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Fraud within the translation industry has reached unprecedented levels, with scammers proliferating at an alarming rate. Recent statistics reveal a disturbing trend, indicating a surge in fraudulent activities targeting translators and interpreters! In the past three months alone, I have encountered three fraudulent translation job offers, plus another one just today! underscoring the severity of this issue.

Almost fell for it!

One notable incident involved a deceptive scheme where I was tasked just in November last year with translating a substantial 35-page document from English into Spanish, my language pair. The allure of full upfront payment accompanied the offer, which initially appeared promising. However, upon receiving a suspiciously misspelled check, I promptly sought verification at a check cashing store, thus avoiding potential devastation had I deposited it into my account. Swift action ensued as I reported the incident to the authorities, armed with copies of email correspondences with the scammer to prove my innocence. Thankfully, law enforcement recognized the attempted fraud, acknowledging similar reports from other translators.

Vigilance is paramount in identifying potential scams, with certain red flags warranting careful scrutiny. The timing of initial contact, such as receiving emails in the very early hours, often signals origins from regions like Africa or India, where scammers operate during their daylight hours. Furthermore, attention should be paid to the absence of corporate affiliations or legitimate contact information, including the lack of a company webpage or business telephone number. Many scammers masquerade as “Project Managers,” exploiting unsuspecting translators.

Can we fight back?

The subtleties of language can also serve as indicators of fraudulent intent, as scammers frequently exhibit poor grammar and syntax in their communications. Despite such telltale signs, the reality remains dishearteningly bleak, as the international nature of these crimes complicates prosecution efforts. Perpetrators often operate with impunity in jurisdictions where law enforcement agencies turn a blind eye to their illicit activities.

The translation industry has emerged as a lucrative target for cybercriminals, with the illicit economy raking in hundreds of millions of dollars annually. This burgeoning sector of the fraud industry poses significant challenges for translators and interpreters worldwide, necessitating heightened caution and diligence in dealings with potential clients.

Careful when publishing your CV!

Recognizing the prevalence of scams targeting job seekers, particularly within the translation and interpretation industry, as well as other sectors, even certain recruiters have advised against the indiscriminate publication of CVs. It is advised that job seekers exercise caution by being succinct in their contact information, refraining from including personal or familial details that could potentially make them vulnerable targets. This proactive approach aims to mitigate the risk of exploitation and safeguard the interests of individuals seeking legitimate employment opportunities.

As professionals in the translation field, it is imperative to adopt stringent verification measures when engaging with new clients. Requesting verifiable company information, including a legitimate webpage and email address, as well as a valid business telephone number, can help mitigate the risk of falling victim to fraudulent schemes. In instances of doubt, direct telephonic communication with the client may be warranted, although scammers typically evade such attempts, resorting instead to deceptive email correspondence.

Important Research Resources

Protect yourself and your livelihood from scammers! Take action now by researching the valuable resources available at and

The proliferation of fraud within the translation industry underscores the pressing need for enhanced awareness and vigilance among practitioners. By remaining vigilant and adopting robust verification measures, translators and interpreters can safeguard themselves against the growing threat of fraudulent activities. Ultimately, proactive measures are essential in preserving the integrity of the profession and protecting against financial and reputational harm.

Arm yourself with knowledge to safeguard against deceptive practices and ensure the integrity of your translation business. Don’t wait until it’s too late – empower yourself today!

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