Free Webinar – Don’t Fall for It! Scams Targeting Language Professionals

My webinar “Don’t Fall for It! Scams Targeting Language Professionals” is now available on demand for free. Click here to watch now. Click here for this webinar’s resource handout. A list of questions that were asked during the Q&A at the end of the webinar is answered here.

Recorded: July 9, 2020
Duration: 60 minutes
Language: Presented in English
Level: All
ATA CE Point(s): 1

Even the best of us have been tempted by a scam.

Technology has given scammers an unprecedented level of sophistication and access, making it easier than ever to be fooled. Names and email addresses can be harvested electronically. Individuals can be targeted by occupation. Job offers can use the right terminology to appear legitimate—at least at first glance.

Attend this webinar for an overview of the various scams targeting translators and interpreters, including the age-old fake check scheme that is still tricking people into losing money. The presenter will also cover newer problems of identity theft and impersonation. Specific real-life examples will be used to demonstrate how each scam works and what concrete steps you can take to protect yourself and your business.

A list of resources will be included with the webinar.

What will you learn?

  • How to identify a scam
  • How to recognize the most common fake check scams
  • How to spot identity theft schemes
  • How to verify a contact’s identity
  • What you can do to protect yourself from scams
  • Where to report scammers

About the presenter

Carola F. Berger is an ATA-certified English>German translator, specializing in patent and scientific/technical translation as well as localization of software and mobile apps. She holds a PhD in physics and a master’s degree in engineering physics.

After being defrauded by an impersonator early in her career, Carola researched online fraud in depth, which led to several presentations and articles on scams in publications such as The ATA Chronicle and Translorial, the journal of the Northern California Translators Association. She is a frequent contributor on ATA’s Business Practices Listserv.

AB5: Do you know your ABCs?

At February’s NCTA General Meeting, two representatives of the language industry discussed the ramifications of AB5 for the industry and suggested what independent language professionals can do to help.

On January 1 of this year, Assembly Bill 5 (AB5) went into effect and brought sweeping changes to California’s labor laws. The intention of AB5 was to simplify the classification of independent contractors and employees in California; however, it brought a host of unintended consequences. AB5 has caused considerable confusion in the language industry. NCTA invited Lorena Ortiz Schneider, founder of the Coalition of Practicing Translators and Interpreters of California (CoPTIC), and Shamus Sayed, vice president of Interpreters Unlimited, Inc., and board member of the Association of Language Companies, to clarify some of this confusion at the February General Meeting.

For more information, read my summary article that just appeared on

From left to right: NCTA events chair Fernanda Brandão-Galea, presenter Lorena Ortiz Schneider, NCTA president Michael Schubert, presenter Shamus Sayed. Photo credit: Ana Salotti

From left to right: NCTA events chair Fernanda Brandão-Galea, presenter Lorena Ortiz Schneider, NCTA president Michael Schubert, presenter Shamus Sayed. Photo credit: Ana Salotti

A not so new kind of scam – email spoof

So, the following arrived in my inbox today, allegedly sent from me, to me.

Email spoof scam

Further down in that longwinded text, they demand a payment in Bitcoin to release my email domain from the hack. I immediately checked the header to see whether my account has indeed been hacked. Of course it hasn’t, they just spoofed my email address, quite elaborately I might add.

Google has a pretty nifty tool to analyze email headers, so that you don’t have to wade through a bunch of code. You simply copy the header in its entirety, as shown below, and let Google do the analysis.

Header analysis

Here’s the result:
Header analysis result


The originating IP address,, is apparently in Bangladesh, in the Dhaka region, as one can find out via, for example.

I sent a complaint to the original service provider to report the abuse. Let’s see what happens.