November 21, 2008

CRASIGSLIST TUTOR SCAM- in Los Angeles


Okay, so a lot of you may remember when I posted about the scamy scam scam-- Craigslist Paris apartment scam, non? Well, I JUST read an email from a friend of mine in California who RESPONDED to a Craigslist ad in Los Angles -- an add looking for a tutor. Anyhow, my friend emails this to me and the the ad from CRAIGS LIST.... I smelled the SCAM a mile away and called him to tell him-- warn him NOT to take the job. You can REALLY smell a scam when the person asks you about your bank account info/transferring money into your bank account. It's kinda like the apartment scam here ..... I hope he will report this ad to Craigslist!!! But, I'm just warning everyone out there, just the same!!!
Here's the email to me from my friend:
Holy cow! I responded to a Tutor add on Los Angeles Craigslist today. The original add was posted by a parent looking for a tutor to help his son in the 12th grade to pass his classes before college (the son expected a football scholarship). The rate was $75/hour.
With that said, this was the reply. Unbelievable! Does it sound like a scam to you, too?


Here's the SCAM:
Hello,
Thanks for replying back to my online job posting, requiring your tutorial service for my Daughter, I would like to make a tutoring arrangement between you and my Daughter for the month of Nov 2008, I would like you to tutor him within a period of 1month, on a schedule basis of 1hr Daily, 3 times weekly, totaling 12 times in a month. I am willing to pay $50/hr. I would like to use these medium to inform you that my Daughter dont live in the US, she would be flying from the Phillipine to the US, I want you to teach her during her 8 month stay in the US, if there is need to extend your services, an ammedment would be made to your salary. she would be dropped off/picked up by his nanny during the hours of teaching at any location you want the Tutoring to take place in your area.You would be receiving a check drawn from a Bank in the US, from my business associates in the US, since i am from Phillipine and right now am in Cuba for a business trip the payments wont be honoured in any bank there in Phillipine or here in Cuba , These check would be made out for the cost of the tutorial services you are rendering, and also for the living expense, nanny fees of my Daughter . Regarding this- I hope i can trust you with these payments, as the payment would be made out in excess, so all you have to do is Deposit and cash the payment at your bank, deduct your tutorial service fee, which should be $50 per hour X 12 Times a Month = $600 i would include an additional $100 for run around fee and any additional text book you might be needing- so $700 is what you deduct from the check you receive , whatever the remaining balance is after deduction of the $700 go ahead and deduct Money Gram or Western union transfer sending charges for sending out the remainder to the Nanny who would be contacting you with futher arrangements and instructions regarding pickup/drop off of my Daughter to the library where you would always teach her. So i hope i can trust you that you will teach my Daughter good academics and some moral respects so that they can be good to their self in the future, i hope i can count on you for the tutorial and the money to be sent to the Nanny. I look forward to read a detailed message from you containing the following information, if you are OK with my arrangements.
Full Name.
Mailing Address ( no PO Box pl's ).
City:
Zip code:
Cell No ( If Available ).
Home No.
Gender.
Best Time to Call.

22 comments:

debi_in_Hawaii said...

RED FLAG!!! The whole thing reeks.

A couple of things are a dead giveaway that this is a SCAM:
Mainly, the bad grammar, the fact that if this person really WAS from the Philippines, he wouldn't have MISSPELLED THE NAME OF HIS COUNTRY. (Philippines/Pilipinas)
"8 months" is fishy.
And any mention of "wire transfer" or "moneygrams". EEEEEEEEEEEEK!

I'm surprised the words "Cheers" or "Regards" isn't included.

I would tell your friend to inform CL somehow...not sure how one does that though.

Animesh said...

Smells like a scam, but ask your friend to respond with basic info, but INSIST on getting the exact money, no more. See what happens.
-A

Leesa said...

Hey Animesh...
Yeh... good idea.. I think they should be reported, frankly... but they'll just show up again under another name... People need to be educated about scams...

Franco said...

My dad uses that site, I don't trust it thoug, yes it is def. a scam.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Lees!
That's my scam - or rather, the scam that was being pulled on me!
I responded to the last reply by specifically asking about the subjects the student was studying and then I wrote that I would prefer to be paid in cash. I'm curious to hear back. This scam posting may just be a form letter type of thing so I may not get back an original reply.
But what I'm wondering is does this thing work for them? After all, they are trying to lure tutors, or trained teaching professionals. Teachers aren't that gullible, right? Do they think we tutors/teachers can't identify crooks?
Anyway, I'll keep you updated on the next step.
Gary

Starman said...

Who should I notify about fraud or scam attempts?

* FTC toll free hotline: 877-FTC-HELP (877-382-4357)
* FTC online complaint form (http://www.ftc.gov)
* Canadian PhoneBusters hotline: 888-495-8501
* Internet Fraud Complaint Center (http://www.ic3.gov)
* Non-emergency number for your local police department.

If you suspect that an item posted for sale on craigslist may be part of a scam, please email the details to "abuse@craigslist.org". Be sure to include the URL (or eight-digit post ID number) in your message.

Leesa said...

Hey Deb---

Just by an odd miracle- I was able to retrieve your comment from this morning... I went to the moderator's page and it was still there.. Weird...
Anyhow, I'm glad I was able to publish it!! I soooo agree with you-- those people are most likely NOT Phillippine!! What a scam! I'll keep you all informed about what happens with my friend.

Franco- I think a lot of people use it and it's legit, but as in real life, there are a lot of sickos out there that like to take advantage of others! It has become pretty shady as far as I can see!

Gary!! I tried calling you this a.m.-- late last night for you! Thanks for the update and keep us posted on what the response is-- if you get one, in fact!!

Starman-- Thanks for posting the info... I'll forward it to Gary via email... I appreciate it!!

Have a nice weekend everyone!!

Bean said...

Hi,
I wanted to thank you for your comments on my blog. It's amazing how things seem to happen for a reason!! Who knew you'd fall upon my blog and feel so connected to the story!? I know how great it feels to know that "someone" understands and feels what you are feeling.
I'll keep checking your blog now!! Your pictures are really great! I am in love with photography, so I'm interested in seeing your photos!
As for your post...yikes!! I agree with everyone else who commented, it stinks of a scam to me, too! Horrible people in the world who have nothing better to do than to take advantage of others. Sad that there is nothing better for them to do in a day...
See you next post!
Jen

Ron said...

OMG...Leesa!

YES...this SOUNDS and SMELLS like a definate SCAM!!

I like Animesh's suggestion. He's right!

I've never used Craigslist for anything but I know MANY people who have and said it was wonderful. But I'm sorry...this is the INTERNET, and as much as I enjoy it...I don't totally trust it. And never will.

And good for you, for posting this Leesa!

You GO GIRL!

Anonymous said...

I'm *so* glad I found this site. I just received the same e-mail with the exact details! I thought the whole thing sounded fishy, so I googled "tutoring scam phillippine" (it was misspelled in the e-mail too) and I found this blog. Thank you for saving me the headache!

Anonymous said...

I just replied to a Los Angeles Craigslist ad seeking an "Algebra, Science, History tutor". The exact same email "from the Phillipines" was returned to me. I have let Craigslist know it was a scam. The email address came from cllnsmill001@aol.com

Please be aware of scammers out there.

garden state east said...

Thanks for posting...I received a response from a Craigs tutor ad and the reply from a person with a UK cell phone number had a similar list of strange requests and money matters before the tutoring could begin. His ad was posted to New York Craigs.

I googled around after reading his red flag email and found several similar scams.

Thanks for the info!

Leesa said...

Garden State East.... So glad I was able to help... I'm glad it saved you from getting scammed....
All my best, Leesa

Anonymous said...

Got a very similar email in chicago. I'm SO happy i figured out it was a scam before going through with it. Here's a copy of the e-mail i received.

Hello,
Thanks and I am very happy to hear from you.
Am David Stafford.I am from Denmark but resides in the United Kingdom, I have a son His name is Jerome and he is 15 years old. Whom will be coming for an holiday in the United state of America he is in the high school, so the teaching per hour which should be $50.00/hr(which i have in mind) so get back to me with the total and also i want you to know that my client who is in US will be sending you my salary payment which i want you to know that the rest of the money will be used to get accommodation and any other arrangement for the lesson, so i want you to know that i will be sending you a check for the payment of the tutorial and the payment that you will sent to the Nanny to take care of jerome while he is there for the lesson, The nanny will be the one to bring him to you whenever he is suppose to be with you and will also be the one to pick him up after every tutoring.The tutoring can take place at your residence or any nearest library around you. so as soon as you get the check go ahead and get it cashed you will deduct cost of tutoring of the lesson and send the remaining balance to the Guardian that will be taking care of my lovely son Via Western Union or Money Gram.Regarding this, kindly send your full information to receive the check so that payment can be able to made out on-time. So hope i can trust you that you will teach my son good academics and some moral respects so that they can be good to their self in the future, i hope i can count on you for the tutorial and the money to be sent to the Guardian. Thanks and waiting to read from you.Kindly get back to me with your full info so as to issue out the payment as soon as possible. Please get back to me asap and i don't want any delay at all.

1.YOUR CHARGE FOR AN HOUR....
2.TOTAL CHARGES FOR 2 WEEKS, 2TIMES A WEEK, AND 2HOURS EACH DAY
3.FULL NAME AND ADDRESS....(PLEASE NO POX BOX)
4.YOUR PHONE NUMBER... AND CELL PHONE
Regards
D.Stafford

Anonymous said...

Hi! sorry for this long posting, but I'd like to get these names out there in case anyone is doing internet searches for their own safety.. I was very nearly the victim of this first scammer, one "Azrael Lewis" who posted here in West Palm Beach FL.
This is the craiglist posting:

Reply to: lazrael43@yahoo.com
Date: 2009-03-27, 5:44PM EDT

I am seeking a part-time teacher for my dear daughter who need some moral and understanding in some subjects, I am in need of a good teacher who can tutor any of this subject:

English Language
Maths
Spanish Language
Computer
French
Science

Although I trust my instincts, I was without any leads when I decide to Put this Ad on here. And I feel integrity that I would find a very good teach on here.

I will want you to send me your resume or talk more about your experience in you consider yourself been fit for this position.For you to qualify I will want you to consider yourself for these question.

*speak at least fairly good English
*be a non-smoker
*have check able references
*be willing to stay for months or more

* Location: Palm Beach
* Compensation: $45

the first email from "Azrael":

Thanks for the reply. The position is still available and thanks for wanting to take my daughter for your subject. Its really amazing and she is very happy.

I have made contacts with my Daughter concerning the arrangement of the tutoring which she told me is ok by her and I want you to know that i am going to pay for 1 month, which should be $45.00/hr(as I have in mind) And am planning that you will be teaching her 3 times a week,which is 2hr per day, so get back to me with the total fee and when you will be available to teach her during the week. I want you to tell me when you will be available to take her the Lesson, Time & Days.

Also to tell you that we don't live in the states, We live in [Yerushalayim,Isreal] and my Daughter will be coming to the states probably next two week, also i want her to study more about what she need to know while she is in the states. She will be getting to the US on the ( 10th of April ) and the Lesson will start the following week,which is 13th of April

About My Daughter: Her name is Jezebel, she is very gentle girl and easy going... She will be staying in (Palm Beach) with a Nanny.The Nanny will always bring her for the Lesson. So my daughter English is not Fluent but understanding. She is wanting to study more in USA but would love for her to be having this lesson first till i get to work things out with the school she wants to study more.

I want you to know that i will be sending you the payment inform of A CERTIFIED CHECKS for the tutorial while i will also have to pay the Nanny that will be taking care of Jezebel while she is there, so as soon as you get the Payment cashed, you will deduct cost of tutoring of the lesson ( 1st month ) and send the remaining balance to the Nanny that will be taking care of Jezebel which the information will be giving to you later. The Lesson will be taking for 2 Months or more but I pay for 1st month and The other month will be pay as the Lesson goes and by then I would work out her school.

Regarding this, kindly send your full information to receive the payment so it can be made out on-time. So hope i can trust you that you will teach my Daughter good Academics and some moral respects so that she can be good to people & herself. i hope i can count on you for the tutorial and the money to be sent to the Guardian. She so much Interested to learning.

PS: I will need you to give me nearest place to your home or a library where you want the Lesson to be taking OR If your home is ok with you, the Nanny can bring her there too.

Information Needed:

NAME:
ADDRESS:
CITY:
STATE:
ZIP CODE:
CELL/HOME PHONE:

Awaits your reply.
God Bless.

I would have gone through with it if I hadnt seen this second posting a couple of weeks later in the West Palm Beach craigslist. Here is the posting of the second scammer "William Bruce" who is overseas, but wont say from where:

Accomodative Maths and English Tutor (All areas)

Reply to: a.million.you.never.made@gmail.com
Date: 2009-04-04, 5:43PM EDT


In need of an experienced tutor in Maths and English an experienced tutor to help my son .Tutor must be motivative and show willingness to accommodate a teaching ability during the period.

Reference:
1.He/she must be capable to teach
2.must be competent and must be skilled.
3.Qualification is not compulsory.

Interested applicant should apply to resume immediately

William Bruce
* Location: All areas
* Compensation: $50 per Hour

here is the first email from "William Bruce"

Hello xxx,

How you doing ? I received your email now for the tutor I want for my son..I have read through your resume and i must confess i am really contented with your qualifications.Let me start with telling you a little about my the nature of the job..You are going to be tutoring my son and he is a 7th grader.He is 12 years of age,his name is James. I hope you would be able to cope with him as he is a very playful boy.If yes ,I would like us to proceed with this .I would be paying you $50.00/ hr and you would be taking him 2 times a week.In which each day you would be taking him for 2hrs.So get back to me with the total fee for the subject which is Maths and English because I intend paying you altogether for 2 weeks ..I will like to have him tutored in a quite place probably in a library if there is any around you..I do think it is a good idea to meet at a library, it is a quiet atmosphere and has many academic resources should we need to look something up, plus in my experience it is good to get the student out of their house to put them in a focused productive mood and so that distractions won't present themselves... I would like you to draw a schedule when you would be available to teach him in a week and also I would like to know the subjects you would lecture him on each day ( I guess it should be 2 per day.. right ? ).
I would like to make this clear to you, we don't live in the states,my son is coming to the states and i intend to put him in care of a nanny which i will get in dew time. I don't want him to play all along that's the reason I am employing you. He would be coming down in 3 weeks time.I also belief a check is good as a mode of payment.... Get back to me if all stated above is ok with you so that we may proceed from there...

Regards
William Bruce

Here is the second email:
He would be staying with a nanny and the nanny will determine where we will be staying but i can assure you its not going to be out of reach for you.He is a very brilliant boy and has a very sharp learning skill.The nanny will be responsible for bringing him and taking him back home after tutoring sessions.He will be staying for 3 months and i will virtually be needing your services throughout his stay..He won't be having any program or going to school as he is coming for a sort of holiday.He will has all the materials he needs to cover so there wouldn't be necessary for you to find one.The nanny will be bringing him to your scheduled class..I will like to make the payment of the ist 2 weeks in advance..my client would be handling the payment for your services and also for the services of the nanny that would be taking care of my son. He would be sending you a check. He would include both fees in the check ( i mean your fees and that of the nanny).. .I hope I can entrust my sons and funds to be sent to the nanny on you. James will be moving down in 3 weeks time so there is no much time on my side
Meanwhile , I would like you to get back to me as soon as possible so that the check can be issued out in your name in good time:

FULL NAME:
PHYSICAL CONTACT ADDRESS:
CITY: STATE:
ZIP CODE:
CELL PHONE:
HOME PHONE:
BEST TIME TO CALL:
TOTAL AMOUNT FOR 2 WEEKS
DAYS AND TIME TO MEET WITH HIM:
TUTORING LOCATION:
2 PERSONAL REFERENCES:

Will be waiting to read your mail soon. Thank you

William Bruce

Someone please find these people and lock them up and throw away the key.

Kim said...

I replied to an ad on Craigslist for English tutors in Montgomery, AL...

Here was the response...

Hello,
Thank you for the email,i want my son (James) for the tutorial. A boy
of 7 yrs, more so for accepting the offer and its okay by me,I have
made contacts with my son concerning the arrangement of the tutoring
which he told me is ok by him and i want you to know that i am going
to pay for 1 month,which should be $50.00/hr(which i have in mind) And
am planning that you will be teaching him 3 times a week,which is 1hr
per day,so get back to me with the total fee for the subject which is
English and when you will be available to teach him during the week
So my son will be coming down by first week of may 2009 and i want
him to study more about what he need to know while he is in the states
and he speaks a little bit english.... we live in Denmark now...So i
want you to know that i will be sending you the payment inform of
check for the tutorial while i will also pay the Nanny that will be
taking care of him and the nanny would bring him down to where ever
you believe it will be comfortable for you to have the tutorial, so as
soon as you get the money cashed... you will deduct cost of tutoring
of the lesson and send the remaining balance to my nanny that will be
taking care of the kid which the information will be giving to you
later. Regarding this, kindly send your full information to receive
the payment so it can be made out on-time. So hope i can trust you
that you will teach my son good academics and some moral respects so
that they can be good to their self in the future, i hope i can count
on you for the tutorial and the money to be sent to the Guardian.my
son would be coming down to stay with the nanny that would bring him
down anytime you have a class with him and the tutor would start by
first week of may.....my son (james) speaks a little bit english and
he is in grade one....i would await the information... so i can
proceed on the payment asap.

FULL NAME:
MAILING ADDRESS (no P.O.Box please):
CITY: STATE:
ZIP CODE:
CELL PHONE:
HOME PHONE:
GENDER:
D.O.B:
MARITAL STATUS:
BEST TIME TO CALL:
EMAIL:

Will be waiting to read your mail soon.


Regards


I found your blog when I did a google search for English tutoring scams. Thanks for posting this info. It was very helpful!!

jasmine said...

oh my stars! that is SUCH a scam!! why do people have to do crap like that?!? it just wastes time and gets people's hopes up for a real job.

anyway, hello leesa! it has been a long time! i'm glad to hear you're excited for your upcoming trip!! you're going to have such a great time. i think it's going to be an exceptionally nice summer this year. we've had pretty weather so far. today was overcast and drizzly but it's been sunny and clear mostly! i'll bet you can't wait!! :)

Anonymous said...

I wish I found this blog before I got scammed by a very similar post.

I hope the word gets out and no one gets cheated like I did.

Heather said...

Hi!

Just came across your website. I had first found out it was a scam unfortunately not due to my intuition but because my boyfriend angrily dragged me to the computer after googling tutoring scams and almost killed me as I had initially suggested we deposit the check in his account (I'm currently working on switching my bank to one in New York).

I'm so glad this site is out there! I'm currently talking to the same scammer who is determined to take money from me.

Beware of KELLY GILBERT:

Hello
I can see that you have all it takes to tutor my son in the state due to your experience...As stated in my previous email, Micheal speaks English you will only need to work on writing, spelling, speaking and pronunciation of little words of his age.... I want to notify you about the payment for the teaching of my son (Micheal ) and i want to inform you my client will issue a certified check which you would be receiving in couple of days, Please for the nature of your job and for the good relationship between Yourself and my son i would want to entrust you with this money because as i am not around at this moment. I would have liked to take care of all this myself but since the payment would be coming to you from my associate , i want you to please kindly Cash the money and deduct YOUR first month teaching fee plus additional $28 for text book you might need for him as we have already agreed and send the remaining to his Guardian for him to bring him Across and also for his health and feeding maintenance before i come over next month.I hope i can count on you with this and i would be looking forward to see on on my arrival and I hope he would be in good hands,and concerning the transportation and pick him up at air port you dont need to bother your self nanny will handle all that...Thank you and God bless ,I would send you the tracking number of the courier the payment was sent as soon as i get it.Thanks,
Regards


WHO IS THIS VILE PERSON?? It seems to be a cut and paste! This 'woman' claims to be from SPAIN.

Leesa said...

To all of you who have posted commented in response to this blog post..

Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment... This is something very serious and needs to be brought into public awareness! I can see from looking at my stats box just how many people do Google searches and find this post. I am thankful that I put it up, so that people will read what I wrote as well as the very useful comments people have been posting about their own experiences and other useful info to help stop this sick scammers... Please continue to leave comments and I hope no one else will become victims of these scammers...
Thank you,
Leesa (Author of this blog)

Term Papers said...

I have been visiting various blogs for my term papers writing research. I have found your blog to be quite useful. Keep updating your blog with valuable information... Regards

Leesa said...

Dear Term Papers,

Thanks so much for your comment... Crazy scams BUT people DO fall for them, unfortunately.. happened to my friend's daughter and another friend asked me about what I thought about him being a tutor.. That's what prompted me to write this post.. because of the fact that 2 people I know (smart people) fell for the scam!
Take care and good luck with your research...
Leesa