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It’s a question of trust

As a freelancer you open yourself up to potential dubious job requests and enquiries. In the past, I have received fake PayPal account closure warnings and other attempts to elicit login information for various services and sites. Recently though, I have received a project enquiry, which went beyond the usual cursory efforts to scam. The email seemed coherent, polite and informative. After an introduction of a Vendor Manager it promised a large amount of work across various fields. It also contained a link to a Google form for registering further details in the supposed recruiter’s database. There were however several things about it that made me pause.

The name of the company was Trusted Polish and it was consistent with the domain of the sender’s e-mail address. However, the very word “trusted” made me immediately distrustful. The project promised 20 million words of documents in various fields, including Law, Finance,
IT, Computers/Software, and Web Localization. This seemed too broad and unspecific to be real. The final part of the message contained a link to a Google form to be filled out by interested freelancers.

Luckily, I have recently read an article on the risks of the Autofill feature, which allows for confidential information to be stolen through invisible fields in the browser’s window. I do not now for sure if this was such an attempt, but it looked like it could have been one.

Before proceeding, I emailed back requesting further details about the company, it’s website and location. Before taking up any projects, I also always look up Proz.com’s Blue Board to check if there is any feedback about the outsourcer. There was no mention of a company called Trusted Polish. A few hours later I received a message that my email couldn’t be delivered to the recipient.

Look out in case you get approached by companies called “Trusted Spanish” or “Trusted Dutch” and remember to keep your guard up!

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