Translator scam alert reports

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(July 12, 2012: Scammer impersonating Crystal Samples)
(July 12, 2012: Scammer impersonating Crystal Samples)
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== July 2012 ==
== July 2012 ==
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=== July 17, 2012: Scammers impersonating  Migal Translations to steal translations ==
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A representative from Migal Translations www.migaltranslations.com has reported that scammers using the name Jessica Storm and the email address<br> jessica.storm@netcourrier.com are impersonating this company to post fraudulent translation jobs. <br>
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False purchase orders with Migal Translations' logo and company name were sent to the translators, and the scam was discovered when the service <br> providers contacted the legitimate outsourcer asking for the payments of jobs that Migal Translations had not requested. <br>
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Alarms should be activated each time somebody claims to represent an outsourcing company from an email address that does not belong to the company.<br>
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<br>
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For more information on scammers who steal translations by impersonating real players, see the ProZ.com article on [http://www.proz.com/translation-articles/articles/3613/1/ProZ.com-series-on-Risk-Management%3A-Scammers-who-steal-translations Scammers who steal translations]
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=== July 12, 2012: Scammer impersonating Crystal Samples ===
=== July 12, 2012: Scammer impersonating Crystal Samples ===

Revision as of 22:08, 17 July 2012


Contents

Overview

  • This is a service provided by ProZ.com to help professional translators improve their risk management when facing scammers.
  • This page presents the translators scam alert reports sent to subscribers to the Translators scam-prevention center: http://www.proz.com/about/translator-scam-alerts/default.
  • If you are a ProZ.com member you can subscribe to the scam alerts.


July 2012

= July 17, 2012: Scammers impersonating Migal Translations to steal translations

A representative from Migal Translations www.migaltranslations.com has reported that scammers using the name Jessica Storm and the email address
jessica.storm@netcourrier.com are impersonating this company to post fraudulent translation jobs.

False purchase orders with Migal Translations' logo and company name were sent to the translators, and the scam was discovered when the service
providers contacted the legitimate outsourcer asking for the payments of jobs that Migal Translations had not requested.

Alarms should be activated each time somebody claims to represent an outsourcing company from an email address that does not belong to the company.

For more information on scammers who steal translations by impersonating real players, see the ProZ.com article on Scammers who steal translations

July 12, 2012: Scammer impersonating Crystal Samples

A scam has been reported by a colleague that delivered USD 1550 worth of unpaid translations to a scammer who impersonated member
Crystal Samples by using the (false) email address crystalsamplese(at)gmail.com. The reporter received a call from the scammer's
number 35699465492 (from Malta). A warning has been posted in the corresponding Blue Board page.

Impersonating scams are frequently reported and they are harder to detect because these are scammers who know about the language
industry and who can effectively impersonate legitimate translators and outsourcers. Learn more about this scourge and related
risk management practices at the article 'Scammers who steal translations' published at http://www.proz.com/doc/3613

July 10, 2012: Overpayment scammer ‘Lori S Deb. Kelly’

An overpayment scam job was reported as published in Translators Cafe using the name ‘Lori S Deb. Kelly’ and the email address sdeborah0914@gmail.com

When asked to provide complete address and phone number, the scammer replied:

Hello and thanks for the reply, i do hope that we can work this out together, a little explanation about myself, My full name is 
Deborah Serena , living in the United Kingdom and travels alots, married and have 2 kids. I do get contract business from people that 
need to translate documents so i am like a middle men in this business and i have been successful with it. I have attached the file as 
document. Do let me know your total cost for this assignment. My mode of payment is by a Check, is that okay and acceptable by you? I 
hope so. And the payment would be made from my customer that need this assignment, my payment would be made together with yours for 
easy and conviniency for my customer. You do not need to start this work yet, you will wait until you have the check and cashed, then 
you can resume work and send to me as i want trust and a mutual and good understanding between us. But i would need your help and 
assistance, as you already know that both payments would be received by you, after you have the cash at hand, you will need to send me 
the excess amount on it as my part of fees for this business. I hope you will be able to do this and i hope this is okay by you. Ok I 
will provide my details for you to send me an invoice so i can make an arrangement for the payment by Check. “

Please note that this long replay contains personal information aimed to creating empathy “travels alots, married and have 2 kids”
but no real contact information. Also the offer of full advance payment will create a sense of false safety in trusting freelancers
who do not fear that a check can be forged. The quality and style of the text is also what you would expect from your average
overpayment scammer.

What is original in this case is for the scammer to state up-front that you will be overpaid and asked to send back the difference.
Normally they report an accidental overpayment. They may be learning new tricks.

July 9, 2012: Scam impersonating Charles Azzopardi

A scam was reported by a colleague who delivered a translation to a scammer impersonating ProZ.com member Charles Azzopardi using
the email address charlesu92@gmail.com and, after delivery, lost all contact with the 'client'. The issue was discovered when the
translator tried to post a Blue Board warning on Charles Azzopardi and he reported back that he has never contacted the translator at all.

Impersonating scams are frequently reported and they are harder to detect because these are scammers who know about the language
industry and who can effectively impersonate legitimate translators and outsourcers. Learn more about this scourge and related risk
management practices at the article 'Scammers who steal translations' published at http://www.proz.com/doc/3613


July 6, 2012: Article on 'Scammers who steal translations'

The first article of a planned ProZ.com series on Risk Management has been published on the subject of 'Scammers who steal translations'.
This article presents some typical scam mechanisms aimed to stealing translations plus some related risk management advise.
These scammers are the most difficult to identify because they know the industry and they can effectively impersonate legitimate
outsourcers and translators.

There are many reports of this kind of scam. Please read this note and, if possible, let other colleagues know about it. Raising
awareness on these issues is our first line of defense as a community.

July 3, 2012: Overpayment scam from "Mario Bortolo"

An overpayment scam has been reported using the name "Mario Bortolo" and the email address mario.bortolo@yahoo.com. IP address locates the scammer
in Palermo, Italy.

Job was a French to English translation and "Mario Bortolo" agreed to a quote of USD800. After that, he offered an unrequested 50% advance payment.
Translator requested payment through Paypal or Moneybookers but "Mario" said he could pay only by check.

Then Mario informed that his client sent the translator a check for $3000 and that she should keep the full amount for the translation (not just 50%)
and he would instruct her on how to return the rest.

Fortunately the translator refused and "only" lost some time. The translator did well in avoid the scam but asking for verifiable contact information
at the start of the relationship (and verifying them) is a much stronger policy than good instincts.

July 2, 2012: Scam job offer from 'Adam Johnson from Adams Farms'

An overpayment scam has been reported by two colleagues who received job offers sent by 'Adam Johnson from Adams Farms', email address adam.farms@aol.com

Adam Farms is presented as an organic cocoa bean farming and growing company, and it is very likely that they are a legitimate business whose name
and contact data are being used by the scammers to create confidence in their victims.

The first contact is a message that does not even include the name of the recipient:

Subject:       Web Designer Needed"
Morning,
How are you doing and am Adam Johnson.I need a competent and and reliable web designer so get back to me if you are available to take job now,awaits  
your mail soonest.
Regards.
Adam Johnson.

When the translators asked for payment via Paypal the answer they got was:

Here is the content below and i would have make the payment through Paypal but i gave this job to a woman who requested that i should make the payment 
through Paypal but after my client make the payment she disappear for good and i never hear from her till today so now the payment will be through 
cheque so send me your name and address with phone number where the payment will be mail to also i will like you to surprise with a good job then i can
introduce you to my other friends and client also how many days will it tntenetake you to finish with the website.


One of the colleagues received a check for an excessive amount and was asked to return the excess. The other abandoned the deal before that point.

Again the impersonal message, the very unprofessional language and the insistence of paying with checks should serve as early scam warnings.

June 2012

June 27,2012: Overpayment scam by 'Prof. Antonio Miccoli'

An overpayment scam in the form of a job offer was posted at ProZ.com from a (now deleted) profile as "12,450 Medical Translation (English to German)".
The scam was posted using the name 'Prof. Antonio Miccoli' and the email address 'miccoliprof.tonio@gmail.com'. Please note that this name may correspond
to a normal person fully unaware of the scam.

A translator who answer to this request received the following message:

My name is Miccoli,how are you doing and thak you for your interest.I have 12450words from English into German.I have attached the text document.Let me 
know your total charges and confirm if you can deliver in 3weeks. I hope to hear from you soon for more information.

The translator send a quote and asked for contact information and received:

Thanks for your quick response,I am glad to have you as my freelancer translator.The second text will be ready by weekend. I have agree with your total 
amount of 1245 Euro.I can only offer 50 percent down payment with balance upon  completion of this project.
I'm looking forward hearing from you.
Thank you for your email..Please note that i will be paying with a Check. 
Please provide your Information to issue out payment which include your Name and Address. 

The translator had not requested an advance payment. An investigation of IP addresses revealed that these messages, typical of overpayment scammers,
were not sent from Italy (as claimed).

June 25, 2012: The "student scammer" is now grand harley

Another instance of the student scam has been reported, this time using the name grand harley and the email address grandharley(at)yahoo.com.
The texts are the same already reported on June 4:

Am in need of your translation service; English to Ukrainian.Get back to me as soon as possible"

And then:

Thanks for getting back to me. My name is Grand Harley ; a University student, I want you to translate this documents for me. The source language is
English and the target language is Ukrainian. The documents are attached for you to review and perhaps get back to me with an estimation [price]. The 
deadline is 3 weeks, is that possible? Payment will be made through Certified Cashier Check. Let me know how it goes and please reply to this email for
any other question."


June 21, 2012: 'Our hiring process' fake job offer

This classic scam keeps being reported, with a text basically unchanged:

I would like to take this time to welcome you to our hiring process and give you a brief synopsis of the position’s benefits and requirements.

If you are taking a career break, are on a maternity leave, recently retired or simply looking for some part-time job, this position is for you.

Occupation: Flexible schedule 1 to 3 hours per day. We can guarantee a minimum 20 hrs/week occupation
Salary: Starting salary is 3000 EUR per month plus commission.
Region: {variable}

Please note that there are no startup fees or deposits to start working for us.

To request an application form, schedule your interview and receive more information about this position please reply to {email address},with your 
personal identification number for this position IDNO: {4 digits number}

Email addresses have the structure {name}(at)dominion, where {name} can be any first name and the reported dominions include 'europacareer.com',
'europa-career.com', 'eureseuropa.com', 'europnewcareer.com', 'jobdayseu.com', 'mc-jobs.com', 'newusawork.com', 'jobsearchusaorg.com', 'newengwork.com',
'employmenteu.com' and 'newengwork.com'.

No serious company will ever send out random emails offering large salaries and commission if they don’t even know who you are. If you answer them
you are likely to get your information stolen, and to get a "job" where you will be receive a fraudulent payment and they you will be asked to deduct
your 'salary and commission' and to forward the balance to them, or to buy good for them. When your payment proves to be forged you will end up with
a significant loss and probable legal problems.

June 20, 2012: "Wallet lost abroad" scam using the name of Mr. Pham Huu Phuoc

ProZ.com certified PRO member Pham Huu Phuoc reports that his name is being used in a “wallet lost abroad” scam with the following text:

How are you doing? This has had to come in a hurry and it has left me in a devastating state. My family and I had a visit to
(Philippines) unannounced some days back for a short vacation, unfortunately we were mugged at the park of the hotel where we  
stayed,all cash, cell phones and credit cards were stolen off us but luckily for us we still have our passports with us.

We've been to the Embassy and the Police here but they're not helping issues at all and our flight leaves tomorrow but we're having 
problems settling the hotel bills and the hotel manager won't let us leave until we settle the bills. Please I really need your 
financial assistance..am going to need some sort of loan from you and promise to pay you back once i get back home Please, Let me know
if you can help us out?

I'm looking forward to hearing from you.

Regards.

Of course our colleague is completely unrelated to this scam. It is worth noticing that the criminals slightly altered Mr. Phuoc Pham's
Yahoo email address counting on possible victims not noticing the difference between the real one and the one created by the spammers.

June 19, 2012: Scams offered by Denz Harald, Barry Christine and Ronny Krause

This expands the scam alert issued on June 7, 2012. Several scam jobs of the 'overpayment' type have been reported as originated from Denz Harald
denzharald@yahoo.de, Barry Christine barryctine@gmail.com and Ronny Krause ronnykrauseasy10@gmail.com. All were related to ProZ.com profiles that
have been blocked and linked to BlueBoard entry http://www.proz.com/blueboard/36175. Examples of the scam jobs offered:

French into English interpreter required 
If you are an French into English Interpreter who lives in Canada,please send your CV to denzharald@yahoo.de.
The assignment will last approximately four hours and will take place in Canada.
If you would be available to attend, please get in touch as soon as possible.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Kind regards,
Business file 16150 words
I am looking for freelance translators who can provide French into English translation services.
Since i am not able to attach the sample document with this posting, please email (denzharald@yahoo.de) if you are interested and i will then email you 
the sample document.
CAT tools requirement: Across, FrameMaker 9, InDesign CS3 PowerPoint, Word.
Business Documents
We are looking for a translator to work on five set of documents of 15,500words. CAT tools requirement: Across, FrameMaker 9, InDesign CS3 (soon to be
5), PowerPoint, Word.
If you are available, please send us your CV and rates to ronnykrauseasy10@gmail.com and we will email sample text to you.
Interested Translators
Hello, i am looking for freelance translator who can provide English into German (Germany) translation services.
Source format. Microsoft Excel or Microsoft Word 
If you are interested in this role and have relevant translation experience, please contact me at barryctine(at)gmail.com

June 18, 2012: Translation stolen by 'Greg Lordan'

A colleague reported being scammed by 'Greg Lordan', email address greglordan100002@gmail.com, who requested and got a translation from English
into Slovak and did not pay for it. The address provided by the scammers was 55 Warwick road, Walthamstow, E17 5NP, London, UK, Telephone : 44 024024641.

These name and email address were included in a special list published in this ProZ.com's Blue Board page that is in fact a very useful resource to check for
possible scammers.

June 15, 2012: Stiven, the private investor

The "private investor" scammers strike back, this time using the name 'stiven wilson' and the email address stivenwilson@gmail.com. Even the name
was misspelled this time!

Hello,
As am browsing through the profiles translators on www.chicata.org  I came across your profile,I kindly want you to translate one of my book that I 
need to translate kindly get back to me on the language you handle,am a private investor. 
If you are interested in translating for me kindly contact me back immediately you received my message for more information about the project.
Thanks,
Regards"


Once you have read a bunch of scam messages you learn not only to recognize the style but also to identify the "templates" they use for their attempts.

June 14, 2012: Wallet lost in Spain and reported from USA

A new "wallet lost abroad" scam has been reported, this time impersonating Mr. Nabil Baradey from the LinguistHouse Translation company, who has
been already alerted about this situation. The message goes:

From: LinguistHouse Translation 
Reply-To: lingulsthouse@yahoo.com
Subject: Urgent Help...........Nabil Baradey

How are you doing? This has had to come in a hurry and it has left me in a devastating state. My family and I had a visit to (Spain) unannounced some
days back for a short vacation, unfortunately we were mugged at the park of the hotel where we stayed,all cash, cell phones and credit cards were 
stolen off us but luckily for us we still have our passports with us.

We've been to the Embassy and the Police here but they're not helping issues at all and our flight leaves tomorrow but we're having problems settling 
the hotel bills and the hotel manager won't let us leave until we settle the bills. Please I really need your financial assistance..Please, Let me know 
if you can help us out?

I'm looking forward to hearing from you."

Even if you are not aware of this kind of scam, described here, a careful eye will detect that the email address linguisthouse@yahoo.com published
in the company's website has been changed into "lingulsthouse@yahoo.com". Also, IP address 98.139.44.158 locates the source of this message in
Sunnyvale, CA, USA, not in Spain.

June 12, 2012: Two new scam messages reported

Received from "James Neel", email address jamesneel101@gmail.com

Hello,
I am James and i got your email from the website that you are a translator.
I want you to help me translate an article from (English-French).
I would like to know your terms and how much it would cost for the article?
Hope to hear from you as soon as possible

Received from " Shana Putnam", email address spanthonykent@yahoo.com

Am in need of your translation service; English to Dutch.Get back to me as soon as possible


June 8, 2012: scam impersonating TRAVOD International

A scam impersonating the legitimate agency TRAVOD International has been reported using the fake email address sales.travod@gmail.com
The message sent was:

Hi,
We have a new project for you.
It is translation.
Language: German>Italian
Volume:2795 words
Rate: 0.04 EUR/words
Deadline: tomorrow, June 5th, by 4:00 pm GMT+1.
Please let us know if you are interested and available.
Thank you,
Ennery

Besides the unprofessional language, a visit to the "contact" tab in the agency's web page http://travod.com/ will show that all their emails belong
to the dominion @travod.com and therefore the Gmail address is obviously fake. This is a nice example of how 5 minutes of risk management can
protect you from heavy losses.

June 7, 2012: Overpayment scam by "Denz Harald"

An overpayment scam has been reported using the name Denz Harald and the address denzharald@yahoo.de. Scammers created a ProZ.com profile and posted
a job on May 25, 2012 "Business File-EN>FRENCH". As soon as a scam was detected, the profile was blocked and tagged as such, associated to the BB
record http://www.proz.com/blueboard/37177

The scammer wrote: "Here is my address for invoice:

Denz Harald
Vattumannens gata 140 
City:Brandbergen
136 62 Sweden


Translators report receiving check payment sent by Denz Harald's client directly to them in excess of what was agreed. One of the translators submitted
the translation but fortunately refused to deposit the fake check.

Some paragraphs for our collection of scammers literature:

Thank you for your reply.Am out to Sweden at the moment but not a problem working together.I agree with your quoted rate, i will be paying in US Bank  
Cheque.30% down payment will be issued out with balance after deliverly
Thank you for your email. I really need your understanding a this point. It was a mistake from my client and issuing all my money on your name. Please, 
cash the payment as it has been sent out already to you. I hope to hear from you soon.
How are you doing.Thank you for your kindness and good work.I got an email from my client that the payment has been sent by my client,but there was a 
mistake as my client issue an excess amount on your name which include my traveling agent fees to you.After cashing, you will take your down payment.I 
don't think there is anything to worry about for the trust i have in you.You will send the excess funds to my agent for my trip.Please watch out for 
the payment and let me know when you receive it.Thanks for your understanding."


June 6, 2012: Security report on LinkedIn

The BBC reports that LinkedIn is investigating claims that over six million of its users' passwords have been leaked onto the internet.

The BBC writes, quoting a security expert:

Our advice is to change your LinkedIn password. And if you use the same password on other accounts, change it there too.

There have been also reports of not-requested LinkedIn password-change messages that could be a phishing scheme. Do not click on the links included
in suspect pages. Remember that by hovering the mouse over a link you can see where it really links to without the need of actually clicking on it.

This is not a normal scam alert report, but it was considered of relevance because many colleagues use LinkedIn as part of their marketing strategy.

June 4, 2012: Student scam from Sarah Mcbridge

The "student scam" has been reported again, this time using the name Sarah Mcbridge and the email address shmcbridge0100@gmail.com

First Message:

Am in need of your translation service; English to Arabic. 
Get back to me as soon as possible.


Second Message:

Thanks for getting back to me. My name is Sarah Mcbridge; a University student, I want you to translate this documents for me. The source language is
English and the target language is Arabic. The documents are attached for you to review and perhaps get back to me with an estimation [price]. The 
deadline is 3 weeks, is that possible? Payment will be made through Check. Let me know how it goes and please reply to this email for any other question. 
Thanks in advance.


The translator sent a quote and asked for contact information and a 50% advance payment, and got the following reply:

Well i think am ok with the Quote and i will be sending you a Check which will get to you in 3 to 4 working days.If this is acceptable by you; do get  
back to me with your full name and address so i can make the payment as soon as possible. I will make a full payment instead.
Looking forward to read back from you asap."


Later, the scammer added:

I had to travel to attend to my dad; his on a Sick bed. In regards to our agreement you will receive the check this week, i sent it out already but its 
in excess due to the fact that I just came in possession of some more documents which I will like you to work on for me. I can not send them right now 
until I get back home and I must say they are in the same volume as the one you are working on now. So, when you receive the check deduct the payment
for this translation and hold on to the rest for the subsequent translations. I hope you are okay with this?


When the translator insisted on the need of contact information, she got:

Sorry i will have provide you a cell phone number but am phone is not working here as i told you am out of state to take care of my Dad. Just let me 
know when you receive the payment ok.


At this point the communications were broken. The next step would have been for the scammer to report that to attend his father's health she needed
the extra money included in the check to pay for future translations, and ask the translator to wire that money to her. And afterwards the check
would bounce, of course.

Once again, pay attention to the style used for sending these messages and the key elements such as poor English, lack of information on the sender,
some urgency to send check(s) to you and a disregard for the translation and your rates and conditions. The extra payment is a big red light in this
particular case.

May 2012

May 31, 2012: Proceedings against Maremagnum

It has come to the ProZ.com team's attention that legal proceedings are being prepared against the outsourcer known as MTM / Maremagnum Servicio
Lingüístico / Grupo Universal / Grupo MTM / GRUPO TRADUCTORES ASOCIADOS / GLOBAL SCHOOL EMITIEM SL, see http://www.proz.com/blueboard/753

If you have worked for them you may be interested in providing information. The following information has been provided by Spanish authorities:

If you have worked for this outsourcer and are a member of the APTIC (Catalonian T&I association) please contact the secretariat at secretaria@aptic.cat
If you have worked for this outsourcer and are a member of ASETRAD or ACEtt, please contact the council for your organization with information.

If you have worked for this outsourcer and are not a member of the above organizations, please visit https://www10.gencat.net/jusinte_di/AppJava/jsp/form/idioma.jsp
In providing information, please be sure to cite the Maremagnum case.

In addition, a ProZ.com private forum has been created to allow those who are interested to share information and coordinate regarding this issue.
If you would like to be added to this private forum, please contact site staff directly, using the online support system.

May 30, 2012: The "private investor" strikes back

A colleague was contacted via Aquarius.net by a scammer using the name Marielle Khouri and the email address mariellekhoury@gmail.com.

Concerned about the vagueness of the offer, the translator wrote "From your email I cannot gather any information about you, your firm or the
services you provide. Can you please let me know where you are based, etc? I am sure you understand that prior to accepting any work, I need to make
sure I work to reputable people/companies that will fulfil their part of the deal."

The "client" replied:

Hello, I am a private investor, I work on short time businesses. 
My address is 41 Great Victoria St, Belfast BT2, UK, +447045786186      
Now I guess you have an idea of whom you about to deal with.
Regards. 

The translator asked for contact information but failed to verify it, and so she delivered the translation and afterwards she received from Belgium
2000 dollars in fake traveler checks sent by an alleged client of Marielle's. Our colleague had the good sense of going to the police instead of
falling for the scam, so all she lost was the time and efforts she put in the translation.

The scam reported in the April 3 scam alert report included the same address and the payment from Belgium. Several other reports including
the scammer's self-definicion as "a private investor working on short time businesses".These words should fire scam alarms, and are more relevant than
the fake names and email addresses used by the criminals.

May 29, 2012: Fake domain registration renewal message

Members who host their websites with ProZ.com have reported receiving a message with the title "Registration expiration" and a price tag of $75.00
for one year registration addressed to the correct recipient domain name. There is a big link "PROCESS SECURE PAYMENT" and the message says:

To: Domain Owner
Your order #22343302 has been received and is currently processing. Registration includes SE submission for EXPRESSIONLANGSERVICES.COM for 12 months.   
There is no obligation to pay for this order unless you complete your payment by Apr 30, 2012. SE Services provides submission services and search  
engine ranking organization for domain owners.
Failure to complete your search engine registration by Apr 30, 2012 may result in the cancellation of this order (making it difficult for your   
customers to locate you using search engines on the web).

Note that the message does not mention the expiry or renewal of the domain registration, but it clearly attempts to scare the recipient into thinking
that their domain registration is about to expire so that they will click on “PROCESS SECURE PAYMENT” and complete the payment process. This payment
will not renew the domain and it will give only access to questionable services. Also you may be displaying your payment information in a dangerous way.

The reported messages were sent from:
Attention Expiration of Domain <noreply@registrationsearchengine.com>
Attention Domain Registration Ending <noreply@annualurldom.com>

You will find additional information and many other domains associated with this operation at http://www.mywot.com/en/forum/21380-domain-registration-renewal-scams

May 24, 2012: Scammers impersonating Bechtel Corporation

Scammers operating from Egypt (IP address 41.153.159.166) are attempting to impersonate the legitimate Bechtel Corporation
www.bechtel.com using the fake email address bechtelcoporate@contractor.net

May 23,2012: The scammer impersonating Michael Becker is still active

A member reported an overpayment scam impersonating Michael Becker from the fake email address becker3e4@gmail.com where she
received a check for an amount higher than the agreed one, and was requested to wire via Western Union the excess payment to:
BUSISIWE BALFOUR, CAPE TOWN 7441,South Africa. The member lost the time spent in the translation but the did not wire the money.

This scam had been reported in our March 20 report.

May 22, 2012: Scammers stealing translations from Italy

Two colleagues reported receiving a translation request from Spanish into Italian with a promise of payment upon delivery and the urgent request of
sending the first section of the file on the following day. The IP address locates the scammers in the north of Italy.

In one case the fake contact data used was Maria Berg, maria.berg23@yahoo.com and in the other case it was : Laura Jones, laurajonesss@live.com (in
this case they claimed to be located in Perú). In boths cases the translators send the requested translations and lost contact with the “outsourcer” afterwards.

Remember to avoid starting a job unless you have positive identification of the "client". Asking for advance payment can be an additional precaution
when working with new customers.

May 21, 2012: Scammers stealing translations from Madrid

Two translators reported a scamming message in Spanish sent using the name "María Medeiro", the email address 'mariammayan@hotmail.com' and an IP
address 85.58.28.51 that locates the scammers in Madrid:

Subject: frances español
Necesitaria traducir un texto que adjunto del frances al castellano y me gustaria saber que me podria costar y si lo puede hacer con urgencia, gracias


As usual the request is very brief and urgent, and there is no information on the sender. Style is more revealing than fake names and addresses.

Apparently the objective of the scam is to steal the translation (not the more frequent overpayment scam) and it is similar to the scam sent by
"Gonzalo Benjumeda", also from Madrid and also using a Hotmail address, reported in our scam alert of April 20, 2012.

May 17, 2012: Two known scammers with new skins

The "private investor from 46 Belgrave Rd" reported on April 19 is still at work, this time using the very unique name "John Smith" and the email address
john_smith5000@hotmail.com

The business traveler who will give a conference abroad and needs a translation so "each of my audience can have a copy", reported on February 25
and May 8 was reported by two new victims, both English to Arabic translators. In one case the name used was a classic "Ray Morgan", email unreported,
victim did not wire the overpayment but lost the translation time.

In the second case the name used was "Richard Taylor" and the email address richardtaylor009@gmail.com. IP located the scammer in Cairo, Egypt, and
the victim was asked to wire the overpayment (check of USD950 send for a USD100 job) to:
First Name: Fatimon Last Name: Oladejo
Address: 37 Sharawy Street,Heliopolis,
City: Cairo Country: Egypt

May 13, 2012: Scam sent from a ProZ.com paid profile

Scammers created a ProZ.com profile http://www.proz.com/profile/1594835 with username translatorskool, paid membership for better
credibility and used this profile to send scam messages to translators from the address myofficecontactt@gmail.com

One instance of the Secret Shopper scam was reported, but most colleagues reported a classic overpaymen scam job offer:

Good day,
I just saw your profile on proz, i have a job for you, i will like to know if you are available or not. Please get back to me if you
are interested
Please keep in touch
Regards
myofficecontactt@gmail.com 

The profile used for sending this scam has been blocked and kept visible with a warning to let translators who received the
messages that they are dealing with a scammer.

Once again, learning the scammers' style can be more useful than knowing the disposable names or email addresses they use and drop.

May 11, 2012: new impersonation of the "project book" scam

A new impersonation of the scam reported on April 16 has been sent to two members, this time using the name "James", the email address
kazidyj@hotmail.co.uk and the IP address 50.82.103.179 (USA):

Hello,
A translator is needed to translate a project book from English to French language,should you be interested contact me with your CV.and let me know
if you can translate to Spanish as well.
Regards.


May 10, 2012: "Wallet lost abroad" again

A new version of the classic "wallet lost abroad" scam is being sent today involving our colleague Klaus Urban. ProZ.com site staff are currently
getting in touch with Klaus on the matter. The fake message states:

Bad Situation..........Urgent Help Needed

I really don’t mean to inconvenience you right now but I'm writing this with tears in my eyes. I made a quick trip to Antigue, Philippine for a short
Stay. Unfortunately I was robbed at the hotel car parking by some set of robbers at the hotel where I stay, all cash, credit card and mobile phones 
were stolen from me but fortunately for me I still got my passports with me.

I have been to the embassy and to the police to report the case but the they are not helping the matter in any case. Now I don't have enough money with
me to get my air fare back home and pay for the hotel bills and the hotel management won't allow me to leave. I'm pleading with you to loan me $2,850 
Dollars right now and wire it via western union money transfer with my name. I'll pay back as soon as I get home. I need to sort out the hotel bills 
and get back home with available flight.

I'm freaked out at the moment.
Klaus Urban"


May 9, 2012: Lego Translations has a web page but they are not located where they claim to be

A colleague received the following invitation from "Amelia Fredricksen", email address info@legotranslations.com and IP address: 86.108.51.115:

Dear all,
we are looking for reliable translators of Arabic <> English (8500 words) .
please send us your CV and your most competitive rate .
Thanks,
Amelia Fredricksen
www.legotranslations.com"
  • The above link leads to a page for Lego Translations, with contact information: Los angeles,CA, 1419 Westwood Blvd, United States
  • Lego Translations is not registered in the Blue Board and the web page looks "self-contained", with no external references in Google.
  • The contact information contains no phone number
  • The address indicated in the contact information belongs to Ketab Corp., a specialized bookstore that also perform translations from English to
    Persian and vice versa, but never heard of Lego Translations.
  • The IP address used for contacting the translator is based in Amman, Jordan
  • The content of Lego Translations's Quality Assurance page can be found at http://www.native-translator.gr/qualitaetsgarantie_preise.html
  • The content of Lego Translations's Localization page can be found at http://www.abacustranslators.com/services.php
  • The content of Lego Translations's Multilingual Desktop Publishing page can be found at http://odbfy.com/Services-2.htm
  • This could be irrelevant, but on April 17 we reported a scam also based on Jordan using the company name "Lengotrans".


May 8, 2012: Update on names and addresses of known scams

The "Daniel Cole from Anchorage" scam included in our scam alert report of May 3, 2012 has shifted now to "Gregory Laventure" writing from bargainlink001@gmail.com

Hello,
How are you doing today and am Gregory Laventure.I want to know if you will be available for translation and from English to which language can you 
translate to,get back to me also how much do you charge per word.Hope to read from you soonest.
Kind regards,
Gregory Laventure
905 Richardson Vista Rd
Anchorage, AK 99501, USA.
           909-521-8315    

Also there is a new instance of the classic scam asking for translation of a presentation "so each of my audience can have a copy" (their signature)
included in our scam alert report of February 25, 2012. This time the message was sent by "Dr Theresa Collins" from the address heresacollins123@gmail.com

Greetings,
I'm Dr Theresa Collins from Boulevard,CA and i'll be departing to United Kingdom on a business trip tomorrow.However,i will need your service to 
translate some documents for me.I need to make a presentation to some groups of French speaking people in Tunisia on the 30th of June ,2012.I will need
you to translate the papers from English to French so each of my audience can have a copy in French language and they can follow through.I will also
need the work to be delivered before June 27th,2012.looking forward to hear back from you soon.
Let me know your rate and charges.Presentation is attached.
Dr T Collins"

May 7, 2012: Bill Gordon scams translators and dance instructors

A member reported the following scam message sent using the name "Gordon Bill" and the email address gordonbill02@gmail.com:

Subject: inquiry
Sir/Madam,
I found your info while searching for a professional LANGUAGE INTERPRETER/TRANSLATOR and i want to believe you are such a reliable and experienced
one.i have 4 man delegate coming from SPAIN for their (ANNUAL FINANCIAL CONFERENCE) within your location.how ever,they don't understand English 
Language,SPANISH Language is the only language they understand,so am seeking for ENGLISH-SPANISH INTERPRETER basically for oral communication for 3 
hours each day Monday to Saturday (morning hours).

The delegate would be arriving on the 1st day of JULY 2012, ENDING: 8th JULY 2012.
Further more,an agent has been contracted for their accommodation and flight logistics.

Lastly,On confirmation of the above stated i want you to get back to me with the Grand total cost for the whole period specified including all
applicable taxes 'if' there is such?.what is your payment options? Hope you accept credit cards?

Your prompt reply will be appreciated.
Regards,
Gordon Bill
P.O. Box 7841
Sudbury, L18 8BY Liverpool UK.
Cell: + 447024036871      
Fax: +448-712-563-610"

A quick investigation in the web revealed an identical message sent by "Owen Goldman" and from a Nigerian IP, see http://tiny.cc/s4fydw
I also found a very similar letter from the same Bill Gordon asking for a dance lessons "for 3 hours each day Monday to Saturday (morning hours)".
In this case Bill writes: "I found your information while surfing for a dance instructor within your location.how ever,i want to believe you are a
dance teacher/instructor reliable with a good teaching experience.

Once again, learning the scammers' style can be more useful than knowing the disposable names or email addresses they use and drop.

May 5, 2012: Secret shopper again

A new instance of the Secret Shopper scam, where the victims are "hired" to test the services of Western Union by wiring good money
in exchange for forged checks receives has been reported, this time using the name of "Barry Christine" and the email address barryctine@gmail.com
Learn more about this kind of scams at http://www.proz.com/about/translator-scam-alerts/default#secret_shopper_western_union_testing_scam

May 4, 2012: Overpayment scams from Nick Ungefug

There is a long history of overpayment scams associated to the name Nick Ungefug (The name Ungefug is very German, meaning mischief).
Telltale signs: sent BCC, not personalized, no reference to you, not even the required target language! A second name and email address is usually added.
Some recent examples:

From: Nick Ungefug Date: 2011/9/22
Subject: 4200 words project
To: "sh.simpson2"  (Sharon Simpson)
I have a project of about 4200 words on home schooling. I am in need of a translator who can deliver within 2 weeks. Email me estimate and process to
achieve this. Let me know what language you are based on.
sh.simpson2@yahoo.co.uk
Subject:piece of project:
Nick Ungefug punkieu@gmail.com
Hello,
I have a piece of project to be translated. It could be needed in a couple of languages. 
The source is English. Kindly let me know your charging rate, language you can handle and payment method accepted.
I wait to hear from you soonest.
Regards
jettravels@live.com
Nick Ungefug punkieu@gmail.com
to sa.smith247, bcc: me
I got your contact from a translator directory while I was searching for a reliable translator to handle my project. I am a private investor who 
invest on short time projects. Kindly copy both emails for prompt response.
Sarah Smith
sasmith247@airpost.net


May 3, 2012: Overpayment scam from Daniel Cole and Williams Greene

Several members received an overpayment message sent by scammers using the names "Daniel Cole" and "Williams Greene" and the email addresses
coledaniel@y7mail.com and wgreene17@ymail.com and stvd.17@gmail.com

The first message was sent BBC and it said:

Hello,
How are you doing today and am Daniel Cole.I want to know if you will be available for translation and from English to which language can you translate 
to,get back to me also how much do you charge per word.Hope to read from you soonest."

To the usual lack of information on the sender this message adds the absurd of having a client contacting translators to ask about their working
language pairs. How were the translators selected in the first place?

The second message had attached a 2500 word document of drugs and their affect on the brain and it said:

Hello,
Thanks for your swift response and am very happy to read from you,i want it to translate it and from English to {target language} also let me know the
total cost. The document is base on drug so we want to use to it to create more awareness on drug for those who abuse it and the article will be read
by teenagers.
I want it back in 20 days however the payment will be through Check which is in Aud $ so send me your name and address with phone number where the 
payment will be mail to and am ready to make deposit so you can start with the translation soonest,hope to hear read from you soon.
I wish you a pleasant day.
Regards,
Daniel Cole
905 Richardson Vista Rd
Anchorage, AK 99501, USA.

The third email made the nature of the scam very clear:

Morning,
Thanks for your mail and how is your day going? Some people request for translation to be done and run away with your money,i do have a personal 
translation but right now she is sick that is why am looking for a competent and trustworthy translation.I have gave a job to a translation and paid 
him advance and he did run away with my money and i don't want to be a victim anymore but am ready to give you a chance which i will pay you upfront 
because there are many jobs we are going to do together.This is a charity which help less privilege kid around there world also the money is needed for 
Republic of Vanuatu relief,I hope you understand me.

However,my sponsor notify me that the money order has mail out and there was a mistake with the amount which is 2700 Aud so what i want you to do know 
is get it cashed and you will send the difference back to us after you have deduct your money so you will send it to us through western union,you are 
saving a million lives and may God almighty bless you as you do so.Awaits your mail soon.
I wish you a pleasant day ahead
Regards

This is a classic overpayment scam described at http://www.proz.com/about/translator-scam-alerts/default#advance_payment_overpayment_scam

The IP addresses associated to these messages locate their sender in Lagos, Nigeria, far away from Anchorage, Alaska.

Surprisingly the scammers have been using the same name "Daniel Cole" in several different scams, see http://www.danbirlew.com/daniel-cole-scam-now-targeting-writers/
or http://www.consumerfraudreporting.org/bizscamGB_DanielColeHSBC.php or http://www.419scam.org/emails/2010-01/04/00990850.1.htm or
http://antifraudintl.org/showthread.php?p=65116

May 2, 2012: "John Yates" shares phone numbers with "Guy Fernandez Secret Shopper" and "Tom Barker Secret Shopper"

A clever colleague reported receiving the following messages from scammers using the name "John Yates" and the email address johnnyatess@gmail.com

Hello,
I need a translator who understands English/French to help me with translating aproject. Are you available at the moment,so we could proceed?
What is your charge? I expect your urgent response.
Best Regards"

When asked for more information, the scammer wrote:

Hi,
Thanks for your reply
I will be coming to France in 2weeks.I need translator to translate up to 15,700 source of words for me from English into French.
I am offering 0.10euro/word. If agreed, Part payment will be issued out before commencement of work for i do understand it is necessary since we  
working online.
Your information is needed for background check and confirmation hence i require you to provide me with your full name and address and mobile phone number.
I await your urgent response.
Best Regards
John Yates
+447956968663             (sms only)
+442081446028            

The key element in this investigation are the phone numbers above, already included in several reports as used by scammers "Guy Fernandez Secret
Shopper" and "Tom Barker Secret Shopper".

April 2012

April 30, 2012: Overpayment offer from willsmorgan46@gmail.com

Our scam alert of March 22 reported two cases of overpayment scam sent from the address willsmorgan46@gmail.com. Now we received reports of a scam
sent from the new address but this time we received the IP address (41.151.241.146 - Johannesburg, South Africa) and the full text:

Subject: translator needed
Sent by: williams 
Hello, good day to you. There is a document I will like you to work on for me. I want it translated into English. The source language is spanish. 
Let me know if you are available so I can forward the document. Thank you

This text is a classic example of scammer writing, including the lack of information on both sender and subject, the lack of concern about rates
and conditions, the very brief and special wording, etc. This should be a warning signal for any informed linguist.

April 27, 2012: Wallet lost in Scotland but reported from USA

Two members reported receiving a "wallet lost abroad" scam message allegedly from certified PRO member Yumico Tanaka, who of course is not related
to this operation in any way and who has been already alerted about this scam. The message was:

Subject: Financial Assistance
Hello, How are you doing today? I know this might be a surprise to you but am sorry to reach out to you in this manner. I apologize for not informing 
you about my travel to Scotland for a Meeting.

Everything is going fine but there's a little problem, I misplaced my wallet on my way back to the hotel and right now all my credit cards and money
are gone. Am sending you this message to inform you that am stranded at the moment and need your help financially. Am not sure if you have that much 
but will you be able to help me with a loan of 1600 British Pounds to pay the hotel bills and get back home?

I will appreciate whatever amount you can afford to help me with and am sorry for the inconvenience this message might cause you but please understand
that am in a very bad situation right now and would appreciate if you could help me out. I will email you the transfer details upon your reply.

Thank you in advance.
Best regards,
Yumico Tanaka

Please note: All my email transactions are monitored by another Proz.com certified translator for the sake of safety and decency.

The message was allegedly sent from Scotland, but the IP address shows that it was sent from the USA.

April 23, 2012: Overpayment scam targeting interpreters

Two colleagues reported the same overpayment scam attempt targeting interpreters using names White Briggs <briggs_white@yahoo.com> and Rogers Mills
<rogers_consult@yahoo.com>. IP addresses 184.105.146.9 and 216.218.254.19 locate the scammers in Fremont, CA, USA

The first contacts were:

Hello, I write to inquire for the service of an English to Spanish Interpreter for an upcoming event in Spain.Kindly reply if interested.
Warm Regards,
White Briggs
Hello, I write to inquire for the service of an English to French Interpreter for an upcoming event in Belgium.Kindly reply if interested.
Warm Regards,
Mills Rogers"


Both interpreters asked different questions but both got the same identical answer (Even in the exchange started by "White Briggs" this reply was
signed by "Rogers Mills"):

Thank you very much for your reply.I am interested in booking you for 3 to 4 days between 11th to 15th of June.
Purpose: To work as a liaison Interpreter between myself and 3 French speaking independent business men. 
Venue: Barcelona, Spain Time : 9am to 4pm daily
Subject: To develop marketing Concept and Strategies on how to introduce a new product in Spain.
Kindly note that the website is under construction and i shall supply you any other information as we unfold issues.
I am a very busy person and i will be happy to get what the fee for your service will be so i can plan along with it because I have many assignments
on my neck between now and the next 3 weeks.
Will await your response.
Warm Regards,
Mills Rogers"

One of the interpreters kept asking for verifiable contact information to no avail. In the last (fourth) message received before the interpreter
gave up, the scammers wrote:

Thank you for your reply.You sound very matured and interesting.I think you deserve the job ... I went through the quote and i think is pretty fair.I
shall send you my materials as soon as they are ready to keep you updated and other necessary information.Kindly supply payment details so that i can
treat it before i embark on my traveling in the next few days.Will always contact you via mail.Please supply, name to be written on check, full address 
to send the check and your direct mobile number so i can make a deposit while you block those days for me.
Warm Regards,
Mills Rogers"

Both interpreters acted wisely and detected the scam. The next step would have been the sending of a (false) check for an excess amount and a
later request to wire the "excess payment" back.

April 20, 2012: "Gonzalo Benjumeda" scam from Madrid

Two colleagues have reported being scammed by a person using the name Gonzalo Benjumeda and the email address gonzabenjumeda87@hotmail.com and
writing from IP address 85.58.16.184 (Madrid).

Both first messages (in Spanish) had the classic "scammer style", no greetings, very brief and with no information about the sender. They were:

Necesito saber si puede realizarme una traduccion del portugues al español y que me costaria,  

and

Necesito presupuesto para una traducción del turco al español. Adjunto documento, gracias 


Both colleagues delivered their translations. One of them lost track of the "client" immediately after delivery. The other one asked for advance
payment and got a transfer order that was later found to be false.

April 19, 2012: Over-payment scam from “George William"

On April 7 we alerted about a scam requesting translators "to translate a project book" from Norfolk, UK. Now two more reports were received with
additional information that, even if false, will help us recognize the style and data used by this particular scammer. Name and address were still
“George William" and ggwill45@hotmail.com and the first message was, again:

Hello,
A translator is needed to translate a project book from English to Italian language,should you be  interested contact me with your CV."

The second message included:

Thanks for your urgent response. I am looking for a translator to work on the pair stated for the new book that I am working on.I have chosen you to  
work on the project for we are in-between a new business that will require us to write out in {target language} . I will attached the project if u 
are ready, just want you to have an understanding of what we are about to do. I am a private investor, I work on short time businesses. my address is
46 Belgrave Rd
Redbridge,
London
Zip Code: E11 3QW,
Country: UK

The address given is in London but the IPs are from the West of England.
In the third message the scammer offered paying 30% in advance by check and asked, as usual, for Full Name, Full address, city, state, zip code and
a Direct phone number. Clearly an over-payment scam.

April 17, 2012: Scam with stolen text

A member reported the following job offer via his ProZ.com profile from non-logged-in visitor "Agatha Wear", email address agatha@lengotrans.co.cc
and IP address 92.253.88.228:

Dear Translator,
We are recruiting translators who can translate Medical German into English text for Monday morning. This is part of a larger job. Files would be in 
.pdf format. Please contact us if you are interested & include your CV .

Best regards,
Agatha Wear
22 Floral Street, Covent Garden, London AC3 9DH. 
agatha@lengotrans.co.cc
www.lengotrans.co.cc"

This text is different from normal overpayment scams. The text is better and there is a reasonable amount of information on the sender, so we move
into the next step and start investigating this data, to find:

  • The address provided by the sender is no London, but the IP address of the message locates them in Jordan
  • There is a well know translation company with a name very close to Lengotrans, but no translation agency with that name was found in Google
  • The text in the email is better that usual because it was stolen from a job posted at ProZ.com on March 16, 2012
  • Avira generates an alarm about web page http://www.lengotrans.co.cc/ "Warning. In order not to compromise your security, this page will not be
    accessed. The requested URL has been identified as a potentially dangerous website."

PS: additional instances of this scam have been reported with different IP addresses but the same email address and variations of the same basic text.

April 16, 2012: Similar scam from 3 addresses

Three different email addresses have been reported as sending a scam job offer to translators with very similar texts. Once more, the first alert
comes from the poor grammar and the lack of information on the sender. If you read an offer like these and failed to delete it immediately, then the
next step should be getting verifiable contact information from the sender.

The following message was sent by "monika", email monglass34@hotmail.com and IP address 41.155.66.53 (Nigeria) and also by "John", email
jgateinc@hotmail.com and IP address 146.185.29.99 (England):

Hello
,A translator is needed to translate a project book from english to Hungarian language,should you be interested contact me with your CV.
Warm Regards

A slightly more elaborate version was sent by "Alan Ferguson", email alan.ferguson17@yahoo.com and IP address 41.155.40.97 (Nigeria):

Hello,
A translator is needed to translate a project book from English to French language,The tittle of the book is project management made easy and the 
total number of words are 17610 words. should you be interested contact me with your CV.
warm regards,
Alan."


April 12, 2012: Good risk management

A member reported receiving a job offer that is most likely a scam. Senders used the identity Robert Hanson and the email address
rob.hans3@yahoo.com and the IP address 69.22.186.174 locates them in the New York area. The message was:

Hello, i need to translate a document from English language to German as soon as possible, please get back to me if you are available for the job. 
Thanks

Translator asked for the file to be translated and, according to its properties, it was saved by "High Chief Ogunsanya". Besides the classic scammer
style (with no identification at all, short to the point of being impolite), a quick Google search revealed several hits of Nigerian scams
associated to both the names " Robert Hanson" and "Ogunsanya"

April 7, 2012: Good risk management

A colleague was contacted by scammers using the name “George William" and the email address ggwill45@hotmail.com with an IP address
91.228.3.120 locating them in Norfolk, UK. The first message was:

“Hello,
A translator is needed to translate a project book from english to Polish language,should you be interested contact  me with your CV.
Regards”

The next message was:

"Thank for getting back to me..The subject of the book is Project Management ,I will be waiting to read back  from you.."

When the translator asked for an identity verification including a physical address and a land phone number, the scammers went
away looking for less prepared victims.

Names and email addresses are important, but so is recognizing the scammers’ “style”. Red lights should flash when you receive a
translation request with no signature, no details and short to the point of being impolite.
And remember to always identify the “client” before committing to a job.

April 5, 2012: Advance payment scam / overpayment scam

An advance payment scam has been reported by several translators in the form of the request for the translation if a long PDF file on "Business
Sustainability Management Framework".

IP addresses locate the origin of these messages at Pretoria, South Africa and the "client" assumes several fake identities, among them:

  • Ann Woods, annwoods72@ymail.com
  • Martin Flora, martin_flora@ymail.com
  • Charles Weblon, weblon@yahoo.com
  • Ron Strauss, ronstrauss7@gmail.com
  • Teresa Lartuna (mail unreported)
  • Flora Mcmannan (floramcmannaman@yahoo.com)


In at least one of the cases the initial message was:

Hello, good day to you. There is a document I will like you to work on for me. I want it translated into Spainish. The source language is English. 
Let me know if you are available so I can forward the document. Thanks.
Ann


April 3, 2012: Overpayment scam from Elle Schumacher

Another overpayment scam attempt was reported by a member. This time the scammers wrote from the address elleschumacher6@gmail.com and claimed the
following contact information: Elle Schumacher; 21 Great Victoria Street; BT2; BELFAST

The original message was a classic scam opening:

"I have a piece of work to be translated. I want to know the language you handle and your charging rate.
I await these details soonest.
Regards"

Note the total lack of information on the "client" or the nature of the translation job required, and the request to report "the language you
handle". What kind of search did they perform if they don't know "the language (SIC) you handle"?

All translator's conditions were accepted and a price of 900 Euros was agreed for the translation of an e-book. "Client" indicated that payment
would< be 50% in advance with checks and when translator objected the related high banking fees, the client offered to cover these costs (more red
light here).

Three days later the translator received a normal mail envelope sent from Antwerpen, Belgium, by a different sender, containing 2500 dollars in
traveler checks. When asked about this excess payment the "client" urged her to cash the checks. At this point the translator had the good sense of
going to the bank to have the checks verified, and of course they turned out to be false.

Never engage in a business proposition from strangers unless you have positive (verified) information on their identity. Also ask yourself why they
selected you and do your risk management homework.

March 2012

March 29, 2012: Good risk management

A Proz.com member received a profile message from a non-logged-in visitor who called himself "Robert Hanson", with an address rob.hans2@yahoo.com
and an IP address that located him in Chicago, USA.

The original message simply said "hi. i've got some documents for translation." and the next messages expanded it to ""Yes about 12,000 english
words. i will forward the document to you as soon as we complete negociation. what is your rate and what is your mode of payment?" and "it has
to do with the climatic change. you can also be paid with a check . i will forward the document to you as soon as possible so you can get back to me
with the total cost price."

When the translator asked the "client" about his current location, "Robert Hanson" declared to be "presently in the south africa to get some
informations." Since the IP address located the client in USA, the member demanded identification and other related information and did not hear
back from the "client".

This looks a lot like an advance payment scam attempt cleverly averted by the translator. Also, it may be irrelevant, but I have seen a lot of
scams where the pronoun "I" is written like a small "i".

March 27, 2012: Impersonation of the legitimate company ASTA-USA

Mr. Trevor Devlin from the company ASTA-USA has reported that another company (which uses the website www.tr-services.us) is using ASTA-USA's
physical address on their purchase orders. ASTA-USA is taking legal actions on this issue. An investigation in the Web lead to two translators who
were abused by these scamers, contact name Silvia. In both cases they delivered a translation, lost contact with the "client" and were never paid.

One of them provided a PO dated Feb 21, 2012 with the header "Translation Services", the physical address of ASTA-USA, the email address
info@tr-services.us and the web address www.tr-services.us. The IP address in the emails corresponds to Egypt.

In the second case the scammers approached a legitimate end client misrepresenting a serious translation agency (different from ASTA-USA), got the
translation job and assigned it to the victim. Scammers got paid by the end client and then vanished. When contacted by the translator, the end
client acted honorably and paid her, even though they had already paid the scammer.

The web page http://www.tr-services.us/ offers many language-related services, shows a list of prestigious clients and invites translators to offer
their services, but it has no contact information besides the info@tr-services.us email address.

March 26, 2012: Secret Shopper scam / Western Union scam

A new variant of the "Secret shopper" or "Western Union" scam has been reported by several colleagues. The messages are sent by "Joel Greenwood,
Judd Financial Services hiring manager".

The scammer will contact you offering you a job position (you did not requested) in a Payment Protection services company, after reviewing your CV
that you didn't submit). The job is a part-time assignment with good salary and commissions and all you have to do is receive in your accounts the
payments from the "buyers" and, once the transaction was cleared, to keep your remuneration and to wire the remaining amounts to the "sellers".

You will receive checks or similar instruments