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Translation Scams

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Let’s talk about something that a lot of translators may not be aware of: The scams that have been targeting our market. There are actually two kinds of scams we have to keep an eye out for: the first scam has to do with fake clients, and you may end up losing a lot of time and money if you fall for it, and the second one is more of an identity theft kind of deal. Let's talk about the first one. When a potential client contacts you, make sure you do some sort of background check on them and pay attention to possible red flags before you start working on their project. The first step is to Google their name and email address to see if they have already been reported. Then, the first tell-tale sign is when the message is full of That alone is not a major problem, of course, since most of us deal with non-English speakers who may not write well in English when trying to hire our services. Since these scammers are getting so sophisticated, sometimes they actually text you a message informally, wondering if you're available to work on a project. Besides that, you may notice that the potential client never mentions the language they want their document to be translated into. Most translators work with only one target language, so they may naturally assume that the document attached to the message is needed in their own language. Talking about attached document, if it looks like something that was just lifted from a web page, that's another red flag. These scammers usually copy and paste something they found online and say that's what they need translated. The narrative they usually use is that they will need a translation because they will be talking at a conference and some of the attendees can't read handouts in English. Sometimes they go as far as to say that the conference will take place, for example, in Romania or Bulgaria, but they do need your translation into Portuguese or Spanish. Despite all these issues, one of the things that can confirm that it is indeed a scam is if the client offers to pay in advance. Once again, there are great, legit clients who pay in advance, but if they start telling you a story about how they will be out of the office and their business associate or secretary will send you a check, that usually means they are setting you up for the scam. Here's what happens: let's say you will charge them $1,000 for a translation, but they send you a check for $2,000. When you contact them, saying they overpaid you, the fake client says it was clerical error. Then they suggest that you return the difference —that is, $1,000— through Western Union. That transfer is usually completed pretty fast, and a few days later you find out that the check was actually fake and never deposited. That means you just gave away $1,000 to a fake client who never had a project in the first place and was just trying to scam you. If you actually get to translate the document, you’ll be wasting your time as well. Sounds scary doesn't it? Well it's even worse when scammers steal your identity. It usually happens when someone gets a hold of your resume and changes some information around, especially contact, sometimes your name, so they can apply for translation projects using your experience. Some go as far as using your real name, especially if you are already well known in the industry. Others actually contact you and ask you for a copy of the resume saying that they represent this big-time translation agency and would like to forward information to their International clients. What happens is that they contact real clients, who have a real need for translation services, then they usually charge very little, probably use machine translation to deliver a document in the target language, and finally issue an invoice. They collect payment in your name for something you didn't work on. Needless to say, your reputation is on the line. If the client complains later on about the quality of the translation, they’ll just ignore it. But if the client finds your real information and confronts you about the poor job you've supposedly done, you’ll have no idea what they're talking about. I was actually the target of this kind of identity theft and my company received a resume from a so-called Isabella Lombardino who had a background pretty similar to mine and worked with the same language combinations. I contacted that person and asked if she was my cousin by any chance. Then I reported their made up information to make sure nobody would fall for that scam ―thinking they’re hiring me, and getting an impostor. More troubling yet, I received resumes from people claiming to be a Spanish translator and a Swedish translator using the exact same names of my current Spanish and Swedish colleagues. I also confronted these scammers, then I let my colleagues know that they were being targeted, and reported their information as well. One place you can visit to report or look up information on fake translators and fake clients is Make sure you read through the instructions on the website to learn how you can report scammer, whether you are the target of it or you receive unsolicited resumes from people pretending to be translators you actually know.

Video Details

Duration: 5 minutes and 59 seconds
Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
Genre: None
Views: 3
Posted by: word_awareness on Mar 10, 2017

Translation Scams

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