Exposing Chinese TEFL Scams and Spam on TEFL.net

Discussion about jobs in Asia inc. Middle East

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John V55
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Exposing Chinese TEFL Scams and Spam on TEFL.net

Unread post by John V55 »

Every now and again I’ll just pop-up to expose the 90% scam and spam nonsense on TEFL.net as it veers off into Chinese TEFL fantasy land and why not? Exposing it might help those starting out from getting embroiled in the same scams they’re being led into. If you’re stuck at the level of anonymous links, signing contracts you can’t read and scary ‘TEFL ghosts’, this article is not for you.

Disclaimer: This short article contains no links to anonymous web pages, tacky images, attacks on businesses, white/black lists, fantasy salaries …

Let’s begin by stating an obvious truism. It’s impossible to get scammed unless you agree to it. No one can force you to work illegally, sign a contract in a language you don’t understand or hire you out to another school not stated in your contract. If you agree to any of this, it’s no one else’s fault and as such you too have to take responsibility for your own decisions. Let’s offer an alternative to some of the nonsense peddled by spammers on TEFL.net as ‘information.’

Contract Scams: Contracts are always offered in both Chinese and English. If you’re offered only Chinese and you choose to sign something you can’t even read, not only is that a scam in itself, but you’re also incredibly stupid for doing so and can’t later on blame anyone else.

TEFL certificates: A TEFL certificate is a test of basic competency, not an academic award and they are not endorsed or accredited by any authority. It’s not a scam for a private business to claim its product is better than anyone else’s, it’s a marketing technique to sell a product. You pay your money, learn the basics and get the required certificate, end of.

DIY Spam job applications: There are some of the larger private chains and schools that will accept applications and have their own recruiting department (usually a member of the office staff who can speak passable English) and know their way around the incredibly difficult and bureaucratic process. You will not however get more than the people you’re working with as you’ll be working for an already set rate and be absolutely certain that any savings the school makes from by-passing a recruiter will go in their pocket and not yours.

TEFL Recruiters: Although many recruiters operate illegally to cut costs, there purpose is not to scam. They make commission on every applicant they provide and will earn far more from someone working month after month than cheating them out of one month’s salary. They are not stupid people, but can spot the stupid who agree to sign contracts they can’t even read, demand fantasy salaries, or have a work history where no one ever renewed a contract. That this happens at the business run bottom end of TEFL shouldn’t come as a surprise. As in any employment, don’t get bogged down into wondering what everyone else is making from your labour; if you’re happy with the details of your workload and salary plus the conditions in your contract that should be enough.

Chinese TEFL Beginners: And those who should know better. Choose a state school that has a reputation to keep and is run by an education authority, or alternatively one of the many large recruiters who hire for their own language centres. The salary won’t be the fantasy one touted on anonymous web pages, but there again you won’t be working often illegally or get scammed either. As in any job, build up your experience, gain contacts and get references and in a few years you’ll have a resume that the scammers won’t be interested in.

Scams and Spam, the Don’ts: Stay away from the various illegal unions and the anonymous web pages the links with the same tacky images on TEFL.net will direct you to. The scam is the links and instead of information, those who have clicked on them will already know there’s nothing there instead of more links. There are no official White/Black lists (they’re reader opinions), no schools offering inflated salaries (ask where and you’ll be met by silence). Top international schools don’t employ TEFL certificate holders and the only ones boasting of high salaries and leading party animal lifestyles are from obviously anonymous posters.

Laugh and get out a sick bag as one spammer gushes over the content of another.

"Congratulations Blue Moon! Thank you for having the courage to test the waters for the rest of us … I'll bet you have inspired dozens of others to investigate the DIY TEFL job placement method … And basically if you did not see that post from ESLWatch.info that you linked in your OP post, none of us would have learned about this clever tactic ..."

Yet laughing and the sugary gushing admiration aside, the link referred to contains the following quote:

"If you are in Beijing or Shanghai, we can introduce you to the lawyer once you send us a copy of your complete unedited contract by electronic scan to legal[at]ChinaForeignTeachersUnion.org and he will charge you a f;lat 10,000 yuan fee to nullify your contract without loss of pay, nor visa." If you’re strapped for cash a CFTU "associated lawyer" will do it for ¥5000.

¥5000 or ¥10,000 to get yourself out of a contract you signed but couldn’t even read and the invariable scam that followed isn’t excessive, but it should probably echo advice of: 'How I got scammed out of my salary and ended up paying ¥10,000 to escape a deportation centre!'

TEFL.net Spam: You would need to be incredibly stupid to believe a small group of anonymous people all turn up around the same time using multiple identities, all directing you to the same anonymous pages, taking it in turn one after another, with the same repetitive images and links and it’s just a coincidence.

Be 100% assured that within these links the scammers are lying in wait for the gullible and/or stupid to reveal themselves. The links you’re seeing will lead you right into their arms and the experience will be costly. There are no information short cuts, no discoveries or fantasy salaries within these spammer links on TEFL.net and if you do get involved and get scammed it’s very likely to be 90%+ your own fault.
Before following CFTU click baits take a quick look at https://www.opnlttr.com/letter/china-fo ... scammed-me
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Prometheus
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Re: Exposing Chinese TEFL Scams and Spam on TEFL.net

Unread post by Prometheus »

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As others have already said, John is either a recruiter for public schools in Mongolia (90% of his posts talk about how great it is to work for public schools in the artic North of China) or he simply has not worked in China for a few years after hitting the age limit. So i agree with the others who said his info is a bit outdated. Besides most of my TEFL colleagues prefer to read the scam warnings and the blacklists put out by the CTA, CFTU, ETA, China Scam Patrol, and ChinaScamWatch.org, or at the very least, using either these three due diligence links below or asking the 7 basic questions to anyone who tries to recruit us for jobs. https://opnlttr.com/letter/china-esl-te ... am-artists

https://reddit.com/r/TEFLscams

https://reddit.com/r/ChinaScamCentral

https://TEFLreviews

Contracts in China are NOT always offered in English and China, and many times I have been asked to sign an employment contract only in Chinese. NEVER AGREE TO THIS! Always demand a verbatim English contract and have a trusted friend compare the two to make sure they are the same.

John is right about one thing however, if you go work for a public school in Mongolia, your risks of getting scammed are limited to the visa or job agent who finds you the job. That is why it is always best to go the DIY route which is a lot easier than you may think. You can find the instructions for doing this at the link in my signature below. I stopped using recruiters and am so glad I now get to negotiate my own contracts directly with the schools. BTW... never take their first offer no matter what they tell you.
The best TEFL advice I ever got is at https://reddit.com/r/tefl_tips_traps_scams and right here at TEFL.net.
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John V55
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Re: Exposing Chinese TEFL Scams and Spam on TEFL.net

Unread post by John V55 »

The thread has nothing to do with Inner Mongolia and these kind of replies highlight why you should stay away from the link baits. Without even clicking on them I guarantee you will find no information, just a never ending series of other links which will keep you busy for hours.

If you don’t get copies of your contract in both Chinese and English it’s a scam and these people are so dopey they not only fell for it, but signed something they couldn’t even read! Well yes, Prometheus does have a point in that if you’re completely stupid its good advice.

You will never find out where Prometheus or any of the other spammers who went down a DIY route work and earned more than everyone else, because they didn’t and don’t, it’s just part of the bait to lead you on. Ask them and listen to the silence, or get a bunch of spammy links in return. That's also a guarantee.

I’ll say it again. It’s not a coincidence that these characters all turned up around the same time and all link out to the same anonymous pages that even Google penalizes as scams.
" … most of my TEFL colleagues prefer to read the scam warnings and the blacklists put out by the CTA, CFTU, ETA, China Scam Patrol, and ChinaScamWatch.org …"

Get involved with these scammers and you will find some nasty surprises at the end of it all.
Before following CFTU click baits take a quick look at https://www.opnlttr.com/letter/china-fo ... scammed-me
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John V55
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Re: Exposing Chinese TEFL Scams and Spam on TEFL.net

Unread post by John V55 »

Oh yes before I forget, I especially liked this part.

"John is either a recruiter for public schools in Mongolia (90% of his posts talk about how great it is to work for public schools in the artic North of China) or he simply has not worked in China for a few years after hitting the age limit." Did he mean arctic and not artic?

I think by now, 90% of my posts are warnings of scams and I left China in January 2018, so not exactly decades ago. Inner Mongolia by the way is 400 Kilometres (about 250 miles) NW of Beijing, so hardly in the arctic-circle. This is the level of knowledge of these scammers who are supposed to be teachers!

The tiny minority intent on drawing you into their click baits are not teachers, they’re the clueless who got scammed and are so gullible haven’t yet realized they’re now spouting the same nonsense that got them scammed in the first place. Mr. Dopey from Snow White springs to mind?
Before following CFTU click baits take a quick look at https://www.opnlttr.com/letter/china-fo ... scammed-me
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Cricket
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Re: Exposing Chinese TEFL Scams and Spam on TEFL.net

Unread post by Cricket »

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I agree that retired teachers who only worked in Mongolia, a very remote and unique part of China are not going to be current on what it's like teaching in Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen or 12 other biggest cities in China. The difference is night and day and only a few of the scams will be the same, just as the salaries and benefits will be worlds apart. If you want to know anything about Mongolia, John is your "go to guy" But NEVER think that you will have the same friendly and honorable teaching experience in the big cities that you will enjoy in a public school in Mongolia. God forbid if you ever teach in Henan which is the Scam capital of China - exactly the opposite of Mongolia, Gansu, or Jiangxi where you will seldom get cheated unless you are an absolute moron.
Before sending off your resume or passport scan, be sure to check https://reddit.com/r/teflscams and to vaccinate yourself against foreign teacher job scams.
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John V55
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Re: Exposing Chinese TEFL Scams and Spam on TEFL.net

Unread post by John V55 »

Cricket, welcome back. Haven’t seen you in a while, is it your turn now? I've never worked in Mongolia so can’t comment on that.

Doesn’t mean I didn’t visit other parts and talk to other teachers. Scams exist everywhere, it’s just that larger cities will attract more scammers because there are more language centres run by businesses. Scamming depends on the amount of gullible it attracts. The more of those that arrive, the more scamming takes place. Henan would be no different to any other place for me, I’d still go for a state school and bypass the scammers so it wouldn’t affect me. A question: What’s the above oversized image supposed to represent?
Before following CFTU click baits take a quick look at https://www.opnlttr.com/letter/china-fo ... scammed-me
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Atlas
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Re: Exposing Chinese TEFL Scams and Spam on TEFL.net

Unread post by Atlas »

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There is only one reason anyone would not want you to be warned about TEFL Job Scams, and that is because they themselves may be exposed as one of them. This is what I am talking about. You be the judge... viewtopic.php?f=18&t=9042&p=21890#p21890

Note: John you did tell us all many times that you worked many years in Inner Mongolia, which if you live in China, is simply called "Mongolia" and you even posted photos of Inner Mongolia, urging people to forget about Beijing and Shanghai and come work in Mongolia. Those that take the time to read your 300+ posts will see this same recruitment theme at least a dozen times in your posts.
Look Before You Leap at https://reddit.com/r/teflscams
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