LSP requests to use fake account and fake identity
Auteur du fil: Jennifer Lin

Jennifer Lin
Royaume-Uni
Local time: 19:12
anglais vers chinois
+ ...
Apr 5

Hi all,

A few months ago, I was contacted by an agency to work for one of their clients, all communications was done with the end client after they contracted me.

The agency gave me a fake account and fake name to contact the client. They also gave me a fake identity and background profile about myself to use in the event that the client asks (including some 40+ people I was in contact with on the end client's side). However, at no time and no where in the contract did
... See more
Hi all,

A few months ago, I was contacted by an agency to work for one of their clients, all communications was done with the end client after they contracted me.

The agency gave me a fake account and fake name to contact the client. They also gave me a fake identity and background profile about myself to use in the event that the client asks (including some 40+ people I was in contact with on the end client's side). However, at no time and no where in the contract did they state that I could not reveal my real identity. They also requested that I sign the end client's NDA with my fake name.

Throughout the two months working with the end client, I acted upon their request under another name, and tried to keep everything professional with the end client, trying not to discuss too much of myself, even when chatting up on a Skype call with people on their side.

I was denied access from this account immediately when I stopped working with them.

My question is: Has anyone been in a similar situation before? Is this normal for the agency to do this?

Another reason I'm bringing this up is because they've seriously delayed their payments as well. Would it be a disadvantage or breach of confidentiality in any way if I threaten to contact the end client? (I know payment is another issue which I'll probably discuss under Money Matters).

Many thanks in advance

Jennifer
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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Espagne
Local time: 19:12
Membre (2007)
anglais
+ ...
I'm speechless! Apr 5

Jennifer Lin wrote:
The agency gave me a fake account and fake name to contact the client. They also gave me a fake identity and background profile about myself to use in the event that the client asks (including some 40+ people I was in contact with on the end client's side). However, at no time and no where in the contract did they state that I could not reveal my real identity. They also requested that I sign the end client's NDA with my fake name.

That last sentence is quite incredible, and the rest of it is pretty amazing too. I don't like to criticize, particularly after the even as it's not much use, but why on earth did you agree to this? Signing a contract with a fake name is simply not something anyone should be doing unless they want to get a criminal record, surely? In answer to your question: no, it is most certainly not normal practice.

Another reason I'm bringing this up is because they've seriously delayed their payments as well.

Why am I not surprised? Have you ever received any money from them? Did you give them your correct details, using your correct name?

Would it be a disadvantage or breach of confidentiality in any way if I threaten to contact the end client?.

Well, it certainly isn't justified as anything but a very last resort as it's considered extremely unprofessional. Contacting the end client would probably breach the NDA agreement, but then you invalidated that the moment you signed with a false name. What would by the purpose of contacting them? They can't possibly be expected to pay you. However, if they've published your work (on the web, on paper, etc.) then they could possibly be committing a breach of your rights. But it's a grey area and, although I did do it once - very successfully in terms of getting my client to pay up - it wasn't pleasant. I'd advise you to exhaust every other avenue first.


Teresa Borges
Thomas T. Frost
Khalid Sabili
Andrea Garfield-Barkworth
Ksenia Akulova
Yolanda Broad
Kuochoe Nikoi
 

Martin Henderson  Identity Verified
Espagne
Local time: 20:12
Membre (2012)
espagnol vers anglais
Unwise on two counts Apr 5

I'm pretty sure that by signing an NDA while pretending to be somebody else you must be committing some sort of crime, which in itself is obviously never a good idea...

But even worse is then posting about it on an open forum that anybody can access under an account that shows your name and a photo!


Teresa Borges
Matthias Eng
Oleksandr Ivanov
 

Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Local time: 02:12
Membre
chinois vers anglais
+ ...
Fake business Apr 5

If a company wants to be a middleman, they need to be a middleman. There's nothing about this arrangement that makes any sense.

Would it be a disadvantage or breach of confidentiality in any way if I threaten to contact the end client? (I know payment is another issue which I'll probably discuss under Money Matters).

Considering the two of you just conspired to defraud the client by entering into a contract using a false identity, breach of confidentiality may be the least of your worries.

[Edited at 2019-04-05 14:14 GMT]


Teresa Borges
Lora Marinova
Yolanda Broad
Kuochoe Nikoi
David Lin
Oriana Bonan
Niina Lahokoski
 

Jennifer Lin
Royaume-Uni
Local time: 19:12
anglais vers chinois
+ ...
AUTEUR DU FIL
Thanks all Apr 6

Thank you all for the replies ... I do realise that it was not smart at all for me in this whole thing, though I also hope to share this situation


That last sentence is quite incredible, and the rest of it is pretty amazing too. I don't like to criticize, particularly after the even as it's not much use, but why on earth did you agree to this? Signing a contract with a fake name is simply not something anyone should be doing unless they want to get a criminal record, surely? In answer to your question: no, it is most certainly not normal practice.

Another reason I'm bringing this up is because they've seriously delayed their payments as well.

Why am I not surprised? Have you ever received any money from them? Did you give them your correct details, using your correct name?


I had entered a contract with the agency with my own name and information previously, and have received payment from them before. When they drew up a separate contract for this specific job, nothing was stated about this arrangement. It was only until the first day on the job and I was given access to the account did I learn of this.

I know I should have given more thought to it, but at that time, I simply saw it as when an agency assigns the translator a link and account name on a cloud-based system when there's an available job. I carried out all tasks and jobs as I normally would on the system. And when the NDA came up, I wrote to stop working for them and they denied me access to the account.

And now they are delaying payments, which they haven't before, which is why I'm trying to figure out the best way to resolve this ...


 

Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
Royaume-Uni
Local time: 19:12
Membre (2014)
japonais vers anglais
Walk away Apr 6

Jennifer Lin wrote:
And now they are delaying payments, which they haven't before, which is why I'm trying to figure out the best way to resolve this ...

The best way is to conduct business in an ethical and professional manner, an approach that would have prevented you from getting into such a complicated situation. It wasn't just "not smart" of you, as you put it, to behave the way you did. It was wrong, and the difference is important.

Now there is no easy way to extricate yourself, because you have effectively acted as an accomplice in activity that is, at the very least, duplicitous and probably unlawful.

I suggest you give up hope of getting paid, sever all relationships with this highly dubious agency, and next time listen to your conscience. It's easier that way in the long run.

Regards,
Dan


Jean Lachaud
Kevin Fulton
Kuochoe Nikoi
JaneD
Oleksandr Ivanov
Tina Vonhof
 

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
États-Unis
Local time: 14:12
Membre (2002)
anglais vers hongrois
+ ...
Bait and switch Apr 6

So, this is a story for those who don't understand why we need to be careful about sending resumes and doing test translations to agencies. What happened here is very likely this: the agency got the contract from the end client using a highly qualified translator's resume and test translation. The end client requested to have that specific translator work on their projects. However, the agency switched to a cheaper supplier, using the identity of the original translator that the end client selec... See more
So, this is a story for those who don't understand why we need to be careful about sending resumes and doing test translations to agencies. What happened here is very likely this: the agency got the contract from the end client using a highly qualified translator's resume and test translation. The end client requested to have that specific translator work on their projects. However, the agency switched to a cheaper supplier, using the identity of the original translator that the end client selected.

It is a perfect scam in several ways - the translator whose identity is being used would not find out, as the agency has control of the online account, so even if the end client would try to contact him/her, their email would go to the agency. The agency can get away with not paying for the job, because the translator who did the job never actually signed a contract with them: they have no official business relationship. They have a fake contract with a fake person.
They can repeat this game any number of times, every time using the next willing victim, meanwhile the end clients are under the impression that they are getting their translations done by someone else, for likely a high price.
The victims would unlikely start legal action, because they are actually part of the scam by agreeing to working under a false identity and signing contracts in someone else's name.
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Luis Aguilar
Thomas T. Frost
Yoana Ivanova
Vera Schoen
Dawid Kita
Oleksandr Ivanov
 

LEXpert  Identity Verified
États-Unis
Local time: 13:12
Membre (2008)
croate vers anglais
+ ...
So whose identity was it? Apr 6

At first I thought this was some kind of crazy-paranoid anti-poaching measure, but Katalin's explanation makes more sense, since you were obviously in direct contact with the client, albeit under an assumed identity.

Is the fake identity the agency gave you a real person or completely fabricated?


DZiW
Thomas T. Frost
 

DZiW
Ukraine
anglais vers russe
+ ...
Nullius in verba Apr 7

I can't help wondering how experienced wordsmiths can be so blind to the meaning behind words and actions. Yet it just proves my statement
most even decent translators are but poor businessmen
true, alas.

While having a contract signed for AAAA whereas officially the job was done by BBBB poses serious payment and copyright risks, possible forgery and falsehood only aggravates the guilt. Shortly, one is not only a subject to several incriminations, but a perpetrator also can use it to force unfair practices and unfavorable terms, let alone blackmailing or chucking the victim out.

Unfortunately, I'm also aware of "substitute translators" working under somebody else's accounts and illegally acting behalf of other persons, because of employees'/freelancers' sick leaves or vocations and other real or lame excuses. Obviously, after two-three months of hard working unlimited hours, most of them ended up retaining 0%-30% of the [gross] projected amount. Rather deplorable result, I must admit--it's just not worth it.

How do agencies come down that low?--Because it's profitable! Nothing personal.
The cure? Business awareness and common sense, of course.

Hence, considering possible self-incrimination, the agency is just powerplaying, turning the question "Will they pay me?" into "Why [exactly] they should pay me, if any?"


@Katalin, your "Bait and switch" note somehow reminded me The Trump University headlines)


Yolanda Broad
 

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
États-Unis
Local time: 14:12
Membre (2002)
anglais vers hongrois
+ ...
Could be either, how would she know? Apr 7

LEXpert wrote:


Is the fake identity the agency gave you a real person or completely fabricated?

It could be either way, and she would not know it, unless the person has a strong presence on the internet. It is also possible that the agency changed the name, just used the resume data and the test translation, since they knew they were not going to work with that person. But the story I wrote is just a hunch, I have no proof.


Yolanda Broad
 

Daryo
Royaume-Uni
Local time: 19:12
serbe vers anglais
+ ...
Not so fast! Apr 14

Dan Lucas wrote:

Jennifer Lin wrote:
And now they are delaying payments, which they haven't before, which is why I'm trying to figure out the best way to resolve this ...

...

Now there is no easy way to extricate yourself, because you have effectively acted as an accomplice in activity that is, at the very least, duplicitous and probably unlawful.

I suggest you give up hope of getting paid, sever all relationships with this highly dubious agency, and next time listen to your conscience. It's easier that way in the long run.

Regards,
Dan


With "colleagues' help and advice" like this, no scammer would have any need to worry about ever being stopped dead in their tracks!

Just let them get away with it, so that they can do it again, and again? Not so fast ...

It surely wasn't very smart to allow yourself to be dragged into this brain-haired arrangement, but that doesn't mean that you should be an easy defenceless target for scammers.

From what I understand, there was no complaints about the work done, so there is no reason for you not to be paid.

Send this agency by recorded delivery a paper invoice in your name specifying the work done and for which final client, and give them seven days to pay, with the warning that it's the last reminder and that they will be taken to the small claim court and / or the same invoice will sent to the final client.

The prospect of having to explain in open court and / or to the final client the rationale for this unorthodox arrangement that they dragged you into could (should?) make them reconsider the whole idea, and trying to deceive the client first and you after might after all no longer seem such a "smart" idea. About as smart as telling a ghostwriter to get lost, just because it's someone else's name on the book cover.

This is definitely a case where they have to lose far far more than you, and your relationship with this agency has "broken down irretrievably" anyway.

All this assuming that you have solid proofs that you have done this work - which connects to another "practice" that as far as I can see is an open invitation to joining "scammer's heaven": deleting all traces of work done as soon as you have delivered. Yeah sure, if you want to leave yourself wide open to abusive claims of "low quality" that you have no ways of disproving, or even to claims that you never delivered!

This is definitely a case where they have to lose far far more than you, and your relationship with this agency has "broken down irretrievably" anyway.

The only way out for this agency would be to pretend that you have nothing to do with this work done under assumed name, but if nothing else there should be plenty of traces in your computer, and you know to who you have been talking to and about what, etc. so these scammers will have hard time pretending that you have nothing to do with this contract.



[Edited at 2019-04-14 12:35 GMT]


Christel Zipfel
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Luca Tutino  Identity Verified
Italie
Local time: 20:12
Membre (2002)
anglais vers italien
+ ...
I would certainly not leave it a that Apr 17

As incredible as it seems, I can imagine how a young translator can fall for it while being suddenly pressured for "timely installment deliveries" while receiving bullet-point stepped instructions, contracts, company policies, rules and "invoicing rules" to read, learn and follow, together with requests for "best quality" and "best rate" in exchange for "high volume" and "regular work"...

Jennifer, what happened is not your fault, but now that you understand what happened, I think
... See more
As incredible as it seems, I can imagine how a young translator can fall for it while being suddenly pressured for "timely installment deliveries" while receiving bullet-point stepped instructions, contracts, company policies, rules and "invoicing rules" to read, learn and follow, together with requests for "best quality" and "best rate" in exchange for "high volume" and "regular work"...

Jennifer, what happened is not your fault, but now that you understand what happened, I think you should insist to be paid and be ready to consult a lawyer if they refuse.

Daryo wrote:

... but if nothing else there should be plenty of traces in your computer, and you know to who you have been talking to and about what, etc. so these scammers will have a hard time pretending that you have nothing to do with this contract.



Yes. And even just a record of your email exchanges should make it easy to have a court rule in your favor, should it come to that.
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