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Scam alert: Word Solutions Translations February 11, 2009

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Business practices, Scam alert.
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Just a word of warning if you receive an e-mail similar to this one:

We currently need English to Spanish Translators.If you”re interested to work with let me as soon as possible.
Thanks
John
WORD SOLUTIONS TRANSLATIONS
www.wordsolutions.com
e-mail:wordsolutions30@yahoo.com

It’s a scam. Several of my NOTA members have received e-mails from this supposed company. The company has no address on its website, there is no identifiable e-mail (other than a yahoo.com account, which is not very professional), and if you call the telephone number the only response you will get is a recording. After one of the members answered that she was available, “they offered a very good deal, a lot of work in too many areas…, they did not seem interested in checking qualifications, nor did they answer any of my particular questions in relation to the work, payment modality, nor where they are located.” The catch seems to be that you have to buy Systran software at a “discounted rate” to do the job. When asked for more information about the version and type so the translator could buy it locally they disappeared from her radar.

Lots of flags with this one: grammar errors, no identifying information yahoo.com address, etc. The clincher is trying to sell the translator software. Payment Practices has a listing for them and specifies it is an “ad only” capture site. As they say, “If it sounds too good, it probably is no good.”

Update: see the Comments for links to several discussions on ProZ.com about this scam. Apparently they are trying to do business now as Webnode Translation, www.webnodetranslation.com, transwebnode@yahoo.com“.

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Comments»

1. Lasse Tømte - February 13, 2009

Stupid me. I got a message from them via Translationzone, and after having exchanged a couple of emails with a John Francis, I agreed to purchase Systran from them on “a discount rate”, against the promise of a heap of work in the coming weeks. I’ve just sent them $ 280.

2. jillsommer - February 13, 2009

Lasse, is it possible to cancel the payment? Also, would you please report what happens next? I would be curious to hear if you get the software and if it actually works. I am very skeptical whenever I hear an agency promising a heap of work. It’s been my experience that it never works out, for one reason or another. Maybe a trickle, but never a deluge of work.

If this is actually not a scam I would be willing to issue a retraction here, so please keep me updated.

3. Ion - February 15, 2009

Hi,

I replied to the job and got a bit suspicious; I just received the following message from the job board where from it originated: “This poster’s jobs have been closed and the poster will be prevented from placing future jobs!”

4. Bogdan - March 14, 2009

Here’s what I got after exchanging a few e-mails with the guy. He’s now using a different e/mail address> transwebnode@yahoo.com

Thanks for your feedback..Your output of 3000 words is okay with us.We can pay you by Bank transfer.As for Systran we require the business version and the cost is $389 you can check http://www.systran.co.uk for details.Because of this project we decided to offer for translators for just $290(discount rate) and we can send it to you once you make payment by Paypal or Western Union.We”ll send it to you take you through a 24-48 hours tutorial then get you started.I look foward to work with you.Thanks
Regards,
John

I was actually thinking I should go ahead with this and see how far he goes

5. Bogdan - March 14, 2009

I got their paypal account>
krs_babu@hotmail.com

So beware

6. Lasse Tømte - March 14, 2009

It’s over a month now since I sent “wordsolutions” $ 280 by Western Union for the Systran software, and needless to say, I haven’t received anything yet, and realize I never will. I contacted “John Francis” a couple of days after having read Jill Sommer’s blog about the scam; he assured me that everything was cool and that I would receive both the software and jobs in due course. Well, it was a totally unnecessary lie, since he had my money by that time and there was nothing I could do about it.
Lasse

7. jillsommer - March 14, 2009

I’m so sorry, Lasse. Perhaps you can file a claim in Small Claims court here. My rule of thumb is never trust anyone who uses a yahoo.com or hotmail.com account for business. It is usually a scam. Thanks for letting us know, Lasse. You have undoubtedly helped others who might be researching this gentlemen and will find this posting.

8. Lasse Tømte - March 14, 2009

You’re right, of course: People who use yahoo and hotmail accounts for business are not to be trusted. Also, I should have seen the number of spelling mistakes as a clear indication to stay away. But the rest of the scam was cleverly done. “John Francis” even asked for references.

I’ve been stupid, no doubt about it. But then again, how distrustful do you have to be in your dealings with people? I’ve lost 280 $. I can live with that, but I’m not sure I can live with the level of distrust that is required in order to never make a fool of myself.

9. Ion - March 14, 2009

You’re absolutely right, Lasse; I am a freelance tanslator myself and I nearly fell for it, pulled back at the last moment. A good half of my customers use gmail or yahoo, and this does not pull an alarm for me, as a matter of fact, I only use hotmail myself; and being a translator, I reveive messages and see postings with a lot of spelling mistakes, because most of the people I deal with are not native English speakers, and they do the best they can, so this is not a flag for me either, not in this business. I wish you would have got suspicious at the last moment like I did, but don’t blame yourself for it, it’s been very close here too, and I’ve been a freelancer for more than 10 years.

10. Angelika - April 2, 2009

I just received the same kind of e-mail this morning… $0.19 words, up to 4000 words 4 days a week… not bad… – luckily I researched and found your comments – so I won’t spend any more time and/or money on this scam…

11. jillsommer - April 5, 2009
12. Mille Kim - April 23, 2009

I fell for the same scam in March. I was slightly suspicious as I could not find the website so I emailed ‘John Francis’ regarding this and received a reply “Our website (webnodetranslation.com) is currently under maintenance we have software engineers working on it now thats why its not appearing.But it will be available shortly please bear with us.Our office address is;

No 23 Morino street,

Orlando,Florida

U.S.A

You can come to our office if you wish.
I ended up believing this and paid the $280 to the above-mentioned Paypal account. Nothing arrived and when I pressed for clarification, I received an email saying “i’m surprised that you’ve not recieved the program.Please can you re-send your postal address so i’ll verify what the problem is”.

I wish I had seen this forum sooner.

13. Travis - May 5, 2009

Hello out there,
I fortunately discovered this blog after receiving an email from “John” at “Webnode Translations”. Thank you all for this important information. Now I’ve received an inquiry from Sarah Kaye Fredeluces at Verztec Consulting Pte. Ltd. in Singapore. She says they’ve just landed a huge Japanese to English translation project with a 2-month deadline. What concerns me is, she says payment will only be at the end of the project “because we can only know the target word count then”. Does anyone know whether this company pays reliably? Or where can I look to find a listing of unreliable payers? Thanks so much for any help you can give in a hurry! – Travis D.

jillsommer - May 5, 2009

Hi Travis, there are several sources to research unreliable payers, including Payment Practices, Translator-Client Review and The Blue Board at ProZ.com. Riccardo at About Translation has a good overview of the available groups here as well. Ted Wozniak, the owner of Payment Practices, also wrote a good article for the ATA German Language Division newsletter entitled Ensuring Payment.

jillsommer - May 5, 2009

I did a quick search on the agency in Payment Practices for you. They seem to have a good reputation, with a rating of 5.0 with 2 responses. It never hurts to check several lists, but you can usually rely on what Payment Practices has to say.

14. Warren Smith - June 4, 2010

The scam is still underway. Same person, different name. (This time “Prime Translations”)

15. stasha - October 2, 2010

They are still active. I got one today from Jenny Prime translation

16. Pat - November 3, 2010

Right. Jenny Prime translation, I received it too. Luckily, it all seemed too good to be truth and I placed the typical “Prime Translation scam” in Google and there you were, with your generous comments. Thanks a lot.

17. Monica Zentner - November 14, 2010

Hello,

This is what I found online:

We are currently in need of English to Spanish translators.If you”ll
like to work with us,Please indicate by
Sending us your CV and let us know your rates and specialties by e-mail.
Thanks
Regards,
Jenny
Prime Translation INC.
primetranslation@hotmail.com

Job Poster Name: Jenny Bullock
Languages: English to Spanish
Job Poster Location: Finland
Delivery Date: 2010-11-07

I emailed Jenny to the hotmail email… which seemed strange. I received a response right away, which also seemed strange, since today it’s Sunday. In their response they were offering me 4000 words a week but I needed to buy this expensive software.

Anyway, good thing I did my research. Thanks to all of you!

18. Niki FK - December 16, 2010

Hi, everyone,
Wow, thanks God I found this blog. My transfer is on its way now, $280, and i just called my bank to stop it. I too have been in contact with a certain Jenny, primetranslation@hotmail.com. This is a shame. Playing with professionals trust. Hope they’ll get caught. I also found out that the Systran software is distributed by many legal distributors, so no need to send it some placed in Africa, etc…Anyhow, thank you for your comments.


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