Scam warning for martial arts schools

JowGaWolf

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I just recently had a run in with something that I would consider a scam.
Someone contacted me requesting private martial arts lessons. I don't offer private martial arts lessons for a family of 5. but this time I thought why not maybe they will like Jow Ga enough to join the class. After all it would mean 5 more students would join. I was asked if I accepted credit card payments.

Things that were strange to me in the order I took notice.
  1. Contacted me through an old email that used to get a lot of spam. The only place this email is located is on Facebook. I designed my website to help minimize spam and scams. So when I saw the email, I was basically saying WTF?
  2. They did not want to discuss class over the phone or email. They only wanted to text. Not a big red flag but text is the worse way to share a lot of information.
  3. I was asked if my school provided martial arts/fitness training. This was another WTF moment for me. I thought that question would be easy to answer if the person actually visited the website.
  4. The ages of the 5 children were 15,16,17, 20, 21. Not saying that it's not possible, just unusual that they all would want to take a private martial arts lesson, and that their ages would be in a type grouping like that.
  5. My school has a family plan and a discount coupon that would allow the 5 children to get 2 months of training for $90. This blew my potential customer away and he responded in shock. "For the five People?" I'm not sure about the the other father, mothers, and the like out there, but I don't refer to my children nor my family members as "For the People." Referring to one's family as People does not seem like something a person would say about family relations.
  6. I was asked if I could do a Favor. At this point I'm thinking ... oh boy. One would have thought that $90 for 2 months training for 5 children was a good enough deal, but a Favor too?
  7. After asking about the Favor, the person replied that they were Ready to Deposit $1000 for 2 months of training 5 children. Deposit is a strange word to use for this type of transaction. But they also wanted me to charge $3000 on the credit card and forward that money to a Driver that was responsible for getting the kids to the school to train. The reason why I had to forward the money to the Driver was because the Driver didn't have credit card facilities.
My last reply was professional and I simply said that I couldn't help them with that. So if you get a similar request about private lessons, then leave it alone. Don't let your greed cause you to make a bad decisions.
 

Juany118

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I just recently had a run in with something that I would consider a scam.
Someone contacted me requesting private martial arts lessons. I don't offer private martial arts lessons for a family of 5. but this time I thought why not maybe they will like Jow Ga enough to join the class. After all it would mean 5 more students would join. I was asked if I accepted credit card payments.

Things that were strange to me in the order I took notice.
  1. Contacted me through an old email that used to get a lot of spam. The only place this email is located is on Facebook. I designed my website to help minimize spam and scams. So when I saw the email, I was basically saying WTF?
  2. They did not want to discuss class over the phone or email. They only wanted to text. Not a big red flag but text is the worse way to share a lot of information.
  3. I was asked if my school provided martial arts/fitness training. This was another WTF moment for me. I thought that question would be easy to answer if the person actually visited the website.
  4. The ages of the 5 children were 15,16,17, 20, 21. Not saying that it's not possible, just unusual that they all would want to take a private martial arts lesson, and that their ages would be in a type grouping like that.
  5. My school has a family plan and a discount coupon that would allow the 5 children to get 2 months of training for $90. This blew my potential customer away and he responded in shock. "For the five People?" I'm not sure about the the other father, mothers, and the like out there, but I don't refer to my children nor my family members as "For the People." Referring to one's family as People does not seem like something a person would say about family relations.
  6. I was asked if I could do a Favor. At this point I'm thinking ... oh boy. One would have thought that $90 for 2 months training for 5 children was a good enough deal, but a Favor too?
  7. After asking about the Favor, the person replied that they were Ready to Deposit $1000 for 2 months of training 5 children. Deposit is a strange word to use for this type of transaction. But they also wanted me to charge $3000 on the credit card and forward that money to a Driver that was responsible for getting the kids to the school to train. The reason why I had to forward the money to the Driver was because the Driver didn't have credit card facilities.
My last reply was professional and I simply said that I couldn't help them with that. So if you get a similar request about private lessons, then leave it alone. Don't let your greed cause you to make a bad decisions.


That is indeed a scam. Sometimes happens with checks as well. The idea is to use you, and your bank account,as the filter to hide the ID to get the the proceeds of the stolen CC, forged check etc.
 

gpseymour

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That is indeed a scam. Sometimes happens with checks as well. The idea is to use you, and your bank account,as the filter to hide the ID to get the the proceeds of the stolen CC, forged check etc.
That, or they dispute the transaction and he's out the $2,000 (more often done with check kiting).
 

Bill Mattocks

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Scam. And it's been noted on MT before. It's good to bring it up again though.
 

WaterGal

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Yeah, we get this one every few months. Whenever I see that e-mail for "martial arts/fitness training" and asking "do you take credit cards" (that's usually part of it when they try it on us), it immediately gets marked as spam and deleted.

We've also started getting a LOT of Russian spam and phishing attempts about a month ago, coming through the contact form on our website, like 5+ submissions every day. I signed up for a paid spam filter service for Wordpress this week - so far that seems to be catching most of it, but we'll see.
 

Tony Dismukes

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I occasionally get these emails. I'm familiar enough with the genre that I can generally recognize them from the outset and don't respond the initial message.
 
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JowGaWolf

JowGaWolf

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We've also started getting a LOT of Russian spam and phishing attempts about a month ago, coming through the contact form on our website, like 5+ submissions every day. I signed up for a paid spam filter service for Wordpress this week - so far that seems to be catching most of it, but we'll see.
what is your website? I may be able to suggest something that will help prevent the spam email from coming in. Depending on how the form is made, bot can extract your email from your form and spam you like there's no tomorrow.
 

WaterGal

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what is your website? I may be able to suggest something that will help prevent the spam email from coming in. Depending on how the form is made, bot can extract your email from your form and spam you like there's no tomorrow.

I use the NinjaForms Wordpress plugin for the form, so it shouldn't show our e-mail in the HTML. However, our e-mail is listed on the site. That's one of the weird parts for me - they can easily find the e-mail address, but aren't sending spam that way, just through the site.
 

Balrog

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Big time scam. I get one of those every couple of months. I amuse myself greatly by carrying on an email conversation with them, being very professional and sounding like I am looking forward to training their kids. When they think I am salivating and ready, they drop the hammer with the extra charge request.

At that point, I tell them that they'll have to send me a cashier's check or money order, and that the best I can do is to escrow the excess until I get an invoice from the driver. Gotta make the accounting system balance, don't ya know? I strung one guy on for anther two weeks before I finally told him that I knew he was trying to run a scam on me. His response was a creative masterpiece of someone who didn't speak English all that well trying to curse fluently in it. :)
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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Big time scam. I get one of those every couple of months. I amuse myself greatly by carrying on an email conversation with them, being very professional and sounding like I am looking forward to training their kids. When they think I am salivating and ready, they drop the hammer with the extra charge request.

At that point, I tell them that they'll have to send me a cashier's check or money order, and that the best I can do is to escrow the excess until I get an invoice from the driver. Gotta make the accounting system balance, don't ya know? I strung one guy on for anther two weeks before I finally told him that I knew he was trying to run a scam on me. His response was a creative masterpiece of someone who didn't speak English all that well trying to curse fluently in it. :)
Any chance you still have that last email from the guy?
 

Balrog

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I'll check when I'm back in the school on Monday. My wife might have deleted it, as she was more than a little flustered when she read it. :)
 

Flying Crane

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We rent a portion of our house on AirBnB, and occasionally get a similar scam inquiry through that site. After inquiring if we can accommodate their party, they then state that they are from out of the country and are not able to use a credit card, but will have a personal cheque delivered by a courier to secure the apartment immediately, and ask for my street address and some other personal info. It's a weird thing to say on its face, as all financial transactions are handled through the website, hosts on these systems never receive money directly from the guest.

I never get beyond that point, it's time to send them on their way.

Sounds like a variant on the same thing.
 

Andrew Green

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I just recently had a run in with something that I would consider a scam.

This one has been around a long time, I've been getting these messages every now and then for a few years now and know a lot of other schools do too. Even gotten a few of that message through text messages as well.
 

wingchun100

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That kind of thing is everywhere. I was trying to sell music gear on Craigslist, and I got an email saying they were willing to pay me DOUBLE what I was asking. No one ever offers to pay MORE than the listed price!
 

ShortBridge

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I had a similar inquiry a few years ago come to think of it, but I didn't let it get that far. Not because I sensed it a scam, just because....No.
 
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