Monday, July 7, 2008

WARNING: TUTORING SCAM

This has been written about on many sites before, but the fact that it’s still going on shows that some people haven’t heard about it yet. What made me decide to write about it today is that I received 3 of these bogus offers on Sunday alone. I’m hoping once people stop falling for it, the e-mails will stop, and I won’t have to keep deleting them.

If you advertise tutoring or some other kind of lesson on internet sites such as Craigslist (http://toronto.en.craigslist.ca/cal/#classes) or Kijiji (http://toronto.kijiji.ca/f-community-classes-W0QQCatIdZ4), sooner or later you will get a poorly written e-mail from someone overseas asking for a large block of lessons. The person will claim their son or daughter is coming to visit your area and the parent wants lessons everyday or 2-4 times a week for the child for the length of the stay, usually a month.

If you reply—and you shouldn’t, especially after reading this—the parent will offer to send you the whole amount as a cashier’s cheque before the lessons are to begin.

This is where things go off. They will send you a cheque, but it will be for far too much, or you will receive more than one cheque for the same amount. The parent will then explain that this was a mistake and ask for the overpayment back. (Sometimes they will send you the correct amount, but they'll ask for a refund because the child's trip has to be cancelled due to a tragedy in the family.)

The problem is, even though the bank will deposit the money into your account, it can actually take as long as a month for a cashier’s cheque to clear—and of course the cashier’s cheque the parent has sent you will never clear, because it’s a fake. So, if you have sent any money back, that’s now coming out of your pocket, because the bank will withdraw the amount on the cheque from your account once they discover that the cheque is bogus. Not only that, but the bank is obliged to call the police to inform them that you have tried to cash a counterfeit cheque. Luckily, the police are well-aware of this scam—too bad you weren’t!

These e-mails are easy to recognize. Here are the three I received yesterday. Two of them are the same word for word as e-mails I’ve received within the past couple of weeks:

From "Kenny love" kennyoci@gmail.com yesterday, and "Frank Umar" umar.frank@yahoo.com on July 1 (although the reply e-mail address is the same for both):
Hello, i will like you to know that i am very much interested in your lesson for my son which he will be attending twice a week (Monday and Thursday) (9am-12pm)and i will like you to get back to with the total cost of the lesson for one month at your time schedule. please respond to kennyoci@gmail.com thanks and God bless you.
(Note: Before I had finished composing this blog entry, I received the e-mail above again—minus the reply e-mail address—from "Ramson Scott" scottramson@gmail.com)

From "Juliet Nunu" jjj.nunu@yahoo.com yesterday and "Monica Cynthia Chris" 1111111111manu@gmail.com on June 27 (although Monica/Chris claims to live in the United Kingdom and have a son named Eric,14):
Hello and How are you?. I am from Germany,my Daughter will be coming
for an holiday in the Canada,and i want her to be busy throughout..
Therefore, i just want to know maybe she can always come to you and teach
her great things to know i life all aspect on every afternoon. If this
is possible,i will want you to get back to me with the cost of your
teaching for the MONTH...She will be coming to your house for 1 hour each
afternoon, I have someone that will always drive her down to your
house.. her name is Lisa ,she is 23 years old. I will want you to calculate
1 hour per day for Monday,Wednesday,Friday for the whole 1 MONTH,and
get back to me so that we can arrange on payment. Kindly get back to me
with......
1.YOUR CHARGE FOR AN HOUR....
2.TOTAL CHARGES FOR 1 MONTH THAT HE
WILL BE TAUGHT 3 TIMES PER WEEK..
3.FULL NAME AND ADDRESS WITH ZIP CODE....
4.YOUR PHONE NUMBER...
don't hesitate to e-mail with your total charges.
Thanks and waiting to read from you.
Ms. Juliet Nunu

And finally, this one from "terry smith" terry7770@gmail.com (who has a different name from his e-mail--although his son's first name is the same as his e-mail last name--and is unaware that Canada is not part of the United States):

Hey, I am Mr Dalihu.An external Auditor,i will like you to start teaching 2 of my kids for 2 hours aday or 2 to 3 times a week.also my son Name is Smith,15 years and my daughter becky is 13 years.they both live in califonai.I really want to keep them busy cos i will be going for am external auditing outside the state.All about their accomodation in your state wil be provided by me.I will like to know the total cost for 2 months if you take them for 2 hours perday. Kindly get back to me with your full name,address and your phone # so that i can make the payment.My RegardsDalihu

Apparently, this same scam is also used on people selling things on the internet. You can read more about it here:
http://www.scamvictimsunited.com/counterfeit_cashier's_check.htm

5 comments:

Pierre said...

Thank you!
I googled the email of the person sending me those letters and found your site.
You just saved me trouble.

Mindy said...

I got an inquity from " Monica Cynthia Chris [monicacynthia_lagaaa@yahoo.com]" and it was pretty much the same crap. I went along with it, gave my corporate headquarters as the address for them to send me the "overpayment" and wrote back telling "her" to come get her money because I don't have time to play the western union game. It was about the fifth time someone tried this scam on me and rather than ignore it, I figured I'd get the check this time... unbelievably fake looking check too! I don't know how any bank would cash it. Very good idea, having this blog about it.

glfft said...

Monica Wants to Rent My Timeshare in Hawaii, Good thing I Googled the Email Address before replying. Thanks.

Her Reply As Follows:
Hey,
Good day to you.Monica Cynthia Chris Kindly check if we can use 3
nights let me know the date thats available (ending of oct )
at your place. I want you to email me the availability an cost and
cleanner fee We are 2, My
Wife and I.We are coming for our honeymoon. we dont smoke and we dont drink
neither do we have pets.I await your swift response.

Dr Monica and Chris

Jorge said...

I got one from Juliet Nunu searching for a room in Barcelona (Spain), spanish robot-translated; and some days ago another from Nawana Adams.
Thanks for the advise!

Jorge, Barcelona (Spain)

AxeGirl said...

Thanks so much! You saved me some time and trouble.

I had all of the store's information on craigslist but I still kept getting these emails wanting me to calculate a large number of lessons for them for one month. That's when I googled -Monica Cynthia Chris- the name of the person sending me emails and found your site!

Apparently, they are still at it!

Thanks again.