Scammers going global leveraging freelance services

In my previous post, I was discussing the various trust issues that are encountered when dealing with an online community. I was discussing some issues related to translation jobs sabotage by scammers. My point was the risks in freelance translation jobs are much higher on the customer side than on the translator side. The main argument was it’s hard to turn a small translation job into cash. Well, scammers have more imagination that I have, and it seems that this argument is partially wrong.

I have just recently banned a few translation jobs on PeopleWords. Basically, a scammer was trying to use freelancers to translate typical scam letters. Indeed the main letter topic (the letter content was on public display by the scammer) was related to a large amount of money somehow blocked in a country of Central Africa. It was quite perfectly fitting the typical scam patterns (see for an introduction to the common scam practice and how to fight them).

Moral of the story: scammers are fast movers, like any ambitious company they want to go global. Freelance translators will be on the front line of this move.