I cannot believe I fell for that
Just recently, in September, I was offered a large translation project by an agency that appeared to be located in either India or Singapore. After a bit of ping pong regarding my rate I finally accepted and dropped everything to deliver by a very ambitious deadline.
I delivered the project in several batches, received reasonable feedback, and had no reason to believe that anything was wrong. Payment terms were 30 days, I agreed; so far so good.
30 days passed. No contact, no payment. Needless to say that I was unable to get in touch with them and, surprise surprise, really only had an email address. And here was me wondering about their pretty good rate (India is not exactly known for paying high rates).
It was only then that I started doing some research, and I have now come to the conclusion that I’ve been led on by a fraudster. Who, me? Sensible me? But I’m always careful! I never forward chain mail! I never open unsolicited email, never mind unknown attachments! I fell for the oldest trick in the book, and I’m out of pocket by a few thousand euros because of it.
The company name is Tarin Translation, and my contact was Kelvin Marks. So, if you receive an email offering you a nice big project… just treat it as spam and delete.
Here are a few lessons I learned:
- Make sure you have a telephone number (that works)
- Make sure you have actual company details, including a full address (and not just a PO Box)
- Make sure you ask for a PO and don’t get started without one
- If the rate sounds too good to be true… it probably is! Ask for 20% down payment
- Trust your instincts. If it feels off, it probably is!
On a related note, I discovered this website: http://www.paymentpractices.net/, that allows translators to talk about, er, payment practices of translation agencies. You get a 7-day free trial, and it’s about $20 thereafter. You know what to do!