hoskins
Local time: 17:19
Czech to English
+ ...
Agree with Sheila about the bank details Nov 19, 2019

I wouldn’t worry too much about giving your bank details away. In the Czech Republic, everyone who registers for VAT has to notify the authorities of their bank account number (to prevent VAT fraud). This information is then kept in a public register with all of your other business details. The system has been up and running for several years now and I’ve never heard of any related criminal activity.

Vadim Kadyrov
 

Rudolf Vedo  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:19
Member (2008)
Croatian to English
+ ...
What happened to the advance payment? Nov 19, 2019

Iuliana Ilasca wrote:

She said she will pay me half in advance and the other half when I deliver the translation.
e translated document that I have been working on for the last two weeks
[/quote]

So you never received the agreed-upon advance payment? That would have been an opportune time to quit.

I wouldn't worry about the bank details. As wire transfers are typically secure, the scammer initially indicates a willingness to use bank transfer to lull the victim into a false sense of security. Most likely, some 'problem' with the bank transfer would have arisen, resulting in the need to send a cheque, which would have been fake.


Liviu-Lee Roth
Sheila Wilson
 

Paweł Hamerski (X)
Local time: 17:19
English to Polish
+ ...
I am repeating it over and over again - I give my bank account details hundreds of Nov 19, 2019

times every year to everybody without any problems (to anybody including me).
By the way - why you did not wait with translation until you get the promised advance? Advance by definition means the payment received prior you start the work - or somebody is pulling somebody's leg.

[Zmieniono 2019-11-20 00:06 GMT]


Vadim Kadyrov
Sheila Wilson
Joe France
Kay-Viktor Stegemann
 

Michael Newton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:19
Member (2003)
Japanese to English
+ ...
Did this happen before Nov 20, 2019

Hello Iuliana,
I am curious. Did you receive a purchase order from the client? Did you ask for her complete address, phone number and website?
Never, ever work without a purchase order. I frequently receive requests from dodgy parties with few identifying characteristics. I ask them for their details: address, phone, website. I never hear from them again. Last week, I received a request for a "translation sample". I did the drill and asked for details but never heard from them again
... See more
Hello Iuliana,
I am curious. Did you receive a purchase order from the client? Did you ask for her complete address, phone number and website?
Never, ever work without a purchase order. I frequently receive requests from dodgy parties with few identifying characteristics. I ask them for their details: address, phone, website. I never hear from them again. Last week, I received a request for a "translation sample". I did the drill and asked for details but never heard from them again. Requests from parties who contact you via your proz page should receive particular scrutiny as they may be agencies that have been banned from posting.
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Josephine Cassar
 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:19
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
POs don't guarantee anything Nov 20, 2019

Michael Newton wrote:
I am curious. Did you receive a purchase order from the client? Did you ask for her complete address, phone number and website?
Never, ever work without a purchase order.

I totally agree that you absolutely should get the name of the company and its registered address before you start work. If you don't have that information, you can't send a legally binding invoice. And you can't sue a company for non-payment (not easily, ayway) if you never sent them a proper invoice.

If POs work for you, that's fine. But I've received literally a handful of them in 20 years as a freelancer. Many (most?) legitimate clients are happy to work with a simple exchange of emails, and so am I. Two POs received from one client differed from what had already been stated in the emails. If I hadn't checked them carefully, I'd probably have been bound by them. And - surprise, surprise - the word count was low on one and the total price on the other was low. That client was clearly making a nice extra profit from them! So I regard POs as potentially costly and always time-wasting. I'm really not sure what their purpose is.

Oh, and I've never been scammed and never had a solvent client default on payment (crossing fingers for my current dispute).


 

Iuliana Ilasca  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 17:19
French to Romanian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Had no advance payment Nov 20, 2019

I never received the advance payment. Actually, she told me that she will do this as soon as possible so I started to work on the translation. It was the first time I had to translate a paper this large and I wanted to respect the deadline. Plus she was my first client on Proz, so I guess I got too enthusiastic. And after that, I sent her an email telling her that I did not receive the money and she said that she's sorry and she will take care of transfer on that same day. Obviously she never di... See more
I never received the advance payment. Actually, she told me that she will do this as soon as possible so I started to work on the translation. It was the first time I had to translate a paper this large and I wanted to respect the deadline. Plus she was my first client on Proz, so I guess I got too enthusiastic. And after that, I sent her an email telling her that I did not receive the money and she said that she's sorry and she will take care of transfer on that same day. Obviously she never did.
I am not too worried either about giving away my bank account details, I do this frequently and nothing ever happened. Of course, I should be more vigilant in the future. I worked with POs before, and this never happened to me. Since it was a research paper I didn't think to ask for company details.
Thank you all very much for taking the time to explain all this to me. I guess I have learned my lesson.
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Liviu-Lee Roth
 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:19
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Is It Safe to Share Bank Account Information? Nov 20, 2019

See this link

https://www.nextadvisor.com/is-it-safe-to-share-bank-account-information/


 

Kay-Viktor Stegemann
Germany
Local time: 17:19
Member (2016)
English to German
That link does not provide useful information Nov 20, 2019



That link does not provide information on how your bank account number can be misused. It just says "be careful who you give it to" but I can find no reason why. Even the trick with submitting a check in the name of the account holder is not mentioned. Some "bank identity theft" is mentioned but there is no explanation how this could even work when you just have the account number.

When giving this kind of warning, I'd prefer clear reasons.


Vesa Korhonen
Katarzyna Slowikova
 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:19
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
The US of A Nov 20, 2019

Tom in London wrote:
Is It Safe to Share Bank Account Information?

See this link

https://www.nextadvisor.com/is-it-safe-to-share-bank-account-information/

I suppose we should have specifically excluded the USA. They have their own ideas of banking. Things are different in Europe, where exchanging banking details is no problem.

[Edited at 2019-11-20 11:07 GMT]


Kay-Viktor Stegemann
María Paula Gorgone
Vesa Korhonen
 
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