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Private customer - How to make sure I will get paid?
Thread poster: Marianne Pasty-Abdul Wahid

Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Local time: 02:29
Member
Chinese to English
+ ...
A few things Apr 23

Marianne Pasty-Abdul Wahid wrote:

I really appreciate your advices.
It is really a private customer (no agency, no website, no references, no mention on any website), seems to be a postgraduate student, but I prefered to be really carefull since it is a 2000 euros project (3 docs)!!
I was actually expecting a negative reply after giving that amout, but here is what she wrote (translated from German):

"Okay, a total of € 2,000 is fine.

Please contact me with your bank details below so that the
Payment can be made as quickly as possible and you can conclude the work on time.

Account designation
account number
routine number (????? no idea what that is)
Bank name
Bank address

Please contact me soon"

I was really puzzled. Which private customer, even more a student, has 2000 euros to spare for translating 3 docs? And she was apparently willing to pay the whole amount before I even started working (I was anyways planning to ask for 50% advance as a security).

So, as someone of you wrote here, I asked if we can talk over the phone....that was one week ago. NO news since then........


[Edited at 2019-04-23 07:34 GMT]

There are potential warning signs, but the one thing you should check is: are they from the US or Canada?

Anyway, students are relatively easy to verify.

[Edited at 2019-04-23 09:50 GMT]


 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 20:29
Member (2018)
French to English
checks Apr 23

Have you checked to see whether the texts and their translations are available on internet?

 

Marianne Pasty-Abdul Wahid
Germany
Local time: 20:29
German to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I declined the job..... Apr 23

Anyways, issue solved, the client didn't reply after my request to talk over the phone, so I formally informed her that I am no more available.
Am happy to get rid of it, too many question marks here, still not sure if it is genuine or not.
Thanks to all of you!!!


Shenice Parkyn
 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:29
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Insistent on having your bank details? Apr 23

That sounds very, very fishy. Is your exchange of emails similar to any of those mentioned in recent discussions in this forum?

https://www.proz.com/forum/scams/334147-new_scammer_alert_tabitha.html
https://www.proz.com/forum/scams/333713-sc
... See more
That sounds very, very fishy. Is your exchange of emails similar to any of those mentioned in recent discussions in this forum?

https://www.proz.com/forum/scams/334147-new_scammer_alert_tabitha.html
https://www.proz.com/forum/scams/333713-scammed.html
https://www.proz.com/forum/scams/333806-most_certainly_a_scam_beware.html
https://www.proz.com/forum/scams/331945-bank_information_scammers.html
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Marianne Pasty-Abdul Wahid
Germany
Local time: 20:29
German to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
some similarities... Apr 23

Sheila, just like in several of the posts about scams, mine also mentioned needing the docs for a presentation.
And 2 out of 3 are from the net, didn't dig much further for the 3rd one but I'm quite sure it is also available somewhere. Funny part, she first asked for 2 docs, but attached 3 docs (two in german and 1 in english)...then asked whether I could translate the english one as well.....
But anyways, the immediate acceptance of my fairly high quote (I used my highest rate witho
... See more
Sheila, just like in several of the posts about scams, mine also mentioned needing the docs for a presentation.
And 2 out of 3 are from the net, didn't dig much further for the 3rd one but I'm quite sure it is also available somewhere. Funny part, she first asked for 2 docs, but attached 3 docs (two in german and 1 in english)...then asked whether I could translate the english one as well.....
But anyways, the immediate acceptance of my fairly high quote (I used my highest rate without bulge discount) & the absence of response after I asked for phone contact are, I guess, reasons enough to believe it was indeed a scam.
So should I post the name and email used here for everybody to see?? It was in German....
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Katarzyna Slowikova  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:29
English to Czech
+ ...
100% overpayment scam Apr 23

Marianne Pasty-Abdul Wahid wrote:

"Okay, a total of € 2,000 is fine.

Please contact me with your bank details below so that the
Payment can be made as quickly as possible and you can conclude the work on time.

Account designation
account number
routine number (????? no idea what that is)
Bank name
Bank address

Please contact me soon"

I was really puzzled. Which private customer, even more a student, has 2000 euros to spare for translating 3 docs? And she was apparently willing to pay the whole amount before I even started working (I was anyways planning to ask for 50% advance as a security).



[Edited at 2019-04-23 07:34 GMT]


This looks totally like a copy-paste message by one of those overpayment idiots - "routine" is probably a typo for "routing". The 50% prepayment confirms it to an absolute certainty.

My advice is to publish the name and address of this crook anywhere you can (including here - it's imho clear it's a scammer) and forget about it.
Job offers from individuals (if you're not a sworn translator) should always be treated with highest suspicion. It just doesn't happen nowadays that a private person, not affiliated with any company or institution, goes directly to a translator, without any personal recommendation or other personal link.

[Edited at 2019-04-23 11:40 GMT]


 

Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:29
Member (2004)
English to Italian
scam... Apr 23

it's a classic... check the email address on the 'net...

 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:29
Member (2008)
Italian to English
not quite Apr 23

Katarzyna Slowikova wrote:

It just doesn't happen nowadays that a private person, not affiliated with any company or institution, goes directly to a translator, without any personal recommendation or other personal link.


Not quite true. In the past couple of weeks I've had several jobs from private individuals, without any personal recommendation or other personal link. Sometimes you can just "tell" if a person is on the level, or not. And of course before accepting any job I always ask for the client's registered tax address and VAT no.

And they pay immediately on receipt of my invoice (which is more than can be said for agencies). Oh, and they pay more

[Edited at 2019-04-23 11:51 GMT]


 

Katarzyna Slowikova  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:29
English to Czech
+ ...
Once in 15 years Apr 23

Tom in London wrote:

Katarzyna Slowikova wrote:

It just doesn't happen nowadays that a private person, not affiliated with any company or institution, goes directly to a translator, without any personal recommendation or other personal link.


Not quite true. In the past couple of weeks I've had several jobs from private individuals, without any personal recommendation or other personal link. Sometimes you can just "tell" if a person is on the level, or not. And of course before accepting any job I always ask for the client's registered tax address and VAT no.

And they pay immediately on receipt of my invoice (which is more than can be said for agencies). Oh, and they pay more

[Edited at 2019-04-23 11:51 GMT]


Ok, I have to admit I had 1 job like this - in some 15 years of freelance work! Others always came from people who got to me through personal recommendations (in academic circles).
So this one was a stranger but still, there was no doubt in my mind that this is a real person and a real job. The conversation was on completely different level: it was clear the person was an author of the article, a doctoral student in one of the universities in my country, everything around the payment was complete no-brainer - an invoice (notice the scammers never ask for one) and a standard inland bank wire. And yes, she payed immediately after the delivery, which was like 2 weeks before the deadline. (Normal people are used to pay just after purchase).

Yet, I still think it's a safe piece of advice to all new-comers - who tend to be shockingly uniformed about the dangers of getting their work online - to treat offers from individuals with utmost suspicion. The chances they save themselves from being scammed by refusing an offer or two are pretty high, while chances of loosing a real work are imho close to zero.

And one more thing, Tom:
Tom in London wrote:
And of course before accepting any job I always ask for the client's registered tax address and VAT no.

I know in Germany everyone has a VAT no. but as to address, you only register where you live. In Czech Rep. or Poland private people don't have any of this. All you can put on an invoice are name and an address. So there really aren't ways to check a private person in advance and it's for sure the same in many more countries.


[Edited at 2019-04-23 12:39 GMT]

[Edited at 2019-04-23 12:39 GMT]


 

Marianne Pasty-Abdul Wahid
Germany
Local time: 20:29
German to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Details about my scammer! Apr 24

Ok, since it is now confirmed that my private client was a scammer (no response to my two last emails after asking for phone contact), I am here posting the details about her and our exchange (in German):

Name used: Carolyn Stutter
Email: traful764@gmail.com
Scammer's IP address: 212.103.49.85
Provided address: 822 N Mariposa Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90029

1st email sent via Proz.com:
"G
... See more
Ok, since it is now confirmed that my private client was a scammer (no response to my two last emails after asking for phone contact), I am here posting the details about her and our exchange (in German):

Name used: Carolyn Stutter
Email: traful764@gmail.com
Scammer's IP address: 212.103.49.85
Provided address: 822 N Mariposa Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90029

1st email sent via Proz.com:
"Guten Tag, ich würde gerne wissen, ob Sie ein Dokument übersetzen können, das für eine Präsentation verwendet werden kann.
Sie übersetzen vom Deutschen ins Französische
Carolyn"

There were 3 PDF docs attached to this email: 2 in german about governmental policies related to climate and protection of environment & 1 energy performance certificate in english

2nd email:
"Danke, dass Sie zu mir zurückgekommen sind.
Ich möchte, dass Sie ein Dokument von Deutsch nach Französisch übersetzen.
Ein kleines Profil über mich, mein Name ist Carolyn Stutter und stammt aus Neuseeland, aber ich bin zur Zeit in den USA (822 N Mariposa Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90029). Dies ist ein privater Job.
Ich habe das Dokument bereits angehängt, damit Sie mir Ihre Proforma-Rechnung / Gebühren anzeigen und senden können. Würde mich auf Ihre Antwort freuen
Beste
Carolyn

3rd email:
Ich habe anscheinend versehentlich eine englische Datei als das 3-Dokument angehängt. Können Sie das auch auf Französisch übersetzen?
Wenn nicht, können Sie mir die Gesamtkosten für die Übersetzung der beiden deutschen Dokumente mitteilen.
Vielen Dank

In between I gave her a quite high price of 2000 euros for the 3 docs.

4th email:
Okay, insgesamt sind 2.000 € in Ordnung.
Bitte wenden Sie sich mit Ihren Bankdaten unten an mich, damit die Zahlung so schnell wie möglich erfolgen kann und Sie rechtzeitig abschließen können.
Kontobezeichnung
Kontonummer
Routinennummer
Bank Name
Bankadresse
Bitte melden Sie sich bald wieder bei mir
Beste
Carolyn

After this I asked her if we can talk over the phone = no response since then.

[Edited at 2019-04-24 07:37 GMT]

[Edited at 2019-04-24 07:38 GMT]

[Edited at 2019-04-24 07:40 GMT]
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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:29
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
I'm 99% sure it's a scam (conservative estimate) Apr 24

Marianne Pasty-Abdul Wahid wrote:
Funny part, she first asked for 2 docs, but attached 3 docs (two in german and 1 in english)...then asked whether I could translate the english one as well.....

Sounds as though she was making it up as she went along, and losing the thread of her lies. If of course it even is a woman. I don't know quite how these scams are, in terms of who does them, but I can imagine scammers feverishly spending hour after hour setting up bogus email accounts and then using templates to send out hundreds of emails per day. Keeping track of them all would be a nightmare -- poor things !

So should I post the name and email used here for everybody to see?? It was in German....

That has to be left up to you. It's so far down the "scam" road that I don't think ProZ.com would class it as revealing a client's personal details, but don't do it if you aren't happy with it. People can always contact you privately if they're concerned. You did Google for the name and/or email address, did you?


Katarzyna Slowikova
 

Katarzyna Slowikova  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:29
English to Czech
+ ...
Notitle Apr 24

Sheila Wilson wrote:


So should I post the name and email used here for everybody to see?? It was in German....

That has to be left up to you. It's so far down the "scam" road that I don't think ProZ.com would class it as revealing a client's personal details, but don't do it if you aren't happy with it.


I would say do it and if the moderators have problem with it, you will get an email asking you to edit the post, if you don't, it will be hidden. That's how it works. So nothing to loose, imho.


 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:29
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
There's your answer May 3

Marianne Pasty-Abdul Wahid wrote:


So, as someone of you wrote here, I asked if we can talk over the phone....that was one week ago. NO news since then........


[Edited at 2019-04-23 07:34 GMT]


Since she didn't reply to your valid request for her phone number, it was most probably a scam. At least you didn't spend any time on the translation or, even worse, fell for an overpayment scam.


 
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