Sounds Fishy: Chinese Textile Company

Our friend Jennifer Horne recently sent us this information about a fishy-sounding translation project. We are happy to post it here to share it with colleagues who might have been contacted by this particular person as well.  Of course, one usually doesn't know for sure if the project is a scam until one has actually  been scammed. However, this project surely is full of red flags. 

Does this one sound familiar? If yes, does anyone know how the scam works? Is it one of those where the "client" sends you a fraudulent check? Here is the e-mail we received from Jen.

I know how you are about keeping track on scams and I wanted to share this with you in case you want to share it on your blog.

This job was for a Chinese textile company. The emails with them were very fishy. They were extremely agreeable (possibly a little too agreeable) to all of my rates, and even my travel day fee! I felt as though they were being quite pushy to get me to book the days (they said they would need me for 5 days). 

They were not cooperating with me so I can find out some basic information. I kept asking them to call me so I can ask them some questions before I send my official quote just so I know more about what I'd be getting myself into (type of event, who the other interpreter is, who THEY even are in regards to the Chinese company who is the client...) and they never called. I had no way of calling them of course.

One day I get an email from "Robin" and the next day it's from "Robert". Their email address is from a yahoo address... 

Then after typing the company name+scam I found tons of pages. Here is one.


Svetlin Simeonov on December 15, 2011 at 4:12 AM said...

Nice one thank you for the information. I will definitely keep my eyes open for such "fishy-sounding translation project".

M.E.Simpson on December 15, 2011 at 5:36 PM said...

These scams are always the same, whether they respond as a client trying to book services (I freelance as well, and have received many scam emails similar to this). The Money Mule scam shows up anytime you advertise just about anything online: services, product sales, even putting an ad in your newspaper (if it shows up online, too). I get them so frequently that I can tell immediately when it is a scam, no matter how they word it, what name they use or what scenario. Here are some tell-tale signs:
- They have very, very ordinary English/American names like "Tom Jones" or "Mary Smith" -esp. when combined with broken English (duh)
- they seem all too eager to pay you, no matter how high your rates/price
- they ask for your name, mailing address, zip etc (where they can send the check), but never ask for or offer a phone number.
- if you usually accept payment via paypal or some other form and/or if they identify a check as the form of payment early on in the exchange (usually the first email).
- almost always a yahoo email, but may also be a gmail address - bascially any email provider that requires only a name and about 15 seconds to set up an email account.

If it seems too good to be true, or if there is anything that seems at all unusual, suspicious, strange, or sets off any kind of internal alarm (no matter how quiet) - it is probably a scam.

Jennifer Bikkál Horne on December 15, 2011 at 7:02 PM said...

I posted about this on Facebook after it happened, and one of my NYU classmates told me that she had just been contacted by this same "company", but also thought that they sounded very fishy. Thankfully she didn't get scammed either. Thanks for sharing this with your readers! =)

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