Greetings and welcome to a very belated Flute Friday! Sorry folks – I was taking my own horoscope advice and enjoying life in Southern California this weekend. Back to the grind today.
Recruiting new students is hard work. You typically need to set up a website, connect with other local teachers, host free masterclasses and/or sectionals at local schools, create and distribute business cards, and get the word out about your studio to anyone and everyone. This usually involves multiple incoming and outgoing emails. In today’s volatile online world, hackers, scammers, and identity thieves are searching for sneaky ways to prey on the vulnerabilities of typical internet users. In the past few years this has also included private music teachers. Scammers on the internet have been known to pose as parents searching for a private music instructor for their hypothetical children, requesting lesson rates, contact information, and lesson locations. Some of these scam emails are more convincing than others and it may be easy to fall into their trap if you are desperately seeking students.
What do these scam emails look like?
Here are a few examples of lesson scam emails that I have found in my own junk mail folder. If you come across similar emails from these senders, do not respond. Simply move these email to your trash folder and move on to genuine lesson inquiry emails.
Hello good this is Mike williams i would to know if you offer private music lesson and do you accept credit card as form of payments and are you the owner or manage
Hope to hear from you soon
douglas miller <email@example.com>
to bcc: me
Hi, How are you doing today? I want a private lessons for my son
(Matt) at your location. Matt is 16 year old and is ready to learn.
Please I want to know your policy with regard to fees, cancellations,
and make-up lessons. Also, get back to me with the total fees for 2
months lessons (4-hour lessons in a week) starting this month.
In addition, I want to know your area of specialization(s), the
lessons location and your phone number. Looking forward to hearing
Benny Williams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I’m in need of a tutor for my child base on your advert. Julie is 15 year old and easily watch .Although,i understand you are in states i’ve arranged with my cousin living in the states concerning my Daughter staying with him during the whole period of lessons from Russia and he had agreed with me. Below are the following details requested from you for the lesson:
1) Location and Phone Numbers
2) 2 Month Charges of tutoring (1 hour per day /3 days in a week)
3) Teaching Experience.
Mr. Ben Williams
Senna Jones <email@example.com>
Am senna Ballock by my name,my Daughter will be coming to your area to spend her holiday with her grandmother, she is 16 years old,i don’t want her to be less busy in the time of the day that is why am looking to hire a Private Teacher for her she will be attending 2 hours in a day for 2weeks so i want to know if you can be helping me to teach her, i will like you to get back to me with the total charges for 2hours per day for 2weeks and the address of the tutor, hope to read from you now.
leone darwin <firstname.lastname@example.org>
to bcc: me
Are you available to tutor my Daughter she is 15yrs,Her name is
Patricia?Get back to me with the details requested so that we can
proceed from there asap.
I’ve arranged with a caregiver in USA that my child is coming to stay
with him for his period of tutoring and he had agreed with me. I want
you to get back to me with following details
1)your present residence address and tel #
2)total cost of tutoring for 1 months (1 hour per day 3 days /week)
3)your years of teaching experience
Payment via cashier’s check,looking forward to hearing from you soonest.
Regards to you and your family
What should you do if you encounter one of these emails?
The above emails are obviously scammers, but sometimes an email can appear as a genuine lesson inquiry. If you recognize the email as a scam, simply trash it, but if you are not sure, direct them back to your website for more information. You could also reply to their email by asking additional questions including how they were referred to you, roughly where they are located, and what level the student is currently playing at. If they do not respond, you will know it is a scammer. Never give out any information that is not already readily available on your website. You may also want to consider having an inquiry form on your website that includes some type CAPTCHA verification. Direct all other email inquiries to this form. This will control the validity of your lesson inquiries.
I would like to put a challenge out to all of my readers today. Check your junk mail folders. Have you received any lesson scam emails? Post them below! Knowledge is power. Let’s create a forum listing the names and wording in all scam emails to take the power away from scammers and empower newbie teachers. Goodbye forever, scammers!