Lena Neyse is not a real translator

24 04 2013

If you get a resume from a so-called Lena Neyse, email Lenatrans58@hotmail.com, watch out. This is not a real person.

In fact, the somewhat impressive resume has been stolen, word for word, from another, supposedly real translator who posted her resume in Proz.

The fact is that so called “Lena” is part of a growing trend, fake resumes sent by email, using gmail, which does not allow you to locate the IP where the message was originally sent. The intent is obvious. In fact, the real name behind “Lena” is Rana Ad, a Middle Eastern sonuding name.

By using gmail, the scammers do not allow computer savvy resume recipients to detect where the resume came from. In this case, it probably came from Palestine.

Fake “Lena” uses the paypal address trans.payable@gmail.com for payments. This is the address used by Rana Ad. However, you only know that when you maker a payment, too late!

Paypal also does not provide information about the location of the recipient account, a major security flaw. This lets scammers have free reign on the Internet, hiding behind names such as trans.payable, when in fact their name has nothing to do with Germans (or Arabic, for that matter).

“Lena” is not alone. Scammer Walid Issa, who hides behind the paypal email ghhissy@gmail.com, also sends resumes for fake translators for a number of languages. His German “aliases” are Tomas Skold and Ronat Neil, who hide behind the name snow2white translation. These scammers generally deliver work done in google translate, of subpar quality.

The best thing to do is, be careful with resumes sent from gmail. Some scammers even go as far as using real names of translators who are ATA members or certified.

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Translation industry, you are being targeted by Nigerian scammers

19 01 2013

vI noticed an anomaly the past couple of months on two websites I manage, related to translation. An unusually large number of visitors from Nigeria.

I don’t mean any harm, it is just the plain truth that a lot of internet scams, the so-called Section 419 scams, originate from Nigeria, to this day. I don’t mind being called insensitive or a bigot by the politically correct crowd. It is the simple truth, and such scams have been up an around since the days of good old paper letter and stamps. If you have a problem with this statement, talk to the FBI, they you tell you.

Back in the 90’s I was in international publishing, and got quite a few of these outrageous letters. Then came fax, now email. The technology changed the mode of delivery, but the scam persists.

The fact is that the Nigerian scam industry has targeted the translation industry for a number of reasons. A lot of the companies are small, many are not run by very shrewd business people, business by and large is not good nowadays, and by nature, the industry has an international bent. So, all the ingredients are there.

I suppose there are two ways this works. The certified check scam and the stolen check scam. I have seem different iterations of the scam, where the scammer requests translation into a single language, or multiple languages. Then they send you a check in excess of the amount you quoted, and request that you deposit it and send a refund for the difference right away. Your check is good, theirs is not. Do the math.

The scammers are not what I would go very bright or creative. They frequently use the same texts, and their stories are preposterous “need this text translated into Punjabi for a meeting in Japan”. They also seem to use the same emails quite often, or at least names.

A friend of mine was falling for the scam on a big time scale today, and I was glad I could help avert disaster.

If it sound too good, believe me, it is a scam.





False fleets, poor printer cartridge performance, crummy hearing aid, the Pak-Indo war

24 10 2012

We live in an age where deceiving seems to be priority number one in a lot of people’s minds. Sometimes,  it is done innocuously, other times, the intent and results are terrible.

Did you ever notice that companies with small car fleets always start numbering their cars at 756 or something like that? Who are they trying to kid. This is very innocuous, though.

On the other hand, you can probably get a computer printer almost for free, these days. Get ready to dish out the big bucks with the toner cartridge. And is it me, or are HP printer cartridges printing less and less pages?

Watch out for gadgets you buy on the AA magazine. I bought a 200 buck hearing aid from that catalog, and it is a piece of crap. It is supposed to last 700 recharges, or something like that, and it did not last more than 200. It is called a Lee Majors hearing aid. At the end of the day, getting a legit, battery operated hearing aid will cost you less. Plus, the thing does not work all that well, it buzzes on your ear more than it amplifies things. Garbage, money badly spent.

As for the debate.  Mentioning Pakistan, and not making a single reference to the ongoing India-Pakistan issues, defies all logic. I suppose, in spite of the Monroe doctrine, the US does not have a policy for the Indo-Pak thing! This can be the only answer. By the way, this is the most terrifying conflict of all, for it involves three bordering countries bona fide nuclear powers (India, Pakistan and China), two of which account for almost half of the Earth’s population, plus another one not that far away, Russia. However, I suppose people’s memories are short…

 





Why we might need to import people soon

17 10 2012

Most of Europe is in trouble now because of an aging population, with ever lower numbers of people contributing to social programs, in relation to recipients of benefits.

The USA also has that problem, to a lesser extend. The larger number of aging people, and longer life expectancy, creates a problem, a funding problem. Thus, a lot of countries must “import young people”, who hopefully will work and contribute.

This is the basic premise of this program. Very practical, however, people make a lot of ideological garbage out of it.

This is a hot topic, and as such, there will be pros and cons. The point of this blog is to point people to articles that might be of use, rather than simply discussing politics

As with anything dealing with immigration, there are tons of crook lawyers, ~paralegals~ and lawyers wannabes willing to extract a few bucks from immigrants. So you may as well get facts. These are articles from several cities across the USA and from reputable organizations and companies. Of course, this is not an endorsement, by any stretch.

Here they are

http://www.dhs.gov/news/2012/06/15/secretary-napolitano-announces-deferred-action-process-young-people-who-are-low

http://www.dhs.gov/deferred-action-process

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/14/us/young-immigrants-poised-for-deportation-deferral-program.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/19/deferred-action-immigration-program_n_1786099.html

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/deferred-action-applications-young-illegal-immigrants-now-online-214133456.html

http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/08/15/2952870/undocumented-young-people-getting.html

Certified translations at low cost for Young Immigrants deferred action programhttp://www.legaltranslationsystems.com

http://www.natlawreview.com/article/us-government-sets-motion-deferred-action-program-young-undocumented-immigrants

http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2012/08/17/fact-sheets-on-deferred-action-for-young-immigrants/

http://www.aila.org/content/default.aspx?docid=40233

http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2012/08/14/young-immigrants-to-apply-for-dream-act-program-on-wednesday/

http://www.transworldnews.com/1124544/a74525/what-are-the-requirements-for-deferred-action-for-young-immigrants

http://www.wbtv.com/story/19287898/young-immigrants-prepare-applications-for-deferred-action

http://beforeitsnews.com/the-law/2012/08/deferred-action-program-may-help-1-8m-young-immigrants-2443560.html

http://www.fowlerwhite.com/when-publications-USCIS-begins-accepting-applications-for-deferred-action.html

http://www.foxreno.com/news/news/local/deferred-action-program-begin-accepting-applicatio/nRBMp/

http://www.oregonlive.com/today/index.ssf/2012/08/young_immigrants_line_up_to_ap.html

Certified Translations of Birth certificates http://www.birthcertificatetranslations.com





ACCEPTING CREDIT CARDS ONLINE – THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

17 10 2012

 

 

If you intend to start a business, or if you run a business, you should for all intents and purposes accept credit cards. If you are doing business on line, it is a must. One of the advantages of credit cards is that you close sales with impulse buyers, an important clientele for all retail businesses. But there are disadvantages as well.

 

First of all, if you are just starting a business, you should be aware that a certain percentage of you business volume WILL BE A LOSS during the course of a year. Returned merchandise, bounced checks, even receiving counterfeit money are a day to day occurrence for all businesses. So get on your head that between 1% to 5% of your sales will be losses and establish your margins accordinly.

 

When it comes to credit cards, the major problem is the so-called chargeback. A chargeback is initiated when a client disputes a charge. Although most chargebacks are initiated by honest credit card holders, may use the prerogative maliciously, as a means of delaying or altogether failing to pay for ordered merchandise.

 

The fact is that when a client initiates a chargeback, much of the time the credit card merchant company will take the side of the credit cardholder,even if you provide all documentation. Whether the client’s credit card company does credit the cardholder’s account is another story. Be aware that almost 100% of credit card transactions involve a merchant service in one side, and a different credit card issuer on the other. It is not an “inhouse” issue.

 

However, you should always document every sale, keeping copies of the order, credit card receipts, etc., for at least a year. Always run a printout of the sales receipt.

 

There is a third reason why a client initiates a chargeback: if somebody other than the cardholder used the card, without the cardholder’s authorization! This is not uncommon, and there are a few things you should consider. First, if the name of the card holder and the recipient of merchandise are different, try to call the client. If the provided phone number or email are incorrect, or not in service, this is likely to be a fraud attempt. If you run the charge through, you should be aware there is a risk this will result in a charge back.

 

Be very careful with overseas orders. Never process an order without first securing payment. You will be surprised that a lot of credit card numbers from overseas orders are rejected. If it is rejected, contact the client. If the email provided bounces back, this is most likely a malicious fraud attempt.

 

Some credit card orders might be Approved, but  still, you should not process them at all. Forget about orders from Africa, especially Nigeria, and be extremely careful with orders from the Philippines. Orders from these countries often are placed with stolen credit cards that might be approved, but will almost definitely result in a chargeback later. Don’t be very happy if you get unusually large orders from overseas. Almost 100% of the time they are fraud attempts!

 





HOW TO HANDLE SCAMS

10 10 2012

It seems that scams are the order of the day, in this great land of ours. Since the eighties, it seems the situation gets worse than better, and likely to further deteriorate. We are, after all in the age of small print, loopholes and one sided contractual amendments. I would like to share with you how I deal when I get scammed, with a fair degree of success. Only use these tactics if you are right, though; if you are trying to scam the company, you are part of the problem too, so shame on you!!!

1) First of all, if at all possible, do everything in writing. Companies normally slack off if a matter is not put in writing, and you just get shifted from one person to the other. There is no accountability in phone conversations.

2) When you send your letters, do so by Certified Mail, with return receipt. If at all possible, discover the name of the CEO of the company, and send him/her a copy of it. Send a couple of copies of the letter by regular mail

3) As a matter of fact, companies increasingly seem to respond only to pressure. The more people you send your letter to (CFO, CEO, Chairman of the Board, myriad directors) the more likely you will find somebody in the company to take your side. You would be amazed how different departments view situations differently in the same company.

4) If you are unable to find addresses or names of responsible persons to address your mail, never limit yourself to speaking to a single individual in an organization (unless, of course, it is very small). Call at different times, and eventually you will find somebody who is willing to listen. Always get the person’s name and extension. Do not waste your time if you sense the call is being answered overseas.

5) Don’t limit yourself to call centers (phone numbers on bills, etc). Often the people that work there have no authority whatsoever to solve your problem. Discover where the company’s head office is located, and contact it.

6) Don’t be impressed with mentions of `policies`. I find it that Customer Service representatives often make these up as they go along, in fact, in a single conversation they can mention two opposing policies, to suit their argument.

7) Call everyday, until you get a resolution. Do not be nasty, or act illegally, for instance, in a harassing manner. Don’t curse or yell, if speaking on the phone, don’ make idle threats in writing. Send communications by fax, email, snail mail, all at the same time. The more you make a company work, the more likely they will be willing to settle the matter with you and get rid of you. Remember, the more you make them work, the more you are costing them.

8) Don’t waste your time with the Better Business Bureau. They are unlikely to do anything for you.

9) Class action attorneys are also quite useless. They might use you to file a suit and you end up with less than what you claimed, while the attorneys get 1/3 of the whole settlement.

10) Remember to show intent. If a company sees you are serious about a matter, not willing to let it go, it will likely settle your claim. That is the tactic used by collection agencies to get you to pay a bill.

11) If worse comes to worse, contact your local TV station, which may have a program segment in which you can report scams. Document everything you possibly can, with dates and names.








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