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Off topic: Bogus translation jobs
Thread poster: xxxnortranslate
xxxnortranslate
Norway
Local time: 00:03
English to Norwegian
+ ...
Dec 8, 2008

Hi,

I have been contacted a couple of times by companies requesting translations from English into Norwegian and vice versa.
My specialities are technical translations (electronics etc).

The last time a company offered me a job translating a document describing a suggested solution to a major adaptation of an accounting system. The document contained approximatly 9000 words.
The job was for a huge company in Norway, and the rate was good. Here is the story:

They contacted me on a thursday, and wanted the job finished by sunday. Of course I said this is impossible. I told them I could do one part, but not more than a third.
We agreed that I should translate chapters 1, 2 and 3. No tables or figures. 4311 words.

I asked them to send me a purchase order, and the terms not to be translated.
I cleared my desk, and started working.
The PO did not arrive on thursday. But they promised I would get it on saturday.
Saturday they told me, I would definitely get the PO on sunday.

Then I became suspicious.

The mail address was a hotmail-address (Yes I know, the bell should have rung a long time ago).
The company requesting the translation is a big company with foreign offices, and their own translation offices.
I searched the net for the name of the translation company - no results.

On sunday I did a wordcount of the file and chapters I had received.
Strange! They had even counted the counted the index (automatically created by Word), and the tables I was not supposed to translate. The correct word count should have been 2730 words - not 4311.

I sent them 2 pages of the translation in a print and copy protected pdf-document, telling them that the translation was finished, but I needed the PO before I would send it.
I received an answer almost immediately. Mr NN (probably a fake name anyway) said that they do not work weekends(!?!). That was why I had not received the PO. However he sent me one.

Since I was really suspicious now, I checked the company address. They said that their office address was in no 42. When I looked it up in Google Maps I found a short street in a Swiss village. The street is less than 200 meters long, and I never found any house numbers above number 10.

Then I became unproffesional - sorry.
I told Mr NN that if he wanted the translated file, he would have to pay me first - and immediately.
Of course he wouldn't do that. He told me "he was a one-man company, and was not able to pay me before the customer paid him".
I went on telling him that I would send him the translation for free, if he could get the project manager who had ordered the translation job (the Norwegian company) to call me and confirm the autentity of the project. I can assure you, I would have if he had called.
Mr. John sent me a couple of more mails, but I never sent him the translation.
Monday morning he sent me a web address to his company. The company was ///---hidden---/// - a company promoting themselves as a "big" company. I even checked the domain name (https://www.domeneshop.no/whois.cgi?domainname=tradunetworks.com), and found that the domain was registered the 19th of Nov. 2008, by a guy called ///---hidden---///, in Bangalore. Just a couple of weeks back.

Tuesday morning I did the unspeakable: I called one of the authors of the document.
(this is the first - and the last- time. I can assure you)

needless to say, she was very surprised that their document had ended up at a translation agency. They had never ordered any translation. And certainly not for this document.

OK. I had been framed.

The things I should have checked, or been more sceptical about was:
- the e-mail address (hotmail)
- the e-mail and the company domain was different
- they offered me the job without any test translation - even though I am doing technical translations not economic.
- they promised me the PO, but it "never" came.

Then to my question:

Why would someone try to order a translation of a text when there is no translation job?
I mean, I know that there have been examples of "agencies" recruiting translators, ordering a tranlation job, getting paid for it, and disappearing without paying the actual translator.
But this is different. In this case there are no customer - as far as I can tell.

Can someone explain to me why these bogus jobs appear?

Best wishes for the christmas, and the year to come.

Roy









[Edited at 2008-12-08 13:17 GMT]

[Edited at 2008-12-08 21:36 GMT]

[Edited at 2008-12-08 21:38 GMT]

[Edited at 2008-12-08 22:01 GMT]


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:03
Member (2008)
Italian to English
my theory Dec 8, 2008

nortranslate wrote:

Can someone explain to me why these bogus jobs appear?



Possibly because people are trying to get hold of your identity (name, address, bank details).

We do need to be careful about this. Via Proz.com, if we don't watch out, it would be very easy for unscrupulous people to obtain all that information.


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xxxVerse 5B
Local time: 00:03
English to Serbian
+ ...
... Dec 8, 2008

Why ? Well, I suppose that, since it is a Norwegian technical content, they can always sell it to other companies, or use it to enrich their Trados TM, if you see what I mean.

They certainly haven't done it just for the heck of it. There is a financial gain behind the project.


What I found amazing is that you can, for example, pay a proz.com subscription, be a member with positive review stars, and work on a project for a company with 5 stars. and still not get paid, without having any ways of sorting this out and pressing charges against the persons who misused your time and energy.

Example : I am a subscribed member on an outsourcing website ( approx. the same annual subscription fee like at proz. com ), and over there, you have a " virtual project office ".. while the project is in the " hired mode ", this office is constantly observed by the managers of the site, and you can immediately report any potential dispute, in which case the other party will have to be responsible LEGALLY for any losses you may have - whether it is financial or just your time etc.

I just can't understand why legal aspects of these transactions are taken so loosely. It is unbelievable. Seems like anybody can do anything on the internet, and never pay legal debts over it ?


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amurati
Local time: 00:03
English to Albanian
+ ...
well Dec 8, 2008

as long as they said that it is a company and they sent you emails using hotmail account it is quite obvious that that there something is not in perfect order.

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Hans G. Liepert  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 00:03
English to German
+ ...
Just a plain scam Dec 8, 2008

nortranslate wrote:

Since I was really suspicious now, I checked the company address .... you'll find a short street in a Swiss village. the street is less than 200 meters long, and I never found any house numbers above number ....



[Edited at 2008-12-08 13:17 GMT]


This guy offered his translations on the Aquarius.net, too. Fortunately he was kicked off immediately. But he will return, another identity, another story.

The bad thing is, I'm living in this Swiss village. He even used part of my CV.





[Bearbeitet am 2008-12-08 22:53 GMT]


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LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:03
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Bogus Translation Jobs Dec 8, 2008

Yes, I have experienced people using a free e-mail address pretending to be from an agency with a high Blue-Board rating. When you ask them to send you an e-mail from the company's web address (and you make sure it is not spoofed), they suddenly disappear.



[Edited at 2008-12-09 14:07 GMT]


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Sushan Harshe
India
Local time: 03:33
English to Hindi
+ ...
Usefull one!! Dec 9, 2008

Great issues, great examples and nice guidelines!

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Marie-Christine Sehmer  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:03
English to German
+ ...
Back to this special case Dec 10, 2008

I translated a large chunk of text for xxx after a job posting on the Aquarius site last week. The behaviour of my contact was very strange but I was too naive to spot the scam. I don't want him to get away with it. Any suggestions on how I can make him pay?

[Edited at 2008-12-19 20:30 GMT]


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Chris Lovelace  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 19:03
Russian to English
+ ...
What kind of information does a comany need to effect a transaction? Dec 11, 2008

I have recently been corresponding with a company in Kazakhstan that wants to arrange for translation of literary texts.

Before I explain my concerns, here are the positives:

1. I checked the registry of Kazakh publishers, and this company is listed.

2. They have asked me to do a small project (5 pages) before they assign a larger text.

3. I have also found them listed in a directory of Kazakh companies, which seems to suggest legitimacy.

My concern is really based on the following statement:

Для составления контракта нам нужны будут Ваши документы в электронном виде в формате pdf или jpg (если большие файлы, просьба заархивировать).

"In order to draw up a contract [for the proposed translation work] we will need your documents in electronic format .pdf or .jpg (If these are big files, we ask you to zip them)."

Now, contracts I have seen from Russia usually list passport numbers, address, and dates of birth for all signatory parties to the agreement. However, the contracts I have translated dealt with sale of property or transfer of ownership.

I don't really like the idea of giving out my passport and other information.

So, what is actually legally required for a contract in Kazakhstan? Do they have to have my passport info, or can we do this some other way?

I'd especially like to hear from anybody from Kazakhstan or the former Soviet republics on this question.


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xxxnortranslate
Norway
Local time: 00:03
English to Norwegian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you.... Dec 11, 2008

Tom in London: "..people are trying to get hold of your identity.."
Yes, could be, but they can get that in the first e-mail. This guy sent me lots of e-mails.

Verse 5B: "...There is a financial gain behind.."
Definitely. I just cant figure it out. I dont think it is to enrich their TM.

Ahmet Murati: "...emails using hotmail account.."
as I mentioned in my text: "Yes I know, the bell should have rung a long time ago"

Hans G. Liepert: "I'm living in this Swiss village. He even used part of my CV"
What can I say. I feel sorry for you.

Jeff Whittaker: "..them to send you an e-mail from the company's web address .."
Make sure that the company name and the domain are exatly the same. An extra letter, or a letter missing in the domain name is not a typing error.

Sushan Harshe: "Usefull one!!"
Thanks!

Marie-Christine Sehmer: "Any suggestions on how I can make him pay"
I wish there was. Has anyone got a suggestion?

Chris Lovelace
Sorry I can't help you. I just hope you're not being scammed.

Best regards

Roy

I would still like inputs and suggestions on why these bogus jobs appear.
If your answer is unappropiate for this forum, or you want to contact me directly, please send me an e-mail at nor.translate@gmail.com
(....and yes, it is a free, no-company, no-agency address. It is my anti-spam address. I use it when I dont want to reveal my regular e-mail address).

[Edited at 2008-12-11 06:44 GMT]

[Edited at 2008-12-11 09:23 GMT]


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anika10000  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:03
German to Dutch
+ ...
job offer ***.com Dec 17, 2008

I just got a job offer from ***.com
A guy in Bangkok, for a German-English translation..

I told him I would do the job, but haven't started yet.

What should I do?

[Edited at 2008-12-19 19:17 GMT]


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:03
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Ask for a payment first Dec 17, 2008

anika10000 wrote:
I just got a job offer from tradunetworks.com
A guy in Bangkok, for a German-English translation..
I told him I would do the job, but haven't started yet.
What should I do?


Well, with the very clear experience you have just read, I would ask the a payment BEFORE YOU START TRANSLATING. As soon as you receive the money (not when they say they have paid), you can start the job. Any other approach is nonsense in my opinion.

[Edited at 2008-12-17 16:30 GMT]


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 00:03
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Report this to the BlueBoard Dec 17, 2008

nortranslate wrote:
OK. I had been framed.


I would sincerely recommend to write to the moderators and ask them how you could report this as a BlueBoard with a negative point. They clearly were cheating, and as you can see they keep trying!!

Moderators please? How can this be done?


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xxxnortranslate
Norway
Local time: 00:03
English to Norwegian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Advance payment Dec 17, 2008

Hi Anika,

do not accept without getting paid in advance. If you feel you are bound by your promise, you can ask for payment in advance upon showing that you are actually working with the text (ref my article).

I have published some advices on my web page. For you: Read page 3 in this article: http://www.nortranslate.com/index.php?pid=21

One guy has put it this way:"Credit is a privilege, not a right, that must be earned."


[Edited at 2008-12-19 06:04 GMT]


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anika10000  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:03
German to Dutch
+ ...
more mails *** and *** Dec 18, 2008

Thank you Thomas.

I got three more mails this night. After I already told them yesterday I could do the job, the asked for my confirmation three times again. And all of a sudden the wordcount was different and the pay went down... I just wrote them to pay first...

I also had a not so nice experience with: XX from ***. The have been asking for translators several times this week. I quoted on two language pairs and they accepted them both. After that I contacted them in different ways many times, but without respons. And they are still posting translation jobs.. No website and a Hotmail adress...

Would be nice to be able to report that on the BlueBord.

[Edited at 2008-12-19 18:16 GMT]


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