Every industry has a dark side. For the translation industry, that means translation scammers. Knowing who these scammers are and what they do is the best way to avoid and fight against them.
WHO ARE TRANSLATION SCAMMERS?
Unfortunately, a translation scammer is not easy to identify. Anyone with a Wi-Fi connection, a rudimentary knowledge of Photoshop and a criminal mind can enter the game. Translation scammers work either individually or in organized groups.
While scammers are all over the world, some of the most infamous gangs are based in Gaza, Palestine and in Italy. The website, www.translator-scammers.com, has a full list of the names, email addresses and identifiers that scammers use.
WHAT’S THE SCAM?
First, translation scammers find the real CV of a real translator. Then, they create a free email address (similar to the real translator’s). According to Translation Scammer’s research, scammers may use the translator’s real name, or they may invent a new or similar name. In some cases, the scammer will actually keep the mailing address of the real translator. They do always, however, change the phone number or use no phone at all.
The scammers then pass the stolen CV off as their own. How? They contact busy translation agencies. If an agency glances over the CV, all they see is the solid education and experience of an actual translator. So, the scammers get hired.
Whilst savvy agencies might spot a fake email, many do not and hence the scammers are often successful.
Here is a summary from Translation Scammer of what happens: