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SCAM: translation of a 11,643-word document (various email addresses, payment with a check)
Thread poster: Thomas Szabo, MD, MS

Darin Fitzpatrick  Identity Verified
United States
Member (2006)
German to English
Latest incident May 17

I also received an email purporting to be Mariana Ledesma. I was concerned my one of my replies bounced, but then another email arrived from a similar gmail address. I sent a LinkedIn message to the real Ms. Ledesma, who replied politely that she could not help me. I bet she's pretty sick of these requests.

Anyway I've stopped translating the project, won't send anyone any money, and have learned to be a bit more judicious about starting work without a PO and other bona fides.
... See more
I also received an email purporting to be Mariana Ledesma. I was concerned my one of my replies bounced, but then another email arrived from a similar gmail address. I sent a LinkedIn message to the real Ms. Ledesma, who replied politely that she could not help me. I bet she's pretty sick of these requests.

Anyway I've stopped translating the project, won't send anyone any money, and have learned to be a bit more judicious about starting work without a PO and other bona fides.

This latest email has a few hallmarks of scammers as well, but the FedEx number is real and has my city & state. I suspect that the scammer has just found some shipment going to that city and made it look like it was misplaced or something. Now I'm just waiting to see if they will ask for a refund.


----------------------------------------------------------------
Hello, I am so sorry for the delay, there is death in the family of my sponsor so i have little delay. I hope the project is in progress? But I am happy to inform you that your payment has been mailed out to you by my sponsor and will be delivered to you today. Also, we discussed about considering you for the next phase of this project, but I need to be sure the first phase will be well translated. The additional fee for the next phase of the project was added. We've calculated the next phase with your rate,
so the first phase and the next document will cost us $4,980.90 and that is the amount on the check. We don't have much time now and here is the information....

Amount on check: $4,980.90
Tracking;;;;;;;;;;;XXXXXXXXXXXXX FedEx

Kindly confirm with me as soon as you receive the payment. I hope to hear from you

soon.
Best Regards
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Monica Seminario
 

Gretchen Delfin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:24
Member (May 2019)
Spanish to English
Rebecca (Becca) Johnson - similar email received today May 19

1st email received today from Becca (Bjonhson111@hotmail.com)
----
A ProZ.com user visited your ProZ.com profile and sent the following message.

Author: Becca [NOTE: The author is not a registered ProZ.com user or was not logged in when sending this message.]
Author's IP address: 74.82.60.173

Hello,
My name is Rebecca ,I'm contacting you in regard to an Spanish content document. I need this document translated to English. I would like to know if
... See more
1st email received today from Becca (Bjonhson111@hotmail.com)
----
A ProZ.com user visited your ProZ.com profile and sent the following message.

Author: Becca [NOTE: The author is not a registered ProZ.com user or was not logged in when sending this message.]
Author's IP address: 74.82.60.173

Hello,
My name is Rebecca ,I'm contacting you in regard to an Spanish content document. I need this document translated to English. I would like to know if you are interested and available to get this done for me. Please get back to my Bjonhson@hotmail.com as soon as you can

Thank you.
Best Regards,
Becca
----
My response:

Dear Becca,

I received your message regarding the translation that you need. Please let me know what type of document it is any any other important details. I may be able to help you out.
----
2nd email from Becca:

Thanks so much for getting back to me. I'm pleased to know you are interested in handling this project. However, I will require your service to translate the attached document In the meantime, could you also confirm your charges per page, per source word or for the entire translation? The deadline for this Project is 1 month starting from 15th of June /2019.


Finally,I don't operate with PayPal,Debit or Credit Card,I'm proposing to pay you via Cashier Check. Payment will be received and clear at your Bank before you send the document. Please do not hesitate to confirm if this is okay with you? I look forward to read from you soon..

Thanks
Becca

**copy of Spanish document attached and titled: INVESTIGACIÓN DE LOS PROCEDIMIENTOS DE UNA ORGANIZACIÓN PUBLICAS
----
My response:

Yes! I am very interested. Thank you so much for contacting me.

Just to clarify, are you saying that this document is the entire project?

Also, your deadline is June 15, 2019, or is it July 15, 2019?

Will your payment come from US bank?
----
3rd email received:

Thanks so much for your swift response. Yes 15th of July and yes from US bank. I quite agree with your price quote and I am willing to pay for your service. This project is a research paper being sponsored for a seminar coming up soon, so I would like to make an advance payment or make the full payment so you know that you have my job with you. In the mean time, do get back to me with the following payment information in the format below.

1. Full Name to be written on the Check
2. Full Physical Address:
3. Mobile Cell Number

Your payment will be prepared once I have the requested details. Payment will be received and clear at your bank before you send the document. Get back to me asap.
----
My response:

Dear Becca,

I have not given you a price quote yet.
----
4th email received:

Yes I think I stated that in my previous mail . kindly get back to men with the total price along with your details as required in other to issue and mail out the payment in a timely manner .

I will always count on you.

Thank You.
----
I have stopped communication with Becca. The content of her emails are very similar to that already posted in this thread. I will also take action in settings as suggested to prevent receiving similar emails. I have wasted half a day on this scam!

Gretchen

PS The title of the document and its content are poorly written in Spanish. This is supposed to be a research paper that will be presented at a seminar???

Also, I checked out the properties of the Word document that Becca sent. It states that the document was created on 02-03-2018 and was last saved by Astrid Manjarres.

[Edited at 2019-05-19 20:50 GMT]
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Gretchen Delfin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:24
Member (May 2019)
Spanish to English
Email settings: what is the difference between May 19

Hello,

I decided to change my email settings. These are a couple of options:

1) Allow only ProZ.com users who are logged in to send me messages via my profile
2) Allow only logged-in ProZ.com members to send me email via my profile page

Does anyone know what the difference is between these two?

Thank you,
Gretchen


En-Ru
 

Natalie  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 16:24
Member (2002)
English to Russian
+ ...

MODERATOR
Re email settings May 19

Gretchen Delfin wrote:
I decided to change my email settings. These are a couple of options:
1) Allow only ProZ.com users who are logged in to send me messages via my profile
2) Allow only logged-in ProZ.com members to send me email via my profile page
Does anyone know what the difference is between these two?


Hi Gretchen,

"ProZ.com members" means paid members; "ProZ.com users" are registered users who do not pay for using ProZ.com.

HTH,
Natalia


En-Ru
 

Julie Barber  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:24
Member (2006)
French to English
prepayment May 21

Personally, I would never work for an individual without prepayment.

For companies and agencies, I have a good look at who they are first, especially if they are far away. The closer the better.....

That said, a translation colleague and I nearly got ripped off for a lot of money by another translator.
Can't remember how we met her, but here no doubt! She was acting as an agent and give us a very large aid agency job for US AID, the Government aid agency fund at
... See more
Personally, I would never work for an individual without prepayment.

For companies and agencies, I have a good look at who they are first, especially if they are far away. The closer the better.....

That said, a translation colleague and I nearly got ripped off for a lot of money by another translator.
Can't remember how we met her, but here no doubt! She was acting as an agent and give us a very large aid agency job for US AID, the Government aid agency fund at the time. We did the work and she tried to pocket the proceeds. She was in the States and I wouldn't have been able to do a thing. My work partner happened to be in the next State along and made some "uncouth" phone calls to her, got some serious abuse back but we did get paid. But yes another translator tried to rip us off on an aid agency project!

What time waster though for the scams below, as if we don't have enough to do without it.
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Meg F.
Canada
Local time: 10:24
Member (Jun 2019)
English to Japanese
+ ...
MARIANA LEDESMA emails May 25

Hello,
I did receive the same email from someone who calls herself MARIANA LEDESMA :

I'm contacting you in regard to an English content document with 11,643 words (44 Pages). I need this document translated to Japanese. I would like to know if you are interested please get back to me asap thanks

----------------
Next email:

I'm pleased to know you are interested in handling this project.However, I will require your service to translate the attac
... See more
Hello,
I did receive the same email from someone who calls herself MARIANA LEDESMA :

I'm contacting you in regard to an English content document with 11,643 words (44 Pages). I need this document translated to Japanese. I would like to know if you are interested please get back to me asap thanks

----------------
Next email:

I'm pleased to know you are interested in handling this project.However, I will require your service to translate the attached document. In the mean time, could you also confirm your charges per page, per source word or for the entire translation? The deadline for this Project is 1 month starting from 28 MAY-2019.

Finally, what would be your preferred mode of payment? Though I'm proposing a certified bank draft, a cashier check or bank certified check. Please do not hesitate to confirm if this is okay with you? I look forward to reading from you soon.

Best Regards

----------------
After giving my rate:

I quite agree with your price quote and I am willing to pay for your service. This project is a research paper being sponsor for a seminar coming up soon, so I would like to make an advance payment or make the full payment so you know you have my job with you but the payment can only made by CHECK and is Within the Canadian only, do get back to me with the following payment information in the format below.

1. Full Name to be written on the Check

2. Full Physical Address:

3. Mobile number

Your payment will be prepared once I have the requested details. Payment will be received before you send the document. Get back to me asap.

Best Regards


----------------
Then I let her know that I had other commitment so I couldn't do the job.
I hope that people check here so that nobody will get scammed.
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Ronnie J Rigdon  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:24
French to English
Nancy Bill Rides Again! May 27

Today I received an email from "Nancy Bill" with a message almost verbatim to the ones I see on this thread from a Gmail account. Looks like "she" has upped her game as she is looking for 15,000 words to be translated into English.

Luckily, I looked through the Translator Scammer Directory website (http://www.translator-scammers.com/translator-scammers-direct
... See more
Today I received an email from "Nancy Bill" with a message almost verbatim to the ones I see on this thread from a Gmail account. Looks like "she" has upped her game as she is looking for 15,000 words to be translated into English.

Luckily, I looked through the Translator Scammer Directory website (http://www.translator-scammers.com/translator-scammers-directory.htm) and this forum because I've been burned on this before.
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María Soledad Posatti
 

Gabriella Vento  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:24
Member (2015)
Hungarian to English
+ ...
INSTASPEAKERS - SUSPICIOUS CURIOSITY May 28

I got an email today about a new app for translation/interpretation.
Their software looks professional, and they offer higher per minute rates, than the others.
Nevertheless, I feel suspicious, because they make you give out your Social Security Number, and even try to get your bank account info. Their system does not let you proceed in the signüup process without these data.
They have no contact info listed, except an address:
Instaspeakers, Inc. · 1921 Ridge Rd # 1134
... See more
I got an email today about a new app for translation/interpretation.
Their software looks professional, and they offer higher per minute rates, than the others.
Nevertheless, I feel suspicious, because they make you give out your Social Security Number, and even try to get your bank account info. Their system does not let you proceed in the signüup process without these data.
They have no contact info listed, except an address:
Instaspeakers, Inc. · 1921 Ridge Rd # 1134 · Homewood, IL 60430-4653 · USA

Which is a Post Office.
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anne cook (X)
 

Alioune Dia
United States
Local time: 10:24
French to English
+ ...
Mariana Ledesma and Joyce McCarthy translation scams Jun 10

Hello dear translators,

Please be advised that Mariana Ledesma and Joyce McCarthy are con artists who target translators. They will send you an email as the following one:

"Hello, I'm contacting you in regard to an English content
document worth 11,643 words (44 Pages). I need this document
translated into
French. I would like to know if you are interested and
available to get this done for me. Please get back to me as
soon as you can via
... See more
Hello dear translators,

Please be advised that Mariana Ledesma and Joyce McCarthy are con artists who target translators. They will send you an email as the following one:

"Hello, I'm contacting you in regard to an English content
document worth 11,643 words (44 Pages). I need this document
translated into
French. I would like to know if you are interested and
available to get this done for me. Please get back to me as
soon as you can via email
(joyce082954@hotmail.com). Thank you.

Best regards"

Later in the process, they will send you a fake check as payment doubling the payment amount as advance payment for future projects. They in fact count on the check clearing in your account once deposited and ask for refund.

If you withdraw the money and send them a partial refund you will end up in trouble with your bank and pay off the money plus any fees.


Joyce McCarthy also uses the following phone number (asking to only be sent text messages):
+1 (615) 8570481

Please use extra caution at all time and report such con artists ASAP to the police or the translation community.

Best regards

Alioune B. Dia
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Alioune Dia
United States
Local time: 10:24
French to English
+ ...
NEVER PROVIDE YOUR SOCIAL TO ANYONE EXCEPT YOUR BANK. THAT ISTHE FIRST SIGN OF MALEVOLENT INTENTION Jun 10

NEVER PROVIDE YOUR SOCIAL TO ANYONE EXCEPT YOUR BANK. THAT IS ONE OF THE FIRST SIGN OF MALEVOLENT INTENTION

IanDhu
Liviu-Lee Roth
Lisa Grayson
 

Monika Sommerfeld  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:24
Member (2009)
English to German
Another Name Jun 10

Yet another name to add to the DO NOT REPLY list: Debra Jeff (debrajeff100@gmail.com).

Same scam, same insistence on paying by cheque.


 

Leah Ashe  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:24
Italian to English
+ ...
One more scam report -"INVESTIGACIÓN DE LOS PROCEDIMIENTOS DE UNA ORGANIZACIÓN PUBLICAS" Jun 25

Just to add another report to this growing list … And to send a thank you to everyone who has posted in this thread.

Sounds as though many of these scams are run by the same artist. The person who emailed me used the same document and languages as reported by Gretchen Delfin – thank you, Gretchen, for confirming my suspicions! – but used the name Melissa Collins. Here’s the email exchange between “Melissa Collins” and me:


On Mon, Jun 24, 2019 at 12:48
... See more
Just to add another report to this growing list … And to send a thank you to everyone who has posted in this thread.

Sounds as though many of these scams are run by the same artist. The person who emailed me used the same document and languages as reported by Gretchen Delfin – thank you, Gretchen, for confirming my suspicions! – but used the name Melissa Collins. Here’s the email exchange between “Melissa Collins” and me:


On Mon, Jun 24, 2019 at 12:48 PM Melissa Collins melissacollins090 [at] gmail [dot] com wrote:
I'm contacting you in regard to an Spanish content document with 12,750 words words (44 Pages). I need this document translated to English. I would like to know if you are interested please get back to me asap thanks

----------------------
From Me:
Dear Melissa,

Thank you for contacting me regarding this translation. I am available, and I would like to ask for more information about the project: Can you please tell me (1) the subject/field; (2) deadline; (3) anything else I should know about the author, client, or document; and (4) budget?
----------------------

I'm pleased to know you are interested in handling this project.However, I will require your service to translate the attached document. In the mean time, could you also confirm your charges per page, per source word or for the entire translation? The deadline for this Project is 1 month starting from 30 JUNE-2019.
Finally, what would be your preferred mode of payment? Though I'm proposing a certified bank draft, a cashier check or bank certified check. Please do not hesitate to confirm if this is okay with you? I look forward to reading from you soon.
Best Regards
[Attached document: INVESTIGACIÓN DE LOS PROCEDIMIENTOS DE UNA ORGANIZACIÓN PUBLICAS]
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Liviu-Lee Roth
United States
Local time: 10:24
Romanian to English
+ ...
These scams (texts) are sold on the dark web Jun 25

Alioune Dia wrote:

Hello dear translators,

Please be advised that Mariana Ledesma and Joyce McCarthy are con artists who target translators. They will send you an email as the following one:

"Hello, I'm contacting you in regard to an English content
document worth 11,643 words (44 Pages). I need this document
translated into
French. I would like to know if you are interested and
available to get this done for me. Please get back to me as
soon as you can via email
(joyce082954@hotmail.com). Thank you.

Best regards"

Later in the process, they will send you a fake check as payment doubling the payment amount as advance payment for future projects. They in fact count on the check clearing in your account once deposited and ask for refund.

If you withdraw the money and send them a partial refund you will end up in trouble with your bank and pay off the money plus any fees.


Joyce McCarthy also uses the following phone number (asking to only be sent text messages):
+1 (615) 8570481

Please use extra caution at all time and report such con artists ASAP to the police or the translation community.

Best regards

Alioune B. Dia



Please understand that Mariana Ledesma and Joyce McCarthy or any other names are fake/stolen names used by organized scammers all over the world. The 11,000 word/44 pages scam has been around for over five years. The scammers purchase these texts on the dark web and copy/paste them on the e-mails sent to the potential victims. Recently, I had the opportunity to interpret for such a scammer (in custody) and he explained that he does not speak, read or write English but was instructed how to copy/paste the initial post or to the subsequent correspondence.

Stay safe,
Lee


Dan Zavala
 

Leslie Young
United States
Local time: 09:24
Spanish to English
Same Scam Jun 26

Hi all! I was contacted by someone named Melissa Collins for this same scam. She evaded my questions about how she found me and what her background was, and the document seemed too easy for the price that I quoted and she agreed to. She wanted me to translate the document "INVESTIGACIÓN DE LOS PROCEDIMIENTOS DE UNA ORGANIZACIÓN PUBLICAS FASE 1".

 

Cinthia Cristaldi  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 16:24
Member (Jan 2019)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Nancy Bill Scam Jul 1

Ronnie J Rigdon wrote:

Today I received an email from "Nancy Bill" with a message almost verbatim to the ones I see on this thread from a Gmail account. Looks like "she" has upped her game as she is looking for 15,000 words to be translated into English.

Luckily, I looked through the Translator Scammer Directory website (http://www.translator-scammers.com/translator-scammers-directory.htm) and this forum because I've been burned on this before.



Two days ago I received almost the exact same email from "Nancy Bill". Looks like they are doing it to everyone! I am quite new in this so I replied the first email only saying I was available. She answered back with the file she needed to translate and saying she uses a certified bank draft. She never asked me how much I would charge for the job so I got suspicious. I haven't answered her email back. Should I do something else apart from simply ignoring her last email ?


María Soledad Posatti
 
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SCAM: translation of a 11,643-word document (various email addresses, payment with a check)

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