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Research project on Agricultural reforms in EU translation scam - Marie Stephens
Auteur du fil: Lauriane Duran-Pauleau

Jing Zhao  Identity Verified
Allemagne
anglais vers chinois
So did I Jan 30

It's not our fault to assume people are trust worthy at the first place. I guess we just have to be more careful from now on.

Iza Bel wrote:

I gave my account details. I feel so deseperate

[Edited at 2020-01-13 09:05 GMT]


Matt Finizio
 

Louise PELLETIER  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 17:00
Membre (Apr 2020)
anglais vers français
+ ...
I decided to take action against this scammer Feb 4

This "Marie" sent me an e-mail yesterday telling me that she proceeded to the fund transfer and that there's a mix up with the amount I'll be getting.

From now on, I have to keep a close eye on my bank account.

The bank knows I have been scammed.

I also signaled this scam to the French platform Signalement Internet, explaining them everything that happened to some of us.
To the French translators who have been scammed by this thief: I think you sh
... See more
This "Marie" sent me an e-mail yesterday telling me that she proceeded to the fund transfer and that there's a mix up with the amount I'll be getting.

From now on, I have to keep a close eye on my bank account.

The bank knows I have been scammed.

I also signaled this scam to the French platform Signalement Internet, explaining them everything that happened to some of us.
To the French translators who have been scammed by this thief: I think you should signal them too.
If you're from another country, signal it to your authorities too.
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Liviu-Lee Roth
États-Unis
Local time: 11:00
roumain vers anglais
+ ...
I wish you good luck Feb 5

Louise PELLETIER wrote:

This "Marie" sent me an e-mail yesterday telling me that she proceeded to the fund transfer and that there's a mix up with the amount I'll be getting.

From now on, I have to keep a close eye on my bank account.

The bank knows I have been scammed.

I also signaled this scam to the French platform Signalement Internet, explaining them everything that happened to some of us.
To the French translators who have been scammed by this thief: I think you should signal them too.
If you're from another country, signal it to your authorities too.



It is good that you signaled this scam to the authorities, but don't expect miracles.

It is a shame that you don't follow on a regular basis the SCAM section. " . . . this thief..." could be from the other end of the world. He bought the narrative of the scam on the dark web and applied it. Most probably he has some "money mules" with fake IDs who will cash-out the money.
From my experience in this field, be prepared to receive many more such "offers".

Stay safe,
lee


Sheila Wilson
Katarzyna Slowikova
 

Myriam Ouellet  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 11:00
anglais vers français
+ ...
Research project on Agricultural reforms in EU Feb 13

A certain "Simone Frasier" contacted me this morning through ProZ to translate this document. I checked and she's been registered since February 2020... She gives me 4 to 5 weeks to translate a 15 000-word document (written in an uncommon font, um...), it's almost too good to be true. Her email is appnovationtechnologiesinc@gmail.com. No results on Google for "Simone Frasier,” "appnovation technologies" and "Florida. App... See more
A certain "Simone Frasier" contacted me this morning through ProZ to translate this document. I checked and she's been registered since February 2020... She gives me 4 to 5 weeks to translate a 15 000-word document (written in an uncommon font, um...), it's almost too good to be true. Her email is appnovationtechnologiesinc@gmail.com. No results on Google for "Simone Frasier,” "appnovation technologies" and "Florida. Appnovation exists, but it's located in Montreal (my city) and has nothing to do with agriculture. She is waiting for my quotation. I feel like asking her $50,000 and see what she's going to answer!
I've already received similar offers (from Melisa Leclère, among others), but never through ProZ. What a waste of time!
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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Espagne
Local time: 16:00
Membre (2007)
anglais
+ ...
Research project on Agricultural reforms in EU Feb 13

Have you googled for the title of the document and for a chunk of the text itself? If it's the usual scam, you could well find it's been online for some while and there are also translations available.

Myriam Ouellet wrote:
A certain "Simone Frasier" contacted me this morning through ProZ to translate this document. I checked and she's been registered since February 2020

Once you're sure she's a scammer (and it certainly sounds likely), there's no point in answering. But there is a point to informing site staff via the Scam Centre. They need to take her profile down asap to prevent other translators falling into her clutches.


Liviu-Lee Roth
ahartje
Cydonie Miles
 

Stephanie Kantorski  Identity Verified
États-Unis
Local time: 08:00
Membre (2011)
français vers anglais
They seem to be at it again May 3

I also got an email from a gmail account through Proz and then directly to my email. The initial note was just:

Hello,
I would like to know if you are available to translate a
document from French to English.
Thank you

I asked to see the document, it is a 19,000-word study on agricultural reforms in the EU. After sending her a quote, she said that's a good price and deadline (I had not included a deadline, Red Flag No. 1) -- and then offered to send m
... See more
I also got an email from a gmail account through Proz and then directly to my email. The initial note was just:

Hello,
I would like to know if you are available to translate a
document from French to English.
Thank you

I asked to see the document, it is a 19,000-word study on agricultural reforms in the EU. After sending her a quote, she said that's a good price and deadline (I had not included a deadline, Red Flag No. 1) -- and then offered to send me half now, half when the job is over. She asked for my bank details or address/phone number to send a check.

I opted for the check (no way I was going to send my bank details) and she said great, don't start until you get it and it clears (Red Flag No. 2).

Other red flags:
- The woman said she is in Alabama, United States but the IP address is in Stockholm, Sweden
- She is nowhere to be found on the Internet, however he name is almost the same as a translator (who is on Proz)
- No signature on her emails
- The document has no cover page or page numbers
- The footnotes begin at 38 (this first one was nicely placed at the beginning of a paragraph)
- I could go on...

I am almost positive it is a scam. I'm both disappointed and embarrassed; I've been in the industry for over 20 years. Things have been slow so I was overly eager I guess.

Just goes to show, even old dogs fall for old tricks! Be careful out there.


[Edited at 2020-05-03 01:33 GMT]
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Jeff Diteman
Matt Finizio
Sannah Devoll
 

Stephanie Kantorski  Identity Verified
États-Unis
Local time: 08:00
Membre (2011)
français vers anglais
UPDATE on this type of scam May 3

Please see my previous post about what happened with the scammer.

I could not figure out what the scam actually was since I only gave her my address and telephone number. But I called my bank anyway just to make sure.

It is highly likely the document they send to be translated contains a key logger. It downloads to your computer when you open the doc and records every key stroke you make, plus potentially grabs your credit card info from browsers (if it is saved there)
... See more
Please see my previous post about what happened with the scammer.

I could not figure out what the scam actually was since I only gave her my address and telephone number. But I called my bank anyway just to make sure.

It is highly likely the document they send to be translated contains a key logger. It downloads to your computer when you open the doc and records every key stroke you make, plus potentially grabs your credit card info from browsers (if it is saved there).

DO NOT OPEN THE DOCUMENT or any link they send. If you do:

- Change any passwords you have entered on your keyboard since you opened it
- Run a virus scan on your computer.

I hope this helps.

[Edited at 2020-05-04 18:18 GMT]
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Kevin Fulton
Andrea Capuselli
 

Jeff Diteman
États-Unis
Local time: 11:00
Membre (2019)
français vers anglais
+ ...
Can confirm that this is a scam May 3

I got a similar query from "Amélie Damerval Moutet." The scammer asked for banking details in the third message--big red flag! I didn't give any details, but unfortunately did download the file. I'll be checking back here to see if anyone else has any problems with malware.

Stephanie Kantorski
 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Espagne
Local time: 16:00
Membre (2007)
anglais
+ ...
They just want your money, AFAIK May 3

This scam has been around for a good while already and judging from the number of reports here, the number of translators who have engaged with the scammers must be very high. I'm sure we'd have heard by now if these scams adversely affected anything other than service providers' pockets. These emails aren't even just being sent to translators. There are many variations targeted to different professions.

I don't believe our personal or banking details or our computers are at risk f
... See more
This scam has been around for a good while already and judging from the number of reports here, the number of translators who have engaged with the scammers must be very high. I'm sure we'd have heard by now if these scams adversely affected anything other than service providers' pockets. These emails aren't even just being sent to translators. There are many variations targeted to different professions.

I don't believe our personal or banking details or our computers are at risk from this particular scam. The idea is simply to get us to issue a refund for an over-payment -- involving a cheque which will eventually turn out to be a dud. Not that we should be complacent, of course! I'm pretty clueless about the internals of my computer, which is why I have loads of "anti" software on it -- antivirus, anti-malware, anti-tracking...
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Liviu-Lee Roth
Stephanie Kantorski
Fatine777
Katarzyna Slowikova
 

Stephanie Kantorski  Identity Verified
États-Unis
Local time: 08:00
Membre (2011)
français vers anglais
The scam file May 3

I did a full virus scan of my computer, changed passwords, etc. No malware was found, so that was reassuring.

Jeff Diteman, thanks for confirming it's a scam. I did not mention the name because the Proz guidelines had seemed to say not to. But yes, that was her name!

Amélie Damerval Moutet

Grrrr.

[Edited at 2020-05-03 16:54 GMT]


 

Kristof Haavik  Identity Verified
États-Unis
Local time: 10:00
Membre (2010)
anglais vers français
+ ...
Amelie Damerval Moutet scam May 4

I got that one, too. I was unsure about it because there really is a translator (or at least a website) for someone by the name of Amelie Damerval or Amelie Moutet, and there really is someone by that name listed on the website of a French town's city hall. I tried to contact them by phone to see if it was real but didn't get through to a live person. I was suspicious because (1) it offered 50% prepayment, which no one does; (2) when I asked for an answer in French, thinking that would throw ... See more
I got that one, too. I was unsure about it because there really is a translator (or at least a website) for someone by the name of Amelie Damerval or Amelie Moutet, and there really is someone by that name listed on the website of a French town's city hall. I tried to contact them by phone to see if it was real but didn't get through to a live person. I was suspicious because (1) it offered 50% prepayment, which no one does; (2) when I asked for an answer in French, thinking that would throw off scammers, I got one, to my surprise, but using masculine forms instead of feminine; (3) "she" refused any kind of contact like Skype or telephone, saying it was a matter of protecting "her" privacy. I wrote that I was couldn't get all the banking information they wanted and could only accept payment by Paypal, and the fact that I heard nothing back--not even a "Sorry, we can't do that"--speaks for itself. I had started the translation, thinking it might be real and I could afford to lose a couple hours, and that's all I lost. I can assure you, however, that should I find the person responsible for this, he or she will lose much more.Collapse


Stephanie Kantorski
Matt Finizio
 

Stephanie Kantorski  Identity Verified
États-Unis
Local time: 08:00
Membre (2011)
français vers anglais
Not sure I understand May 4

I may be belaboring the point, but I still don't quite understand the scam itself.

If a check doesn't clear, I wouldn't give them a "refund." Either their funds are available or not. And then I would just ask them to issue another check.

Is there something I'm missing?


 

Matt Finizio  Identity Verified
États-Unis
Local time: 11:00
Membre (Apr 2020)
français vers anglais


Posted via
ProZ.com Mobile


Here's how I believe it works May 7

Stephanie Kantorski wrote:

I may be belaboring the point, but I still don't quite understand the scam itself.

If a check doesn't clear, I wouldn't give them a "refund." Either their funds are available or not. And then I would just ask them to issue another check.

Is there something I'm missing?


First, thanks for following up about the malware scan. I was holding my breath there for a minute.

Funny enough, this email originally wound up in my spam folder. I should have left it there lol.

I'm in the same boat as you almost to a tee (same "person" and fake doc). I have yet to receive the fake check (no was I giving out banking info to anyone , and through email no less), and unfortunately a did put about 4 hours of work into this thing before I came to my senses and tried to do some research.

My understanding from reading another scam thread on here is that the check "appears" to be a cashier's check, so you put it in to the bank assuming it's as good as cash. Then the person says there was a mixup or something and that you have to send the money back...even if it's through gift cards or whatever. Then in two or three days, your bank realizes the check is fraudulent and you have none of the "funds." Even if you don't fall for this, your bank will potentially freeze your accounts because of the fraud, causing a major inconvenience.

Anyway, thanks to this great community for putting this info out there. I hope no one else falls prey to it.


Stephanie Kantorski
Liviu-Lee Roth
Fatine777
 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Espagne
Local time: 16:00
Membre (2007)
anglais
+ ...
In Europe May 7

Matt Maxwell wrote:
My understanding from reading another scam thread on here is that the check "appears" to be a cashier's check, so you put it in to the bank assuming it's as good as cash. Then the person says there was a mixup or something and that you have to send the money back...even if it's through gift cards or whatever. Then in two or three days, your bank realizes the check is fraudulent and you have none of the "funds." Even if you don't fall for this, your bank will potentially freeze your accounts because of the fraud, causing a major inconvenience.

In Europe, few freelancers would accept a local cheque, let alone one from abroad. Many European countries simply don't use them nowadays although banks do accept them as legal. So sending it through the post would be unlikely to work. But the scammers have got wise to that. They present themselves (or more likely a stooge) at the bank with the cheque and the details of the account to credit it with. Even though the clerk should get a signature and check that it's the account holder's, they often don't, perhaps because they last handled a cheque credit long, long ago. So the first the freelancers knows about it is when they check their account and see that this massive credit is already there. They never see a cheque -- they think it's a wire transfer, and those are done bank to bank so really don't need to clear. Warning bells don't always ring, I'm afraid, although I've only heard of one translator actually sending the money. One too many though . Fortunately, the bank is at least partly to blame and hopefully they take full responsibility.


Stephanie Kantorski
Liviu-Lee Roth
Cydonie Miles
Katarzyna Slowikova
 

Stephanie Kantorski  Identity Verified
États-Unis
Local time: 08:00
Membre (2011)
français vers anglais
Update on this scam and the check I received May 11

Just wanted to update everyone on this scam.

The scammer wrote me last week saying the check had been sent but there was a mix-up. Having already figured out the ruse, I summarily told them we are aware of the scam and to have a nice day (I used a couple well-chosen stronger words as well).

Just received said check, here's a photo:

Scam Check

It is for about four times as much as agreed. Some other interesting tidbits about the package:

- The scammers IP address is in Stockholm, Sweden (easy to mask)
- The person had told me they were "presently in Alabama"
- The return address on the package is from a guy in Utah
- The "mailed from" ZIP code is in Oakland, California
- The tracking history says it was mailed from Utah
- The cashier's check was issued at a credit union with five local branches in...Illinois

So, for what it's worth, I hope this prevents future fraud from affecting any other translators.

I hope you all stay safe, vigilant and busy!


Liviu-Lee Roth
Fatine777
 
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Research project on Agricultural reforms in EU translation scam - Marie Stephens

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