Cybercrime is a huge concern for nearly every industry and language translation services is no exception. Companies around the world lose billions in revenue each year to cyber scams and nefarious individuals posing as legitimate businesses. In fact, IBM President and CEO, Ginni Rometty calls cybercrime “the greatest threat to every profession, every industry, every company in the world” and with good reason.
Just take a look at these startling statistics on cybercrime from a variety of sources:
- An independent research firm concluded that the global cost of cybercrime will reach $2 trillion by 2019, a threefold increase from the 2015 estimate of $500 billion.
- A survey of IT professionals working for small and medium sized business found that 50% report having had a security breach in the past 12 months.
- Phishing involves defrauding an online user by posing as a legitimate entity. According to Verizon, 30% of phishing emails are opened and 12% of those targeted click on the fraudulent link.
The language translation services industry is not immune to online scams. Because the industry is largely unregulated, businesses must protect themselves and do their own due diligence before hiring any translation services professional.
It’s important to take the appropriate precautions, stay alert, and use common sense to avoid these scammers. Read on to figure out how to spot a scammer and what to do if you realize you’ve fallen victim to a fraudulent translator.
How to spot a scammer:
You don’t have to hire a private detective to spot a scam. You just need to pay attention and trust your instincts. Above all, if something about your interaction with an individual doesn’t feel right, that’s probably a red flag. In many cases, even if you can’t describe exactly what is making you feel uncomfortable, you are sensing something real.
Here are some other red flags to keep in mind:
- Unsolicited CV’s sent directly to you: No serious, professional translator will send you her CV unsolicited. Translators may reach out to you via email to offer their services and request to talk about your needs. But if you receive a CV with little else in the email besides a poorly worded headline, e.g., “22 years of experiment Chinese Translator,” delete it.
- Poor use of English: Scammers always send emails in English, but often use very broken English. It is truly surprising that anyone would want to hire someone to do language translation services work, who can’t write a proper email. But when we’re in a hurry or in desperate need, we can be more willing to overlook what may appear to be innocent mistakes.
- Different fonts on the CV: Seeing different fonts on a CV is a definite sign that someone has cut and pasted information from multiple sources. Again, these are often not innocent mistakes.
- Different names on the CV: Finding this warning sign requires some simple detective work. In document properties, you can check to see who created the document and whether that name matches the name on the CV itself. If they don’t match, that could mean that the CV was stolen. If you are at all suspicious, you can also enter sentences from the CV into Google search to see if it pops up under different names.
- Information doesn’t add up: Look for any mismatched information. Does the name on the CV match the email address? Does the date of birth on the CV line up with other claims about language translation services experience? Is there a legitimate street address? Website address?
If you are ever unsure, try this simple test: ask a translator who claims to be, for instance, a “native” French speaker whether he could do a translation job for a Goulbap Locobot System (or whatever other crazy thing you want to make up) from German to Norwegian. If he agrees immediately without asking any further questions, you have spotted a language translation services scammer.
What to do if you’re a victim of fraud:
Of course, the ideal situation is to avoid scammers in the first place. But many scammers are much more clever than the above warning signs suggest. So, what do you do if you’re a victim of fraud?
- Save all emails and other evidence.
- Report the crime to the US Department of Justice and relevant local law enforcement agencies.
- Contact the Translator Scammers Directory and have the fraudulent email address added to the directory, to help others can avoid your fate.
We all can work together to avoid language translation services scams and low-quality translations that just harm everyone’s reputations. The only way to guarantee that you are getting quality and professional services is to find a company with credible translators, who you can trust.
Do you have any other recommendations for beating the scammers? Join the conversation by commenting below.
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Category: Translation Services