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Shady agencies and scam artists October 8, 2008

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Business practices, Translation Sites.
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I received the following e-mail yesterday. It sounded fishy to me, so I checked the company on Payment Practices and then forwarded a warning to my NOTA members. After all, what are the chances that this meeting would just happen to be held not 5 minutes from my house? Not too likely…

The contact info has been deleted to avoid any accusations of libel.

Hi, my name is [deleted] from Minnesota and I was conducting a search on the internet for professionals that live in the Cleveland Ohio area.  I run a Wellness Technology company here in Minneapolis and I have expanded my operations into Cleveland and I am looking for people that need additional income. This can be done part-time or full-time from home.

Anytime, I move into a new area; I personally talent scout top notch professionals for my business. I have a very simple question for you. Do you keep your options open in terms of another revenue stream outside of what you are currently doing in translation?

To be respectful of both of our times, there are two ways to hear about our company. 1) I could send you a link which outlines the company in detail or 2) If you are serious about earning additional income, join us this Thursday at the Solon Country Club to get a complete company overview (information only) and get your questions answered. If there is mutual interest at that point; we will schedule a time to meet again.

If you are doing great! Then congratulations! However, if you know someone that is less fortunate than you and might need more income, please forward this to them and have them contact me.

Event Date:
October 9

Event Time:
6:30 pm – 9 pm

Event Type:
Special Events / Company Overview

Event Language:

Special Guest:
[deleted]

City:
Cleveland

State:
OH

Event Address:
39000 Signature Drive, Solon Ohio 44139

Local Contact Name:
[deleted]

Phone Number:
[deleted]

Contact Email:
[deleted]

Special Notes & Instructions:
Signature of Solon Country Club will host this Special Company Overview with [deleted].

Kindest regards,

[deleted]

Founder, [deleted] Translations, Inc.

Current markets:
Austria, Australia, Belgium, Bermuda, Brunei, Canada, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Guam, Hungary, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Isla Baleares, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macau, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom, Ukraine, Vietnam, Virgin Islands

Now this in and of itself set my warning bells off. Several of my members wrote back to tell me that this woman had been discussed on ProZ.com as well by several of her “victims,” so she apparently works internationally as well.

One of my members, who I consider to be quite business-savvy, sent me the following e-mail this morning:

I wanted to tell you about [deleted], who is supposedly the Administrative Manager at [deleted].

[company contact info deleted]

[deleted] contacted me via e-mail telling me she was urgently looking for a translator for an on-going large translation project. She was willing to pay $0.14 per word and give me up to 2,500 words per day 5 days a week for a year. She was going to pay via Paypal and/or Western Union and she wanted me to start ASAP. The only stipulation was to use Systran software, which, she mentioned, she had several copies of, and she was willing to sell one to me at a discounted price.

I asked her is she would guarantee she would keep me busy full-time for a year if I was to buy the software, and she gave me a 100% guarantee.

I responded telling her I was very eager to start, I wanted to see the contract, and I knew someone who was willing to sell me his copy of the software.

Needless to say she dropped off the radar never to be heard from again. I do not know what the deal was, but I think she was looking to sell me the software.

Just wanted to give a heads up.

The variety of ways people try to scam other people never ceases to amaze me. If it isn’t the Prince of Ghana looking for an interpreter for his wife, it’s someone trying to sell software using really shady practices. If a job sounds too good to be true, it most likely is! Keep your guard up and get everything in writing. And never, ever accept a job from the Prince of Ghana or anyone who offers to pay you up front and then wants you to wire money back to them. The check will be a forgery and you will be out the money.

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