Is Mata Taylor a spammer?

Yes, yes she is. So, have fun with her! This is revenge, translator-style.

This post falls outside of Vocabat’s usual purview, but it does have to do with languages. It also had me in stitches for the better part of last night, and who am I to not include you in the funny?

Yesterday morning I got an email asking me about my translation services. It was awkwardly and sloppily written and reeked of spam. I smelled a rat from the first. But . . . I thought that maybe, just maybe, there was a chance it was real. Like .0001 %. And what did I have to lose? Also, and this is embarrassing, but I think her cheap flattery must have gone to my head at least a tad. Here’s our exchange.

From: Mata Taylor <matataylor000@gmail.com>
To: Vocabat
Sent: Thursday, July 24, 2014 2:16 AM
Subject: Translator Needed

Hello, I am Miss Mata Taylor, I got your e mail address from a online forum that you are an excellent translator, I guess you would have worked for them. I will like you to translate an article for me, but first i need to know your language combination because it was not stated. I will be very happy if you can reply my e mail ASAP.

Thank You
______________________________________________
From: Vocabat
To: Mata Taylor <matataylor000@gmail.com>
Sent: Thursday, July 24, 2014 5:13 AM
Subject: Translator Needed

Hello,

Thank you for contacting me. I translate from Spanish to English.

Sincerely,
Vocabat
______________________________________________
From: Mata Taylor <matataylor000@gmail.com>
To: Vocabat
Sent: Thursday, July 24, 2014 6:50 PM
Subject: Translator Needed

Thank You very much for the reply, that is the language combination i was looking for. I have attached the document to you, i want it to be translated into Spanish. Please let me know the total cost of translating the article

Thank You.

[sends a 13-page document on terrorism]
______________________________________________
From: Vocabat
To: Mata Taylor <matataylor000@gmail.com>
Sent: Thursday, July 24, 2014 7:14 PM
Subject: Translator Needed

Hello,

I only translate from Spanish to English; I don’t translate into Spanish. However, I can put you in touch with an English to Spanish translator whom I trust and recommend. I looked at the document and the word count, and the translation would likely cost you around $300, perhaps more. Let me know if you’re interested, and I’ll be happy to pass along his information.

Sincerely,
Vocabat
______________________________________________
From: Mata Taylor <matataylor000@gmail.com>
To: Vocabat
Sent: Thursday, July 24, 2014 7:14 PM
Subject: Translator Needed

I will be happy if you can help me confirm

Th
______________________________________________

And then I sent it over to my friend John, a local translator. And I said that, yes, it smelled incredibly fishy, but who knew? In any case, I’d definitely have her pay upfront, if I were him. He then responded with this link: http://www.blogseitb.us/basqueboise/2014/06/30/spam-handling-101-how-to-break-down-a-scammer/

Turns out, Mata Taylor sent the exact same email a few weeks ago to another translator who decided to “have a little fun with these idiots and turn the tables on the nasty scammers until they break down.” Her revenge looked like: stating that her language combination was Klingon to Dothraki (of course, this was the language combination Miss Mata was looking for); saying her rate was 279.70 euros per word (but first she’d need the English document translated to Klingon, a service her friend offered at $1,230 per word), so over a million dollars for the whole thing; warning that it could take her a cosmological decade to complete; and signing everything as Tyrion Lannister. Hilarious! Now, that is how you talk to a spammer. “Mata” finally broke down and could do nothing but LOL in her final email. She got ya, Mata.

spam náufragos

Well, that inspired me and got me thinking. You know how on the WordReference forums you’re supposed to submit your own translation when you ask for help? Like, you can’t just ask strangers to do all the work for you and translate your paragraph without making your own attempt first. In that spirit, I want to share with you my last email to Mata (no response so far).

From: Vocabat
To: Mata Taylor <matataylor000@gmail.com>
Sent: Thursday, July 24, 2014 8:20 PM
Subject: Translator Needed

Hello,

OK, I am going to send you his information. However, I realized that I forgot to tell you that I can’t help you until you first submit your best attempt at the translation yourself. I look forward to seeing your work and apologize for any inconvenience.

Sincerely,
Vocabat
______________________________________________

Heh heh heh. Heh heh heh. It’s just so ridiculous. 13 pages! And some translator saying that you–the client–have to translate it first, presumably so that it’s “fair.” Heh heh heh. I can’t stop giggling. If any other translators stumble on this page wondering about Miss Mata Taylor (I doubt there are any others naive enough to give this spammer the time of day, but just in case), create your own silly response for this silly spammer and then share.

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25 responses to “Is Mata Taylor a spammer?

  1. Thanks for posting this! Funny, but since I also received this exact message, it also saved me some wondering about the .0001% possibility. I really would like to get to the bottom of these translation spam emails…

    Like

  2. OMG (08.09.14) … the saga is continuing with Miss Mata Taylor!! I received an email from “her:” … identical wording only needing to know my translation pair which is Fr>Eng … and YES…it’s exactly what “she” needs. I am so glad that I cut and pasted “her” name … GREAT POST FROM YOU … I won’t waste my time even having a second look at the 14 pg article on TERRORISM … 6405 words/120 paragraphs/526 lines …

    Like

  3. she just contacted me with the exact same pitch. what a hoot! i emailed her back and suggested she change her name as this one is too famous

    Like

  4. I just got an e-mail from Mata Taylor today, but it seemed fishy, so I typed her name in Google search and found your website. Thanks so much for writing about this. I just e-mailed him/her back with a link to your blog…lol.

    Like

  5. Got the same email and this is what I did: I copy-pasted the entirety of this post in the body of my email reply, cherry-topped with a sweet and short “Enjoy!”

    Like

  6. I am so glad you wrote this and posted it. I almost fell for this scam — I’m somewhat new with freelancing, and while I am usually pretty sharp, I thought this one was legit. Mata and I negotiated a price, and then she actually sent in a check through FedEx, from a fake address in Lenexa, Kansas. The check was about $800 over the quote we’d agreed on and it looked fake, which is when I started Googling her name. Then she e-mailed me saying that it had been a mistake from her “personal assistant” and that I should send her back the remainder of the money to an address in Ukraine, so she could get a plane ticket. That’s when I was sure it was a scam (and obviously after reading these posts). I wrote her back calling her out on the scam, and have now reported it to FedEx security, need to report to Wells Fargo (where the counterfeit check is from), and have reported to FTC.

    Like

  7. Oh, wow! I am really glad that I checked this out. I have been working on this translation…the article is interesting, and being that I’m starting out, I was really excited and didn’t think too much about it. Haha I just got the check in the mail for $1400 over the negotiated price, and she threatened to go to the FBI if I didn’t tell her that I had received it. Maybe I should tell her to do so…anyway, thanks! I have the article and it’s an interesting read. Maybe I’ll translate it, anyway, for the fun of it. :D

    Like

  8. I guess I’m one the naive ones that fell for this scam. I’m new to the world of freelancing. Fortunately, I didn’t start translating yet. I haven’t received a check though, and my only regret is that I actually gave her my address. I really don’t get what this person is getting out of doing this. And she’s actually spending money on FedEx!!! Maybe she made a bet to see how many fools (like me) would fall for it. In any case, thanks so much for posting this!

    Like

  9. Elizabeth D'Angelo

    Unbelievable! “She” contact me today with the exact email. I’m glad I’m reading this.Thank you!!

    Like

  10. Pingback: And another blog birthday! | Vocabat

  11. Mata Taylor is still going at it. Just received the exact email this morning.
    Thank God I googled it :-) And thank you for posting this!

    Like

  12. I received same email from this email address and did a search of the sender, so I found this. Thanks for sharing.

    Like

  13. Same here. The text is identical to the one reproduced in this article. Thanks for posting this. Beware of spammers!

    Like

  14. Liliane Dombrowski

    Just got Mata’s email, but I was pretty sure it was not legitimate, and I googled the name. Thank you for the warning!

    Like

  15. I just received exactly the same email for a document containing over 5,600 words! It looks like an academic paper on terrorism. I assume that I would spend hours translating it only to be burned? Is this amusing to someone?

    Like

  16. Hi Guys
    This Mata Taylor emailed the same content to me as well. Be-aware and don’t waste your time. Good Luck!
    Major Nagra, ATIO Certified Translator in Punjabi, Toronto, Ontario,Canada

    Like

  17. I received the same identical mail from a certa in TODD WILLIAM. Unbelieavle, they stilo think they can fool us!!

    Like

  18. Same here! I received the same email from Miss Mata Taylor! Maybe she/he will change the name next time. Be careful guys!

    Like

  19. Same here. Mata sent me an email on 25/11/2014 saying that she heard on a forum that I am an excellent translator and asked me to do a 13 page long article on Terrorism. My quote was almost a thousand Australia dollars which she “likes very much” and asked me to go ahead on the 28th November. I dutifully worked day and night, brought two thick dictionaries with me on my trip to make sure my work was up to scratch. Lo and behold when I sent the translated article to her on 2/01/2015 no reply or acknowledgement came back. I sent her more emails, still no response . I checked all her emails for an address or an ABN number but only got this: matataylor000@gmail.com
    Only then I noticed that her English grammar and spelling were very poor. When I used my ipad, I often made typo mistakes, but when my sister Googled her name and alerted me of the findings, everything fell into place! I have always trusted people because previously one chap could not pay me, so a year later he turned up at my doorstep and gave me the cash. From now on I will be more cautious. Once bitten, twice shy! But what a price! Not a nice thing to start 2015 with – for anybody!
    Be careful my I/T colleagues!

    Like

  20. Thank you for sharing. I am so glad that I goggled first. I just got exactly same email like you and her response was exactly the same even though I mentioned that I only do interpretation not translation. She sent me 13 pages article about terrorism. Thank you again for the warning post.

    Like

  21. Wow, she sent me the same message and we went back and forth. She wouldnt tell me where she was from but wanted to know all bout me. Red flag when she asked for a physical address. I found all of you! so glad I dind’t give her more info. Will put her name on the interpreter forum though for everyone to see.

    Like

  22. Veronique Bergeron

    Hi everyone,

    Ditto! Got mine last night. She is still going round!

    Like

  23. Mata Taylor Never Stops! I received the same message and she threw me a 5600 word Terrorism essay. So lucky to google her before reply. What a nasty and cheesy scammer.

    Like

  24. Fascinating! I received a query from “Mata Taylor” on May 10th. I told her my language combination (Spanish-English) and asked where she’d heard of my work, since she sounded like a spammer and I wanted to see if she’d respond with a legit source. She responded without answer to my question, but saying “that is the language combination I was looking for.” Not to plagiarize, but I’m going to tell Mata that I misspoke and that my actual language combination is Klingon to Dothraki and that she can look here (on this forum) for an example of my work. Thanks to everyone who’s posted info on this “person” — I’m grateful to benefit from others’ experiences, and to share solidarity in the world of independent translators! (Also entirely confused about this kind of spamming — why in the world would someone want to give freelance translators the runaround?)

    Like

  25. She is interested in far more than giving translators the run-around. She is more of a scammer than a spammer. Her scheme depends on the fact that US banks will make funds available almost immediately. She (I suspect it’s a whole network) sends a check by FedEx for way more than the amount agreed. She then sends an email claiming that an error had been made, and asks that you deposit the check and send her the difference by Moneygram. She then gets the difference in real money, and you are left with a useless check which may even get you in legal trouble. She (they?) applies constant pressure: she’s stuck in a foreign country, her father died, etc. Anything to get the “refund” before the check bounces. Nasty scheme! Someone close to me fell for it and lost $2500. Beware!

    Like

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