The ATA Chronicle - July/August 2020 - 16

FEATURE

BY CAROLA F. BERGER
a scam. It's possible that a client cold emails
you to request a quote for a project after
they perused a listing site such as ATA's
directory. However, being cold recruited
for part-time or full-time employment by
an unknown entity is unheard of. This just
doesn't happen.

It's very easy to set up fake profiles
on social media and claim to be an
employee of another company.

New Twists on Old Scams:
Language Professionals Beware!
The old adage still holds: if it sounds too good to be true, it most certainly is.

W

ith more and more people
working from home, many online
scammers have upped their
game. This article is the third in a series
of contributions to The ATA Chronicle.1
I encourage you to refer to these older
articles as well because the current scams
are not new. Some scammers are finding
new target audiences because a lot of
people are working from home who
have not worked from home before. For
example, interpreters who used to be
onsite are now working remotely, and
thus have become a new target audience
for online scams. Some scammers are
adding new twists to old scams. For
example, identity theft, previously
facilitated via old-fashioned CV theft2, is
now accomplished via "job interviews"
through video chat services. Whatever the
case, the old adage still holds: if it sounds
too good to be true, it most certainly is.
16

The ATA Chronicle | July/August 2020

HOW CAN YOU TELL IF AN
INQUIRY IS A SCAM?
If somebody you don't know wants to
pay three times your usual rate without
haggling, and it's not a super-urgent, very
specialized project they need immediately
(rush or premium rate!), it's too good
to be true. You should know what your
time and expertise is worth and charge
accordingly. If somebody offers you well
above the going market price for an
average project, something smells fishy.
Here are some more questions
to consider.
Are you being recruited for a "job
offer" by an unknown person
who offers full-time or part-time
employment on a W-2 basis?
Unless it's for a very specialized job that's
urgently needed, such as specialized
medical interpreters during a pandemic, it's

Are you being invited to a "job
interview" on Google Hangouts, Skype,
or another free video platform?
As mentioned above, such "job interviews"
are most likely scams. The scammers try to
extract personally identifying information
via these interviews for the purposes
of identity theft. While some reputable
businesses use video interviews for hiring
and contracting purposes, they almost
always use a more secure (paid) platform.
Do not, under any circumstances, give out
your Social Security number. See my earlier
article in The ATA Chronicle, "Translation
Scams Reloaded," listed at the end of
this article for information on using an
Employee Identification Number instead of
a Social Security number.
If you receive an email, does the "from"
address match the "reply-to" address in
terms of the domain (URL), and is the
URL a reputable known URL?
If the "reply-to" address is a free Gmail,
Hotmail, or other free email address, it's a
scam. It's very easy to spoof an arbitrary
"from" email address.3 If the "reply-to"
address contains the same domain (the
portion after the @ sign including the
.com, .de, .us, etc.) but a different local
part (the portion in front of the @ sign),
it may just be directly routed to a person
working from home. For example, if the
email says it's from hr@corp.com, but the
"reply-to" reads John.Doe@corp.com, it's
probably legit, unless the corp.com server
has been hacked. If the "reply-to" address
is completely unrelated to the alleged
sending address, it's very likely that you're
dealing with a scam.
www.atanet.org


http://www.corp.com http://www.atanet.org

The ATA Chronicle - July/August 2020

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