Alert: New Internet Scam on Interpreters and Translators.
September 30, 2013 § 7 Comments
If you are reading this posting, chances are that you use the internet as a professional tool. If you are like me, you probably have a website, communicate with your clients by email, and you have a Twitter and Facebook accounts. It is also likely that you have been targeted by cyber-scammers in the past. We have seen emails from African royalty wanting to send their children abroad and needing an interpreter, we also received emails from prospective clients asking for dubious urgent translations, and we know colleagues who have received bad checks for large amounts coupled with a request for a smaller check from the translator because “there is no time” to reissue a check for the correct translation fee. Well, there is a new scam going around in the interpreter/translator world, and it is waiting for innocent victims to take the bait.
Last week I received an email to my website account from China’s “Domain Name Registration Center” informing me that a Chinese company wanted to register my domain as their “internet keyword” and “…acquire my domain name in China…” The email stated that “…In order to deal with this matter better…” I should confirm whether this Chinese company is my “…distributor or business partner in China…” The communication was signed by a “Jim Ying, General Manager Shanghai Office.” Of course, the email concerned me as I have heard many horror stories of intellectual property piracy in China. I was traveling away from my office. I immediately contacted my IT Director and asked her what to do.
Then, as I was waiting for my IT expert to reply, I started to feel uneasy about the whole thing, maybe it was my legal training telling me that the way the email was phrased didn’t seem right, perhaps it was that I remembered the many conferences on intellectual property I have interpreted for; probably a combination of both, so I decided to do some research.
That is how I found an article by Christopher Hofman Laursen from the European Domain Centre in Denmark. His article was a carbon copy of my situation. The posting clearly explains that these people are cyber-criminals who basically want to establish a relationship with the interpreters or translators who answer their original email, and then pressure them into paying for a domain registration in China. Sometimes they even put the scam victim in touch with the Chinese “company” interested in acquiring the domain name to make this operation credible. Christopher asks those (like me) who have been contacted by these scammers to just ignore the email, and to share it with him, so he can add the sender’s name to his “hall of shame” list. That is exactly what I did.
My suggestion to all of you is to ignore the email if you ever get it. The following link will take you to the master list that Christopher has developed so you can see all the names that these people have used in the past. Please notice that when you click on the link, it will take you to a web page that will ask you to click again or to add a. (dot) at the end of the URL:
I really hope that this posting helps you avoid the scam and also motivates you to be on the alert mood for these type of criminals who operate outside the reach of international law. You can also share your interpreter/translator internet scam stories with the rest of us in order to keep everyone informed of the bad guys out there.
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