Since I my last post about scams, I was contacted by a number of other scammers. Different “companies”, different approaches, different pseudonyms, one goal.
One of them was for an interpreting job. They accepted my fees without any hesitation and they offered to pay me before I even rendered my services! Even though a part of me wanted to believe it was true (who wouldn’t want the chunk of money up front?) deep down I knew that something was definitely wrong.
Another scammer wanted me to tell him “which languages I could handle”… hmm, if you don’t even know what languages I work in, you don’t deserve my time. I’m sorry. Imagine you had a bakery and someone walked in to your shop asking you what your business sells, would you take them seriously?
So here’s what these bad guys have taught me, and a list of signs to look out for:
-they do not know what languages you work in(!)
-the information about the job is extremely vague
-the email is usually from a free email service ( gmail, yahoo, hotmail…) Who else still uses hotmail these days!?
-the email is written in very poor English and contains a number of typos, spelling and grammar mistakes,
-the email contains missing spaces which suggest copy/pasting
-they offer to pay before services are rendered without you asking
-they do not mind paying higher than market rate
-they offer to pay in money order, paypal, or travelers check
-they show little interest in answering your questions and your concerns and reply with simple short sentences like: “we’ll take care of everything”
Always type the company name + the word “scam” into Google. See what comes up. This will pull up any past forum postings, blog mentions.
If they have a phone number listed, call it for verification. If they have an address, also go ahead and look it up. It sucks that we also have to do detective work, but it seems to be the name of the game!
You may also type the company, or person’s name in the scam page on Payment Practices.
If you have your own tips, further information or experiences that you would like to share, please leave a comment below.