Friday, April 17, 2009

Don't Fall For This!

There’s an email scam floating about which targets music teachers. This message arrived in my box just minutes ago:

Hello Music Teacher,
I will like you to know that i
got your e-mail from the website where you posted your advert as a music
instrument teacher. Then i will like you to know that my children, Juliet &
Lara are coming over to the State next month,and at the same time i like them to
get lesson,they are 16 and 17 years old, first language (English), best
hobby(dancing & reading). I hope you can accept them as your student?. So
I'll really appreciate it if you could be a part time teacher for them during
their stay...You will be teaching them for 1 hour for 2 days in a week which
will be for just 8 weeks and so do let me know the total costs you charge for
teaching them for the whole 16 lessons so that we'll make an arrangement on when
to begin lessons. I hope to read from you soon.


Here’s how the scam works. You set a price for the lessons and the scammer sends you a check up front. You deposit the check. Then, he realizes that he has overpaid, or the trip has fallen through, or something has come up requiring you to send the money back. So, since you have deposited the check, you write him another and send it. Meanwhile, the original check bounces. Here are things to watch out for that should alert you to a scam:

1. Poor command of the English language.
2. Instead of inquiring about your policies and available openings, he dictates the terms: “you will be teaching them for 1 hour for 2 days a week…”
3. Usually involves an overseas pupil who is 14 or older
4. No phone number
5. Does not use your name anywhere
6. No reference to a specific instrument – only “music lessons"
7. The sender’s email address is yahoo, hotmail, or some other web-based account

If you fall for this scam, there’s not much you can do to get your money back. While I suppose it’s possible that someone could legitimately contact you from overseas about teaching a student, it seems unlikely that anyone would be so positive about wanting to set up lessons when they’ve not met you or discussed your policies.

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