The ATA Chronicle - July/August 2020 - 17

Scammers also sometimes set up new
URL domains for scamming purposes.
Sometimes they impersonate existing
reputable companies with a slightly altered
or misspelled domain name (.net instead
of .com). If you receive one of these emails,
search for the company you're allegedly
dealing with in your favorite search engine
and compare the URL details that appear
with the address of the email you received.
If it's a smaller company, you may even
find the sender's name in the company
directory. Compare the contact details in
the email with the contact details on the
website. When in doubt, reply through the
contact details listed on the website.
Sometimes some very industrious
scammers set up new shell corporations that
don't actually exist. These shell companies
tend to be relatively new and disappear as
fast as they appear. To check a URL, how
long it has been registered, and where, go
to https://lookup.icann.org and type in
the URL. Thanks to data privacy laws, you
won't see the actual registrar information
anymore, but the results will tell you how
long the URL has been registered. If the
URL is relatively new, while that's not an
indicator of a scam in and of itself, it's cause
for caution. Look for contact details, phone
numbers, and addresses on the website.
Search for the address and the phone
number in your favorite search engine. If the
satellite picture of the address shows acres
of farmland filled with cows, goats, and
ostriches, but no buildings where the alleged
company's headquarters should be, then it's
a scam. (Again, see my article "Translation
Scams Reloaded" for information on how to
decode more information in email headers.)
Did you receive a phone call? Does
the phone number match the phone
number given on the company website?
Ask the caller if you can call them back at
the number given on their website. If they
say no without giving a good reason, it's a
scam. As mentioned above, it's very easy
to spoof/imitate/impersonate an arbitrary
"from" email address. It's equally easy to
spoof a phone number. I once received
a call from my own phone number. (I
know I didn't call myself, and the dog
has yet to get past my phone's fingerprint
authorization.) Always hang up, verify
the phone number on the company
website, and call back. Or email back.
www.atanet.org

Some companies may not have a proper
forwarding between business and personal
phones in place, but nearly everybody has
access to their business email at home.

MORE RESOURCES FOR
INFORMATION ON SCAMS
Albarino, Seyma. "Here's What Translator
Scammers Were Up to in 2019," Slator (January
10, 2020), https://bit.ly/Slator-scammers.

While the packaging of these
scams may change, the underlying
strategies to cheat you out of your

Doyle, Alison. "Top 10 Job Scam Warning
Signs," The Balance Careers (November 25,
2019), https://bit.ly/scam-warning-signs.
"How to Recognize and Avoid Phishing
Scams," Federal Trade Commission,
https://bit.ly/FTC-phishing.

money and/or time remain the same.

"Look Out(!) for these Red Flags in Client
Communications (May 7, 2019), The Savvy
Newcomer, https://bit.ly/Savvy-red-flags.

Does the person refer to their social
media profile as verification?
Check whether that profile and the given
contact information matches the contact
information on the company website you
already verified (see above). If it doesn't
match, it's a scam.
It's very easy to set up fake profiles
on social media and claim to be an
employee of another company. Social
media providers eventually remove these
fake profiles. Unfortunately, due to the
sheer number of fake accounts being set
up by bots and people for a multitude
of nefarious reasons, the removal takes a
while. In the meantime, scammers enjoy
plenty of time to wreak havoc.

Miranda, Cristina. "Scammers Are Using
COVID-19 Messages to Scam People,"
Federal Trade Commission (April 10, 2020),
https://bit.ly/FTC-scams-COVID-19.
"Scams and Safety," Federal Bureau of
Investigation, https://bit.ly/FBI-scams.
Small, Bridget. "Scam Emails Demand Bitcoin,
Threaten Blackmail," Federal Trade Commission
(April 29, 2020), https://bit.ly/FTC-scam-emails.
Smith, Andrew. "Fighting Coronavirus Scams:
Taking Stock," Federal Trade Commission (May
8, 2020), https://bit.ly/FTC-fighting-scams.

Also see: Berger, Carola. "Translation Scams
Reloaded," The ATA Chronicle (July/August
2018), 13, https://bit.ly/Berger-scams.

EPILOGUE
I expect this won't be the last word on
scams, which are always evolving. However,
you can prevent falling victim to these
scams by being vigilant, doing research
on potential clients, and never divulging
personally identifiable information to
strangers. While the packaging of these
scams may change, the underlying strategies
to cheat you out of your money and/or time
remain the same. For further information on
the aforementioned strategies, I again refer
you to my two earlier contributions to The
ATA Chronicle. I also encourage you to join
ATA's Business Practices discussion forum4,
where the search function reveals detailed
information on a variety of specific existing
scams. Stay safe!
NOTES
1.	
Berger, Carola. "Translation Scams:
Avoiding Them and Protecting Your Identity,"
The ATA Chronicle (October 2014), 10,
https://bit.ly/Berger-avoiding-scams.

2.	

Translator Scammers Directory,
https://bit.ly/scammer-directory.

3.	

Wikipedia definition of email spoofing,
https://bit.ly/Wiki-email-spoof.

4.	

To join ATA's Business Practices listserv, visit
https://groups.io/g/ATA-Business-Practices.

Carola F. Berger, CT is an
ATA-certified (English>German)
translator with a PhD in
physics and a master's degree
in engineering physics. She
specializes in the translation
of technical patents between English and German
in the fields of robotics, electronics, artificial
intelligence, engineering, and related subjects.
She currently serves as the administrator of ATA's
Science and Technology Division and as webmaster
on the board of directors of the Northern
California Translators Association, an ATA chapter.
Contact: info@cfbtranslations.com.
American Translators Association

17


https://www.bit.ly/Slator-scammers https://www.bit.ly/scam-warning-signs https://www.bit.ly/FTC-phishing https://www.bit.ly/Savvy-red-flags https://www.bit.ly/FTC-scams-COVID-19 https://www.bit.ly/FBI-scams https://lookup.icann.org https://www.bit.ly/FTC-scam-emails https://www.bit.ly/FTC-fighting-scams https://www.bit.ly/Berger-scams https://www.bit.ly/scammer-directory https://www.bit.ly/Wiki-email-spoof https://www.groups.io/g/ATA-Business-Practices https://www.bit.ly/Berger-avoiding-scams http://www.atanet.org

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