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A little suspicious, not sure what to do
Thread poster: Tim Kynerd

Tim Kynerd  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 12:05
Member (2006)
Swedish to English
Jan 9, 2012

Hi everyone,

I recently (Thursday) accepted a translation job from someone who either is not a ProZ member or was not logged in when they contacted me.

I have been a little bit wary all along because:
- the person has an English-sounding name, but does not speak fluent English, and
- the person did not provide any real contact information, and
- a Google search for the person's E-mail address (a Gmail address) returned no hits.

I am even m
... See more
Hi everyone,

I recently (Thursday) accepted a translation job from someone who either is not a ProZ member or was not logged in when they contacted me.

I have been a little bit wary all along because:
- the person has an English-sounding name, but does not speak fluent English, and
- the person did not provide any real contact information, and
- a Google search for the person's E-mail address (a Gmail address) returned no hits.

I am even more wary now because I asked for "an address" to put on the invoice, and all I got back was "Amman, Jordan." I replied, pointing out that that's a city, not an address, and have received no further response yet.

The document to be translated is an RFP for procurement of a cyclotron, hot cells, a dosage monitoring system and a plug door for Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg, Sweden. This makes me even more wary because nuclear material is involved. I am seriously considering contacting law enforcement.

Am I out of my mind, overcautious, or wise?

Thanks,
Tim Kynerd
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Enrique Cavalitto  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 08:05
Member (2006)
English to Spanish
Risk management Jan 9, 2012

Hi Tim,

You should not start any project unless you have solid contact information from the client, including a purchase order for the translation.

Have a look at this wiki article.

Regards,
Enrique


 

Tim Kynerd  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 12:05
Member (2006)
Swedish to English
TOPIC STARTER
I know Jan 9, 2012

Enrique wrote:

Hi Tim,

You should not start any project unless you have solid contact information from the client, including a purchase order for the translation.

Have a look at this wiki article.

Regards,
Enrique


I agree. From that standpoint, I see this as a learning experience. That isn't really my question, though.

Thanks,
Tim


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:05
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Really suspicious Jan 9, 2012

I would email the customer immediately stating that you cannot start the job without first establishing the identity of the customer to your satisfaction. Ask for a full company name and address; then try to find the company's phone over the Internet, call the company and ask to talk to the supposed customer.

I hope you haven't started the job! Sounds strange indeed.


 

Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:05
Hebrew to English
It's things like this that the word "dodgy" was invented for Jan 9, 2012

Wouldn't touch it with a bargepole.

Follow Tomás's advice at the very least...


 

Edward Vreeburg  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 12:05
Member (2008)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Do a little test...turn it around Jan 9, 2012

Pick up some nonsense document, use one of your alternative email addresses, send an e-mail to this person to translate that document from say English to a bizarre and rare language, offer 0,25 per word and see if they react, and ask for their address to get them a PO. if it's all no problems, you are sure they are frauds...

greetings
Ed


 

Tim Kynerd  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 12:05
Member (2006)
Swedish to English
TOPIC STARTER
It's done, basically... Jan 9, 2012

Hi folks,

I did the job over the weekend, except for a little final polishing I was planning to do tonight. As I mentioned to Enrique, I see it as a learning experience. If I don't get paid, I don't get paid.

Please note that I picked "Scams" because I felt suspicious and it seemed like the best fit for my question, but that is not my primary concern. My concern is what I get when I add up Jordan + nuclear material. That's why I'm considering contacting law enforcement
... See more
Hi folks,

I did the job over the weekend, except for a little final polishing I was planning to do tonight. As I mentioned to Enrique, I see it as a learning experience. If I don't get paid, I don't get paid.

Please note that I picked "Scams" because I felt suspicious and it seemed like the best fit for my question, but that is not my primary concern. My concern is what I get when I add up Jordan + nuclear material. That's why I'm considering contacting law enforcement about this. I just wanted to get some input on that aspect of it (i.e., am I overreacting?) before I do that.

Thanks,
Tim
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Marinus Vesseur  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 03:05
English to Dutch
+ ...
Scary stuff Jan 9, 2012

I am very surprised that none of my colleagues so far has looked beyond the limited horizon of business. Your concerns about the content and the addressee are very real and I think it was wise of you to contact the authorities, although it would have been wiser not to deliver the translation in the first place. This job was double-dodgy, so to say. Hope it all turns out to be benign, that nobody builds a nuclear weapon with your help... and that you'll get paid.

 

Simon Mountifield  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:05
French to English
Similar experience Jan 9, 2012

I received a very generic email through Proz before Christmas, asking me if I would be available to translate various documents. The email mentioned nothing about rates, deadlines or field. Checking his IP address revealed that he was based in Amman, Jordan, but googling his name and email address brought up nothing at all. The email also indicated that the person was not a ProZ member.

It sounded too dodgy to me, so I just deleted the email.

Simon


 

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:05
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
SITE LOCALIZER
Do not send it yet, if ever Jan 9, 2012

Tim Kynerd wrote:

Hi folks,

I did the job over the weekend, except for a little final polishing I was planning to do tonight. As I mentioned to Enrique, I see it as a learning experience. If I don't get paid, I don't get paid.


I assume the learning experience is in the translation work itself, you learn from the material, the research involved, etc. and not deliberately seeking the feeling of not being paid for work, right?

Please note that I picked "Scams" because I felt suspicious and it seemed like the best fit for my question, but that is not my primary concern. My concern is what I get when I add up Jordan + nuclear material. That's why I'm considering contacting law enforcement about this. I just wanted to get some input on that aspect of it (i.e., am I overreacting?) before I do that.


Whatever your reason is to be suspicious (and there are some vary valid reasons), do not submit the translation until you established the firm identity and reliability of the client.
It sounds like you have not sent in the translation yet, so please do not send it just yet, if ever.

Katalin


 

Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:05
Hebrew to English
Jumping to conclusions? Jan 9, 2012

Jordan has a legal and relatively transparent (as transparent as these things get) emerging nuclear programme. For a country that imports over 95% of all its energy this is hardly surprising (surprising it hasn't happened earlier perhaps).

"Jordan has signed nuclear cooperation agreements with France, Canada, UK and Russia, in respect to both power and desalination, and is seeking help from the IAEA. It has signed a nuclear cooperation agreement with China, covering uranium mining
... See more
Jordan has a legal and relatively transparent (as transparent as these things get) emerging nuclear programme. For a country that imports over 95% of all its energy this is hardly surprising (surprising it hasn't happened earlier perhaps).

"Jordan has signed nuclear cooperation agreements with France, Canada, UK and Russia, in respect to both power and desalination, and is seeking help from the IAEA. It has signed a nuclear cooperation agreement with China, covering uranium mining in Jordan and nuclear power, and others with South Korea, Japan, Spain, Italy, Romania, Turkey and Argentina related to infrastructure including nuclear power and desalination. A full nuclear cooperation agreement with USA is pending, though the USA wants Jordan to emulate UAE and rule out uranium enrichment. Jordan joined the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) in 2007."
http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf102.html

The fact that a Jordanian client wants nuclear related documents translated is hardly reason to call Jack Bauer (pop culture reference).

Another reason why alerting the authorities may be futile is the almost total lack of information about the client, other than a gmail address....not much to go on...for Tim or the authorities.

I actually agree it could be a scam, but more likely a scam to swindle you for a free translation rather than a devious plot to blow up the world.
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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:05
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Hospital + nuclears = ? Jan 9, 2012

Tim Kynerd wrote:

Hi folks,

Please note that I picked "Scams" because I felt suspicious and it seemed like the best fit for my question, but that is not my primary concern. My concern is what I get when I add up Jordan + nuclear material. That's why I'm considering contacting law enforcement about this. I just wanted to get some input on that aspect of it (i.e., am I overreacting?) before I do that.

Thanks,
Tim


The subject of the project is indeed highly suspicius. Try to contact this customer again and mention that you have completed the project (not a good idea without varification of the client and a PO). Then you can ask again for a detailed address. If there's no (satisfactory) response, go ahead and contact law enforcement.


 

3ADE shadab
Local time: 16:35
Hindi to English
+ ...
Ignore these Scams Jan 9, 2012

Hi Tim
I do agree with Enrique. Actually you should not take any assignments if you do not obtain some solid proof about his/her existence. Infact you should only start a project only and only when you think you are comfortable in taking those. But in case if you are in need of getting practiced with the translation service you can easily start with it right now. But in other case please contact the person for some solid contacts otherwise ignore it.


 

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:05
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
SITE LOCALIZER
Radiation therapy Jan 9, 2012

Thayenga wrote:
The subject of the project is indeed highly suspicius. Try to contact this customer again and mention that you have completed the project (not a good idea without varification of the client and a PO). Then you can ask again for a detailed address. If there's no (satisfactory) response, go ahead and contact law enforcement.


The subject of the project itself is not suspicious. Here is what is stated in the initial posting:

The document to be translated is an RFP for procurement of a cyclotron, hot cells, a dosage monitoring system and a plug door for Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg, Sweden.


RFP stands for Request For Proposal, part of the standard tender process in the EU, and in many other economies.
The subject of the RFP is equipment used for radiation therapy, nothing contradictory for a hospital.

Katalin


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:05
Spanish to English
+ ...
Exactly Jan 9, 2012

Ty Kendall wrote:

Wouldn't touch it with a bargepole.

Follow Tomás's advice at the very least...


Even if I were really desperate, I wouldn't consider this offer for a moment. Reporting it could be a good idea, although it all seems so ham-fisted that it probably isn't worth the bother.


 
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