This page lists all of the scams (and companies with very unscrupulous business practices) we’ve identified since 2009. If you become aware of a scam not on this list, or have an update to one already on the list, please contact us.
Please also see our advice on avoiding scams.
Employer claiming to be iEnglish Language Institute, UAE, November 2022
Update June 2023: This scam is still active. The “travel agency” used may now go by the name of “Bonger Travel Agency”, and the request for “visa processing” may now be $570.
Job adverts have been posted by “iEnglish Language Institute” in the UAE. On applying, teachers are sent some interview questions by email. Here’s an example:
Dear applicant, INTERVIEW QUESTIONNAIRE This is to acknowledge the receipt of your application which you sent to us. 1. How long do you wish to work with us? Ans: 2. What is your available and convenient starting date? Ans: 3. What contributions can you make to our school? Ans: 4. Where did you saw our job advertisement? Ans: Kindly get back to us with answers for the above brief interview questions to enable us determine your employment placement because we are only able to reply to successful applicants due to the large number of applications received. PLEASE NOTE THAT ONLY ACCEPTED APPLICANTS WILL BE CONTACTED WITH EMPLOYMENT LETTER FOR IMMEDIATE EMPLOYMENT. Sincerely, Haider Abu Shakra Academic Director
After answering the questions, the teacher receives an offer of employment similar to the following:
APPOINTMENT LETTER/EMPLOYMENT LETTER/OFFER LETTER This is to certify that you are hereby appointed by our management for immediate employment in iEnglish Language Institute located at 110-111, Commercial Building, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, United Arab Emirates based on your working experience as stated in your application which was submitted to us. YOUR JOB AND BENEFITS DETAILS are listed as follows :- * Position : ESL/ENGLISH TEACHER. * Employment Duration : 17th JANUARY 2023 to 17th DECEMBER 2025 (RENEWABLE) * Working Days: Sunday to Thursday (6hours Daily) * Monthly Salary: $4800USD per month (Tax Free). * Overtime: $50USD per hour. * Severance payment: $4800USD will be paid upon completion of the 1 year contract. * Air ticket: Free 2ways economy class Air ticket will be provided by Employer for a maximum of 5 persons per family . * Weekly Feeding Allowance: $250USD Weekly Feeding Allowance will be provided by Employer. * Working Hours: 6 hours Daily [9:00am to 3:00pm] 12pm-1pm Break Time. [Sunday and ends on Thursday]. * Holiday: Every Friday and Saturday including all National Holidays. Employees will receive 30 days Paid Vacation per year on top of the already stipulated holidays (national holidays and Fridays and Saturdays). * Free Housing: Employer will provide a rent free furnished 3 bedroom Apartment depending on the size and age of the family with basic household necessities including Furniture, Curtains, bed, bedding, sheets, desk, closet, table, dining set, VCR, TV, washing machine, clothes rack, pots, pans, dishes, cutlery, phone, internet access, fridge, stove, fan or AC, and a working heating system etc. * Free Medical Insurance: 100% Hospital bill will be paid by Employer, for a maximum of 5 persons per family. Transportation: A brand new Car for local transportation will be provided by Employer. Teaching Materials: All the teaching materials will be provided by Employer. * Pension: 100% will be provided by Employer. Please you are urgently advised to contact (KARIM TRAVEL AGENCY) for the processing of your work visa/work permit through email : email@example.com to enable us legalize your employment at Labour Office and also arrange for our staffs and driver who will pick you to your furnished accommodation upon your arrival in United Arab Emirates because you are required to arrive earlier in other to acclimatize with our working environment to avoid your employment replacement. We wish you success and best of luck in your new appointment with us. Have a nice day. Sincerely, Haider Abu Shakra Academic Director
On contacting “Karim travel agency”, they send something similar to the following, asking for a “processing fee” of $200:
TO: ___ Thanks for contacting KARIM TRAVEL AGENCY for the processing of your ELECTRONIC work visa/work permit. Under the present immigration law and policies, other than those having the Right of Abode (ROA) or the Right to Land (RTL) in the United Arab Emirates, all nationals are required to hold a valid work visa/work permit for the United Arab Emirates for whatever purpose (except in direct by air and when the person does not leave the airport transit area). All non-Emirate citizens MUST be in possession of an work visa/work permit or exemption, issued by the Office of the Director of Immigration Services, before they can take up employment in United Arab Emirates, whether paid or unpaid. Please you are advised to download and fill the attached WORK VISA-WORK PERMIT APPLICATION FORM and email it back to us with below listed requirements. International Passport Photocopy PROCESSING FEE of 200 US DOLLARS OR ANY CURRENCY EQUIVALENT. For your information, your ELECTRONIC work visa/work permit will be processed and delivered to you by DHL SPEEDPOST within 2-3 working days upon receipt of all the above listed requirements.. The ELECTRONIC work visa/work permit label should be affixed onto a blank visa page of the applicant’s travel document for presentation to the immigration officer upon arrival in the United Arab Emirates. I hope you will find the above information useful. Best Regards, KARIM ABBAS. KARIM TRAVEL AGENCY
If a teacher applies, and then finds out that it is a scam and alerts the scammer to this fact, the scammer then threatens to publish the teacher’s personal details online. He then proceeds to send an email to various recruitment sites and other random email addresses, saying that the teacher is a scammer!
This scam is focused on getting teachers to the stage of contacting the “travel agent” and sending the processing fee. Needless to say, after that point, they do not hear from them again. Please do not have any contact with this individual, do not send him copies of passports or other documents, and do not send a processing fee to the travel agency.
Please also be aware that the scammer may use different names and/or change the name of the “travel agency” or other details.
Thomas Gren, LG UPlus Corporation / Marcus Ekman, Dexerials Corporation, October 2022
The original scam, in October 2021: We received an alert from a teacher who was contacted after posting their profile on an ESL website.
The teacher was contacted by someone calling themselves Thomas Gren, claiming to be the HR Manager at LG UPlus Corporation. The email was sent from firstname.lastname@example.org. LG Uplus is a telecommunications company in South Korea, but has the domain uplus.co.kr, not lgupluscorp.com.
They offered a flexible online Business English teaching position of 10-20 hours per week at $50/hour. The teacher sent their CV and cover letter and arranged an interview online via Skype. Within 3 hours of the interview they were offered the job and sent a contract to sign. They were also asked to approach the Asia Bureau Service in South Korea (www.asiabureauhq.com, email@example.com).
The teacher noticed the following red flags:
- All the emails were very generic and not addressed to the teacher personally
- The video for the Skype interview was very low resolution, with no audio.
- The interviewer (Thomas Gren) then communicated via the chat (IM) function stating that the connection appeared to be poor and that the teacher should try and call him back on Skype. This didn’t work, so he asked if he could send the teacher a list of questions. This list arrived on LG UPlus company letterhead. The teacher was asked if they could record video with their answers.
- Within just 2 hours of the interview the teacher received an email with a job offer.
- The teacher received the contract, which contained rather generic conditions more suited to a permanent employment contract and not a remote online job (such as housing allowance, etc.)
- The teacher received communication from the Asia Bureau Office and the Consulate from their home country, informing them that they needed to complete an application for some sort of security clearance. The timeframe for all this correspondence was just a couple of hours – a questionably quick turnaround time for such departments in the teacher’s home country.
- There is no mention of a Thomas Gren working at LG based on a quick search.
- The teacher was asked to pay around 800 Euros for the security check, using Moneygram to somewhere in Turkey (for a job with a South Korean company).
- The pay was $50/hour – very high.
- When the teacher contacted all of the above contacts informing them of these suspicions, no reply was received.
Update, October 2022: – We received the following email from a teacher:
Contacted by Sandy Qui (firstname.lastname@example.org) to email Marcus Ekman at Dexerials Corporation in Japan (email@example.com)
Marcus claiming to be the HR Manager. The email was sent from firstname.lastname@example.org. Dexerials is an electronic company in Japan, but has the domain .jp, not .com.
They offered a flexible online Business English teaching position of 10-20 hours per week at $50/hour. The teacher sent their CV and cover letter and arranged an interview online via Skype. Within 3 hours of the interview they were offered the job and sent a contract to sign. They were also asked to approach the Asia Bureau Service in Japan (https://asiabureauservices.com/ and email@example.com). Was asked NOT to use GMAIL due to VPN issues.
Following red flags:
1. All the emails were very generic and not addressed to the teacher personally.
2. The video for the Skype interview was very low resolution, with no audio.
3. The interviewer (Marcus Ekman) then communicated via the chat (IM) function stating that the connection appeared to be poor and that the teacher should try and call him back on Skype. This didn’t work, so he asked if he could send the teacher a list of questions. This list arrived on Dexerials company letterhead. The teacher was asked if they could record video with their answers.
3. Within just 2 hours of the interview the teacher received an email with a job offer.
4. The teacher received the contract, which contained rather generic conditions more suited to a permanent employment contract and not a remote online job (such as housing allowance, etc.)
5. I received communication from the Asia Bureau Office and MY SOUTH AFRICAN CONSULAR NATIONAL SERVICES (firstname.lastname@example.org ) informing me that they needed to complete an application for some sort of security clearance. The timeframe for all this correspondence was just a couple of hours – a questionably quick turnaround time for such departments in my country. NOTE THEY MUST HAVE HACKED INTO THE GOV WEBSITE BECAUSE THIS IS THE CORRECT .gov.za ADDRESS!
6. There is no mention of a Marcus Ekman working at Dexerials based on a quick search.
7. I was asked to pay USD810 for the security check to a Japanese Mizhuo bank account.
8. The pay was $50/hour – very high.
Teachingchina.net, January 2022
It has been brought to our attention that an employer called Teachingchina.net could be selling confidential information of applicants on their website. We strongly advise not responding to any job adverts from teachingchina.net, who advertise with the email address email@example.com.
Momentum Recruitment, South Korea, March 2021
A likely scam has been brought to our attention.
A company called Momentum Recruitment has been posting job adverts for English teaching positions with schools in South Korea. The recruiter uses the name Ethan Parks, with the email address firstname.lastname@example.org.
The recruiter takes applicants through an interview process, contract signing, and visa and flight arrangements, using what appear to be fake contracts with schools and fake travel itineraries. They give the option of arranging the visa and flight for the teacher, wait for the teacher to pay for these, and then disappear.
This appears to be a very sophisticated operation, with a “foreign coordinator” even telling teachers what to pack and sending pictures of the apartment where the teacher will be living.
The teaching contract they create uses the name of a real school, and the flight itinerary uses the name of a real travel agent. The teacher who brought this to our attention contacted both the school and the travel agent directly, who confirmed that these documents were fake, said that they had received several other enquiries from others who had been scammed, and that they had never heard of Momentum Recruitment or Ethan Parks.
Dwells family, London, March 2020
Job posts have recently been made on TEFL jobs sites by the “Dwells Family”, looking for an English tutor and nanny for their children in London. On applying for this job, a teacher informed us that a Skype interview has been refused, and that they received a letter from a lwyer asking for funds to deposited as part of a visa application.
We would advise against any contact with this person.
Here is an example of the advert posted:
ESL Teacher & Nanny Needed in London
United Kingdom, London
Our family will like to discuss the possibilities of having you joining our family to become our family esl teacher childcare provider to our lovely children here in London, United Kingdom.
Your main duty is to tutor English language to our children and ensure that the kids are well taking care of, this includes full care of the children like waking them up and getting them ready for school, putting them to bed at the right bed time, meal and snack preparation for the children, schedule and implementation of age-appropriate activities and child’s development, keeping the children’s room tidy and organized, and any other children’s activities that might come up and see to their generally well-being.
5 days a week, 6 hours a day, and 30 hours a week with 2 days off a week
Our family will take care of your travel expenses
• Separate room, live-in accommodation
• Monthly salary
• Health and medical care
• Insurance cover
• Vacation allowance
• Enrollment on a childcare course to help you acquire childcare skills
ESL teaching experience, first aid, nanny, babysitter or aupair experience needed.
Email your resumeCV to – email@example.com
Employer claiming to be the English School of Casale, Italy, May 2019
We have received reports that a scammer has been posting adverts on jobs boards claiming to represent the English School of Casale in Italy.
The person goes by the name of Nando Prigione, provides fake contracts and asks teachers for money for visa fees. He uses the email address firstname.lastname@example.org.
We received the following from a teacher:
“I am one of the victims. The ‘real’ school at Casale Monferrato has a warning about this on their web page, and I am not the first victim. They seem to target those who are not EU nationals. However, they tell me that other smaller schools have likewise been fraudulently represented. The way you can know for sure is if they put you in contact with a so-called immigration attorney called Luca Andrea, who does not exist. Be warned – these people can be very convincing with receipts and details.”
Employer claiming to be Empower Training Idiomas in Barcelona, Spain, April 2019
Someone claiming to represent Empower Training (Idiomas) in Barcelona has posted fake job adverts recently. The contact details given by this individual are as follows:
Mr. Patrick Healy
C/ Diputació, 107, 08015 Barcelona, Spain.
Teléfono: +34 92 618 00 10
Fax: 93 323 76 60
The real Empower Training have confirmed that this is a scam, as they do not have a centre at that address.
Engr Qiang Family, December 2018
Job posts have recently been made on TEFL jobs sites by the “Engr Qiang Family”, supposedly from China and recently moved to the UK, looking for an English tutor. The main warning sign is the pay – £4500 a month. This is in addition to “Quality single or family housing upon your arrival.” We advise against any contact with this individual.
OYE Optimize Your English in Cartagena, Spain, September 2018
People claiming to represent “OYE Optimize Your English” language school in Cartagena are currently operating what appears to be a scam:
1. They are asking teachers for money upfront for visas and accommodation (in the region of 700 euros in total)
2. The job offer is far too good to be true: 2700€ monthly salary, free furnished accommodation, 5 working hours 5 days weekly, return ticket reimbursement
3. They seem to also be putting teachers in contact with a Spanish immigration lawyer (spain-visas.com/spanish-lawyers.php3) who asks for payment of a visa fee of 190 euros
4. Their poorly designed website (oyeenglish.es) only provides a mobile phone number
5. Their Facebook page has not been updated since 2015 and has very limited information, no community interaction or photos
There may be a link between this scam and another, Academie de Français Neus Fransi. Teachers are being directed from one school to the other, under the guise of them being “affiliated schools”.
Response from the genuine school:
As owner of OYE I was really disturbed to learn that someone has been scamming people by pretending to offer jobs.
Please be clear that we have reported this to the police and asked Google to close down the fraudulent web page.
I took on board the comments re our web page and poor design. Hopefully it looks better now, we are a small school which focuses on preparing high standard course material rather than marketing ourselves. Obviously we need to improve a few things!!
Also we have no fixed phone line as this would be another cost which would be reflected in class prices.
Our objective is to provide small classes of a high standard at a reasonable price.
Colombian family living in Scotland scam, September 2018
Adverts have recently been posted on TEFL websites by someone claiming to be from Colombia, living with his family in Scotland, offering an outrageously high salary for an EFL teacher for his family. Here’s an example of an advert posted:
I trust you are doing great! I am Evang Pab from Cucuta and presently residing here in the United Kingdom with
My family which comprises of my wife Sara, and two kids by name, Mia, and Gael
I am in need of an English teacher to come and teach my wife and kids for a period of one year here before they can enroll for formal education, Compensation and Benefits Package.: A very attractive monthly salary of is GBP6,000 Paid monthly, Quality single or family housing upon your arrival here, medical insurance, vacation allowance etc…
If you are interested in coming to work for me kindly send me your detailed resume and cover letter to email@example.com
Thank you for your anticipated response…
We advise against any contact with this person.
Here is another email from “Evang Pab” to one teacher, in which he asks about a work visa to work in the UK, even though the teacher’s CV had clearly stated that she was a British citizen. This suggests that the scam might be asking for money for processing visas:
Nice hearing from you.
Do you have work/residential permit visa to use here?
We received the following from a teacher:
“I have been in contact with this individual. Please share any additional information you may have, such as what did he ask for, e.g., money, bank account information, etc. The more details you can share, the better informed everyone will be. Simply telling us what he advertised or that he may “potentially” be asking for money to process a visa, does not tell us whether or not he actually HAS requested any personal information or money. I’m trying to get more details from this potential scammer so I can share it on the forum, but so far he has not asked for anything that makes me overly cautious. I do not want to wrongly accuse someone of doing anything amiss until I have all the facts. Thanks!”
Scammer claiming to represent Docklands Idiomas in Spain, June 2018
A scammer has recently been posting job adverts either for Docklands Idiomas in Barcelona, Spain, or for Academie De Francais Neus Fransi, which he then claims is a school affiliated with Docklands Idiomas.
He uses the Skype name firstname.lastname@example.org and has gone as far as to interview one prospective teacher by Skype.
It seems this scammer, who calls himself Dennis Grau, is requesting money and/or documents from teachers.
This scammer has absolutely nothing to do with Docklands Idiomas.
The real Docklands Idiomas website can be found at http://www.docklandsidiomas.com/.
Employer claiming to be Sprakeschool in Zaragoza, Spain, May 2018
A scammer is using the name of Sprake School to post fake job adverts on TEFL jobs sites. The owner of the school reports that the scammer has engaged in identity theft to do this, and is conning teachers into paying deposits for visas, flats and travel expenses for a non-existent job.
The scammer also appears to be enticing non-EU citizens with the promise of an easy route in to working in the EU and obtaining a visa.
If you see an advert for Sprake School on a TEFL jobs site, please be aware of this, and note the warning the Sprake School has published on their site:
“We are not hiring through other websites, we are victims of an internet scam. Contact us only through this webpage.”
The website for the real Sprake School in Zaragoza is http://www.sprakeschool.es/.
Employers claiming to recruit for First Class Language School in Spain, June 2017
First Class Language School in Spain have put a notice on their website (https://www.myfirstclass.es/) saying that individuals have been illegally claiming to represent them to offer jobs to teachers.
These individuals then ask for an upfront payment – we received an email from one teacher who had a request for such a payment:
“The visa fee is to be paid to the cashier via money transfer (Money Gram, Western Union or Ria Money Transfer ) with the below details.
Cashier’s name: Name-***
Office address: Málaga, 5516, Spain.
Do e-mail us with the payment receipt after payment. “
Please be aware of anyone claiming to represent First Class Language School, and read the notice on their website first.
Employer claiming to be University of Vienna, March 2017
We received the following email from a jobseeker:
I received the following scam from someone claiming to be from the University of Vienna. I had spoken to someone who had a University of Vienna skype account, but the email does not match the university’s email scheme and the email is suspect. I was later asked to send money to a personal bank account to pay for apartments.
This is to inform you that you have been officially selected to work with the Language department of the University of Vienna Austria. We are delighted to offer you this full time ESL teaching position because we feel that your skills, qualifications and experience will contribute immensely to the growth of ESL at the University.
A detailed work contract, endorsed by a University authority and the Austria Employment authority is attached to this email.
You are advised to review the contract thoroughly and get back to us with a signed copy at the earliest possible time, if you are satisfied with the contents.
Please print out the contract, complete the necessary information carefully with a blue or black pen in bold letters, sign at the space provided below,scan and return the signed contract as an attachment through email.
You will be constantly updated and well informed about the visa process (If required) and other necessary preparations for your arrival, training in Spain and job commencement.
Further information about housing and visa documentations will be sent upon receipt of the signed contract.
Looking forward to hearing from you.
University of Vienna, Austria.”
Employer claiming to be Sri Utama school in Malaysia, January 2017
An advert was posted recently by someone claiming to be the Sekolah Sri Utama in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
“We are seeking native English speakers teachers for Class room teaching position. Location of this job is Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Contract term: 12-24 Months
Minimum 25 teaching hours per week
Starting: January/February 2017 and recruitment
Take home salary: 14,700 MYR without bonus (bonus to be discussed)
Accommodation and Medical Insurance
Bachelor or above degree
Native English speakers; nationalities from UK, USA, Canada, Australia or New Zealand are preferred
For teaching young children and adults, good communication skills and patience would be required.
Be responsible and professional; be punctual and consistent in attendance.
Certifications in TEFL, EL, TESL, TESOL, CELTA or equivalent are a plus.
The act of teaching must have an outgoing personality, good interpersonal relations, patience, and have a genuine love for all students.
How to apply
Please send us your CV, certificate, cover letter and other related documents to:
All your documents will be strictly on employment purpose.”
1. A gmail address rather than an email address from the real school domain
2. An unrealistically high salary (about 3000 euros a month)
3. Several instances of questionable English
The genuine website for the school can be found here: https://www.sriutama.edu.my/
Bamenda University, Cameroon, May 2016
We received the following from a teacher:
This same job is now being advertised so beware!! They told me that I had to pay three months rent in advance in order to live in Cameroon. Was pressured very hard to sign. Oh, and by the way, they were offering plane tickets for two extra people as well. Just the South African job in Cape Town.
Please let me know if you hear from these people. The man’s name is Hardo Ibrahim.
Employer claiming to be Segi University, Malaysia, May 2015
We received the following from a teacher:
“I applied for a job at Segi University. It was listed on several ESL job board sites and the initial email was sent to email@example.com. If you click on the link in the adverts, it does take you to the school’s legit website.
I was given a Skype interview, but no video. The contact was listed as Segi Uni. After a few days, I received a job offer, which requested a guarantee fee. I replied that I would like details and would like to talk to current teachers. I then went to the website and clicked on the contact us page. I noticed that the email address was slightly different @segi.edu.my. So I sent an email and asked if they had an hr representative by the name of Yong Vafa and did I receive an offer from their university.
I received a reply email from Jason Liew stating that there was no such person working at Segi and many people had become trapped by this issue. I want to let people know because if you google Segi University of Yong Vafa nothing comes up.”
Employer claiming to be St Gilgen International School, December 2014
“Job benefits include return air ticket,accommodation assistance,health insurance,21 days paid holidays,visa assistance, monthly tax-free salary- 2700 Euro and contract completion bonus.
Working days are Monday to Friday.This full time position has a work load of
25 hours weekly and a class size of 17 students per class.
One year contract starts from the 12th of January 2015 and ends on the 10th
of January 2016.(contract is renewable).
The scammer has created an almost identical copy of the real website of the school:
Scammer’s site: http://stgilgenintlschool.com/
Genuine school site: http://www.stgis.at/
The salary of 2700 euros a month tax-free is another warning sign.
The scammer also requests a reimbursable upfront payment of 2000 euros to “protect the school”.
Here’s an email recevied by one applicant requesting this upfront payment:
Thanks for your prompt response!
We understand your doubts,it is quite normal.We are so sorry
that you have been scammed in the past.Be reassured that there there
is no room for such ill practices here in St. Gilgen due to high security
network.Also,St. Gilgen International School is a reputable firm that maintains its standards at every level.If you decide to reject the contract after payment for any reason, your money must surely be refunded,though ten percent of the total amount may be deducted for paper works.
As we are approaching the end of the year,and the Christmas holiday has
already commenced.We are unable to receive direct bank transfers,as
our Auditors are already busy with the end of year audits. An attempt to wire funds directly to our banks at this time of the year could cause much delay in the visa process(if required) and other formalities.As a result of such delay,your arrival deadline and job commencement must surely be affected
In order to speed up the entire process and eliminate delay you are advised to send the guarantee deposit through MONEYGRAM TRANSFER ,as it is one of the most reliable,efficient and secured means of receiving money here in St.Gilgen,Austria.
While we wait patiently for the signed contract, kindly address the payment to the School Barrister who will be taking care of the paper works through out the entire process.
Please be notified that the process of securing the necessary papers for your arrival and job commencement may take up to 25 working days,a lot of paper work is involved.This is why we need to be extremely sure of your agreement prior to spending our time,energy and money to acquire the necessary papers for you.
Below is the Barrister’s name:
RECEIVER’S NAME: Ekeh Godian
Address:St. Gilgen International School,Ischlerstrasse 13 ,St. Gilgen, Austria.
Other travel arrangements will be disclosed to you later,precisely
after registering your name at the Austrian Education Authority.This
registration will be done upon receipt of the required fees.
Once more, as soon as your payment is confirmed,we shall reserve
your accommodation,register your name at the office of the
Austrian Education Authority and proceed with further preparations
for your arrival.The School Barrister will also issue you a properly
endorsed receipt as proof of payment.
.. Kindly send the transfer details to this
email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
NB: Do not forget to scan and attach a copy of the payment
slip/receipt,it will to be kept in your record for future reference.
Please keep the original copy of the payment receipt in a safe place,
it will be needed during the time of reimbursement.
You are expected to arrive between the 19th and 20th of February in order
to attend the orientation program.
Looking forward to hearing from you.
Received from teachers:
“Thank you for the information. I applied for the same job and went through the whole process and sent in my resume and copy of degrees. I even got a call for an interview and the call came from the St Gilgen school number and i did some research and found out that scammers spoof telephone numbers and hide the number they are calling from and on my phone i see the real school number. I am waiting for the call at 2pm for that so called interview.”
“I also applied to this job, went through the entire process, sent my degrees, CV and even received two phone calls supposedly from the school. As soon as I was informed that I had to deposit 2000 euros in some bank account in a foreign country I knew something was up. Their email domain is based somewhere in India and they were asking for a deposit in a Scandinavian Bank. The man that spoke to me had a very heavy German accent and pretended to be talking to the secretary e.g he even said: Tanja can you bring me her file? It seemed very real. Anyway, when I called the actual School they informed me that knew about this problem and that they had not contacted me via phone.
I found the ad on the Indeed Austria website. I hope this helped someone out there!”
“I was a “victim” of a scam by someone posing as St Gilgen International School. I found the job opening on Indeed Austria and they were looking for an ESL teacher. I went through written and phone interviews and they called me using the actual phone number at St Gilgen’s. Once I got an email that I had to deposit 2000 euros in a bank account in either Sweden or FInland (I cant recall) I knew something was wrong. So I had someone look into it and he found the email domain was based in Mumbai India. The email was different than that on the official website. The one used by the scam is email@example.com but the original is @sgis.at I hope this has helped and something can be done about it.”
Employer claiming to be the Montcalm Hotel in London, June 2014
“The Montcalm Luxury Hotel
34-40 Great Cumberland Pl Marb
Job Recruitment At The Montcalm Luxury Hotel.
United Kingdom, England
The Montcalm Luxury Hotel London: Have immediate employment opportunities. The Montcalm Hotel intends to invite experienced individuals/expatriates or Consultancy firm capable of rendering expertise services in various fields of Business Management, M.B.A (Finance), Administrative and Commissioning, The Montcalm Hotel has immediate employment/Vacancies in following Designations. Accountant, Duty Manager, Front Manager, Sales Manager, Receptionists, Drivers, Bar boy, Cook, Food & Beverage Cost Controller/Manager, Public relations, Store keeper, Restaurant services and Mechanical engineering.
*Associate or Bachelors Degree from a reputable institution.
* Fresh graduates are welcome to apply.
* Excellent communication and administration skills.
* Well groomed and good personality.
kindly E-mail their Resume/CV and a latest photograph to the Human Resources
Department Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org”
- The domain in the email address (themontcalmlondon.co.uk) is not the same as the domain of the hotel (montcalm.co.uk)
- “Kindly E-mail their Resume/CV and a latest photograph to the Human Resources” is strange English for such an advert
- The real Montcalm Hotel is not called “The Montcalm Luxury Hotel”
- Why is a hotel advertising on TEFL websites?
Response from the genuine Montcalm:
From Montcalm web-sites:
Recruitment Fraud Warning
It has come to our attention various individuals and organisations are contacting people offering false employment opportunities at The Montcalm at The Brewery London City. We are taking this matter extremely seriously and reporting any apparent fraudulent activity to the relevant authorities.
Recruitment Fraud Warning
It has come to our attention various individuals and organisations are contacting people offering false employment opportunities at The Montcalm London Marble Arch. We are taking this matter extremely seriously and reporting any apparent fraudulent activity to the relevant authorities.
See > Recruitment Fraud Guidance.
Employer claiming to be Trent College in Nottingham, UK, May 2014
The following ad was posted recently:
Due to on going expansion project in Trent College, we seek to employ experience Foreign teachers to the following subjects; Mathematics, English, Physics, Music, History, Geography, Chemistry, Biology, French etc. Location of this Job is Nottingham, England (UK). Salary range is attractive. Free accommodation, feeding and Medical health care.If you’re interested and ready to relocate, send your cv and certificate immediately.”
Here’s an email received by one teacher after responding to the advert:
Your job application placement here at Trent College has been received. Location of this Job is Nottingham, England (UK). Trent College shall provide free accommodation, Medical health care. Salary is 96,000 Pounds per annual. make sure all your documents are genuine as we shall be contacting your references and the school where you acquire your certificate, if we find out that there is any false documents we shall terminate your application.
After examining of your cv (Resume), below are on-line interview questions which Trent College management want you to answer. As soon as we receive your responses to our online interview questions, we shall furnish you with more details regarding this job offer and we shall contact you immediately if you’re qualified for this job, note that there shall be no any further interview if your cv and the answers provided satisfied our demand.
Job Questions About Your Qualifications;
What is your full name?
Are you overqualified for this job?
Interview questions about your abilities.
What applicable attributes / experience do you have?
Why are you interested in taking a lower level job?
Interview Questions About the New Job and the School;
Should employees use social media at work?
What interests you about this job?
Why shouldn’t we hire you?
Why should we hire you instead of the other applicants for the job?
Why are you the best person for the job?
What do you know about this School?
Why do you want to work here?
What challenges are you looking for in a position?
What can you contribute to this School?
What do you see yourself doing within the first 30 days on the job?
What position are you applying for?
When will you be ready to start work?
For more INFORMATION and INQUIRIES, don’t hesitate to contact us by Email or Phone. 44 702 4010 653″
- The email address provided is not a Trent College email address: email@example.com
- The phone number provided does not match that of Trent College, which can be found on the genuine Trent College website at http://www.trentcollege.net/
- Poor English
- A salary of £96000
- No face to face or telephone interview required
St. Ermin’s Hotel London, March 2014
The following job was recently posted by someone claiming to represent St Ermin’s Hotel. This is a scam and we advise against any contact with this individual:
“JOB VACANCY IN ST.ERMIN’S HOTEL LONDON
St. Ermins Hotel urgently needs the services of devoted and Hard working workers, who are ready to work after undergoing enlistment training in all sectors.IF you are interested in this opportunity provided by St. Ermin’s Hotel you can contact us with CV/RESUME on this very Email Address for job placement.
Scam emails via the forum, January 2014
A scammer with the username “andreichekovfamily” has recently sent private messages and emails directly to Eslbase forum members via his forum account.
His account has now been banned, but he may register another account to send more messages.
The messages look like this:
I got to know that you are a Tutor and i decided to contact you to know if
you will be able to come to GUILDFORD England to tutor my children,We are
Russians living in England,United Kingdom.I need a tutor who will come to
GUILDFORD to teach my children English and other education affairs for a
period of (6)months.
I will give you accommodation and also will pay you monthly salary of
(10,000 pounds tax excluded) I will like you to send me your updated
CV,picture and also your availability date if you accept the offer.send
your CV to my private email account (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Employer claiming to be the Berkeley Hotel in London, September 2013
Ads have been posted recently on this and other sites by someone claiming to represent the Berkeley Hotel in London.
At first sight the ad looks legitimate:
“The Berkeley Hotel London urgently needs the services of devoted,hardworking and experienced teachers,translators and supervisors,who are ready to work after undergoing enlistment training in all sectors as the hotel is set to go into a new phase of hospitality.
Interested person should forward their CV/RESUME via email for fast processing of application.
Director of Human Resources
The Berkeley Hotel London”
The contact name is even the actual name of the Director of Human Resources at the real hotel.
But the domain name in the contact email address in the ad (the-berkeleyhotel.co.uk), is not the domain name of the real hotel. The real hotel’s domain is the-berkeley.co.uk.
The fraudster may ask candidates to provide personal and financial details.
Job posts for universities in African countries, November 2012
There have been a number of job adverts recently offering teaching posts at various universities in Africa. For example:
– ESL/TEFL Teacher at Rhodes University, South Africa
– Teaching positions at Cape Town University, South Africa
– TESOL/TEFL/ESL Lecturers at the University of Nairobi, Kenya
Be careful with these job adverts – we believe that many of them are scams, probably posted by the same or similar people who have posted numerous scam adverts for various universities in Cameroon.
One teacher, on applying for the position advertised at Cape Town University, was told that in fact the position had been filled, but there were some vacancies at another university in Cameroon! This should be enough of a warning sign, but here are some others:
- Email addresses from free accounts such as live.com and hotmail.com. Anyone advertising a post for a university would probably have a university email address.
- Incomplete or just blatantly wrong addresses for the universities, such as
University of Nairobi
Why repeat Nairobi, Kenya twice? No street address?
We advise you to always check the genuine university websites, not only to validate the correct address, but also to see if there are really any job vacancies. If in doubt, contact the university directly through their website to enquire.
We’re not suggesting that all job adverts for universities in Africa are scams – universities do, after all, have genuine recruitment needs – but there has been a recent trend towards using African university names in scams.
Farooq Language School, February 2012
We received an email recently warning about Farooq Language School. The teacher reported that they:
– were willing to hire him without even talking to him
– needed him to pay a $450 visa charge
– have a website with a .tk extension (a free domain extension) – farooqlanguageschool.tk
Employer claiming to be Bladins International School, Sweden, August 2012
We’ve received a couple of emails this week from teachers who have fallen vicitm to a scammer claiming to represent Bladins International School in Malmo, Sweden.
Bladins is a genuine, reputable school (http://www.bladins.se/), and the scammer even claims to be a person listed on the real school’s website.
The scammer asks for money for an accommodation deposit amongst other things.
What gives it away is the email address: email@example.com. If this was an email address from the genuine school it would have the domain extension .se, like the website.
Islamic Society of London, January 2012
We were recently contacted by a teacher who received the following email out of the blue:
“NATIONAL PROJECT COORDINATOR
ISLAMIC SOCIETY OF LONDON (ISB)
LONDON E1 1WN
DATE: 06 : 01 : 2012
With due respect, we the members of ISLAMIC SOCIETY OF LONDON wish to inform you about the recruitment of teachers for a period of 24 months for charity donations for the less privileged Islamic people in FRANCE
We got an alert from our official recruitment agent and that is the basis on which i am contacting you and also assure you that due to the time factor, we are no longer going to conduct telephonic interview rather online if need be.
You are to apply to:firstname.lastname@example.org with the following details:
(1)Your Current Annual Salary
(2)Desired Salary if Selected
(3)Your Resume in Word format
(4)Your Desired Job Position
(5) Time to join if Selected
(6)Willingness to Relocate
We hereby request for your credentials then send to our chief recruiter:
Name:MR BELLO BANKOLE
Position:Chief Recruiting Personnel
Please note that you are to forward your CV`s ONLY to the above stated personnel/e-mail as he would be responsible for the screening process. Note that that the final screening process would be decided by the HR department
NOTE : Our Website http://www.islamicsociety.com currently under UPLOADING, we sincerely apologize for any inconveniences this might caused you.
MAY ALMIGHTY ALLAH BLESS YOU.
- The website is currently “under uploading”.
- A quick Google search reveals no mention of an Islamic Society of London (ISB), although there is a genuine organisation called the Islamic Society of Britain, with the initials ISB.
- Interviews are to be conducted online.
- Poor English.
- There is another advert, with different phone numbers, at http://www.domscafe.com/international-esl-ISLAMIC-SOCIETY-OF-LONDON.html
Michael Noble / Paul Noris / Hossam / James, June 2011
The following adverts have recently been posted:
“We are an italian family resident in the UK. My Wife and son are new to the environment and need a good esl teacher to help them out in conversation english since the are new to the environment and need english to start.
We will pay for travel expenses.
52 Davies Street,London
“WE REQUIRE AN ESL TEACHER
We need help teaching my wife and child English. We are a Russian family living in the UK and the need help learning English since the are new to the UK.
We need someone who knows spoken English who is not from UK.
We shall undertake the travel expenses and accommodation will not be a problem.
52 Davis street London, United Kingdom
We need help teaching my wife and child English. We are a UAE family living in the UK and the need help learning English since the are new to the UK.
We need someone who knows spoken English who is not from UK.
We shall undertake the travel expenses and accommodation will not be a problem.
10 glassgow street London,
10 glassgow street london
“ESL TEACHER FOR HOME SERVICE.
52 Davis street London, United Kingdom
1. The first and second adverts were posted very soon after each other. They have the same postal address yet claim to be two different families.
2. An internet search for the phone number in the first, third and fourth adverts shows that it has been used in previous scams.
3. The postcode in the third advert is not a valid UK postcode.
4. It is unlikely that “Glassgow Street” (with a double ‘s’) is a street in London. Glasgow Street – possibly, Glassgow Street, unlikely.
5. If these families are living in th UK and want to learn English, why are they excluding people “not from the UK” as possible candidates?
Dong Peng English, April 2011
Adverts have been posted recently for Dong Peng English in China:
“Chinese Looking For Online English Teachers
Native english speaker a must
TEFL/TESOL preferred,but not essential
Good manner with patience to students
About 8~20 working hours a week for choice
Well paid with contract Recruitment Process in englishtutoronline.org”
Several teachers who responded to the adverts have pointed to the following warning signs:
- They ask for anything between 350 and 500 USD for training and materials that will apparently be refunded upon completion of the contract.
- Another website, sudenglish.org, advertises a school in another city, but has exactly the same photo of the school as englishtutoronline.org. In fact the two websites are very similar, with just subtle details changed.
- They ask for bank account details.
Employer claiming to be Studley High School, April 2011
Adverts have been posted recently by someone claiming to be looking for teachers at Studley High School. Studley High School exists, but this scammer clearly doesn’t represent the school:
“Studley High School is popular and oversubscribed, with 750 pupils aged 11-16
We are looking for teachers and Admin Officers.
Submit CV/resume to: Pam Stephenson,
Studley High School,
B80 7QX .
Studley High School,
Crooks Lane, Studley, Warwickshire, B80 7QX . United Kingdom.
- The address is all wrong – Warwickshire is not in London, 64578 is not a UK postcode, and London is not in Hungary.
- An internet search for the email address shows that this scam has been tried before.
Education Ministries Japan, March 2011
An advert was posted recently by someone claiming to be “education minstries japan”:
“ESL teachers urgently needed 12 month contract,starting on may 2011,in Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku and other Asia continent
12 MONTH CONTRACT WITH,Salary: $3,800 per monthly,Visa Sponsored by the school,Housing,transportation,Health Insurance Medical provided, interested applicant should contact:email@example.com
education minstries japan
3-2-2 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8959, Japan
1. …other Asia continent ??
2. $3,800 is a very high salary
3. Why does the Education Ministry of Japan have an email address with a .ru extension? In fact, if you search the email address, you’ll find that it’s been used to advertise other jobs in Russia.
Employer claiming to be Ecole Active Bilingue J Manuel, December 2010
We received an email from a teacher who had a job offer from someone claiming to be the Ecole Active Bilingue Jeannine Manuel in Paris.
The job offer has the following warning signs:
1. They offered the job without an interview.
2. They requested money for accommodation via Western Union.
3. Not only should the successful applicant send money, but he/she is “advised to tell the western union agents that you are sending the money to your relative/friend in Malaga Spain” (see email transcript below).
4. They stated that the teacher must not call them!
5. The telephone/fax number and email address do not correspond with those on the EABJM website, http://www.eabjm.org.
Here’s the email the teacher received:
This is to inform you that you have been finally selected to work with us.Our recruitment/employment procedure this year does not require a phone interview.That is why we selected only the candidates with the best qualifications.
A detailed work contract is attached to this email.Fill your name and other necessary information carefully and
sign at the space provided below.Please print out the contract,then sign,scan,attach and return the signed contract to this email address.At no.4 of employee’s personal information,you will see CONTRACT PERIOD,just fill 24th January 2011 to 24th January 2012.
Please be informed that you are expected to arrive on the 21st of January in order to attend the orientation programe prior to job commencement.
As stated in the Contract,you are advised to send the necessary payments to our international office in Spain
Kindly send the money through WESTERN UNION MONEY TRANSFER.Receiver’s name: SUSAN EDWARD(She is incharge of finance),Address:EABJM international Bureau,Urb. El Angel, Nueva Andalucía, Marbella,Málaga, Spain,.
Kindly send the transfer details to: firstname.lastname@example.org. As soon as the finance department in Spain confirms your payment,we shall reserve your accomodation and commence the processing of your travelling and working documents.Only non EU’s are advised to send both the accomodation reservation fee and the visa processing fee.EU’s are expected to send only the accomodation reservation fee.
For some good reasons,you are advised to tell the western union agents that you are sending the money to your relative/friend in Malaga Spain.If they know that you are sending the money to a school/organisation,the transfer fee will be very costly on your side.A certain amount will also be deducted from the sum when the money gets here.In order to avoid these extra costs both on your side and ours,simply tell the WU agent that the money is being sent to a relative/friend.
Kindly send your signed contract and the transfer details to this email address: email@example.com,dont forget to write ”ATTENTION FINANCE” in the subject column.
For special inquiries/questions,please send email firstname.lastname@example.org.
NB: At your leisure,do not forget to scan and attach a copy of the payment slip/receipt that was issued to you after the payment at the WESTERN UNION OFFICE.It has to be kept in your record for future reference.
Hope to see you soon.
Shirley Burchill. “
Execs Kindergarten College, October 2010
“Execs Kindergarten College. (A new established Spanish school) located in Av de José Antonio, 08 05001 Avila Spain is seeking a native english speaking teachers to work as a full time teacher. The Teaching/Learning of English language is newly introduced to the school curriculum, Proficient and qualified teachers are therefore, required to fill up the vacant positions immediately.
Execs Kindergarten College
Av de José Antonio
08 05001 Avila
1. The salary offered (on application) is 1800 euros per month, which is extremely high for Spain.
2. The phone number (and variations of the contact name given on application) have been used in other scams.
3. The application response is in very bad English.
4. The photo of the school provided on application has “Execs Kindergarten College” clearly photoshopped on to the front!
Received from teachers:
“Thank god I found this before I made a huge mistake of sending over a scanned copy of my passport to this phony. Apparently this guy is now going as Augusto Carlos, for Execs Kindergarten College in Avila Spain. Same deal, 1800 euros, 2 bedroom apt, airfare, visa, etc. website down, director is on health leave, 2 week orientation in Avila and and Madrid, emails in broken English back… same bunch of crooks. all very painful to write about because I was so excited about the whole thing. And, being a graphic designer, I should have seen how HORRIBLY PHOTOSHOPPED the name of the school was on the front of the building of the photo they sent me. Literally a font slapped right on the building. I am new to applying for TEFL jobs, I assumed that because it is posted on an credible job forum it couldn’t be a scam. Well I guess when something is too good to be true, it IS. Too bad, because I quit a good job for this bs. I am glad I caught it before they stole my identity! What could have happened if I sent them a scanned picture of my passport? Anyone?
Here is some correspondence between “Augusto” and I and the “Visa Immigration team Travel Spain”
We would like to thank you so much for bringing this awful information about the school to our attentions. We are absolutely not aware of this until now. Now, we can certainly understand your doubtful situation and circumstance. In all sincerity, there is no way you can find information about the school being a new school with no official website on the internet yet. This is the reason why we had to forward to applicants some pictures of the school and also send them a contract. The simple reason why one of the applicant had to published that bad comments is because she is asked to pay part of the airfare by herself. She felt this is not necessary and could probably not be real. This is quite unfortunate. It is the school policy and rules and we can’t change that. There are lots of schools in europes with no websites but are real and genuine.
Although, we quite agreed that, It is always good to be careful in whatever we are doing especially when it comes to the issue of money. At this stage, We thought you should be happy and getting ready to fly and starting with your new job with the school. Although, we do understand the way you feel about the non availability of the school website coupled with the bad comments found. You do not need to get worried. If by anyway, you still don’t feel comfortable with the situation, kindly indicate this and you will be instructed to hold on until the school Director gets back and provide you with more information and a satisfactory directives to follow. This may take a little while though, But it is the only option for any teacher that feels uncomfortable with any of the arrangement. Your position will still be intact.
Our school is a great and genuine institution with the aims and objectives of bringing good education to different races of children living in Avila community. The institution has been fully assessed and licenced to operate a school. The academy system is equal to the British standard of education. We are not employing anyone to take money from them. So you need not to entertain any fear in this regards. The reason for asking the teachers to make part payment for the airfare is to get some commitment from their ends. We are aware of some people parading themselves on the internet as genuine teacher when they are not. They only pretend to be real teachers in order to get employment and have you pay for them to travel round the world. So you need to also understand and bear with us too. We did sent you a contract agreement to let you know that the school is real. It is the school policy and rules for all the foreign teachers to pay half of the airfare prior to arriving to the school and get reimburse of the half payment made when they resumed duty fully.
We actually do not want any form of delay in obtaining all the needed papers, that was why we instructed the teachers to start with every arrangement promptly. Right now, We wowuldn’t want any more issue arising concerning this recrutiment program. The school only seek 15 teachers and you were so fortunate to be among the chosen candidates. We might probably advise you at this stage to wait for the school Director to get back and address this issue more properly before continuing with any of the arrangement. Hopefully, that will set every thing right and convince you about the school and any negative impression about them. We wouldn’t want any form of ungrateful manner to be exhibited by any one with a negative impression about the school. Execs Kindergarten College is a great school. So therefore, we have it reputation to protect.
We will wait to hear back from you again. Thanks once again for expressing your feelings and cautious.
Mr Augusto Carlos
Execs Kindergarten College
Av de José Antonio
08 05001 Avila
Thanks for providing us with the requested informations regarding your work visa and for the other arrangement. We are going to commence with the paper work first thing tomorrow morning and will be expecting the scan copy of the passport before the end of Sunday.
Concerning assisting your fiance with an entry visa to travel with you, Yes, we can assist him with a tourist/visitors visa. He will need to send us the same informations as requested from you which will also Include a scan copy of his international passport. The fees is 350 EUR. That is 490 USD equivalent.
Regarding traveling with your pet (cat), You will need to get the veterinary certificate and other documents for her in the state and we will also assist you with the Immigration Form here in Spain. That is, the Import Applications EU998 Forms. The fees for obtaining and processing this form is 230 EUR equivalent to 321 USD. The flight cost will be determined after making your flight booking.
Note, that we will need to start with every of this arrangement asap inorder to meet up with the available time. We can also commence with your fiance visa arrangement now. let us know what you decide once you read the message. We are here to assist you with all your traveling plans. We look forward to hearing from you again soonest! Thanks
Accreditted Travel Expert
Travel.Spain fastservice organization
C/Arguelles,No 6 33012 Oviedo
We are very pleased to received your application dated on 4th of October for the vacant position in our new established Execs Kindergarten College. Your application and credentials was well received and you are now corresponding directly with Mr Augusto Carlos the United Kingdom corresponding officer, who will guide you through the employment process due to non-availability of the school website at this moment. We have attached some picture which contain the school,student, teachers and staff member along with this message.
Here are the Important details of the offer below:
A full-time teaching job.
Work schedule: 5 Academic teaching hours in the class and 2 hours for morning assembly, work preparation and break period. Total of 7 hours a day. starting at 8.00AM to 3.00PM Monday Through Friday.
Students level: from pre-intermediate to upper-intermediate, age 3-15 y.o. Accommodation and meals provided (2 meals per day).monthly pay 1800 euros. No transportation costs are covered. Teachers should ideally have experience of working with teenagers.
Duties: Teaching conversational English, Speaking and writing.
Contract service: Contract only involve teaching on the site. And it a 1 year contract agreement. The Job started on the 15th of November 2010.
Medical program: Every teacher is entitle to a free medical insurance program which is part of teachers’s benefits offered by Execs Kindergarten College. All the school employees will also have to be involve when they arrive. This is done in order to determine the fitness of the staffs.
Visa and work permit: The school will assist teachers with the need of a work visa through their immigration experts there in Spain. The immigration team will also pick teacher up at the Airport upon their arrival to the school. School takes care of all the cost.
Every corresponding messages should be written in English Language and will be processed by the corresponding officer Mr Augusto Carlos in order to received an English translated respond.
Your application has been forwarded to the school for more assessement. You will be notified soonest if your application is among the successful and selected candidates
After reading the details of the offer and procedures, Let us know if you are satisfied with the job offers and procedures. We would like to thank you once again for the interest in Exces Kindergarten College and we look forward to reading from you soonest!
Mr Augusto Carlos
Execs Kindergarten College
Av de José Antonio
08 05001 Avila
We would like to say good morning to you again. We would like to thank you for exercising your great patience with the school in communicating with you. We are sending you this message to inform you that your application was among the selected candidates for further employment consideration. Right at this moment, the school would like to know if you already possessed the legal work visa and papers to live and work in Spain? Please kindly let us know promptly.
How ever it is, You do not need to worry on that. The school has already employed the service of immigration experts there in Spain to handle this transition for the teacher with the need of these papers. But, you don’t need to start with the processing until your employment gets it final approval. You will be directed to contact the agency once you have receive and review the contract agreement and fully satisfied with it contents and conditions. The agency will assist you with smooth and less stressful visa transition. You don’t have to pay to the agency to obtained this papers. The school takes care of the fees.
More also, there will be an orientation and training program from the 15th of November which will run for 2weeks before teaching commences. This program will be handle by the same agency that handle your work visa transition. All you will need to do is to register your information with them during the visa transition. They will also make your flight arrangement and pick you up at the Madrid Airport to give you full details on the orientation program. Right now, we are waiting for the school final approval on your application and we will forward to you the contract agreement for reviewing. Then, you can move to the next step of starting your work visa processing. We will get back to you in few days for more information. Thanks once again for the patience.
Miguel Diaz, July 2010
Adverts have been posted recently by a Dr Miguel Diaz:
i am Dr Miguel Diaz from colombia but
presently residing here in the UK with
my wife amandine and two kids by name , Rigney and Jane ,
i am in need of an english teacher to come and teach my wife and kids for
a period of one year here before they can enroll into any formal education,
Compensation and Benefits Package:
Salary is GBP4,500monthly
- 4500 GBP monthly is an extremely high salary
- Is Meryleboune a place in the UK?
- Be wary of adverts posted by a “family”. While some are of course genuine, many aren’t, and they are certainly worth further investigation.
Miller family, UK, June 2010
The following advert has recently been posted for an ESL teacher in the UK. This has been identified as a likely scam and we advise against any contact with this person:
“Family in UK seeks your services
My name is Mr Miller Oliver and I am an US citizen resident here in England. I want teacher to come in London and teach my wife and son conversation english and I love American accent coz my is an Malaysian citizen … I offer GBP500 (British pounds) PER week.
Family in UK seeks your services
My name is Mr Miller Oliver and I am an US citizen resident here in England. I want teacher to come in London and teach my wife and son conversation english and I love American accent coz my is an Malaysian citizen … I offer GBP500 (British pounds) PER week so you teach well, because English mean important for my job and family. I provide full furnish accomodation with phone and internet live in or close to family house.
Please write soon with updated credentials and resume or call me on my number +44 7024026772 for discuss. i will pay for all travel expenses for no problem so dont worry. I hope you can start next month.
God Bless you and Thank you so much
Mr miller Oliver
Mr Miller Famliy
41 Davies Street London M1K 5DA,
tel: +44 7024066761
1. Very bad English
2. A Google search for the postcode gives results warning about similar scams.
Employer claiming to be Westfield School, April 2010
Adverts have recently been posted by someone claiming to represent Westfield School in Newcastle upon Tyne. This is the latest in the “poor wesbite imitation and dodgy domain name” category of scams.
West Field School is providing vacancies in the following post:
Fine Arts Teacher
Introduction Technology Teacher
Home Economics Teacher
Gardener (Unskilled , no academic qualification required)
West Field School
- A Google search for the phone number returns results of adverts selling mobile phones, among other things.
- The website is clearly a poor imitation of the genuine school’s website, http://www.westfield.newcastle.sch.uk
- The website has a .tl extension – why does a school in the UK have a website with an East Timor extension?
- The email address is a free account, rather than matching the school’s domain
Employer claiming to be Happy Child Independent School, March 2010
Adverts have recently been posted by someone claiming to represent the Happy Child Independent School. Using a genuine school’s name in this way has been done before.
“We are the Happy child independent school and also located at 1 Aston Road, Ealing London W5 2RL will hereby seek for an experience teacher on this student subject ,English ,Economics ,Mathematics ,Social studies ,Language teacher ,music teacher and we also be given the apply teachers free accommodation here in the school premises so that it can be comfortable for them. The Happy child independent school management is ready to pay the sum of 900pounds per month as there salary. We take these views very seriously and are constantly trying to improve in these areas. There is a lot of evidence to show we are succeeding in meeting these expectations and we are striving to build further on their achievements. To do this we are constantly using feedback from our learners that is used to inform our practice.
About the accommodation…….
You shall have a private accommodation with furnished bedroom and also a
Private bathroom .A Fixed Telephone and Internet .Also the school will be responsible for your taxes.
If you are interested in this offer you can send your CV to our email address (Info.email@example.com).We await your soonest response.
The Management of,
Happy child independent school Teams.
We await your quick response
happy child independent school
1 Aston Road, Ealing London W5 2RL
The list of warning signs is long:
- Fairly obviously bad English
- The address repeats “Ealing” and the postcode – UK addresses do not work like this!
- The email address is a free account, rather than matching the domain happychild.co.uk
- On the genuine school’s website, http://www.happychild.co.uk, there is no mention of the vacancies being advertised
English For All, China, March 2010
Adverts have recently been posted by “English for All”. Here’s an example:
“E4A teaching staff in all locations can expect the following benefits:
* Competitive teaching salary($4000-5000)
* Full visa support
* Housing assistance/allowance
* Vacation days in addition to public holidays
* Health insurance incl emergency evacuation
1. $4000-5000 salary is unheard of
2. The .nf domain name is for Norfolk Island – why does the company have a Norfolk Island domain name?
3. If you have a look at their website as quoted in the advert above, you’ll see the following paragraph on their homepage:
“Imagine living and working in the world’s fastest growing economy where over one billion people want to know what you know. Working with EF, China’s largest and most recognized English language training provider, you will be training current and future leaders of China.”
“EF”?? Surely they mean “English for All”… Or could it be that they have just taken this paragraph (and the photo above it) from the EF website at http://www.englishfirst.com/trt/
This scam is not a very sophisticated one for the above reasons, and is a good example of the kind of things to always look out for.
Employer claiming to be The Roche School, March 2010
An advert was recently posted by someone claiming to be the Roche School in London:
“We are the Roche school and also located at 11 Frogmore, London SW18 1HW will hereby seek for an experience teacher on this student subject ,English ,Economics,Mathematics,Social studies,Language teacher,music teacher and we also be given the apply teachers free accomodation here in the school premises.
11 Frogmore, London SW18 1HW
- Poor English
- The website has a .tl extension – why does a British school have a website registered in East Timor?
- Is “frog more” an area of London?
- The website itself is clearly a poor imitation of the real Roche School’s website, http://www.therocheschool.co.uk/
- The phone number is the same one used in another scam.
** Update May 2010: **
A similar advert has been posted – the email address used this time is firstname.lastname@example.org. All other details remain the same.
Cheadle High School, January 2010
The following advert has been posted for “Cheadle High School”:
“We are the cheadle high school and also located at Station Road, Cheadle, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, ST10 1LH will hereby seek for an experience teacher on this student subject ,English ,Economics,Mathematics,Social studies,Language teacher and we also be given the apply teachers free accomodation.
cheadle high school
Station Road, Cheadle, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, ST10 1LH
- The English used. This school is supposedly in the UK – is there noone in the school who could have helped with the grammar and language use?
- The website has a .tl extension – why does a British school have a website registered in East Timor?
Ministry of Education Russian Federation, January 2010
The following advert has recently been posted on several sites:
“Ministry of Education Russian Federation are looking for foreign English teachers to fix in the newly Established school in moscow,seoul,dubai for one year contract duration.Competitive salary,Roundtrip airfare,Comprehensive medical insurance cover,Paid vacation in addition to public holidays etc
Ministry of Education Russian Federation
11, Tverskaya str., Moscow, 125993
tel: +7 (495) 629-706
This has been documented here: http://forums.eslcafe.com/job/viewtopic.php?p=819042
Ombrossa International School, France, October 2009
Adverts have recently been posted on various sites by a scammer claiming to represent Ombrosa International School in France.
Ombrosa is a reputable school (http://www.ombrosa.com), and the scammer is using their name to extract money from teachers, using a double ‘s’ in all email addresses.
Here’s the “contract” letter:
“This is to inform you that you have been finally selected to work with us.Our recruitment/employment procedure this year does not require a phone interview.That is why we selected only the candidates with the best qualifications.
A detailed work contract is attached to this email.Fill your name and other necessary information carefully and sign at the space provided below.Please attach and return the signed contractt to this email address.At no.4 of employee’s personal information,you will see CONTRACT PERIOD,just fill 11th January 2010 to 10TH January 2011.
As stated in the Contract,you are advised to send the necessary payments to our international office in Spain.The payment should be sent through western union money transfer.
Receiver’s name: ANDREW PHILIP
Ombrossa International Bureau
Apartado 12,Torremolinos,Malaga, Spain
Please send the transfer details to: email@example.com
As soon as our office in Spain confirms your payment,we shall reserve your accomodation and commence the processing of your travelling and working documents.Only non EU’s are advised to send both the accomodation reservation fee and the visa processing fee.EU’s are expected to send only the accomodation reservation fee.
NB: The email with the double ‘s’ is our new webmail.
1. “Our recruitment/employment procedure this year does not require a phone interview”
Be very wary of employers willing to offer you a job without an interview.
2. “You are advised to send the necessary payments to our international office in Spain”
As soon as you see this kind of request, don’t go any further.
3. “NB: The email with the double ‘s’ is our new webmail.”
Have a look at ombrossa.com, and then compare to ombrosa.com (with one ‘s’). It should be clear which one is the genuine school.
UAE Ministry of Labour / Ministry of Public Works, September 2009
This scam has been around for a while, with variations on a theme. Here are some examples:
“$4400USD ESL Offer in DUBAI United Arab Emirates
There are NO fees charged for any of our services!
Apply via Email Address as stated Below:
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES MINISTRY OF LABOUR
LOCATION: Teaching positions available throughout Dubai,United Arab Emirates.
-Salary: $4400usd/month, based on education, qualifications, and teaching
experience Plus $4000usd severance pay at end of a 1-year contract
-Contract: 1 year (minimum)
-Students: 25 or fewer students per class
We are looking for ESL teachers available for 1 year contracts with a possibility to extend for a longer period.
If you are interested,please send us your RESUME/C.V along with your earliest start date through below listed Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
We have One year ESL contract duration in our newly established institute in Dubai namely: Education studies Dubai P.O.Box 374,student Age rate 17-26 year of age,4800USD monthly salary. Free 2ways air ticket & Pick-up arrangement, Free Accommodation.
Pls contact :email@example.com
– Apart from the bad English, the thing to look out for here is the .tk domain extension. These are available for free from dot.tk. You can be sure that the real UAE Ministry of Labour or Ministry of Education would have a .ae extension.
These adverts have been reported elsewhere to be posted from a location in Nigeria.
Here’s the most recent example:
“FREE furnished living accommodation provided by school(within walking distance of school hear in U.A.E), allowance, insurance, pension, etc.monthly salary negotiable. FREE round trip air ticket and pick-up arrangements.Severance pay (1 month salary) http://www.mopw.gov.ae firstname.lastname@example.org”
The scammer usually asks for a fee (amounting to several thousand dollars in some cases) to process visas or other paperwork.
Norman International Academy, Malaga, Spain, September 2009
The following advert is for a school which doesn’t exist, and requests teachers to send several hundred euros to the school barrister, for upfront accommodation fees. The following are excerpts from communication between a teacher who applied for the job, and the school, and have been provided to us kindly by the teacher concerned.
“Norman International Academy is committed to recruiting and developing excellent educators from around the world to form a dynamic and highly motivated team to become part of a community of learners that has at its core the NIA Values that shape our behaviour, inform our decision-making and provide a shared focus for all our actions.
NIA is renowned for its innovative approach to learning, its sense of community and the professional opportunities we provide for our staff. Our special corner of Spain is famous for its perfect climate, rich culture, spectacular countryside, relaxed and safe lifestyle, and is a great place for individuals or families to enjoy life at its best.
In order to apply for the English Teaching vacancy, please submit the following documents by email:
letter of application
a recent photograph
e-mail contacts of two referees.
Please do not sumbit your school certificates untill you are advised to do so,you will be requested to send your school certificates/Diploma for further evaluation when the recruitment team must have gone through your CV/Resume.
SEND APPLICATIONS TO: email@example.com
POSITION:English Teachers Required.
Job benefits include :
Monthly salary: 1600 Euro,Visa Assistance for Non Eu’s ,plus Housing.
Starting date: October 2009.Work Load: 5 hours per day, Monday to Friday.Class size: 20 to 23 students per class
Age of students to be taught:11/12 to 18/19.Contract end date: October 1st 2010.School Location: Malaga ,Spain
Contact Person: Isaac
For teachers concerned that they could find no reference to the school anywhere online, here is the school’s response:
“Please note that Norman International Academy is a new school, established in September 2007.The school’s website is still under construction and it will be ready by the 25th of November this year.Based on the aforesaid,you will not find the school online during your internet searches,google etc. We regret any inconveniences this might cause.However,more information about the school and the city will be provided as we move further.If selected, your recent photograph will be required for the building of the school website.”
And here is the request for money, to be sent by Western Union Money Transfer:
“Your living accomodation(very close to the school compound,less than 5 minutes walk),one bedroom studio with private kitchen,toilet and bathroom will cost 3120 Euros for one year,that means 260 euro per month.As stated in the contract, teachers will pay only two months of the accomodation fee (520 euros),while the school pays the rest(2600).Before your arrival to Spain, you are expected to send two months accomodation fee,which is 520 euros.It is our responsibility to furnish your apartment before your arrival.Obtaining your visa,if you need one, is the barrister’s duty,kindly email the barrister for details.
Non EU,s will be requested to send 350 euros for the processing of their travelling and working documents.
In Summary Non EU’s will send 350 euros,visa processing fee and 520 euros,two months accomodation deposit,a total of 870 euros.While the EU’s will send only 520 euros being two months accomodation deposit.
Below is the money transfer information:
METHOD OF PAYMENT:Western Union Money Transfer
RECEIVER: David Freeman
ADDRESS:Avda Del Prado,Marbella, Malaga, Spain.”
University of Buea, Cameroon, September 2009
Job adverts for the University of Buea in Cameroon appear in various formats. Here’s just one example:
“we are current looking for qualified teachers holding a recognized certificate.send your CV/resume to : firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible.
round trip ticket to 4 persons
University of Buea
1. The offer of $2100 a week – yes, a week – should be the only warning sign you need. That works out as a yearly salary of $109,200!
2. Why is the employer based in Niagara Falls?
Here’s another example:
“We are looking for qualified ESL instructors
-2 weeks paid holidays
-Round trip ticket to 3
-50% health insurance cover
send your CV to
Advance School of Translatord and Interpreters
The advertiser posting these ads usually uses the email address email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, or similar, and often adds a website (astibuea.co.cc is one used quite commonly).
Update: 13 October 2009:
Here’s the latest example:
“EFL/ESL/EAP Lecturer/Instructor Positions: 6 Months Internship contracts
APPLICANTS MUST BE MALE OR FEMALE WITH ENGLISH AS THEIR FIRST LANGUAGE, HAVE A BASIC DEGREE FROM AN ANGLOPHONE UNIVERSITY AND AN INTERNATIONALLY – RECOGNIZED TEFL/TESL QUALIFICATION.
We are interested in recruiting.”
ESL Job scam from Ankara, Turkey, August 2009
We received the following email from a jobseeker:
There is a woman trolling this ESL site asking teachers to come work for her and her family in Ankara, Turkey. A Mrs. Auroa Carlwall, with this email: email@example.com, offering a large salary and then trying to get passport particulars and Western Union monies out of teachers through her “Barrister” firstname.lastname@example.org – She is also using someone’s picture and operating a scam on: https://housekeeper.com/housemaid-needed-urgently-housekeeper-job-alexander-mb. Please be wary of such emails, they are a scam and you as a prospective teacher are urged to stay away from them and not engage them. Stay Safe!!!
Grace Ville Secondary School, August 2009
We received the following from a teacher. The scammer sent the teacher this:
I am the Principal of Grace Ville Secondary School, UK. The school was just resently approved by the government at (15, rue Duguay Trouin 75282 Paris Cedex 06 France), but we have a branch our headoffice in uk, and other countries, after meeting the requied structure and facility. The school is now open for learning that is why are seeking teachers who are success driven to help build up our school here. We saw your profile and we are delighted to offer you a position in our institution. Do contact us with
your resume and 2 passport photographs to our headbranch in uk, if you are interested to work with us.
Grace Ville Secondary School,
10 Cresent street,
Cresent Shoping Complex
After a response from the teacher, a second email:
“This is in receipt of your message. I write to inform you that your resume was forwarded to the board of directors for verification and it is my pleasure to congratulate you that they were really impressed by your achievements.
Prior to this notice they have also requested that we ask you the following questions below so they could interview your answers and know the level of your knowledge as we are success driven:
Why do you think you should be employed in our institution?_________
What is your goal while teaching?______________
If granted the job will you be obedient to your superiors?____________
What kind of people do you find it difficult to work with?_____________
Would you be able to give your best for the job as our teacher when fully employed?__________
Have you been convicted of a crime before?____________
If yes, State your spouse’s name, work and position, also contact email (if available):_________
Would you be able to relocate?__________________
After answering the questions above send it back to us immediately for review along with a copy of your international passport and your contract address, your appointment latter and other document would be processed and sent to you after being approved by the management. We advice that you act with immediate effect any mail sent to you in accordance to what you are requested of, as you may be advice to resume in january after summer break
Here are also details of your job below:
Your position: English Teaching.
Your Salary: 6,000GBP MONTHLY and 700GBP as weekly allowance
Working days: 4days a week
Accommodation: Would be arranged by our institution
Traveling Documents: Would be arranged by the school
Total tax incurred: 5% of your salary.
We await your response
Grace Ville Secondary School,
10 Cresent street,
Cresent Shoping Complex
Warning signs – where to start?
- The Grace Ville Secondary School doesn’t seem to exist, judging by a quick Google search.
- Why is it “recently approved by the government” in Paris?
- Plenty of bad English, for example “but we have a branch our headoffice in uk, and other countries, after meeting the requied structure and facility”.
- A job is offered immediately, without interview.
- In the second email an “interview” is required – a list of questions to be answered by email.
- A salary of 6000 GBP for a 4 day week.
And so on…