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Scam alert: Wayne Needs You August 27, 2019

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in ATA, Scam alert.
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I just received the following email from the ATA domain (atanet.org). I immediately reached out to Mary David at Headquarters, and she let me know that it is NOT from ATA.


Clues that it is a scam:

* ATA has not and will never send out fundraiser requests.

* Most GoFundMe requests take you to the GoFundMe page and not directly to Paypal.

* If you search the GoFundMe site the page does not exist.



The latest scam is Lingorate August 30, 2016

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Scam alert.
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Did you recently receive an email about a new translation platform called Lingorate? Even if you didn’t you are probably listed without your permission. Rose Newell has done a wonderful job backing up and documenting the site’s duplicity. She does such a good job anything I would write about it would be redundant. You can read about it at Lingorate: the latest identity theft scam to target translators?

Scam warning July 14, 2016

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Business practices, Scam alert.
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This email was posted on WPPF today. It never hurts to verify if you question something. Just today I questioned an email sent to me that I think might not have been legitimate.

Hi all,

I work at U.S. Translation Company (http://www.ustranslation.com/) and wanted to make you all aware of a scammer who is using our company name to pose as a legitimate PM and scam translators out of payment for their work.

They are using the email stela.ustranslation@gmail.com, and the following email signature:

Stela S. Mahuika| Vendor/Translation Technology Specialist
U.S. Translation Company
320 W. 200 S., Third Floor
Salt Lake City, UT 84101
p 801.393.5300 x 120
d 801.456.8663

I had my first run-in with them a little under a year ago, but hadn’t heard anything since then until this week when we had two translators contact us to check if this person was legitimate. We’ve forwarded all emails to the Translator Scammers Directory; you can see the entry here http://www.translator-scammers.com/images/scammer%20Stela%20Mahuika.jpg.

As someone who actually works for US Translation, here is more evidence that this is a scammer:

  1. We are a small company – I can easily name all of my coworkers and their positions without going to our directory – so I can definitely confirm that there is no “Stela S. Mahuika” at this company.
  2. The “Vendor/Translation Technology Specialist” position no longer exists – it was dissolved and re-formed under a different job title over a year ago.
  3. All of our email addresses follow a “firstname@ustranslation.com” format; no gmail addresses!
  4. However, the company name, address and phone numbers are all real – if you call or go to that address, you will reach our office. (This is likely a stolen email signature from one of our previous employees.)

As a side note, we recently got a new translation management software; if anyone from our company ever approaches you about doing work for US Translation and doesn’t get you set up in the system before they issue a PO, that should be a red flag. Sometimes this gets postponed a little if it’s a rush project, certificate translation, or interpretation event, but usually you have to be set up in the system before the PM can even quote the project.

Sorry for the long post, hope this helps, best of luck to everyone!

Update on AATII April 18, 2016

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Business practices, Scam alert.
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The CEO of this “not for profit association” is now claiming that it was a misunderstanding (yeah, right) and that if you do NOT want to be listed there you have the choice to contact them and ask to be removed, so send an email to customer_service@aatii.com. If you want to add a comment at https://aatii.com/a-message-for-concerned-translators feel free. Jennifer makes an excellent point. On eBay buyers and sellers have all set up their own accounts. This company has no clue how to do business. How embarrassing would it be for a potential client to contact one of the translators in the database only to be met with: “What company? Never heard of it. And what rate am I supposedly charging? No, my rate is double that. Sorry.” What company would ever take this database seriously? Unbelievable. Way to completely ruin your reputation in the industry and not realize it. No, we aren’t jealous. We don’t like our identities being misappropriated.

AATII is having a bad day April 15, 2016

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Business practices, Scam alert.

I woke up this morning to a flood of emails from pissed off translators on listservs covering both sides of the Atlantic. People were pissed because they were listed in a directory no one had heard of before. No one had signed up for the directory, and everyone was apparently offering $0.08 a word and had five star ratings. Every single translator. They were wondering whether it was identity theft and how they got our contact information. One enterprising translator requested a 4 word job and tried to hire herself. The job disappeared into Nirvana. As the morning went on translators were sending them irate emails, official cease and desist letters, filing reports with their local police, and even talking about a class action suit. I only wish I had popped some popcorn.

Is your name and profile there?
Many of you may have received an email announcing a “translation contest” sponsored by an outfit calling itself AATII (suspiciously using two names, “Alliance” or “Association of Applied Translators and Interpreters International.” The text to be translated is marketing copy for their company (although they claim to be nonprofit). Supposedly the prize is $1,000 for each winner in around 8 languages (“That’s $2 a word!” they joyfully proclaim), and a chance to win a $100,000 trip. Yeah right. I know none of you fell for it. The Translation Scammers Directory has posted an alert http://www.translator-scammers.com/translator-scammers-note…
However, it gets WORSE. This outfit has stolen the names and identities of at least 20,000 translators, fabricating specialties and other professional information, and adding a “rating” next to each name (1 to 3 stars, from “acceptable” to “excellent”). They posted rates for each individual (funny thing, everyone was charging 8 cents a word) until this evening after receiving many outraged phone calls and emails. But the names and false info are still there.
IS YOUR NAME IN THE AATII LIST?? Check it out at www.aatii.com. Above all, don’t be silent or let them get away with this. It is illegal identity theft and it will cause reputational damage to every translator or interpreter listed.
Extra info: http://www.translator-scammers.com/translator-scammers-notes.htm#n123

The CEO issued a statement in a discussion on Proz.com trying to explain their actions.

We’d like to thank everyone for your interest in AATII and our contest. We are a young company who soft-launched a few months ago, and #IAmATranslator was created to announce our presence with a splash.

As the day went on AATII started feeling the heat and mass deleted all the profiles from their database. The CEO then issued another statement:

The database is cleared and under review

Hello fellow translators,
We have heard a lot of concern about how your names are listed on our website. I understand why some of you are upset, so I have instructed our IT department to remove all the accounts from the website except for those users who signed up for themselves. We supposed to send invitation to everybody first, but a mistake was made so some of you received the message about the translation contest instead.

Just like you, I am a hard working translator who started working from his home and growing. AATII.com never meant to do any harm to anybody but aiming to build a community and marketplace that will attract customers without being limited to borders. There are some misunderstanding about us and we’d like to clarify the facts. What I can tell you is that nobody has even lost a dollar to us. You have my word.

AATII.org as a not for profit organization is aimed to establish internationally compatible standards for translation, so that service providers listed on AATII.com can be recognized by customers who are not translation savvy. We take every effort to keep everything legitimate here. We are small now and have big goals to benefit customers and language workers alike. We are not born a giant multinational, but we are not ashamed of it. Life is worth living for because we have dreams, isn’t it?

You are welcome to check back at aatii.com and make sure you are not listed if you have not given us the permission.

Yours truly,
Lixin Cheng, “Clint”
CEO, aatii.com

João Roque Dias responded perfectly:

1. You were forced to scrap your illegal and fradulent database.

2. On your last (first) post, you are, once again, trying to confuse people with your outfits:

aatii.COM = the “Alliance” created by you and your translation company, “Princemountain Transnational Services Inc.”

aatii.ORG = a “Translators Association” with the same name as the Alliance’s, also created by you and your translation company, in which the “certification examinations” are to be done by your Princemountain translation company!!! I also read the “Bylaws”.

3. Dream all you want, just not at other people’s professional reputation and credentials’ expense.

c54650b7278f88a3eeaa7aa7d5fce4f7In any event, be sure to keep an eye on AATII.com. There’s some question as to whether the profiles have been deleted or are simply hidden for now until the heat blows over. Have a good weekend.

This is what happens when you reply to spam email January 8, 2016

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Business practices, Scam alert, TGIF.
1 comment so far

This guy is my hero. I love his sense of humor. Don’t we all wish we could be him? I usually hit the delete button if it slips through Mailwasher, but I’ve sometimes been tempted. Here’s to a year of hummus in 2016.

Translation scammers beware December 29, 2014

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Fun stuff, Scam alert.
1 comment so far

This little gem will make you laugh for sure. I’m sure many of you are getting the emails asking for a translation but not knowing what your language combination is. It isn’t a good idea to engage with spammers, but if you choose to this little exchange should provide some amusement/inspiration.

Diana Arbiser, I salute you!

Warning – it’s a scam! November 30, 2012

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Scam alert.

Someone just posted the following e-mail on the GLD listserv. If you received it DO NOT FALL FOR IT! I seriously doubt a translator owns all 11 of these tools. I have three tools myself, but certainly not four versions of the same tool!

I’d like to quickly sell my unneeded CATTs at reasonable prices, since I am going into the travel business, and since I do not need them anymore, I’d like to sell them to a colleague who really needs them to work with, but cannot afford the high prices:

1. SDL Trados v7.5 2006 at only 100 GBP

2. SDL Trados Suite Professional v8.3 SP3 2007 at only 150 GBP

3. SDL Trados Studio Professional v9.1 SP3 2009 at only 200 GBP
4. SDL Trados Studio Professional v10.2 SP2 2011 at only 250 GBP

5. Atril DejaVu X Professional v7.5 2009 at only 200 GBP
6. Atril DejaVu X2 Professional v8.0.505 2012 at only 250 GBP
7. Star Transit XV Professional 2005 at only 100 GBP

8. Multilizer Enterprise 2011 v7.8.5 at only 200 GBP (www.multilizer.com )

9. Sisulizer Enterprise 2012 v3.0 at only 200 GBP (www.sisulizer.com )

10. Systran Translator Professional v6 2009 at only 50 GBP (www.systran.co.uk)
11. Babylon Translator Professional v8.0 at only 50 GBP

or all 11 software ( ot at least 5 of them) at a discounted price of only 700 GBP. If interested, please, send the payment (for the CAT you want to have) to my bank account (bank details below) or via http://www.moneybookers.com to my MB e-mail as well as send me the mail address you want your software sent to. I will send any software from the list to any mail address by 1st class royal mail or by DHL courier same day I see my payment in my bank account.

My payment details are:

An interesting new scam (for German speaking folks)… June 8, 2012

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Scam alert.

Seeing as I haven’t had to file a German tax return since 2001 I was unlikely to fall for this one. However, some of you who pay taxes to the German tax authorities may fall for this, so I feel I should write about it. This is most definitely a scam. The IRS and the German Bundeszentralamt für Steuern do not contact tax payers by e-mail – especially if you have never given them your e-mail address…

Sent from: Bundeszentralamt für Steuern (buro@bzst.com)

Datum 07 Juni 2012
Unsere Referenz B/23260/12
Ihr Zeichen 09C/412/12


Sehr geehrte Steuerzahler,

Nach den letzten Berechnungen des jährlichen steuerlichen Ihre Tätigkeit haben wir festgestellt, dass Sie Anspruch auf eine Steuererstattung von 233,14 EUR erhalten sollen.

Um Ihre Rücksendung erhalten, füllen Sie bitte das Steuerformular im Anhang zu dieser E-Mail und ermöglichen es uns 3-5 Werktage, um es zu verarbeiten.

Mit freundlichen Grüßen
Bundeszentralamt für Steuern

Non-payer warning: Ecole USA now operating as Ecole Global Solutions (EGS) and/or Global Solutions Group February 23, 2012

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Scam alert.

I have received word that the agency I refer to as “Dear Client,” Ecole USA, has no intention of ever paying their debts for translation services that have been rendered by numerous translators. If you are owed money (and I know many of you are based on the e-mails I have received) I suggest you file a police report for fraud against the following. If we can do it against Edith Trenou (aka Touareg) then we can do it against Ecole. My debt of $59.08 isn’t worth my taking any action (and frankly I feel I have gotten my money’s worth by writing about them in the blog). I plan on writing it off in April as a business loss. However, I know several translators are owed at least four figures.

They used to operate under the name Ecole BA SRL in Argentina. The information provided on the website is old. I have been told they moved their offices and have not told anyone the new information. They have also offices in the U.S. (Houston), under another name, EGS or Ecole Global Solutions. I have it on good authority that they are using it from now on and pretending they are somebody else.

The owners names are: DANIEL TOREA & CARLOS NACUZZI. They are responsible for all behind the scenes. The project manager CLAUDIA VOSS is the one who contacts the translators. There may be others working with them, because they allegedly hire and fire people all the time.

9/4/2012 Update: they have abandoned the @ecoleusa.com address and are now using @glsolutionsgroup.com. They are operating as Global Solutions Group