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Spot the Scam: A Music Teacher Checklist

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 5 Aug 2013 | comments*Discuss
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.

  1. Poor English including poor spelling and punctuation
  2. Demands for a ridiculous teaching schedule: "one hour's lesson every day for 4 weeks"
  3. Strange travel and accommodation conditions usually involving an overseas pupil
  4. The overseas pupil is almost always referred to as a beginner and age 14 or above
  5. Attempts to dictate terms to you rather than asking for YOUR terms
  6. No phone number
  7. Does not use your name anywhere: "hello" instead of "Dear Mr Bloggs"
  8. Discrepancies in their own name
  9. Does not refer to the actual specialism you advertise but a generalisation: "music lessons" instead of "piano lessons"
  10. Uses a hotmail, yahoo, mail or other disposable email account
The initial email is unlikely to mention financial arrangements in any detail but subsequent ones certainly will.

To make sure you don't get scammed:

  1. Ignore emails containing most of the above elements
  2. If in doubt speak directly to the sender of the email
  3. Remember that scams always involve money
  4. If you are taking payment in advance you should do it in person
  5. Never take advance payment by cheque or wire transfer from someone you don't know
There are new scams out all of the time. To see the current ones take a look at www.safefromscams.co.uk

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