Author Topic: BEWARE OF FRAUD!  (Read 35936 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

stacylimones

  • Gold
  • *****
  • Posts: 137
    • http://
BEWARE OF FRAUD!
« on: March 16, 2009, 08:54:01 AM »
I just noticed that the ExpatCafe home page has a warning about fraudulent versions of the Auxiliares program. Since many of us access this site directly to the forum, I just thought I'd post the warning here, too. Please read the info on the home page.

SRedw

  • Platinum
  • ******
  • Posts: 250
  • Gender: Male
Re: BEWARE OF FRAUD!
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2009, 10:08:10 AM »
Stacy,

I have done the following:

1. alerted the administration in the USA about this

2. sent an email to the MEC program here in Madrid

3. reported the ad on the "eslelite" website.

I think that we all need to go to the "eslelite" web and report that ad.  There is power in numbers.  We can stop this.

ANOTHER FALSE ADVERTISEMENT:

http://www.getesljobs.com/job_detail.asp?jobid=5934



Shawn

RebeccaG

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 503
  • Gender: Female
Re: BEWARE OF FRAUD!
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2009, 11:40:53 AM »
Hi Stacy and Shawn...and all the Expatriate Cafe faithfuls!

Stacy, thanks for mentioning this in the forum. I was going to do it last night but had spent numerous hours back and forth with the affected person, checking and verifying the information that he sent to me, compiling it and sending it off to the Guardia Civil as well as writing the article.

I just had to go to bed as I was exhausted. I had the intention of coming back to it this morning.

Uff...this case is a really complicated one and involves phising, supplanting (misrepresenting) governmental websites, airline companies as well as lawyers.

All I can say is BE CAREFUL when operating through the internet. If it seems too good to be true, IT MOST LIKELY IS.

Personally, I never trust a business whose website ends in .tk nor do I trust a business that does not have it's own personal domain (such as xxx@expatriatecafe.com). If I wish to do business with those types of businesses, I do it OFFLINE and if possible, in person.

Here is the repeat of the article on the front page of the cafe:

A specific case of a fraudulent North American Language Assistants Program has been brought to our attention. After reviewing the information communicated to us, the administrators of the Expatriate Cafe have put the matter into the hands of the local authorities. In the meantime, we wish to remind all of you that there are numerous cases of attempts to rip-off and otherwise make off with money of well intentioned, eager, potential Language Assistants, taking advantage of your strong desire to come to Spain.

We exhort you all to please use extreme caution when working with third party providers. Scrutinize every detail of the communication, including email addresses, website addresses and their extensions. The official website extension for Spain is .es . The website for the program is http://www.mepsyd.es/exterior/usa/en/programs/us_assistants/default.shtml .

The specific case that was brought to our attention is that of a potential candidate who had seen an advertisement for the program on an ESL website. He made contact with the advertisers, who then led him through various steps requiring him to wire money through Western Union. Please note that the Ministerio de Educación does not charge you money for this program. You WILL need to pay money for your visa and this can be done only at an authorized governmental entity: either your local Spanish Consulate or Embassy.
 
Fortunately this candidate had enough foresight to contact us at the Café to ask us our opinion on the process he was going through and has been able to recover his money.

Please note the following fraudulent website/email address:

www.espanaministeriodeeducacion.tk / info@espanaministeriodeeducacion.tk

Links to the supposed job advertisement:

http://www.eslelite.com/cgi-bin/mojoJobs/id/29442/

http://www.getesljobs.com/job_print.asp?jobid=5934
PASS IT ON! Has the information on this board been helpful to you? If so, please pass it on! Tell others about the website, share your comments and insights! If we can improve, please tell us!

RebeccaG

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 503
  • Gender: Female
Re: BEWARE OF FRAUD!
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2009, 11:42:37 AM »
Fraudulent job listing #1
PASS IT ON! Has the information on this board been helpful to you? If so, please pass it on! Tell others about the website, share your comments and insights! If we can improve, please tell us!

RebeccaG

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 503
  • Gender: Female
Re: BEWARE OF FRAUD!
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2009, 11:44:36 AM »
Fraudulent Job Listing #2
PASS IT ON! Has the information on this board been helpful to you? If so, please pass it on! Tell others about the website, share your comments and insights! If we can improve, please tell us!

RebeccaG

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 503
  • Gender: Female
Re: BEWARE OF FRAUD!
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2009, 12:31:21 PM »
Email correspondence between affected candidate and the "airline" involved:

Look at the email address for Air Berlin. Air Berlin is a legitmate company but its url is www.airberlin.com NOT www.berlin.com.

Look at the reservation email address... bookin@berlin.com.
PASS IT ON! Has the information on this board been helpful to you? If so, please pass it on! Tell others about the website, share your comments and insights! If we can improve, please tell us!

RebeccaG

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 503
  • Gender: Female
Re: BEWARE OF FRAUD!
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2009, 12:38:09 PM »
Email correspondence between affected candidate and supposedly the "ConserjerÁ­a de Educación"

Note the poor English used in the communication. Also note that the telephone number provided is a mobile phone number. Landline phone numbers in Madrid begin with 91-xxx-xxxx. Being in Spain, we called the mobile number provided only to discover that it goes to a prepaid phone with service to the number cut off.
PASS IT ON! Has the information on this board been helpful to you? If so, please pass it on! Tell others about the website, share your comments and insights! If we can improve, please tell us!

RebeccaG

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 503
  • Gender: Female
Re: BEWARE OF FRAUD!
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2009, 12:46:43 PM »
So, please EVERYONE,...

Be careful when communicating via internet and especially when money is involved!!

I wish to thank the candidate who did contact us sharing his suspicions with us and asking for our opinion on the matter. I am sure he will put a message on the forum once he gets his situation all straightened out.

Take care everyone,

Rebecca
PASS IT ON! Has the information on this board been helpful to you? If so, please pass it on! Tell others about the website, share your comments and insights! If we can improve, please tell us!

jamser

  • Regular Member
  • **
  • Posts: 1
Re: BEWARE OF FRAUD!
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2009, 05:07:54 PM »
I cannot write much now, but I AM THE GUY that Rebecca spent hours with Sunday about the fraudulent ad for the Ministerio de Educacion, just to confirm that. She devoted hours of her Sunday helping me and working with the local police. I was very impressed with her energy and dedication!

I thought I would be leaving Boston soon for Madrid. It was like a fairy tale situation, with all that money, wonderful benefits, and a great opportunity to improve my Spanish. Instead, I almost lost over $1,300! I was fortunate that Western Union was able to stop payment of close to $300 for the visa and was kind enough to refund the service charge. I knew something was really wrong when they wanted me to send over $1,000 for the flight via Western Union. It's hard to explain how I got duped, but I'll have more to say when I have more time.

Please be sure to put pressure on these websites that have those ads. Otherwise, some people will probably get ripped off. I spoke with the Spanish Department of Dducation in D.C today., and the lady there said that they had received lots of calls resulting from that phony ad and e-mail. I urged her to put more pressure on those websites to remove them, as I have done.

I hope I can network with some of you at some point. I am still interested in going to Spain, but at this stage of my life, I unfortunately cannot go simply for the experience of it. I am a very experienced teacher, and it needs to be a lucrative situation.

Rebecca, feel free to quote any of this. Thanks again, too.

SRedw

  • Platinum
  • ******
  • Posts: 250
  • Gender: Male
Re: BEWARE OF FRAUD!
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2009, 09:12:26 PM »
Jamser,

I have done my part, as you can tell if you read my post above.  In both cases, MEC in the US and in SPAIN have been very thankful that I have alerted them to this.  We do have to put pressure on these sites, especially ones that post these phony ads to get them taken off the web.

I am glad that you got your money back and how you almost got duped is not important.  The importantthing is that you are spreading the word and helping others to not fall into a trap.

Cheers,

Shawn

MadridTeacher

  • Bronze
  • ***
  • Posts: 31
  • Gender: Male
    • Madrid Teacher
Re: BEWARE OF FRAUD!
« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2009, 10:06:36 AM »
All I can say is that gone are the days that I could pick out those scammers' e-mails because of all of their mistakes like starting out with "My dear . . ." instead of "Dear . . ." Now, I'm getting some pretty sophisticated and well-written emails and the only reason I haven't fallen for any of those yet is because of my habit to always double checking offers by keying the original URL in instead of clicking on links, etc.

Excellent post by the way. I hope it helps a lot of people to avoid this particular trap.

MadridTeacher

SRedw

  • Platinum
  • ******
  • Posts: 250
  • Gender: Male
Re: BEWARE OF FRAUD!
« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2009, 05:20:45 PM »
The two post for the fradulent jobs have been removed.  YEAH!!  We worked fast on this one and it took teamwork.

A job well done!

Shawn

halydia

  • Guest
It's come up again - a warning for future applicants
« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2010, 11:55:19 AM »
Here's an e-mail applicants registered with profex got last night. I wanted to post this as a warning for future applicants who may visit this page to be careful.

"Dear candidates,

It has come to our attention that a fake organization, using the name of our organization and of our program, and giving our website as a reference, is offering interviews for teaching positions in Spain, charging fees for some services.

Please note that our program does not involve any kind of interview, and that neither the Ministry of Education of Spain nor the Embassy of Spain’s Education Office in the United States or elsewhere charges any application fee or any service fee at all in respect of the Language and Culture Assistants program.

Please, promptly contact us if you are in any way asked to pay for any services in connection with this program.

Office of Education – Embassy of Spain"

SRedw

  • Platinum
  • ******
  • Posts: 250
  • Gender: Male
Re: BEWARE OF FRAUD!
« Reply #13 on: April 02, 2010, 03:31:10 PM »
Thanks for posting this, but this information is nothing new.  It's directly from the website and is at the top of the page.

Shawn

halydia

  • Guest
Re: BEWARE OF FRAUD!
« Reply #14 on: April 02, 2010, 04:33:22 PM »
Thanks for posting this, but this information is nothing new.  It's directly from the website and is at the top of the page.

Shawn

Eh, I'm sure if they sent it last night someone fell for it again this year with the slight change of the scammers charging for interviews. Figured I'd put it here to cover all bases for future applicants.

Enjoy your Semana Santa.

SRedw

  • Platinum
  • ******
  • Posts: 250
  • Gender: Male
Re: BEWARE OF FRAUD!
« Reply #15 on: April 02, 2010, 09:49:25 PM »
Eh, I'm sure if they sent it last night someone fell for it again this year with the slight change of the scammers charging for interviews. Figured I'd put it here to cover all bases for future applicants.

Enjoy your Semana Santa.

Thanks again for putting it here.  I know that some people get so excited that they don't stop to think about what they are doing.

Happy Semana Santa to you as well.

Shawn