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  1. #1
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    Default Weirdness with private instruction?

    Hi all,

    A while back I posted that I had been contacted through craigslist to do private instruction for someone's wife. For some reason I had trepidation about accepting (this would be in their home). So I advised the person to go ask one of the local pro dancing schools...he wrote back and informed me they were charging 'significantly higher' rates than I was. This concerned me as I am new to the area and I didn't want to get into trouble pricing my services lower (and also not get as much money as other teachers). Anyway, I thought about it a lot and finally said if I could meet this person's wife prior to instruction at a cafe or something I would be willing to do it. It took the person about a week to write back and offer some cafe in the area as a meeting place. So I wrote back and tacked another $20 on the fee I had originally offered because I knew the area they lived in was quite far. So the person writes back and says that they are happy with the instructor found by the school and will stick with them even though their rates are higher. I was worried about this person from the start for some reason, and now I feel disappointed that I let a possibly lucrative teaching gig pass me by, as the person was apparently legit...but at first I did not believe they were. Any thoughts, condolences, etc? I just don't know what to think about this, or whether I should have even entertained teaching in a stranger's house. This is something new that I have not yet encountered and would appreciate any advice about what to do in such a situation.
    Last edited by Brea; 03-26-2008 at 04:45 AM.

  2. #2
    V.I.P. karena's Avatar
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    Default

    how do you now know this person is legit? they could still be spinning a line. i know precious little to give an real advice, but i think instincts are important.

  3. #3
    V.I.P. Azeeza's Avatar
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    Brea:

    Seeing as you are in a new area and you don't know the community very well, you did the right thing. Your safety is more important than money or teaching at this point.

    Something you could do is to let the customer, who chose another teacher, know that if for some reason things do not work with the other teacher, she could always contact you again and leave it at that.

    You should never feel bad about being cautious.

    Just my two cents worth,

    Azeeza

  4. #4
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    Default Weirdness, etc.

    Dear Brea,
    I believe this is a SCAM. Many of us are getting the same thing. It is not a legitimate offer and somehow they send you a small retainer and you end up in financial trouble.
    Regards,
    A'isha

  5. #5
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    Default

    Hi everyone,

    Yes, I did have the sense of 'scam' when I read it..perhaps I was letting my better judgment go because this would have been my first teaching opportunity here. The person claimed to live in the area, etc. and I looked up his name, but I was curious as to why his wife herself would not have contacted me. It was a pretty detailed scam if that was what it was.

    How do you know if it is a legitimate question? Anyone can email any of us online.
    Last edited by Brea; 03-26-2008 at 04:45 AM.

  6. #6
    V.I.P. Aisha Azar's Avatar
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    Default Recognizing a scam

    Quote Originally Posted by Brea View Post
    Hi everyone,

    Yes, I did have the sense of 'scam' when I read it..perhaps I was letting my better judgment go because this would have been my first teaching opportunity here. The person claimed to live in the area, etc. and I looked up his name, but I was curious as to why his wife herself would not have contacted me. It was a pretty detailed scam if that was what it was.

    How do you know if it is a legitimate question? Anyone can email any of us online.

    -Brea
    Dear Brea,
    What I usually do when anything questionable comes my way, is I ask if anyone else is getting similar offers. Usually this gentleman wants his wife, daughter, niece to take lessons from you while she will be in the area visiting or going to school or some other thing. Also, do not give out anything that might in any way, give someone access to my bank account or other financial numbers such as Social Security card, etc. The way one scam works is they send you a small retainer check, which you then cash, which bounces, but they have some of your financial info on the back of that bounced check when it is returned to them. I am not sure exactly how it works, but someone gave a very detailed explanation on another forum I am on.
    Regards,
    A'isha

  7. #7
    Senior Member Gia al Qamar's Avatar
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    Brea...you did the right thing. This has scam written all over it. Because you're just starting out as a teacher, it's natural to feel that you need to get EVERY student in your class that you possibly can...but there was no student...so don't feel bad.
    AND...in the future...
    Know that you'll win some, and lose some...and in the end...it all evens out! You'll make yourself crazy trying to 'do it perfectly' every time!
    Gia

  8. #8
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    I agree that you dodged a speeding bullet. And to agree to meet a stranger in a strange town in a private home? I wouldn't have even done that accompanied by my favorite biker bodyguard in full leathers. You were smart, Brea. Don't second guess your instincts.

  9. #9
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    Hi all,

    To clarify, this isn't my first time teaching, just the first time in the new town. What A'isha speaks of is interesting...I had not heard of that before. In fact, I have never been contacted to do private lessons in that manner. Scams abound in every profession. I am glad you all think I did the right thing...seems the person was a lot more hesitant when I said I wanted to meet his wife in a cafe. I could just be overly paranoid but when you work in a business like ours...
    Last edited by Brea; 03-26-2008 at 04:46 AM.

  10. #10
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    ... just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you.

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