Fraud Potential? Strange Client does not say who she is.
Thread poster: Joachim Kolb

Joachim Kolb  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 19:29
Member (2006)
English to German
+ ...
May 31, 2019

Dear All,

I have some concerns about a translation job I have been offered.

It involves a non-registered user contacting me via my proz.com account, asking me to translate a longer text, to be paid by cheque. I let her know what this would cost, but pointed out that I needed to know who I am working for, and that I preferred to be paid via PayPal, rather than by cheque.
I continue to know nothing about this person, nor could I find out anything by way of an int
... See more
Dear All,

I have some concerns about a translation job I have been offered.

It involves a non-registered user contacting me via my proz.com account, asking me to translate a longer text, to be paid by cheque. I let her know what this would cost, but pointed out that I needed to know who I am working for, and that I preferred to be paid via PayPal, rather than by cheque.
I continue to know nothing about this person, nor could I find out anything by way of an internet search. At this point, a gmail address is all I have to go by.

The text to be translated seems to be an excerpt from a course script of a well-known online university. She claims to have accepted my financial terms, continues to prefer cheques, and does not tell me anything about her whereabouts, or indeed about who she (?) is. Now I am supposed to provide address details for the cheque to be posted.

Direct clients are great to have, but this looks somewhat fraudulent to me. If it is a fraud, how would it work? Has anyone had experience with something similar? Or am I just being paranoid?

Looking forward to your comments,
Joachim
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Marco Belcastro Bara
IanDhu
 

Kay-Viktor Stegemann
Germany
Local time: 01:29
Member (2016)
English to German
Overpayment scam / check fraud May 31, 2019

Search for overpayment scam here or simply on google and you will recognize this immediately. Normally it makes no sense to even respond here. If you have any reason to assume that this is a legitimate client, ask for payment via Paypal or bank transfer and refuse checks no matter what. And under no circumstances "return" or "forward" any money you received by check or by other unsafe payment methods.

Liviu-Lee Roth
Yolanda Broad
ahartje
Teresa Borges
Daryo
Michele Fauble
 

sganga
United States
English to Indonesian
+ ...


Posted via
ProZ.com Mobile


Similar experience May 31, 2019

Hi Joachim

I recently had the same experience. The project was supposed to be in 2 phases. First phase was 44 pages long and it was 11k words. I provided my estimates with a standard working agreement. The following week, I received a check (triple the amount quoted). The POC said it was for phase 1 and phase 2. Here is the catch, 2 days later POC told me there is an emergency situation and phase 2 project will be postponed. POC asked me to keep phase 1 but returned the money for ph
... See more
Hi Joachim

I recently had the same experience. The project was supposed to be in 2 phases. First phase was 44 pages long and it was 11k words. I provided my estimates with a standard working agreement. The following week, I received a check (triple the amount quoted). The POC said it was for phase 1 and phase 2. Here is the catch, 2 days later POC told me there is an emergency situation and phase 2 project will be postponed. POC asked me to keep phase 1 but returned the money for phase 2. Guess what?!!! The check was dishonored and I have to pay a fee to my bank!!!!!
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Joachim Kolb
Yolanda Broad
Teresa Borges
 

Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
Danish to English
+ ...
Cheque fraud May 31, 2019

Try to search the Proz forums for cheque fraud/scams, and you'll see.

A frequent scenario is this:

You'll receive a cheque, maybe for a much larger amount than agreed, which will initially clear. After a few days, the 'client' will tell you that due to an urgent medical problem, he needs you to pay the exceeding amount directly to a hospital because his mother-in-law needs to have a new brain implanted – or whatever silly story he invents. After you return the money,
... See more
Try to search the Proz forums for cheque fraud/scams, and you'll see.

A frequent scenario is this:

You'll receive a cheque, maybe for a much larger amount than agreed, which will initially clear. After a few days, the 'client' will tell you that due to an urgent medical problem, he needs you to pay the exceeding amount directly to a hospital because his mother-in-law needs to have a new brain implanted – or whatever silly story he invents. After you return the money, your bank will debit the amount initially credited, because the cheque was counterfeit.

So you lose your working time and the money you return.

Your case sounds like a scam to me.
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Yolanda Broad
Teresa Borges
Daryo
IanDhu
 

Liviu-Lee Roth
United States
Local time: 19:29
Romanian to English
+ ...
An alarming trend May 31, 2019

I noticed that recently many of our colleagues have been asking if certain "offers" are scams or not. It is unfortunate that they did not get into the habit to check, at least on a weekly basis, the SCAM section. Most of the latest posts refer to years-old scams, widely discussed here.

The best way to avoid becoming a victim is to stay informed, and the SCAM forum is a useful tool.

Stay safe,
Lee


Robert Forstag
Yolanda Broad
Teresa Borges
Kay Denney
Michele Fauble
Yvonne Gallagher
IanDhu
 

Armorel Young  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:29
German to English
Always get an address May 31, 2019

Even if this did not look suspiciously like a scam, I would never agree to do a job for a direct client unless I had the person's full name, postal address and telephone number. With only an email address, you have no way of chasing up payment if they stop responding to emails and no way of tracking them down should you need to take steps to enforce payment.

Sheila Wilson
Beatriz Ramírez de Haro
Yolanda Broad
Teresa Borges
writeaway
Tina Vonhof
Michele Fauble
 

Joachim Kolb  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 19:29
Member (2006)
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you all for your feedback May 31, 2019

Dear all,

Thank you for your feedback.
I had not realized that this fraud is so common.
In particular, what sganga describes in his post sounds like the same set-up entirely (11k words, 44 pages) ...

Have a good weekend,
Joachim


Liviu-Lee Roth
Yolanda Broad
 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 00:29
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
@Joachim Jun 1, 2019

This reminded me of what happened to me a few months ago. I was contacted directly by a potential client asking for a quote for a Spanish-Portuguese translation of a 40 pages text. All the red flags were there: very poor English (though his name sounded British or American), no introduction whatsoever, no contact details (even after I asked for an address he just said that he was presently in Spain). As soon as I insisted on having some more information, the “client” disappeared in thin air.... See more
This reminded me of what happened to me a few months ago. I was contacted directly by a potential client asking for a quote for a Spanish-Portuguese translation of a 40 pages text. All the red flags were there: very poor English (though his name sounded British or American), no introduction whatsoever, no contact details (even after I asked for an address he just said that he was presently in Spain). As soon as I insisted on having some more information, the “client” disappeared in thin air. It took me some time searching the Internet to find the text to be translated: The Promise of World Peace, a document produced by the Universal House of Justice of the Bahá'í Faith and published in October 1985…Collapse


 

Daryo
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:29
Serbian to English
+ ...
That's the really annoying part Jun 1, 2019

sganga wrote:

Hi Joachim

I recently had the same experience. The project was supposed to be in 2 phases. First phase was 44 pages long and it was 11k words. I provided my estimates with a standard working agreement. The following week, I received a check (triple the amount quoted). The POC said it was for phase 1 and phase 2. Here is the catch, 2 days later POC told me there is an emergency situation and phase 2 project will be postponed. POC asked me to keep phase 1 but returned the money for phase 2. Guess what?!!! The check was dishonored and I have to pay a fee to my bank!!!!!



and another reason to ignore cheques in any form or shape.

YOU might be the bank's customer, but banks don't care much about YOUR interest - don't expect much help from your bank. They will happily "accept" from you someone else's cheque, and then leisurely go through the motions to eventually tell you only days or even weeks later that the cheque bounced / was counterfeit (or whatever is wrong with it) and then to add insult to injury will try to charge YOU because them (= supposedly the "banking experts") couldn't spot a fake cheque when one is staring at their face, or try to charge YOU because there was no money in someone else's account!


Liviu-Lee Roth
Philippe Etienne
 

IanDhu  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 01:29
Member (2005)
French to English


Posted via
ProZ.com Mobile


No details? No deal! Jun 2, 2019

Teresa Borges wrote:
All the red flags were there: very poor English (though his name sounded British or American), no introduction whatsoever, no contact details


Anything out-of-the-ordinary about a prospective client should put you on the alert. I can only re-emphasise the advice to check at intervals the ProZ Scam section. Best of luck for the future.


 

Robert Rietvelt  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:29
Member (2006)
Spanish to Dutch
+ ...
Never accept cheques.... Jun 2, 2019

.... first sign of an eventual scam. Don't they have a bank account?

 


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