East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Phishers of Men 2 – The Return


phishing_hThe problem with GoogleTranslate of course is, it can’t handle complex texts.
But let’s proceed with order.

As mentioned in an earlier post, I was contacted by some phishers whose hook letter was so good in terms of content and form, and so riddled with grammar and spelling errors, I offered them my translator services.
Well, they got back at me.
Offering me a translation job.
The cheeky bastards!

And so I was contacted by a noted and well respected American author – whose work I translated in the past – offering me the urgent translation of a 12.000 word document.

And to tell you the truth, the first mail seemed legit.
OK, it came through a gmail.com account and sounded like a template job, but that’s ok – for all I knew, it was a preliminary thing sent to me and a dozen other colleagues…
So I replied, quoting a figure for the translation, proposing a standard contract, and asking for details.
I was sold.
After all, translating stuff is my job – currently, my main paying job:  it is what puts bread on my table and keeps the light on (and the web connection going!)
So, ok, I mailed back my proposal.

And I got a reply!
They accepted my offer, and supplied a copy of the document to be translated, asking for an estimate of the time necessary for the job, and proposing payment through a European bank.

Not bad.
No mention of a contract, which is weird, but the mail still sounded legit, if a bit stiff – with hindsight, it’s taken from one of those handbooks or websites with pre-cooked business letter templates, probably.

Reason 8 - you'll get caught at phishing.

Reason 8 – you’ll get caught at phishing.

But the proposed text is aWord document set in Comic sans.
It is incomplete.
And it is taken from Wikipedia.
Yes: my Hugo-award-winning client is willing to pay me 600 $ (plus taxes) for me to translate him a Wikipedia entry.
And do it fast.

Did I feel like a fool?
Damn, yes.
Also, I repeat, this for me is a way to make a living – and I was brought up with the idea that work must be respected.

So I sent a further mail – this time making some requests, mentioning a contract again, and taxes, chatting a bit, actually lowering my proposed fee, etc.

And they replied.
And as they could not use a pre-cooked template this time, they sent me the usual GoogleTranslate horror.
Now my Hugo and Nebula Award Winning client not only does not capitalize his “I”, but severely mangles verbal forms.

Thank you for getting back to me and accepting the document, the price is affordable for me, I would have prefer to initiate the payment through Bank transfer / PayPal but i gave this job to a woman before who claim to be an Editor and writer and after i make the transfer through bank transfer and she disappeared.

Yes, there’s also a sob story attached to this thing.
They have been had, you see.
You really can’t trust people anymore, eh?

And would I please give them my full details, so that they can send me half the money straight away?

So what?
I’ve contacted the author and informed him of the thing – after all, so far he’s been damaged much more than I have: they’re using his name.
Then I’ll keep the guys out to dry for a few days, while I think of a good way to get back at them.

The bottom line?
Don’t set your fake documents in Comics Sans, of course.

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

4 thoughts on “Phishers of Men 2 – The Return

  1. Your friend could refer to his/hers local FBI office ofr the identity theft , it’s up to you to do the same to “Polizia Postale”. The scam is far better than others, I’ve to say that for those little bastards.


    • They are very subtle – they latched on my translations proposal, probably checked out my public Linkedin profile, saw a list of contacts, chose one and went from there.
      Quite a bit of work, too!
      They are good – but trusting GoogleTranslate for this delicate jobs is really amateurish.
      Even more so, if you are contacting a translator – did they really think I would not notice the bad grammar?


  2. Well, but ticking off serial phishers into concocting your very own scam, is something not many can boast, I’ll wager… 😉


  3. They don’t give up, want your money, in a way or another 😉


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