How to identify scam offers

12.11.2014

Actually I hardly remember receiving any scam offers in the English segment of translation jobs (I mean English-speaking customers outside Russia). But in Russia they are quite frequent, some it might be interesting to some of English readers how it is done. So here is an example of such suspicious offer:

And international publishing house offers interesting job to people who know one or more European languages.

Requirements
– advanced knowledge of a foreign language;
– readiness to work 6 hours a day;
– stable high-speed Internet connection;
– typing fast in English would be an advantage.
Responsibilities
– translating magazine articles, texts and business correspondence from/to a foreign language
Terms
– flexible working schedule;
– possibility to work remotely;
– advance payments.
Testing will be required.
Send your CVs at mikhail.markov.60@mail.ru

First, mailbox at a free server. of course there are exceptions and some employees of real companies also use such addresses. But that’s the first reason to be on alert. For without additional checking there is no guarantee that the author of the ad really represents the company on whose behalf he/she is writing.

Second, no company name. Which is already strange. Also no website, address, or any data which would allow identifying it. In case of any problems you will have no contacts but the free mailbox which is created in 5 minutes.

The next suspicious detail is absence of details:) Any translators from any languages for any topics are sought for. Did they open only yesterday? A real publishing house which works for many years would specify that they need a translator in a particular language pair for a particular topic.

Other symptoms of scam are details which are not important for the matter or uncharacteristic of translation business. For example, any experienced translator knows that freelance work implies flexible schedule and possibility to work remotely. And as for advance payment, this, unfortunately, is not practised by most translation companies. So these phrases are inserted only to get a newcomer’s brain snowed.

And the main thing, if you send you CV to this address, after doing the test (which will be approved, no doubt!) you will be offered to deposit 600-700 rubles as a guarantee in case you do translation badly or fail to do it. Which is absurd, of course. That’s how this scam scheme works.

So I wish everybody good faith customers and stay alert!