Thursday, April 09, 2009

Another "handsome chris"?

In 2005 I wrote about a fraudulent Chinese translation agency run by a certain Handsome Chris. In the following 4 years, I came across an Nigerian bishop who was married to an Egyptian wife and was coming on a visit to my suburb (I live in a country town where the only attraction are the cows in the paddocks), a guy from Gaza who purported to have offices in Cairo and London and wanted me to complete a 5 pages long questionnaire that would have given him all my business secrets (he did it with lots of other colleagues) and who is apparently known in Gaza as suffering from serious neurosis; an Indian "translator" who could not spell in English but wanted to provide me with work in Dari, Pushtu, Punjabi and Arabic (!!); and a few more interesting items of humanity.

Tom Ellet, who is a member of the Translator Cafe and writes The Wor(l)d Weary Translator blog has recently come across one of those interesting creatures:

"The Scandinavian translation world is a fairly small one, so my curiosity was aroused when this "agency," which I had never heard of, began posting jobs on TC. So I checked out its profile and alarm bells started ringing. The email address was a free one, the URL took me to a holding page indicating that the domain was for sale, the mailing address was given as "Buchingham [sic] Palace Road" in London, England, while the phone number began with +44 121, which is the code for Birmingham, not London. posted a request for feedback in the Hall of Fame and Shame, drawing attention to these discrepancies. Sure enough, it was not long before several unfortunate colleagues reported that they had been cheated by a barely literate individual calling himself Daniel Creig [sic], trading as Scandinavian Network, with an IP address in India. When one colleague became suspicious and decided to ask for a down payment before undertaking any more work, poor "Daniel" turned into quite the cry-baby, practically begging him to send the translation anyway. (Presumably Danny Boy had offered the end client a ridiculously short turnaround time, in keeping with his fictitious agency's absurd promise of "the quickest turnaround time in the industry.")"

So the guy got uncovered, and one would have thought this was a dead-o by now. Don't underestimate a fraud. Less than a month later, the creature was back:

"Now, if you were a fraudster and your operation under the name of "Scandinavian Network" had recently been exposed, wouldn't you choose a completely different identity for your next scam attempt? Something to do with Asia or Latin America, maybe—as far removed from Scandinavia as possible? Not so the nincompoops behind this operation, who are now attempting to get back in the game as "Scandic Net". (Perhaps they hope to take advantage of the higher rates associated with Scandinavian languages.) All the tell-tale signs are there: the badly designed website full of bombastic bullshit in poorly written English, the domain name registered to an Indian company, the "British" phone number in a completely different city from the one in which they purport to be located (even though they can't spell its name and don't know the postal code). Sure enough, it wasn't long before "Scandic Net" aroused the suspicions of one translator they were trying to con, who posted a request for information on Several members of the site, myself included, made the connection with "Scandinavian Network" and with "Gyanendra Kumar," another notorious Indian fraudster. Just to prove its dishonesty, "Scandic Net" refused the translator's perfectly reasonable request for a 50% down payment."

What next, one wonders??

No comments: