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How to reply to scammers (if at all)
Thread poster: Sara Cantrell

Sara Cantrell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:30
Member (2013)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Sep 29

I recently detected a scam by searching for the title of the documents the "client" wanted me to translate and found them both on a scam ProZ wiki page. I had searched for her name and email on other scam sites and found nothing so I'm so glad I thought to do this. (And trusted my instincts from the beginning that something was fishy!) Thank goodness for Proz!!!

Anyway, I have been in contact with this person for over a month now and I have this compulsive need to not
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I recently detected a scam by searching for the title of the documents the "client" wanted me to translate and found them both on a scam ProZ wiki page. I had searched for her name and email on other scam sites and found nothing so I'm so glad I thought to do this. (And trusted my instincts from the beginning that something was fishy!) Thank goodness for Proz!!!

Anyway, I have been in contact with this person for over a month now and I have this compulsive need to not to cut off contact with anyone without an explanation. :/ So is there a good way to respond one last time? Should I even respond at all, i.e. would that somehow make matters worse? I was considering something vague but direct like "I cannot do this translation for you. Please stop contacting me." Possibly adding "I've given your check to my bank's fraud department."

I for sure am going to block her - especially since she has been persistent to the point of being intrusive - and report her on ProZ ASAP. Just wanted to get this question out there in the meantime. Maybe I should just get over my own neuroses and block her without saying anything further.

Thanks!
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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 02:30
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Do not entertain scammers Sep 29

Sara Cantrell wrote:
So is there a good way to respond one last time? I was considering something vague but direct like "I cannot do this translation for you. Please stop contacting me." Possibly adding "I've given your check to my bank's fraud department."


Sure, you can say that, also for your own records so that you can see from the e-mail thread later why you did not continue the conversation, but keep it professional even if the person you're dealing with doesn't.


Sara Cantrell
expressisverbis
 

Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
Danish to English
+ ...
Just ghost him/her Sep 29

These people are plain criminals who are trying to steal you and your colleagues' hard-earned money. Why would anyone want to show such low-life scum any courtesy?

What would you want to achieve by claiming to have contacted a fraud department? The criminals will continue what they're doing until thrown in the slammer, if ever. Or do you expect them to suddenly experience an epiphany and say, 'oh wow, this nice lady is going to the fraud department … this is getting really dangero
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These people are plain criminals who are trying to steal you and your colleagues' hard-earned money. Why would anyone want to show such low-life scum any courtesy?

What would you want to achieve by claiming to have contacted a fraud department? The criminals will continue what they're doing until thrown in the slammer, if ever. Or do you expect them to suddenly experience an epiphany and say, 'oh wow, this nice lady is going to the fraud department … this is getting really dangerous and immoral, so I'll immediately stop being a criminal'?

Nah.

Don't waste your time on them.
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Kevin Fulton
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Iris Schmerda
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ahartje
 

Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
Danish to English
+ ...
PS Sep 29

Sara Cantrell wrote:

I for sure am going to block her - especially since she has been persistent to the point of being intrusive - and report her on ProZ ASAP.


He or she (we have no idea) keeps writing because you keep replying and engaging with them. Just stop replying. Then they'll stop. No need to block them. Next time they'll use a different name and Gmail address anyway.

The only thing Proz can do is to block any Proz account they have (they probably don't).

If you already have a counterfeit cheque, by all means send it to the police, but the chance of identifying the criminals is slim.


Yolanda Broad
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Liviu-Lee Roth
Sara Cantrell
 

Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Local time: 08:30
Member
Chinese to English
+ ...
Good grief Sep 29

I really, really do not understand why people need to ask this question at all. How big a rock do you have to live under to not know what is really a basic life skill in the age of emails and internet, not just one that's limited to the freelancing world?

Kay-Viktor Stegemann
Yolanda Broad
Carla Guerreiro
Philip Lees
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Recep Kurt
 

Sara Cantrell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:30
Member (2013)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Don't worry Sep 29

Thomas T. Frost wrote:

What would you want to achieve by claiming to have contacted a fraud department? The criminals will continue what they're doing until thrown in the slammer, if ever. Or do you expect them to suddenly experience an epiphany and say, 'oh wow, this nice lady is going to the fraud department … this is getting really dangerous and immoral, so I'll immediately stop being a criminal'?


No, not at all! Don't be mistaken, I'm not that naïve. It would literally be solely for the purposes of my own peace of mind, to soothe my guilty conscience about ghosting. And maaaybe as a "Ha, I'm one person you didn't get." But am I expecting actual acknowledgement or change on their part? No. I probably wouldn't even include the part about the bank. I don't realistically expect them to be able to stop the scammer either.


 

Kay-Viktor Stegemann
Germany
Local time: 02:30
Member (2016)
English to German
Scammers are social engineers Sep 29

Scammers are (more or less expert) manipulators, or social engineers. They have a clear objective in mind: to manipulate you into some behavior in their favor. By continuing the communication, they can only win and you can only lose. There is not the slightest scrap of a benefit you (or society) could achieve by communicating with them if you have asserted that there is a scammer at the other end.

[Edited at 2020-09-29 21:59 GMT]


Thomas T. Frost
Yolanda Broad
Beatriz Ramírez de Haro
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ahartje
 

Ariane Blondet Tovar  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 19:30
Member (Sep 2020)
Spanish to English
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Posted via
ProZ.com Mobile


Don't waste your time. Sep 30

I think you should just block that person. I can relate to you in the sense that I feel odd when I cut off contact with someone without a fair explanation; however, we need to learn that this kind people do not deserve our kindness, as some people in this thread say, if you continue communicating with them you will lose something more valuable: your time. This people will not stop doing it, and by blocking them, you are showing them that they couldn't trick you.
Don't think too much about
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I think you should just block that person. I can relate to you in the sense that I feel odd when I cut off contact with someone without a fair explanation; however, we need to learn that this kind people do not deserve our kindness, as some people in this thread say, if you continue communicating with them you will lose something more valuable: your time. This people will not stop doing it, and by blocking them, you are showing them that they couldn't trick you.
Don't think too much about it, just block them.

[Edited at 2020-09-30 04:05 GMT]
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Kevin Fulton
Johannah Morrison
Liviu-Lee Roth
Sara Cantrell
expressisverbis
 

Sara Cantrell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:30
Member (2013)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Please refrain Oct 1

Lincoln Hui wrote:

I really, really do not understand why people need to ask this question at all. How big a rock do you have to live under to not know what is really a basic life skill in the age of emails and internet, not just one that's limited to the freelancing world?


You must understand that posts in these forums are for either providing information or for asking for constructive advice/opinions. Your comment is not constructive; it answers none of my questions. And I'm not entirely sure why you even bothered to post it if the topic annoys you as much as it seems to. More importantly, I feel your comment is inconsiderate and unprofessional.

I won't defend myself or explain my actions, and that would be beside the point anyway. And please note that I'm not asking you to explain your comment or elaborate further. I'm only kindly asking that you please refrain from making comments like these in the future. At least on my posts, profile, etc. Thank you in advance.


Kay Denney
Tom in London
 

Sara Cantrell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:30
Member (2013)
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Good to know Oct 1

Ariane Blondet Tovar wrote:

...I can relate to you in the sense that I feel odd when I cut off contact with someone without a fair explanation...

[Edited at 2020-09-30 04:05 GMT]


Good, I'm glad it's at least not just me, haha. Thanks. (I agree with the rest of what you said, too. Just wanted to say that.)


Kay Denney
 

Matthias Brombach  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 02:30
Member (2007)
Dutch to German
+ ...
You already received a check? Oct 1

Sara Cantrell wrote:
I was considering something vague but direct like "I cannot do this translation for you. Please stop contacting me." Possibly adding "I've given your check to my bank's fraud department."

Thanks!


If you are afraid of, that this person will perhaps visit you one day (or night), because you already took a (fake) check by her, and she (if a "she" at all) has already made intimations in that way or in the way, that she/he knows, where you live (perhaps live alone), then you should contact the police and report it in a last email to the person in question, that you did contact them (even when you did not). Scammers mostly do not live in the same country, but when the check came from within the US, I may be wrong. But, as Kay-Viktor already stated, scammers are perfect social engineers and like to play with your fears when you show these towards them. At least your reaction to Lincolns post shows, that you are able to defend yourself in a way I wouldn´t be too worried about that (the scammer) and try to forget it as soon as possible.

[Bearbeitet am 2020-10-01 09:31 GMT]


expressisverbis
 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 02:30
Member (2018)
French to English
. Oct 1

Sara Cantrell wrote:

Ariane Blondet Tovar wrote:

...I can relate to you in the sense that I feel odd when I cut off contact with someone without a fair explanation...

[Edited at 2020-09-30 04:05 GMT]


Good, I'm glad it's at least not just me, haha. Thanks. (I agree with the rest of what you said, too. Just wanted to say that.)

Yes, we're taught good manners, we know that breaking things off with a guy is when we are the most at risk from him, we're taught not to make people mad even when they are literally raping us because they might escalate to murder. So yes it's hard. But in this situation, it's perfectly acceptable. They'll just move on to the next person, there are plenty of us after all, new sign-ups to Proz all the time.


expressisverbis
Sara Cantrell
 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:30
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Never respond Oct 1

You should never reply to, or otherwise acknowledge, anyone you think is a scammer. If you do, you are confirming your identity to them. That is exactly the information they're looking for.

[Edited at 2020-10-01 12:29 GMT]


Liviu-Lee Roth
P.L.F.Persio
Katalin Horváth McClure
 

Liviu-Lee Roth
United States
Local time: 20:30
Romanian to English
+ ...
Missteps you should've avoided Oct 1

Sara Cantrell wrote:

Lincoln Hui wrote:

I really, really do not understand why people need to ask this question at all. How big a rock do you have to live under to not know what is really a basic life skill in the age of emails and internet, not just one that's limited to the freelancing world?


You must understand that posts in these forums are for either providing information or for asking for constructive advice/opinions. Your comment is not constructive; it answers none of my questions. And I'm not entirely sure why you even bothered to post it if the topic annoys you as much as it seems to. More importantly, I feel your comment is inconsiderate and unprofessional.

I won't defend myself or explain my actions, and that would be beside the point anyway. And please note that I'm not asking you to explain your comment or elaborate further. I'm only kindly asking that you please refrain from making comments like these in the future. At least on my posts, profile, etc. Thank you in advance.



Somehow, I must agree with Lincoln. It is obvious that you do not check the SCAM forum on a regular basis in order to stay informed.
1. When you realized that this is a scam, you should've stop any communication with the scammer since you are not experienced enough to deal with them, but you continued for over a MONTH !!!!
2. You think it is a "she" - well, let me tell you that it is not a single person, it is a whole world-wide industry where these "narratives" are sold and bought on the darknet.
3. I bet you received the check by FedEX (this is their usual MO) - keep it and frame it!

I wonder what did you try to achieve by communicating with the scammer for over a month?

To me, this is wasted time.

Stay safe,
lee


IrinaN
 

John Morgan
United States
New user
Hi there Oct 1

Hi everyone. I am new here. I think it is a very interesting and useful topic. Usually I ignore them, try not to waste my energy on them. Thanks for the information.

[Редактировалось 2020-10-01 13:11 GMT]


 
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