Translation scammers beware

There are scams out there for everything, from pyramid schemes to websites promising to show you how to earn millions online. But there are also less evident scams targetting very specific communities of professionals, and translators happen to be a prime example.

I has never been quite clear to me what the aim of such scams really is apart from to waste your time, unless at some point they ask you to send money first in order to receive payment or some such nonsense, but the truth is that freelance translators will routinely receive bizarre, somewhat suspicious emails requiring a very basic translation service.

At times it’s not quite clear for a little while whether you’re dealing with a genuine client or not so you exchange a few emails to see where it gets you. Eventually you just let it go or end your emailing with a curt comment about scammers wasting your time. Then again, if you’re a little more inventive, you may engage in a lengthy and nonsensical conversation about Klingon>Dothraki translation just to wear the other guy down.

This was a genuine scam email I received not long ago, I googled the message to see what the internet came up with and found this gem:

From: mata taylor
To: Diana Arbiser
Sent: Thursday, June 26, 2014 7:44 PM
Subject: Re: Translator Needed ASAP

Hello, I am Mata Taylor, I got your e mail address from a online forum that you are an excellent translator, I guess you would have worked for them. I will like you to translate an article for me, but first i need to know your language combination because it was not stated. I will be very happy if you can reply my e mail ASAP.

Thank You

——————————————————————————————

From: Diana Arbiser
To: mata taylor
Sent: Thursday, June 26, 2014 7:44 PM
Subject: Re: Translator Needed ASAP

My language pair is Klingon > Dothraki.

——————————————————————————————

From: mata taylor
To: Diana Arbiser
Sent: Thursday, June 26, 2014 7:44 PM
Subject: Re: Translator Needed ASAP

Thank You very much for the reply, that is the language combination i was looking for. I have attached the document to you, i want it to be translated into Dothraki. Please let me know the total cost of translating the article

Thank You.

——————————————————————————————

From: Diana Arbiser
To: mata taylor
Sent: Friday, June 27, 2014 2:37 AM
Subject: Re: Translator Needed ASAP

Dear Ms./Mr. Taylor,

The document you submitted is not written in Klingon but in what appears to be English. In order for me to translate it from Klingon>Dothraki, I would first need an English>Klingon translation. Do you think you could provide that? Otherwise, I can suggest a local translator who works in that language pair. His fees are US$1,230 (one thousand two hundred and thirty US Dollars) per word.

Once he completes the English>Klingon translation, I could then proceed to do the Klingon>Dothraki translation that you request. My fees are €279.70 (two hundred and seventy nine Euros with 70 cents) per word. Needless to say, you should add the applicable VAT, which can range from 6% to 21%, depending on the answer that you get after completing the “What Planet of the Galactic Empire Should You Live in?” questionnaire. You can find it, together with other equally amusing questionnaires, in Facebook. Or Twitter– I’m not quite sure here.

Please, let me know if these fees are agreeable, and also what’s your deadline.

Sincerely,

Tyrion Lannister

——————————————————————————————

From:  mata taylor
To: Diana Arbiser
Sent: Friday, June 27, 2014 19:10 PM
Subject: Re: Translator Needed ASAP

Please can i know the total in dollars

——————————————————————————————

From: Diana Arbiser
To: mata taylor
Sent: Thursday, June 26, 2014 7:44 PM
Subject: Re: Translator Needed ASAP

US$ 1,369,440.73 + tax. But paid in Euros.

T. L.

From: mata taylor <matataylor000@gmail.com>
To: Diana Arbiser <dianarbiser@yahoo.com>
Sent: Friday, June 27, 2014 7:45 PM
Subject: Re: Translator Needed ASAP

Thank You very much for the reply, I am pleased with your price, Payment will be made by check, i will need your full name and address so i can issue out your payment.

Thank You

——————————————————————————————

From: Diana Arbiser
To: mata taylor
Sent: Friday, June 28, 2014 5:14 PM
Subject: Re: Translator Needed ASAP

My name, as I have already mentioned, is Tyrion Lannister
My temporary address is: 31415 The Shire, Xyzzy, Alderan
Postal Code: Y0ur455h013

You didn’t clarify your deadline for this job. Translating Klingon to Dothraki is pretty exhausting, and I estimate it could take me as much as a cosmological decade, give or take. Would that be acceptable?

Thanks.

P.S. Please, make sure the check is in Euros, as I requested before.

T.L

——————————————————————————————

From: mata taylor <matataylor000@gmail.com>
To: Diana Arbiser <dianarbiser@yahoo.com>
Sent: Friday, June 27, 2014 10:35 PM
Subject: Re: Translator Needed ASAP

LOL

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Translation scammers beware

  1. Pingback: Translation scammers beware | Musings from an overworked translator

  2. Pingback: Translation scammers beware - Translation BUZZ

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s