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Protect yourself from false job offers and other scams directed at language professionals
False job offers and other scams affect translators and interpreters just as they do in other industries, and in many cases, these scams target language professionals in particular. On ProZ.com, users have had the option to report potential scams via the online support system. In early 2011, in response to an increase in these reports and the obvious need to bring them to a wider audience, the Scams forum was created, as was a ProZ.com wiki article, Detecting and reacting to false job offers and other scams.
While to many it may be clear when they have a potential scam on their hands, experience has shown that still many language professionals would benefit from clearer, more organized information which helps them to decide whether they are in the presence of a scam, or if they should simply proceed with the caution and risk management that is called for when contacted by a new potential client. The added security provided by this kind of service is invaluable to many, given that falling victim to a scam not only implies a loss of time, work, and money, but can also bring with it legal implications which leave the victim in a position from which it can be difficult to recover.
The Translator scam alert center is an area used to provide organized, concise information regarding false job offers and other scams which may be aimed at or are affecting language professionals. Information provided in the center is based in part on reports made by ProZ.com members through the online support system and in the Scams forum. Scams are categorized by type and the outstanding characteristics of each are outlined, to make detection easier. General information on detecting and reacting to a potential scam is also included. ProZ.com members have the option of subscribing by email to the Scam alert center, to receive useful news and alerts of new scams as they are detected.
What ProZ.com members have said about the Translation scam alert center:
- "This is just to thank you for all the useful info you relay to us. Although it is very depressing to see how many nasty people there are, prowling around in order steal money from those who simply work honestly in order to earn a living, it makes us feel ProZ cares for us. Many thanks for your watchful eye." (member Claudette Hepburn)
- "Thank you for this information. It is great that Proz exists as a resource to tackle these kind of problems." (member Johanna Hongell-Darsee)
- "Thank you very much for these extremely interesting e-mails with scam cases. They are really useful and you get a clear picture of how the whole thing happens." (member Teresa Gutiérrez)
- "Thanks for your moral support and sincerity. I really feel that the proz staff takes us freelance translators seriously and that you are working for us :)" (Member May-Trine Hauan)
- "I so appreciate the strict stand you and your colleagues are taking against scammers, which makes ProZ.com an efficient and enjoyable platform. Thank you for all that you are doing for us." (member Thayenga)
- "Thanks for all the great work you are doing with the scam alerts." (member Barbara Pavlik)
- "I see ProZ.com has got this (and all other types of scams) covered in spades and reiterate my (virtual) offer to pay double the membership cost for all of the wonderful things you all do to protect those of us rowing in the galleys. I regret not having found my way further into the scam alerts earlier." (member Paul Kozelka)