Dear ATINS Members and Friends,
We would like to advise you of a common scam that appears to be making the rounds again: The Cheque Overpayment Scam. The fraudsters behind this scam normally approach translators but any business can be affected.
What the scam typically “looks” like:
A “client” approaches you for a quote. You agree on a price and turnaround time. The “client” says they can only pay by cheque (giving some excuse why). When you receive the cheque, you see that it is for more money than what was agreed to. The “client” has some excuse for the overpayment and then asks for you to send the difference back. The unsuspecting translator returns the difference back to the “client” or the “client’s colleague.” Eventually, the bank determines that the cheque was fraudulent. You are now responsible for paying back the reversed funds and any related fees to your bank, and that “client” has disappeared with your legitimate money in their pocket.
The names, emails, stories and excuses the fraudsters use for the Cheque Overpayment Scam are always different and ever-evolving. The stories may even seem elaborate and convincing. But while the stories change, the motive of the fraudster does not: they just want your money.
How to protect yourself:
What to do if you have received an email you suspect is an overpayment scam:
If you believe you have already fallen victim to a scam, please report this to the following authorities:
Finally, if you’re aware of any other fraudulent schemes where translators and/or interpreters are targeted, please let us know.