For some time, I have wanted to post an essay on what I believe is an important topic that needs to be made public. This is in regards to the issue of emails that are targeting teachers with usually absurd solicitations to hire your services (voice teachers) that are clearly a scam. For those of you that are aware of these, you know what I'm talking about and it would be interesting to hear your experience in the comments section.
Here is an example of one of these emails I recently received that is typical:
My Name is Joe Pires, I'm 48 years old from.(UNITED KINGDOM). I read your description on Craigslist.org and i am highly impressed and Interested in your lessons.I need a Lessons Teacher for my Daughter (Sandra) and i got your advertisement on Craigslist when am searching via the Internet. My daughter will be coming down to your location for vacation and i don't want her to be less busy without doing something, and I have make decision that i instead of her being less busy, she should be attending your lessons.Sandra is 19 years old and she'll like to learn anything that come her way. So she will be coming for 2 hours a day (10am to 12pm) 3 times a weeks or at your leisure period, so I want you to calculate the cost for 4 weeks lessons.I want us to make an arrangement for a Hotel or Motel for her in your area where she will be staying for the period of the vacations. And let me know if i can make subsequent amount to show commitment in this lessons. If you are interested in Tutor my Daughter,...
Kindly get back to me with this information below....
1.She will be coming for lessons 3 times a week....
2.Your Experienced In It....
3.Charge for an Hour.....
4.Total Charges for 4 weeks.....
Now let us disect the anatomy of these scams so you can identify:
1. Poor English including poor spelling and punctuation.
(In this example "Joe Pires" says he is from the UK, but his English is anything but proper)
2. Demands for a ridiculous teaching schedule: "one hour's lesson every day for 4 weeks"?!
(obvious they do not know anything about the business and how it works realistically)
3. Strange travel and accommodation conditions usually involving an overseas pupil that is going to arrive to your town while on vacation for a limited period of time.
4. The overseas pupil is almost always referred to as a beginner and age 14 or above.
5. Always a question about your terms to include how much you charge.
(This is so they can figure out how much money they can pinch from you)
6. No phone number and no request to call you. When you ask to have them call you, you get no answer.
(Ok, let me get this straight, you want to send your child overseas to study for an hour every day for 6 weeks and you are prepared to spend that kind of money without every speaking to me in person? Ya, right...)
7. Discrepancies in their own name
(What you do not see in this example is that "Joe Pires" sent me this email from an email address that says it came from "John Cain"? Ok, so is it Joe Pires or is it John Cain?)
8. Uses a hotmail, yahoo, mail or other disposable, web based email account.
So how does it work?
Essentially the scam works like this. The scammer will ask you to send them some money to cover thier students expenses to get to your location, but tells you that they are sending you some money to cover it. Essentially, you are to send them money in good faith and then receive reimbursement for the expense, plus the fees for the lessons. It is an effort to take advantage of your good faith.
A funny story:
I actually wanted to see what would happen if I played one of these guys out for a while and frustrated them to teach them a lesson.
I pretended to take the bait and proceeded to get a lot of enthusiastic emails from the sender that described the next steps. He sent me $5000 of fraudulent MoneyGram money orders. (Believe me, they looked real! very real!). I took the money orders to Bank of America and they identified them as fraudulent immediately.
In the meantime, the scammer is trying to get me to wire him $1500 over MoneyGram services and they have provided me with an ID # from MoneyGram for the wire transfer. They kept giving me the wire funds identifier numbers and I kept replying back, "... ok, I got the money now and I'm headed to MoneyGram now to wire the funds, the number I have for the wire transfer is 8675309 (my number was a different number he sent me). I then get a panicked, "No, that is not the right number its 8675310!"... Then I would say, "Ok, I got it, I'm now headed to Wells Fargo Bank to wire you the money! I can't wait to teach your student, this is so great!"... then he would say, "NO!!! You have to go to MoneyGram!"... I would always say I was running out the door to wire him the money with great excitement, but always had a mistake in my instructions.
This went on for about six weeks and he got more and more frustrated. It was hilarious! Then one night at about 3:00am, I get a call from someone with a very bad English accent telling me to "send the money Mr. Robert, send the money Mr. Robert"... at that time I told him to stop ripping people off. I basically made him chase his tail for about 6 weeks and waste a lot of time.
I am not advocating that you flirt with the scammer, but just wanted to share with you a story that I felt was pretty satisfying to teach these guys a lesson.
Anyhow, the purpose of this article is to let those who have not come across these emails yet or have and are not sure what to make of it, that you need to avoid them and run like hell. It is a rip-off.
Who should I notify about fraud or scam attempts?
Non-emergency number for your local police department.
If you suspect that an item posted for sale on craigslist may be part of a scam, please email the details to "firstname.lastname@example.org". Be sure to include the URL (or 10-digit post ID number) in your message.
Hope this helps...
THE VOCALIST STUDIO
Robert J. Lunte I 425.444.5053
Teacher I Coach I Artist
Founder I The Vocalist Studio
Founder I The Modern Vocalist.com
Founder I TC-Helicon Voice Council
www.skype.com : "rjlseagull"