Spot the Scam: A Music Teacher Checklist
It is sometimes difficult to spot a genuine student enquiry from a scam one especially if you are based in a town where there might be many foreign students.
There are patterns to scam emails and one emanating from an overseas source will contain many of the elements below.
- Poor English including poor spelling and punctuation
- Demands for a ridiculous teaching schedule: "one hour's lesson every day for 4 weeks"
- Strange travel and accommodation conditions usually involving an overseas pupil
- The overseas pupil is almost always referred to as a beginner and age 14 or above
- Attempts to dictate terms to you rather than asking for YOUR terms
- No phone number
- Does not use your name anywhere: "hello" instead of "Dear Mr Bloggs"
- Discrepancies in their own name
- Does not refer to the actual specialism you advertise but a generalisation: "music lessons" instead of "piano lessons"
- Uses a hotmail, yahoo, mail or other disposable email account
To make sure you don't get scammed:
- Ignore emails containing most of the above elements
- If in doubt speak directly to the sender of the email
- Remember that scams always involve money
- If you are taking payment in advance you should do it in person
- Never take advance payment by cheque or wire transfer from someone you don't know