TEFL Job Scams
RULE #1: Don't send any money to anyone anywhere. We'll modify that a bit later, but follow that rule until you've read and understood all of this page.
Would you like to earn super good wages with lots of time off and a free car, accommodation and flights? All you have to do is teach my children a bit of English and speak to them in English.
Wouldn't everyone want that job? The job offer just came in your email today.
Almost everyone who has an email address has received that email job offer from someone in London or any other major city in an English speaking country. An executive from a non-English speaking country is seeking your help to educate his wonderful children and if you will please come and do it, he'll treat you like royalty, pay you a small fortune and not really expect much from you. He'll pay the airfare and everything to get you there. He'll pay you double or more than any other similar job might pay! Oh, but you might might have to cover some small expense in the process of getting there, but don't worry about that, he says.
Wow. You sign the contract, quit your job, move into your mom's basement and wait for the big day. You've told everybody about the job and you are super excited. The executive even sent you photos of his cute kids waving at you, eager to have you arrive. How cool is that?
Oh yeah, one detail will come up just before it is time to leave. He sends an email and writes there will be a small "processing fee" for your visa. Only US$500 and could you send it right away? All the paperwork is done and ready and all we need to do is that. Western Union will get the money there TODAY so we can speed the process along and get your visa sent tomorrow.
Well, asking for money from you should send up the red flags, but he did write that you might have to cover some small expense in the process of getting there, didn't he? So really he has been pretty straight up about all this. No?
You have no choice. You gave up your job, gave up your apartment, told all your friends about this. Pay up! And as soon as you do, you will never hear from that "executive" again. You'll likely be only one of the twenty people sending him money today.
You were offered a job without asking for it. You were offered more money than the job usually pays and with more benefits and lots of time off. The scamster draws you in with visions of big money and an easy job. And when you are vulnerable, you've already quit your job and told everyone about it, he asks for money. He planted the seed early in the process to cover your objections. He told you might need to pay a bit sometime. That's exactly how TEFL job scams work.
TEFL jobs scams do not have to be for an executive in London, they can be any job anywhere.
Here are the red flags:
1. The scamster contacted you.
But not always, you might have replied to an advertisement on a jobs board.
2. The offer is a lot better than any other job on offer. Pays better, more time off, easy hours, flexible everything.
And the biggest RED FLAG of all in a TEFL job scam?
3. You are to send money, at the last moment, to a person you don't really know, usually through Western Union or similar money services.
Here's the thing. You probably will need to pay for your visa. All of us out here have done that. But you won't send that money to someone you've never met via a money service. You'll be sending the money to a consulate or embassy of the country where you intend to teach. Sometimes you will pay a visa service (several countries require that or some countries are so difficult that a service is very helpful). Often you will go the embassy yourself to pay it.
Once you know the drill, these types of scams are easy to avoid. They are usually directed at newbies so they won't know how things really work.
Now get out there and find the job you want. It's easy!
TEFL job scams