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Scam Alert: Fraudsters Target Interpreters and Clients

Perpetrators of business fraud are getting more sophisticated everyday, and the translating and interpreting field is no exception. All the familiar scams involving everything from impersonated or “spoof” email accounts to “overpayments” with counterfeit checks are present in this industry. As problematic as schemes like that are, today I want to talk about a different kind of business fraud: CV or resume theft.

CV theft is when someone else takes the information off of a CV that is posted online and either claims it as their own or uses the information to open bank accounts, etc. Some people even land jobs based on CVs that they have stolen.

What’s at risk for customers? Inaccurate translations and culturally incompetent interpreting, in addition to the risk that accompanies giving financial information to an identity thief.  

  • Look closely at the full email address of anyone you’re contacting; “spoofed” email accounts often have domains that are off by one or two letters.
  • Fraud is much less likely to occur with an American Translators Association (ATA) certified translator — you can check the contact information of the person you are engaging against the published email address in the ATA directory.
  • Stay clear of people who use free email accounts (Gmail, Yahoo, etc.) to conduct business, unless they are tried, tested, and true (I am currently consolidating all off my old Gmail contacts to
  • When a potential translator contacts you, see if they make any reference to things you mentioned in your initial email — scam artists often use form letters and scripts.

Business fraud is a pandemic problem with no one solution. I hope that the suggestions in this article will be useful to you — but I also want to know about your experiences. Contact me at if you have any questions.  

Sepideh Moussavi, MSSepideh Moussavi, MS

Farsi Language Center
(212) 304- 4400

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