Protecting yourself from fraud: a recent example 5

I’d like to share a recent case of a fraudulent job, which may serve as complimentary information to Enrique’s post on scams earlier this month, and as an example of how important it is for translators to do their homework when entering into negotiations with a potential new client.

A job was posted on the site. The job itself met the requirements and rules for posting a job.

However, upon entering into communication with the poster of the job, at least two site members noticed certain aspects which sent up red flags for them, and they reported these through the support system. The causes of the suspicion included a free webmail address, a resistance to provide full contact details, and in one case “awarding” the job and emitting a PO only to then cancel not long afterward.

When this was reported through support, further investigation into the matter revealed that a case of potential credit card fraud was also present. In the end the job was removed, the posting profile was removed, and translators who had quoted on the job were contacted and warned to proceed with caution if they were in contact with the job poster.

First, this is a nice example of how a couple of alert members were able to help save colleagues some time and headache. Equally important, though, is the example of being vigilant when it comes to business decisions, in this case, “Should I choose to work with this person?”

Some job postings require vetting, and this vetting is done by site staff. However, a majority of the jobs posted do not require vetting (for example when the job poster has membership or has been “whitelisted” for having posted previous jobs which were in line with site rules, having a strong Blue Board record, etc.). Regardless of whether vetting is required or not, efforts are made to ensure that the jobs posted are legitimate and to protect ProZ.com members. However, this is not a replacement for thoroughly checking out a new client! Always be sure to do your homework when it comes to entering into a new working relationship with a client. This applies, of course, in general, not just on posted jobs, and not just on ProZ.com. Following the right procedures to protect yourself and your business can seem like it takes more time and hassle, but think of the time, hassle and money you can save by avoiding being on the receiving end of a scam or of non-payment.

If you aren’t practicing a strong risk management, please start doing so. And be sure to share what you know with fellow translators! In the case above, the key information in identifying the fraud was shared via the support system, allowing staff to then alert other members. Sharing scam and risk management information on ProZ.com and other sites for translators is a powerful way of protecting yourself and your colleagues. Knowledge, procedures and common sense are the best tools for keeping safe from this kind of threat.

Alejandro

5 comments

  1. I had the same experience myself. Not in ProZ, but in Translation Directory and Gotranslators. The scammers wanted to translate a document about racial discrimination. The first time was in September, I was happy that I had landed a job and did the sample required immediately. Afterwards nothing. The second time was in december, other people requesting the same document. When I pressed them and asked for more info about their company/organization, they stopped the contact. In order to convince you to make the translation they are saying that they are going to pay you with bank draft even before you finish the work. The third time was today. I answered asking a reasonably large amount of money and informed them that I would like to be paid upfront and through PayPal. I think they will not bother me again. The only thing I don’t know is why they do it. If I say o.k. the only info that they would get from me will be my address. No bank or credit card details. I don’t know. If anyone has any idea, please say.
    Thank you that you took the time to read my comment

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  2. Could you explain in more detail how to avoid scams? Like doing a translation and then not getting paid? Is it common to get paid in advance, at least half of the estimated total?

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  3. Pingback: Scams targeting translators: the advance payment scam, and how to get the word out? | Translator T.O.

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