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LostInParadise's avatar

What is the scam behind this (see details)?

Asked by LostInParadise (23616points) June 6th, 2011

I got this very strange email. It sure looks as if it is part of some scam, but I can’t figure out what it is. Here is the text of the email in full:


I’m Bryan m. Smith, During my search for a lesson teacher that would help in taking my son (Kenneth). During is stay in USA. I found your advert and it is very okay to me since you specialize in the area I’m seeking for him. My son would be coming to your city before the end of this month for a period of time with his friend,
I’ll like to know if you can help in taking him for the lesson? just to keep him busy. Kenneth is 14 years old, So kindly let me know your charges cost per hour/lesson in order for me to arrange for his payment before he travels down to your side.

He will be staying there for one months.

Please Reply back on:

(1). Your charges per 1 hour (3 times a week for 1 Months):starting from 12th JUNE Until 12th JULY 2011

(2) Total Cost For 12 class/12 hours lessons in 1 month

(3). The Day and time you will be available to teach him During the week:

(4). Tuition address:

Well am very happy that i see you as my Son tutor,about your years of Experience there is no problem about the lessons,my caregiver lives very close to the Area.
So there is no problem for the lesson OK my caregiver will be bringing him to your location for the lessons and you can teach my Him Anywhere around you if that is OK by you so i will like you to teach my Son the best of you when he get to the USA for the lessons.
I will like you to email me with your schedule for the lessons,I will like you to email me with the name on the check and Full mailing address where the check will be mailed to and including your Home and Cell phone number because my attorney that want to issue out the check is leaving the State by this week okay and also Kenneth is a beginner lessons learning, Awaiting your response asap.
Also the lessons will commence by 12th JUNE Until 12th JULY 2011 is this okay by you? I will be awaiting to read from you.

Best Wishes.

It is very strange that my name was not mentioned, and how does the guy know he is nearby if he does not know my address. I do work for an online tutoring company, but I have not posted any ads for private tutoring. And why is there no mention of the fact that what I tutor is math. Something is very fishy, but I can’t figure out what it is.

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8 Answers

jaytkay's avatar

They want you to cash a check and hand over a portion of the money before it bounces.

Typically they will “generously” exchange a big check for a little cash, based on some implausible story about how they can’t deposit the check themselves.

There are variations of this on eBay and Craigslist, and they all involve persuading someone to trade cash for a rubber check.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

Don’t even reply to this email, it’s a scam!

Your full mailing address and phone number are two things that credit card companies sometimes use to verify that you are who you say you are. There’s no possibility that this is a real tutoring opportunity so don’t waste your time.

rebbel's avatar

Whenever something smells fishy,’s a fish.

XOIIO's avatar


meiosis's avatar

Send ‘Bryan’ back some bogus information and string him along. If we all did this, scammers would collapse under the volume of email, and the poor dupes who are taken in by this would be less likely to be fleeced.

LostInParadise's avatar

Quick update. I responded to the email and gave the correct information. I was just curious to see where this was leading. @jaytkay got it right. I was told that I would be receiving a check for some large amount, from which I was to take the amount for the tutoring session and deposit the remainder in Bryan’s account. I wrote back saying that I would wait until the bank said the check cleared before taking any further action. I suspect that is the last I will be hearing from Bryan. One thing that surprised me is that Bryan Smith is the correct name. I did a search on the email address and found this Google profile

jaytkay's avatar

I would wait until the bank said the check cleared before taking any further action

Some (maybe most?) banks charge for depositing a bad check, so I would not test that.

Naked_Whale_Tamer's avatar

Sigh, typical scam filled with generic information intended to reach as many people as possible. The scammer is counting on people’s ignorance, neediness or greed.

“I wrote back saying that I would wait until the bank said the check cleared before taking any further action.”

Don’t deposit a potentially bogus check since you might be prosecuted for fraud. I am not knowledgeable of the law but I heard (for whatever that’s worth) of people being arrested for depositing fraudulent checks/bank orders. At the very least, you’ll be hit with a bounce fee.

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