Greater than 3 minutes, my friend!
Just heard the news about a possible scam surrounding a mysterious organization called AATII which stands for Alliance of Applied Translators and Interpreters International.
It seems like it’s a commercial organization that is located in British Columbia, well, at least that’s what their WHOIS information contains.
Their website appears to be some sort of directory/platform for translators, but here’s the problem: none of the people listed there had actually given their consent to be there.
Apparently information has been scrapped from various online directories for translators.
I figured we need to alert all the members of The Open Mic community about this.
From what I can tell this website somehow scrapped the names of translators and then randomized the information about their rates, etc.
For example, when I searched for an English-Russian translator the website simply showed me a list of all members even many of them were not actual English-Russian translators.
I’ve seen some familiar names in there, and I believe we need to spread the word about this.Translators be careful! Your name might have been illegally placed in @AATIICOM's directoryClick To Tweet
My name is there. What’s the best course of action?
If you’ve found your name in their directory and you didn’t give your permission you might want to take the following steps:
- File a complaint to Registrar Abuse Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- File a Privacy Complaint to Canadian authorities.
- DO NOT contact the AATII directly. Don’t risk giving your actual email address away to potential scammers.
I’m sure many of other tech-savvy readers and readers who have better expertise in legal matters like this will share some other helpful tips in the comments.
If you have any other information about this organization you can also share it in the comments.
Unfortunately things like this keep happening over and over again.
Luckily we have many online communities and together we can take this website down rather easily.
Of course it is highly unlikely that any customers would ever buy translation services from a website where you can literally put translators into a basket, but still we need to stay vigilant.
Using someone’s name without a permission and falsifying information about that person by randomizing data about rates, availability, etc. is a major violation of privacy and I’m quite confident that it’s illegal.
What can we do to prevent incidents like this from happening?
The best thing we could do is be proactive.
For example, I google my name every now and then to see the results. Sure, my name is quite unique and it’s easier for me to filter all the results and find something out of ordinary.
But if you google your name and put the word “translator” next to it you might narrow down the search results and find the suspicious looking websites rather easily.
Once you do, it’s the matter of publicity.
You can use forums, groups and even The Open Mic to alert fellow translators about anything suspicious (on The Open Mic we have a separate category for this called “Life at the bottom”).
Lucky for us, scammers often underestimate the power of translation community and how quickly news can spread among us.
Huge thanks to all the people who flagged this, including: Sheila Gomes, Heather McCrae, Anna Barbosa, Loek van Kooten, Susana E. Cano Méndez and many others for spreading the word about this on social media.
Feel free to share this post too, so that more people could know about it and take action.Dear @PrivacyPrivee we believe our personal information has been mishandled by @AATIICOMClick To Tweet