Scam Alert

ATA Headquarters has noticed a recent spike in scam reports from members.

Technology has given scammers an unprecedented level of sophistication and access, making it easier than ever to be fooled. Names and email addresses can be harvested electronically. Individuals can be targeted by occupation. Propositions can sound interesting or at least like a good deal.

The best defense
The best defense against scams is to understand how they work. A basic primer on several scams reported by members is posted on ATA’s website. Take a look now to learn more. Be sure to scroll down the page to Tips for Recognizing and Avoiding Fake Check Scams.

Translators and interpreters are frequent targets of the fake check scam
After several years in decline, the fake check scam is making a comeback, increasing by 15% in 2016 and 13% in 2017. It’s now in the #2 position on the National Consumers League’s Top 10 Scams of 2017. The Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Information site has a great article on how this one works. You’ll want to pay particular attention to the section You and Your Bank—Who is Responsible for What?

CV theft is another scam that frequently targets translators and interpreters
The ATA Chronicle covered this scam in an excellent article by ATA member Carola Berger. Translation Scams: Tips for Avoiding Them and Protecting Your Identity is definitely worth the read.

These are not the only scams out there. The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s website provides details on more than 500 scams.

Where to report scams
There are a number of ways to report scams, most of them as easy as filling out an online form. Your complaint will help authorities around the world spot trends and coordinate efforts to combat fraud.

Internet Crime Complaint Center
National Consumers League
Federal Trade Commission
eConsumer.gov (cross border complaints)

One more resource
Members on the ATA’s Business Practices Listserv often discuss scam attacks. If you’re not on the list, this would be a good time to join!

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