Stay Away From The Nigerian Tutoring Scam

Are you a student looking for a summer or long-term tutoring gig? Be sure to stay away from the foreign tutoring scam, especially if you’re looking for work on Craigslist.

Matt in Indiana corresponded with one of these scammers, became suspicious, and asked Consumerist for advice. Here’s the original e-mail he received when he responded to a Craigslist ad.

Hello,
Thanks for your respond and interest in tutoring my Daughter…well
we are Germans and i want her to learn more about English for now
because she is coming to visit the USA for 1month….well she is15
years old,she understand little English and i think that will help her
understand what you are teaching,i want you to be focused in the area
of grammar and writing correct sentences because we are planning to
relocate to the USA later in the year OK..she is smart and obedient
child,i want a part time tutorial for her…well i will want you to
tutor her for 2 hrs Monday and Fridays which will be 4hrs for the 2
days which will be 16hrs for the whole 1month of tutoring….well she
will be flying to the usa from Berlin for the tutorial but will stay
with a nanny…well i will prefer the tutor take place in a library
close to you,so your location will determine where the nanny will
be….well i will want the tutor to commence in two weeks time,and i
will be offering you $700 weekly….well let me know if you have
interest in tutoring my child..
I hope to read from you soon!

Jhude Kopke

The scammers will also approach tutors who post their own ads online, or who are listed in online databases. This particular tutoring scam has been showing up online for years now.

Matt responded with some information about himself, and a few questions about the girl he was to tutor. He received the following:

Hello

How are you doing today and the family…hope you are having a great weekend over there,and thanks so much for the interest to tutor my child..well my Daughter is coming for a 4weeks visit and also for the tutorial as well in the USA,she is not coming to attend school but for you to tutor her in English only and she did not have any text book for these tutorial.she understand and able to speak little English and that will help her to understand what you are teaching her.well i will like to make an upfront payment so i can be rest assure that i have secure your services,in which i want the tutorial to start soon,And for the payment You would be receiving a check drawn from a Bank in the US from my client in the United state, since i am from Germany and payments wont be honored in a bank in the US, These check would be made out for the cost of the tutorial services you are rendering for the first week, and also for the living expense, nanny fees and the taxi driver of my child. 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 cash the payment, deduct your first week payment for the tutorial, and send the remainder to the Nanny who would be contacting you with further arrangements and instructions regarding pickup/drop off of my child to the library where you would always teach her. So hope i can trust you will teach my daughter good academics and some moral respects,more so i will like to let you understand that your location will determine where my child will stay because the nanny schedule is flexible to any area in your state..well i will need some information from you which enable my client to issue out your payment..

FULL NAME:
MAILING ADDRESS (no P.O.Box please):
CITY:
STATE:
ZIP CODE:
CELL PHONE:
BEST TIME TO CALL:
PRESENT JOB STATUS/POSITION:
EMAIL:

I hope to read from you soon

Warmest Regards!

Jhude Kopke

Apart from the language issue, the biggest warning sign is that the prospective employer wants you to handle paying the other employees out of the money he sends you. This is a classic advance fee scam. Stay far, far, away.

Also, no offense to Matt, but it’s pretty implausible that someone would send their kid to America (particularly, Indiana) and set her up with a full-time nanny and driver so she can be tutored in English by some random college kid a few hours a week, paying the tutor $700 per week for the privilege. Plus, a nanny for a 15-year-old?

Be ever vigilant and skeptical when looking for work online. Check out our archive of stories on advance fee scams so you know what to look for.

RELATED: 8 Signs That Job You Found Online Is A Scam

(Photo: robindegrassi)