Scammers are targeting translators - beware!
Thread poster: Gyu338

Gyu338
United States
Local time: 04:52
Chinese to English
+ ...
Dec 13, 2019

I hope to alert fellow translators of this scam.
On Nov 28 a person (name withheld for legal reasons) emailed me via Pro Z requesting a quote for translating a lengthy document (from Chinese to English). I quoted her USD 2,108.20. She agreed to the quote and requested my address for payment processing. The deadline for submitting the translated document is to be January 3, but she promptly despatched a cashier check for a bigger amount than I had quoted her (USD 5,284.85 instead of U
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I hope to alert fellow translators of this scam.
On Nov 28 a person (name withheld for legal reasons) emailed me via Pro Z requesting a quote for translating a lengthy document (from Chinese to English). I quoted her USD 2,108.20. She agreed to the quote and requested my address for payment processing. The deadline for submitting the translated document is to be January 3, but she promptly despatched a cashier check for a bigger amount than I had quoted her (USD 5,284.85 instead of USD 2,108.20). There are multiple red flags on this one:
1) she never asked me about my translation experience;
2) she sent payment before I even started working on the document.
3) she sent an amount more than I had quoted.
and lastly,
4) she wouldn't provide her translation company name nor phone contact number. When the check arrived there was an accompanying note stating I must send a text message to a phone number or email to an address for authorisation to deposit the check. This is a scam, I have not deposited the check and have no intention to do so.
Please be aware, scammers are targeting us via forums, some use our service without the intention of making payment, others hope to steal our hard earned money from us.
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Veli-Matti Valimaa
Maria Mamai
 

Liviu-Lee Roth
United States
Local time: 05:52
Romanian to English
+ ...
Old, old, old overpayment scam Dec 13, 2019

You can post the name and details. They have been posted for years.

I would suggest to you to read more often the Scam section and be informed. Our colleagues have provided valuable information.

Stay safe,
lee


Walter Landesman
Fatine777
IrinaN
Veli-Matti Valimaa
Yolanda Broad
writeaway
Sabine Braun
 

Veli-Matti Valimaa
United States
Local time: 05:52
Member (2005)
English to Finnish
+ ...
Same here Dec 14, 2019

I was also approached by the same scammer a few weeks ago, a translation of a research paper form EN to Finnish. My spouse got an email today probably from the same scammer (same name as in the email to me but from a slightly changed email address) for a translation from English into German.

I just wanted to mention this that this person seems to target all of US based translators.

[Edited at 2019-12-14 22:58 GMT]


 

Liviu-Lee Roth
United States
Local time: 05:52
Romanian to English
+ ...
Stay informed, read the Scams section at least once a week Dec 15, 2019

Veli-Matti Valimaa wrote:

I was also approached by the same scammer a few weeks ago, a translation of a research paper form EN to Finnish. My spouse got an email today probably from the same scammer (same name as in the email to me but from a slightly changed email address) for a translation from English into German.

I just wanted to mention this that this person seems to target all of US based translators.

[Edited at 2019-12-14 22:58 GMT]




I am getting tired explaining that IT IS NOT a single scammer but a very lucrative industry.
The text/request you received has been sold and bought on the dark web and anybody, anywhere in the world can send these spam/scams. From my pofessional experience, the sender could be from an Eastern European country or from a South Asian country.

The best way to avoid falling victim is to stay informed, and the Scams section of the Forum is a very informative and instructive place to find out the latest trend.

Stay safe,
lee


Kevin Fulton
Fatine777
 

Rudolf Vedo  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:52
Member (2008)
Croatian to English
+ ...
Targets US because US = only people who still use checks Dec 15, 2019

Veli-Matti Valimaa wrote:

I just wanted to mention this that this person seems to target all of US based translators.

[Edited at 2019-12-14 22:58 GMT]


Because the scam only works when the overpayment is sent by check, and the US is pretty much the only country still accustomed to using them instead of bank transfers.


Kevin Fulton
Liviu-Lee Roth
Daryo
 

Maria Mamai
Greece
Local time: 12:52
English to Greek
Thank you Dec 15, 2019

Thank you all for the information.

 

Michael Newton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:52
Member (2003)
Japanese to English
+ ...
Scammers Dec 15, 2019

I am US-based. The only clients I allow to use checks are US law firms whom I have thoroughly vetted. Everyone else pays by bank wire transfer or PayPal.

Liviu-Lee Roth
 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
Not only Dec 15, 2019

I'm personally aware of several cases both in CIS (ex-USSR) and abroad when a victim did get real overpayment (not fake cheque/check) via one method and was asked to return or forward the rest to the other person--usually via a different payment method.

The big trouble is the money came from a stolen card, a hacked account or somehow related, so rather many specialists (including freelancers) had unpleasant talks and restrictions (including their assets 'temporarily' frozen) and eve
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I'm personally aware of several cases both in CIS (ex-USSR) and abroad when a victim did get real overpayment (not fake cheque/check) via one method and was asked to return or forward the rest to the other person--usually via a different payment method.

The big trouble is the money came from a stolen card, a hacked account or somehow related, so rather many specialists (including freelancers) had unpleasant talks and restrictions (including their assets 'temporarily' frozen) and even money-laundering charges.

If only potential victims were more sensible and biz-aware yet still...
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Liviu-Lee Roth
 

Fiona Grace Peterson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 11:52
Member
Italian to English
Cheque card system Dec 15, 2019

LEXpert wrote:

Because the scam only works when the overpayment is sent by check, and the US is pretty much the only country still accustomed to using them instead of bank transfers.



Slightly OT, neither the US or Italy (two countries where I have seen cheques used) seem to have adopted the use of a cheque card system like the UK used, which always amazed me. With a cheque card system, cheques can only be made out to the amount on the card (50, 100 or 200 pounds, depending on various factors) which the bank guarantees to cover even if the card holder doesn't actually have that amount in their account.

Such a simple system, surprised other countries don't seem to use it.


 


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