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Warning about Touareg, Inc. / Touareg SARL / Edith Trenou February 17, 2012

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Scam alert.
10 comments

Edith Trenou (a/k/a Edith Adjoke, Edith Adjoke-Trenou, Ameyo Edith, Ameyo Trenou, Edith Dackey, and Marie Edith Anna Rebecca Ameyo Dackey) doing business as Touareg, Touareg, Inc. (USA), and/or Touareg SARL (France) was booked at the Gwinnett County Detention Center on January 20th, 2012, on ten (10) felony counts of theft of services. Ms. Trenou was released on US$35,000 secure-bond bail and is under investigation by the Gwinnett County Police Department for theft of services.

http://www.gwinnettcountysheriff.com/asp/docketmonth.asp

Ms. Trenou’s predatory practices have been documented since at least 2006 and have affected scores of T&I professionals.

If you are performing or have performed any work for Ms. Trenou or her associates “Isabelle Vialette” or “Elodie Marias,” please get in touch with me at your earliest convenience. I can direct you to someone who can help.

Anyone who falls for this deserves to be scammed… February 7, 2012

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Scam alert.
11 comments

I just received this e-mail, which was entitled “interpreter or translator request. Reservation”. My warning bells went off with the subject line and my suspicions were only confirmed as I continued to read. Can you count how many red flags this e-mail sets off for me? First of all, any e-mail that starts off with “Greetings” with no personal greeting gets immediately sent to the trash. He doesn’t mention what country it is. The U.S. is a big country. There isn’t even mention of a region, city or state. Not to mention he doesn’t even know what language I work in. Then it seems as if he needs an interpreter although he keeps mentioning he needs a “translator.” And I don’t know any conference that goes for 8 whole days. Good thing I don’t have a “facility to accept credit card payments.” Well, I do, but I’m certainly not going to share it with him… This e-mail went straight into the Trash after copying it for your benefit.

Greetings!

My name is Dr Jenkins Patterson, I want to make an enquiry for booking a translator for 10 people that will be coming to your  country for a 8 days meeting. bellow are details our program and translator requirements

From 16th May to the of 24th May 2012

Duration Of Services: 10:00am to 15:00pm (6hrs per day) for 8 days
We will need consecutive interpretation
calculate 6hrs per day for 8days , and get me the total cost.

Topic of meeting…disadvantages of a broken home..

NOTE…please i will like to know the languages you can translate.

Mode Of Payment: Payment would be made via credit cards for convenience purposes. Hope you have the facility to accept credit card payments?

types of CREDIT CARDS you accept so that we can make a deposit payment to secure the booking ASAP.

Kindly advise availability of a translator and the TOTAL COST including your mode of your services for the 8 days booking,

Get back to me with details so that we can make proceeds on the booking and as well make other arrangements for our trip.

Regards,

Dr Jenkins Patterson

Beware this scammer January 17, 2012

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Scam alert.
2 comments

ProZ.com sometimes offers good services even though its moderation leaves something to be desired. It recently published a list of fake names and aliases used by ONLY ONE scammer on their site. This list was sent through WPPF, one of the non-payment listservs that I mentioned last week. As the list owner stated, “He must be very active, as Proz found necessary to publish the full list.”

Be sure to check out this list and be careful :

http://www.proz.com/blueboard.php/36175#

Non-payer warning: Ecole USA November 30, 2011

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

A word of warning against a notorious non-payer (there are quite a few – this one is my personal cross to bear…)

The company operates under the names EGS / Ecole USA / ecoleusa.com / Ecole Global Solutions. I like to call them Dear Client:. They don’t pay their bills. My unpaid invoice for $59.08 is 7 months overdue. Payment was due on April 11, 2011. They have given me nothing but excuses every time I contact them. You can read their excuses for why they can’t afford to pay a $59.08 invoice here, here and here. Their comment about there being a “global crisis around the world” had me rolling on the floor laughing. That’s good stuff! They are banned from posting jobs on Proz.com, but that doesn’t mean they won’t contact you directly. My hope is that translators will google them after being contacted and see this blog post as one of their hits.

I’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of this one unpaid invoice – my very first non-payment – four blog posts (not including this one). 🙂 Luckily I never let the amount get too large. When they contacted me in July with another small job I said no because they hadn’t paid my first invoice. It is more of an irritation than it is a hardship, because I was so proud that I had never been stiffed on a job in 16 years. I’ll probably just write the invoice off as a loss when I do my taxes next April (when it will be a year overdue). But who knows what will happen – maybe they will google themselves and see this post and pay me 🙂 And maybe tomorrow pigs will fly…

Update: this blog post is the fourth hit when you google “Ecole USA”. I’ve succeeded!

Scam or trend? March 28, 2011

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

Usually I automatically delete e-mails like the one below after reading the subject line or at most the first line, but one of my friends forwarded it to me with a snarky comment that made me giggle this morning: “Can you count the typos/misspellings in this email???? Don’t think any of us will be going out of business anytime soon.” She was also wondering if it was the latest scam or the latest trend.

Become translator on TextMaster now and get extra 10% commission

Hello,We are very pleased to announce the opening of TextMaster, the first plateform [sic] dedicated to creating, translating and proofreading text. TextMaster is a service putting clients with specific needs in contact with writting [sic] specialists.

As a translator, we invite you to join our professionnal [sic] community for free and earn money with your talent! By subscribing now, you’ll get an extra 10% commission for life!

Sign up now and get the extra 10% commission by clicking here: SIGN UP

See you soon,

TextMaster’s team

Also, while responding to her e-mail, in which she mentioned an e-mail last week from “TextKing”, it occurred to me that the two might originate from the same person. So what say you, fellow readers, scam or misguided attempt to fill a market niche that simply doesn’t exist? After all, a 10% commission of 0 is still 0!

Lionbridge does it again… November 1, 2010

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

They were probably hoping that everyone would be so busy at the ATA conference that no one would notice their little e-mail demanding a 5% discount from their vendors.

Luckily there were several bloggers who received the e-mail and commented on it. To learn more about the topic, you should read A Personal Response to Lionbridge VP Didier Helin’s Unilateral Demand of a 5% Discount (my favorite quote: “I was an infrequent and reluctant accomplice of your agency until some years ago, when I discontinued collaboration after coming to the conclusion that your project managers and I simply spoke different languages/lived on different planets/were not drinking the same Kool-Aid/were addicted to different hallucinogens.”) and Discounts Required.

Since Lionbridge refuses to pay more than US$0.10 a word for my language pair and implemented their pay to play system (see Would you pay to work for a translation agency?) I don’t work for them either.

Of course, it must also be said that this e-mail contradicts Lionbridge’s own press release, which I read a few days ago, that announced the “highest quarterly profits in its history”!!! Hey, Lionbridge, you suck!

Update: Here is another reasonable response.

A scam that isn’t translation related September 27, 2010

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Scam alert.
4 comments

I thought you all might need a chuckle this Monday. I received an e-mail from an acquaintance this morning informing me she was stuck in London and needed a loan. Yeah, right. I listen to the news and know not to believe this stuff. I responded to the e-mail telling her it looked like she had been hacked. The hacker actually had the nerve to respond to me.

It’s me.. this is for real, i’m doing everything i can to work my way out of here peacefully.. i have checked with the consulate but there is nothing really working out, most important is i dont have enough money on please, please i need you to loan me some, i can pay you back in couple of days.

I called her at work and let her know that she needed to call the police and her ISP as soon as possible. Since I know this kind of thing is brushed off by the police I took it upon myself to write the hacker back and inform them that I had just spoken with her and had given her the number to my “colleagues at the FBI.” I thought about mentioning the fact that she has a good friend with the State Department that would help her in a situation like this, but I didn’t want to give them too much information. I hope they soiled themselves just a little bit, but probably they will just cross her off the list and move on to the next victim. If you get an e-mail from a friend who was “mugged in London” and needs “help flying back home” don’t believe it or call the person and verify the information.

CONGRATULATION YOU HAVE WON USA GREEN CARD VISA2010/11!!! August 11, 2010

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Random musings, Scam alert.
6 comments

Woohooo, everybody! I won “USA Green Card VISA2010/11”.

Oh wait…

Scam alerts on Payment Practices August 2, 2010

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Business practices, Scam alert.
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Payment Practices is now offering a wonderful service to translators by allowing us to post scam alerts on all kinds of possible variations of names and e-mail addresses we receive that strike us as strange. Every translator should have this page bookmarked in your browsers. So if you receive an e-mail and it sounds kind of fishy, you should check here first before responding!

Scam alert: Dr. Paul Vanderser May 18, 2010

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

Many people on the various payment lists to which I belong are discussing a scammer making the rounds. One person reported being approached by a “Dr. Paul Vanderser” (doyenski09@yahoo.co.uk and puresthoney1@yahoo.com are two of the e-mails that have been used so far) about a 10-page translation job. The document and the wording of the e-mails caused him to be suspicious, so he asked for 50% payment upfront (not a bad idea when dealing with new clients who appear to be private clients). The “client” agreed, and in a few days the translator received a check for six times the amount of the quoted price. The smart and savvy translator was rightly suspicious and found the local branch of the bank, which confirmed that the check was fraudulent. Several other colleagues wrote in reporting similar requests from this “gentleman” (and I use the term loosely). He has been trolling the ATA directory and ProZ.com for Hungarian and Dutch translations (among others I’m sure).

Dr Vanderser will most likely be sending the translator an e-mail informing him that he inadvertently sent him an amount in excess of the agreed fee (or a payment intended for another translator, etc.). He will then ask the translator to transfer the overpaid amount back to his bank account. By the time the translator’s bank determines that the check is fraudulent the money and the bank account holder will be long-gone.  As one colleague wrote, “While most (intended) victims will ensure that his cheque clears before parting with their own funds, some will be trusting enough to fall into the trap.” Don’t be that person!

This should serve as a reminder that caution should be exercised when dealing with people with free e-mail accounts or people you do not know and do not have a known reputation in the industry. It is never a bad idea to implement a practice such as demanding upfront payment for new private clients, and if the client sends you more than the quoted amount, ten times out of ten (!!) the check will be fraudulent! It is very difficult to prosecute someone for issuing bad checks that are sent to a foreign jurisdiction.

Snopes.com is a good source to research Internet scam and fraud cases. This particular type is called the ‘Cashier Check Scam’ http://www.snopes.com/crime/fraud/cashier.asp