How to report a scam job advert and warning signs

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  • Keith Taylor
    24 August, 2009 at 20:28
    • Total posts: 90

    One of the purposes of this forum is to alert teachers to scam job adverts circulating on ELT job listings across the internet.

    If you have identified a possible scam, please contact us with details [url=]here[/url]. We will investigate and add a post in the forum if appropriate. If you have more information about one of the scams already in the forum, please add a reply to that post.

    Please see below and in the [url=]other posts[/url] in this forum for some of the typical warning signs to look out for.

    Thanks for your help!

    The Eslbase team


    Typical warning signs:

    Employers requesting money
    Most reputable employers do not ask for money from applicants "up front" for any reason. One of the most common requests of scammers is to ask for money to pay for visa applications or other paperwork.

    Offers which seem too good to be true
    If you see an employer offering a salary of $3000 in a country where others are offering $800, then it probably is too good to be true.

    Employers offering you a job without speaking to you first, or expecting you to accept a job without seeing a contract.

    Very poor English
    If the standard of English in the advert is blatantly bad, this is often a sign that the person who wrote it was not able to ask a native speaker for help. If the employer is an English language school, you have to wonder why this is the case.

    Poor website imitations and strange domain name extensions
    Scammers often buy domain names with extensions such as .tl (East Timor) or .tk (apparently a free domain extension) to create poor imitations of a genuine school’s website. A genuine school in the UK, for example, will normally have a UK domain extension (such as or, not a domain extension from East Timor or Norfolk Island!

    Phone numbers or email addresses used in previous scams
    A quick internet search for the phone number or email address in the advert sometimes shows that it has been used before in another scam.

    Strange addresses or postcodes
    A couple of examples are the best way to illustrate this:
    – A university in Cameroon advertises its address as "Worldwide, Niagara Falls"
    – A supposed employer in London adds a postcode of "M1K 5DA" – not a London postcode… not even a valid British postcode.

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