If a private individual does seem serious about hiring me I always ask for payment upfront - if they can't agree on that they have no business ordering translation services in the first place... After all, the vast majority of my clients are translation agencies, which I can check up on regrading payment practices and such. I very rarely get contacted by private individuals, hence the cautionary steps...
Anyway, yesterday I got an e-mail with just a first name, apparently from the UK, asking for a quote for a document. The text seemed kind of odd, plus I just got a bad vibe, so I said I was on vacation, and very politely steer the person to a web site where he could find someone else.
I quickly got an e-mail back asking why I answer e-mails on my vacation, and I just answered nicely that I just can't stay away from computers... Not that it is his business.
Today I got THIS e-mail from the slimy little creep, along with a photoshoped photo of myself (stolen from my business web site):
As you're a lazy cow, i have decided that you are not so fine-looking anymore !
What a freak show!