Translation Nightmare: How to Protect Yourself from Scams

No matter the language, scams can present themselves to anyone and no industry is safe. Within the broad world of language services, scammers who lack necessary skills can appear anywhere, looking for their next target in need of translations.

In many cases if a scammer is hired to complete a job, they will do so using online, mechanized systems like Google Translate, which produces less-than-optimal language translations that seriously lack in cultural meaning. Fake language experts can do more harm than just waste time and money.

You may recall in 2013, the world was outraged when it was discovered that the Sign Language translator hired for Nelson Mandela’s memorial service was a fraud. The entire service was shown live on national TV, where the scammer stood beside speakers at the event — including President Barack Obama — and gestured uninterpretable signs. It’s important to protect yourself from language frauds who present themselves as experts; here are some of the easiest ways to do so:

1. Be aware of suspicious resumes or payment models.

Often times, translation scammers will poach existing resumes and CV information found readily available online. Because of this, it’s incredibly important to be wary of anything that may seem “off.”

Stay sharp when reviewing the resumes of translators and be sure to double-check all included information, call references and more.

2. Talk with your translator.

A simple chat can often confirm or deny any suspicions you may hold regarding a potential translator hire. Try to get your new translator on the phone for a quick interview where they can share their skills with you in attempt to ease any worries you may have. Having them answer even just a few questions in their fluent languages can also allow you to see the strength of their skill.

3. Use verified translation and interpretation experts.

To completely remove the threat of being scammed by a fake translator or interpreter, you can enlist the service of a quality, certified language services provider. At Language Department, every one of our language experts goes through a verification process to ensure absolute security and confidentiality.

Our vetting process is first-rate to ensure that our community is full of the highest quality language professionals.

  1. Check (and double-check) industry scammer lists.
  2. Review all online and translation directories (such as LinkedIn, Proz and Translators Cafe).
  3. Request complete contact information, a copy of their diploma, professional references and up-to-date proof of freelance status.
  4. Perform a phone interview for final verification.

Thoroughly reviewed, expert language professionals at Language Department provide translations to top worldwide companies in industries such as marketing, financial, IT, non-profit, film, medical, legal and more.

As a trusted, worldwide language services provider, you can rest assured knowing that you are receiving the best quality translations at the most reasonable prices.

Contact us today for a verified translation quote!