ESL JOB TIPS - Against scammers and before you prepare to leave
WHEN you get a job, its always so exciting! You are about to go to a new place, with a new culture and language, meet new people and embark on a life changing adventure. However, please follow these simple rules before you jump the gun… be safe, have fun, bon voyage my ESL comrades! ☺
(1) See if the school has a website. If they do and it is in a language you understand, read it carefully and OBJECTIVELY (leaving your excitement behind for a moment) and make sure that everything adds up and that it looks professional. It must have a phone number you can call, not just an email address.
(2) Check the email address. This is one of the MOST important things you can do. As we all know, anyone can easily get a free hotmail (or other account) and pass themselves off as anyone they please. Most importantly, make sure that the email address matches the website, for example http://www.abc.com.jp would have an email such as email@example.com. Look out for emails coming from countries other than the country of potential employment, ie: firstname.lastname@example.org, which is Russia, when you are supposed going to be employed in Japan.
(3) Trust your gut feeling
(4) If its too good to be true, guess what? It is likely a scam. This is why it is so important to leave your excitement at the door when doing your research.
(5) Have a friend call the school. If you can get a friend who speaks the local language to call up the school, they will be able to check it out for you better than anyone else. If you do not have a friend that speaks the local language you could (a) go on to a site like Gumtree or Craigslist and find a language tutor, and pay them to make the call for you. Or (b) (and cheaper yet) go to that country’s embassy or consulate in your city, and tell them to call and check it out for you.
(6) Do not get airport pick up. If it is a scam, once you are in their car, it will be near impossible to get away from them if they are unethical/dangerous people. Unless of course, you know for sure that the school is legit, especially one of the more well known schools.
(7) Your apartment. Its better to get a cab from the airport to a hostel for the first night, or a cab directly to the school where you can meet the people at the school, and from there have them take you to your apartment. Unless of course, you know for sure that the school is legit, especially one of the more well known schools. Again, this might all seem a little over the top to some people, but after what almost happened to me, I feel it is better to be safe than sorry. You cannot turn back the hands of time, but you can prepare and make sure you are as safe as possible. If for anyone, do this for your parents. I know it will give mine such peace of mind knowing I am taking all precautions
(8) Better to be melodramatic and safe than sorry. My mother often tells me I have a wild imagination, but after what almost happened, I am thankful for my wild imagination and curious mind, haha. Its better to go out of your way and know that you’ll be safe, than regretting you did not take those small steps. Wasting a little bit of time now, is definitely well worth it.
(9) Warn others! If you suspect that a fake email has been sent to you, contact the authorities and post the info on ALL the ESL Job websites. Please take the time, as you could save other people from bad experiences. We should all look out for each other.
(10) Don’t send paperwork. Don’t send them your passport copy, passport photos, or any real info about yourself, until you have checked them out. You don’t want your identity stolen or these people to know anything about you.
(11) Don’t worry be happy! Well I had to add this one! Haha. Because after all I don’t want to scare you too much, but I do just want you all to be aware and safe. Have fun on your new adventure!