Letter to the Editor

Translation Scams Reloaded | Carola F. Berger

Thank you for the excellent article in the July-August issue about the various scams being practiced on translators. I also appreciated the links for reporting such scams.

As suggested in the article, I attach a copy of the report I made to the bank in whose name two forged checks were sent to me. I’ve also filed a complaint with the FBI using the link in the article. Keep these useful articles coming!


I do not bank with you but received two identical checks (one yesterday, one today), apparently drawn on your bank in New Orleans, which appear to be forgeries. These were sent to me via UPS: the first from Las Vegas, Nevada and the second from Miami, Florida. I attach copies of both checks and shipping labels to help you track the originators.

The following background information may help. I’m a certified translator in Atlanta, Georgia, listed in the Directory of Translators and Interpreters of the American Translators Association. Potential clients find me through that directory and generally contact me via e-mail and attach documents they wish me to translate. In this case, I was asked to translate a lengthy German document that appeared to be genuine and agreed to provide a quote for it.

The two checks were sent as advance payment for the translation that the client had said was urgently needed. I became suspicious when the first check arrived because: a) full payment in advance is not the normal practice in my business, b) the check covers double the amount I had quoted for the job, and c) the name of the issuer, Basics Underneath LLC, is misspelled Basics UnderMeath. Arrival of the second identical check today confirmed that suspicion beyond all doubt!

I also attach a copy of the e-mail from the client explaining why the check was being sent. However, in view of the apparent forgery, I intend to have no further contact with whoever that person may be. I trust that you can use this information to track down the people behind this scam and will do my best to answer any questions you may have.

Andrew Sherwood | Atlanta, GA

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