Imagine my excitement when I see an email from a potential client stating that they would need me for four-five days in California! Now let me remind you that I only started interpreting this summer, and have only been hired a total of three times. So a gig that long would not only mean great money, but also an amazing learning opportunity.
My reply to the email was short and simple; thanks for your interest, here is my rate, would this be simultaneous?, are you providing a booth and necessary equipment?, will I have a partner?, what is the topic? do you have any documents I could look at?
They get back to me immediately approving my rate without any fuss at all, ignore most of my questions, and state that I will have “everything I need”. They also asked me for my address to send me a check. Um, well, that’s great (and a little weird) that you want to pay me already… But I need to know a certain amount of things ahead of time, thank you very much.
Also, this email was from a certain Robin, when the one before was from a certain Robert…hm.
My red flags are way up at this point so I decide to Google the company name (“Nanjing Textiles”) + the word “scam” and found a ton of hits. Apparently they lure people into accepting counterfeit checks and have them wire funds via Western Union or MoneyGram.
I discontinued all communications with them, submitted their company name into Payment Practices, and from now on I plan on always doing a little background check on potential clients.