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Bank transfer fraud attempt
Thread poster: Katia Louisa CHAAL

Katia Louisa CHAAL
France
Local time: 11:09
English to French
+ ...
Apr 24

Hello,

I am here to report a bank transfer attempted fraud.

Name of the alleged client : Janet / Jason Gibson.
Email : janetgibson099@gmail.com

The name and email might be changed in the meantime.

The process is very well-organised. She/He is, of course, very friendly.

She pretends she needs the translation of documents (that she sends you), and is willing to pay an
... See more
Hello,

I am here to report a bank transfer attempted fraud.

Name of the alleged client : Janet / Jason Gibson.
Email : janetgibson099@gmail.com

The name and email might be changed in the meantime.

The process is very well-organised. She/He is, of course, very friendly.

She pretends she needs the translation of documents (that she sends you), and is willing to pay an advance (50 %) and the balance once the work is done.

Then, she alleges a mistake in the bank transfer - a huge overpayment of more than 8000 euros. As you are honest, you promise to pay back the overpayment on her account once you get the funds.

The funds are actually paid (but in fact, via a deposited cheque) and once you honestly confirm you received the funds, she asks you to transfer the overpayment - SEPA authorisation - on a foreign account.
Of course, I never did, called my bank and went immediately to the police.

Many issues are involved in here : stolen cheque, identity theft, card fraud attempt, etc.

Still worse, you may be accused of fraud instead of him/her. Indeed, a banking advisor confirmed she presented herself to my bank - in my own name - to deposit the cheque - she did not signed though. The bank cashed the cheque without verifying the potential signature.

In the meantime, my bank sent me a copy of the fraudulent cheque and I will try to file a complaint if the police allows me so. Of course, the cheque being fraudulent, the deposit is normally cancelled by the bank.

Be very careful to this kind of scam and never proceed to any payment.

For your help : http://www.arnaques-internet.info/arnaque-24807.html
https://www.signal-arnaques.com/scam/view/156817

[Edited at 2019-04-24 12:55 GMT]
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Katarzyna Slowikova
 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:09
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Do not give ban details Apr 25

Katia Louisa CHAAL wrote:

....she alleges a mistake in the bank transfer....


That only happened because you gave her your bank details. There are two basic principles everyone should follow:

1. Never give a new client your bank details until AFTER YOU HAVE DELIVERED THE COMPLETED TRANSLATION.

2. NEVER ACCEPT PAYMENT IN ADVANCE from a new client.



[Edited at 2019-04-25 08:47 GMT]


B D Finch
 

Kay-Viktor Stegemann
Germany
Local time: 11:09
Member (2016)
English to German
Tom, that won't help Apr 25

Tom in London wrote:

That only happened because you gave her your bank details. There are two basic principles everyone should follow:

1. Never give a new client your bank details until AFTER YOU HAVE DELIVERED THE COMPLETED TRANSLATION.

2. NEVER ACCEPT PAYMENT IN ADVANCE from a new client.


Tom, this will not help in the long run. The scam will work with advance payment and with subsequent payment as well, if the scammer has just a little patience (and this would do even more damage to the translator, adding all the wasted work). I think we need another solution here, for example bank accounts where cheques are generally banned, so that no trickster can simply walk into my bank and deposit a cheque in my name.


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:09
Member (2008)
Italian to English
DON't give details Apr 25

Kay-Viktor Stegemann wrote:

Tom, this will not help in the long run. The scam will work with advance payment.


The scammer can't make any payments unless you are foolish enough to give them your bank details.

Alas, in my previous post it seems I did not express myself clearly....


 

Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Local time: 17:09
Member
Chinese to English
+ ...
Good idea Apr 25

You should absolutely wait until you've wasted many days working on a fake project before discovering that it's a scam, rather than finding that out ahead of time.

Kuochoe Nikoi
 

Katia Louisa CHAAL
France
Local time: 11:09
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
bank details Apr 25

As per my bank adviser and a colleague of her, she couldn't have done anything with my bank details, except if I had given my consent for a SEPA authorisation - I did not give, of course.

We are all aware of the existence of scams even though it's the first time I am approached by a scammer through my activity. The scammer is handy because he is seems to know well the translation process and masters his speech and approach.

Still, when you're not used to this type of sc
... See more
As per my bank adviser and a colleague of her, she couldn't have done anything with my bank details, except if I had given my consent for a SEPA authorisation - I did not give, of course.

We are all aware of the existence of scams even though it's the first time I am approached by a scammer through my activity. The scammer is handy because he is seems to know well the translation process and masters his speech and approach.

Still, when you're not used to this type of scams, you do not pay attention to it immediately because you have a life and other things to handle in parallel.

It any event, this is the last time I reply to this kind of proposal.
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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:09
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
That really isn't the answer, IMO Apr 25

Tom in London wrote:
There are two basic principles everyone should follow:

1. Never give a new client your bank details until AFTER YOU HAVE DELIVERED THE COMPLETED TRANSLATION.

2. NEVER ACCEPT PAYMENT IN ADVANCE from a new client.

How is that going to work with, for example, the translation of a book? I certainly wouldn't advise anyone to translate the whole thing without seeing the colour of the client's money. It's normal practice to ask for an advance payment on large jobs.


What I can't understand is why banks are accepting these cheques. Was your bank account a French one, Katia? I know banks there were still accepting cheques in 2012, but they were being used less and less when I lived there. Here in Spain they laugh at you when you ask for a cheque book, and I've never tried to deposit a cheque. Hopefully, if anyone else tries, the bank will at least contact me before processing it.


Cengiz Hoca
 

Kay-Viktor Stegemann
Germany
Local time: 11:09
Member (2016)
English to German
But you have to give your bank details at some point Apr 25

Tom in London wrote:

Kay-Viktor Stegemann wrote:

Tom, this will not help in the long run. The scam will work with advance payment.


The scammer can't make any payments unless you are foolish enough to give them your bank details.

Alas, in my previous post it seems I did not express myself clearly....


I understood you perfectly, but what I mean is that you have to give away your bank details at some point; if not in advance, then later, in order to be paid at all. So you can still be scammed by the same method. Therefore it does not help to hold back with your bank details.


Katia Louisa CHAAL
Pete in Finland
Khalid Sabili
Vadim Kadyrov
Katarzyna Slowikova
Joe France
 

Katia Louisa CHAAL
France
Local time: 11:09
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Bank consent Apr 25

Hello Sheila,

I do agree with you. I would never start a project before getting an account from the direct client and lose my precious time. This is the same thing for web developers and many other freelance jobs.
I am sure translation agencies ask the whole sum to their direct clients before approaching their freelance translators. Why wouldn't we do the same ?

Yes, my bank is a very well-known official french bank, and my advisor recognized the error of the pers
... See more
Hello Sheila,

I do agree with you. I would never start a project before getting an account from the direct client and lose my precious time. This is the same thing for web developers and many other freelance jobs.
I am sure translation agencies ask the whole sum to their direct clients before approaching their freelance translators. Why wouldn't we do the same ?

Yes, my bank is a very well-known official french bank, and my advisor recognized the error of the person who accepted the cheque without verifying the back of it (there was no signature, for example) and who did not ask an ID.

This is crazy.
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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:09
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Sigh... Apr 25

Sheila Wilson wrote:

How is that going to work with, for example, the translation of a book?


They can't pay you in advance unless they have an invoice from you, with your bank details - unless you're foolish enough to accept payment without an invoice (which incidentally could also get you into trouble with the tax authorities).

And you can't, and never should, issue an invoice unless it quotes the recipient's Tax or VAT number and their registered address.

I see I need to explain this point by point. What's next?

[Edited at 2019-04-25 10:07 GMT]


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:09
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Bank details Apr 25

Kay-Viktor Stegemann wrote:

I understood you perfectly, but what I mean is that you have to give away your bank details at some point; if not in advance, then later, in order to be paid at all. So you can still be scammed by the same method. Therefore it does not help to hold back with your bank details.


Of course you have to give away your bank details at some point. But not until you know exactly to whom you are giving them. That requires them to give you the name and registered business address of whoever is going to pay you. and their Tax Code/VAT number.

Only when you have that information should you give ANYONE your bank details.

I really must apologise. I thought my post was perfectly clear, but apparently it wasn't.


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:09
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
And if it isn't a B2B transaction? Apr 25

Tom in London wrote:

Sheila Wilson wrote:

How is that going to work with, for example, the translation of a book?


They can't pay you in advance unless they have an invoice from you, with your bank details - unless you're foolish enough to accept payment without an invoice (which incidentally could also get you into trouble with the tax authorities).

And you can't, and never should, issue an invoice unless it quotes the recipient's Tax or VAT number and their registered address.

I see I need to explain this point by point. What's next?

What's next is a reminder that not every piece of work we ever do is for registered companies. A private individual can write a book and want it translated or edited. I've edited a translated book for a German author myself. All this person had was a name, a postal address, and a willingness to pay part of the cost in advance. Should I have refused the job? Or waited until they owed me €1000 for many hours of work before invoicing them? Neither seems a great idea to me.


Katarzyna Slowikova
Joe France
Yoana Ivanova
Alison Jenner
 

Kay-Viktor Stegemann
Germany
Local time: 11:09
Member (2016)
English to German
And private clients? Apr 25

Tom in London wrote:
Of course you have to give away your bank details at some point. But not until you know exactly to whom you are giving them. That requires them to give you the name and registered business address of whoever is going to pay you. and their Tax Code/VAT number.

Only when you have that information should you give ANYONE your bank details.

I really must apologise. I thought my post was perfectly clear, but apparently it wasn't.


So you cannot accept any job coming from a private individual, since a private individual has no registered business address and VAT number?

I think you are on the wrong track here. We are working globally, and it is not always possible to check those credentials. I would not know how to check a registered business address or tax ID from Korea, Brazil, China, or Hong Kong. But I have clients from all these countries. When I give my payment details to anyone, I must be safe from fraudulent payments and this kind of check fraud. I think I will visit my bank one of these days and ask how things like this can be prevented.


Sheila Wilson
Vadim Kadyrov
Yolanda Broad
Katarzyna Slowikova
Yoana Ivanova
Alison Jenner
Valery Kaminski
 

IrinaN
United States
Local time: 04:09
English to Russian
+ ...
May be I'm out of place here but I'm curious Apr 25

So far the discussion was held between European colleagues only but I can't help praising good, old-fashioned bank checks. I really don't know if this practice is still available at all in Europe. Actually, I would appreciate it if anyone will explain briefly how does a paper check from, say, France, works in any other country of the EU. Is the expected delay a primary reason? Like a longer clearing process for larger amounts on top of waiting for the check?

I see at least 3 benefi
... See more
So far the discussion was held between European colleagues only but I can't help praising good, old-fashioned bank checks. I really don't know if this practice is still available at all in Europe. Actually, I would appreciate it if anyone will explain briefly how does a paper check from, say, France, works in any other country of the EU. Is the expected delay a primary reason? Like a longer clearing process for larger amounts on top of waiting for the check?

I see at least 3 benefits:

No need to give your bank information at all. Instead, you know theirs.

Those fossilized, backwood paper checks are a 100% traceable.

"Lost in the mail" case only happened to me twice in 30 years, in both cases for very substantial amounts like over $12,000 on one of the checks but, unlike any "overpayment" frauds, the clients stopped both payments after 5 business days and no check in my mail box. I insisted on doing so and accepting the trouble (bank fee) but they rushed the replacement by more expensive carriers and I received it on the second day. Were they trying to fool me initially? No, I can vouch for those particular clients with everything I have.

What a music to my ears:
https://kretzerfirm.com/what-is-forgery-financial-instrument-in-texas-felony-or-misdemeanor-penalties/
If it's a felony of the third degree, the penalty is likely to be 2 to 10 years in prison, with fines up to $10,000. If you're accused of misdemeanor forgery, you could get either up to one year in jail, fines up to $4,000 or both.

I give my bank info for direct deposits only when any doubts are eliminated by default.
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Liviu-Lee Roth
 

Katarzyna Slowikova  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:09
English to Czech
+ ...
Blame the bank Apr 25

Many sensible answers but didn't you all miss this detail:

Katia Louisa CHAAL wrote:

Indeed, a banking advisor confirmed she presented herself to my bank - in my own name - to deposit the cheque - she did not signed though. The bank cashed the cheque without verifying the potential signature.



It's the bank's fault and they should be held responsible, not the account owner who's been a victim of identity theft (or impersonation or what's the proper name for it).
Btw. I find this detail most valuable in the whole post (the rest is just the same old story). In other threads people have been writing about those mysterious cheques being cashed into your account without your knowledge, after just giving the scammer your account number and expecting a wire... so now we know how it works. No "automatically cashed" cheques (my own expression) but an impersonation of the account owner!

Btw. bank details (your name and account no.) are super easy to obtain. Believe it or not, in the Czech Republic they're being published online by authorities for all registered businesses (incl. freelancers), unless you opt out (which I did, of course). Even without this pointless public register, you have myriads of account numbers on all the businesses' websites... imagine all of them being suddenly flooded with these fake cheques, with people presenting themselves as the account owners. It's clearly banks' job to prevent this.



[Edited at 2019-04-25 13:51 GMT]

[Edited at 2019-04-25 13:52 GMT]


Sheila Wilson
Liviu-Lee Roth
 
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