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Q: Am I Being Scammed?

Hello,

 

I am from Algeria and have been looking for a teaching job (French or English) in China for the past couple of weeks. Recently, I got accepted in a Chinese school in Chongqing (Youwell/pumpkin International English) but what struck me was that neither the interview was that professional, nor any English proficiency certificate (TEFL or other) has been required.

Now they've sent me the contract to sign and to give back along with a Criminal Records paper and a Recommendation Letter for the Z Visa issuing procedure.

I have never been to China before and I don't know anyone from there, and even my work experience isn't that attractive, to be frank. I hold a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science, and have been giving private lessons since my graduation until recently when I integrated a private school.

So I am really reluctant and afraid of being taken advantage of or simply scammed, as this looks so shady and smells illegal to me and I will have to pay for the flight ticket which is quite expensive and once there, I am not really sure of being able to stand on my own if ever this school turns out to be a bunch of heartless profiteers. At the same time, I don't want to relinquish this opportunity as I am really eager to go work there and finally get my professional career started.

 

Any help or piece of advice would be much welcome!

7 years 14 weeks ago in  Visa & Legalities - Chongqing

 
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Comments (3)
Posts: 91

Governor

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I don't know the answer to your question, but I'm surprised and disappointed that some of the old hands haven't offered any assistance.

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7 years 14 weeks ago
 
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There are a lot   of scams and I think there was a post  called common scams a couple of months ago

try the bigger schools like Disney for your first job it might be safer

also tell us the name of the school as there might be somebody on here that will know who they are

the one you posted sounds like a web page extract

It would be easier if China would publish a list of registered schools

but that will not happen any time soon.

don't be shy to ask genuine questions here as most will try to help if they can

Good luck and best regards

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7 years 14 weeks ago
 
Posts: 1140

Shifu

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its very simple  if it looks like a duck walks like a duck smells like a duck it must be a duck

 

so if you have to ask if this is a scam if it looks like a scam smells like a scam it must be

what       100 points if you get the answer right

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7 years 14 weeks ago
 
Posts: 6321

Emperor

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I really do not have enough information to know if you are being scammed or not.

When i applied for my second job, the one I have now, they did not ask about any TEFL certificates, and the interview was by phone conducted by a man who spoke soso English. Yet, my job is legit, not a scam.

In your case, they are indeed asking you for the documentation needed to get you a Z-visa, and that is a good sign. Most scammers will tell you to come to China first and once here they promise to get you the Z-visa.  However, some scammers do provide the work visa and then use that as the "chain" to keep you in the school, so one really needs to be careful.

Good luck to you!

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7 years 14 weeks ago
 
Posts: 6

Governor

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Thank you for your answers.

@GuilianRaf: To keep me in the school working? Well I don't mind that as far as the contract closes are being respected, 'cause I have heard that most Chinese ESL teaching aren't even worth the paper they are written on... And if they end up "chaining" in order to keep me working, what could I encounter? Can I turn to somebody? Authority?

 

@Bat22: Can you provide me with more details regarding this Disney school please?

 

@Philbravery: The school's name is Youwell International English School... Pumpkin is part of it. One of its branches, if you want.

 

What are the things that might happen to me once there?

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7 years 14 weeks ago
 
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If they ask you for any sort of money it's probably a scam.

 

If they send you an invitation letter for a Z visa it would seem like a legitimate school because they are qualified to do so.

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7 years 14 weeks ago
 
Posts: 37

Governor

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Yes and no you will be not teaching totally illegal, they will apply for Z working visa as a consultant or maybe IT or something els. And if the PSB see you are teaching moslty outside of shanghai there won't be so strict on this, as long you got a working Z visa.  

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7 years 14 weeks ago
 
Posts: 461

Governor

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I worked for this company. My advice to you (as I told you in your private message) is not to do so. They are liars, cheats and worse. If you go to China and work for them then you WILL regret it. The guy in charge of the foreign staff himself holds no significant qualifications and is an apologist for the company's shockingly inept teaching 'method'. It's a case of the blind leading the retarded.

 

Also, it tells you something about how bad things are in the company that they are ignoring their own racist hiring policies and looking for non-natives. Normally, I would commend this, however, with them it stinks of desperation.

 

I will do anything in my power not to let others go through what I did working for these clowns. IF YOU WANT TO WORK FOR THEM DON'T SAY YOU WEREN'T WARNED.

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7 years 14 weeks ago
 
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Are you being scammed?

 

Short answer - yes.

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7 years 3 weeks ago
 
Posts: 212

Governor

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Seems like this place has a bad reputation so I would suggest finding work elsewhere instead.

 

 

However I will say that your situation was about the same as mine.  I interviewed with a company over skype while I was still in America. I had no teaching experience, all my work experience was  in the software industry, and I didn't even have  bachelors degree.   

 

It was the same thing, they sent me the contract and invitation letter and I went and got the visa and paid for the flight over.

 

I had my doubts but it ended up working out just fine. When I arrived they put me up in a hotel and started sending me to schools for interviews and I got a job pretty quick. They then put me up in an apartment like promised.

 

For the most part everything worked out fine. It wasn't the best company to work for because the pay was so low but it got my foot in the door in China and after a few months I was ablet o find a better job on my own and move on.

 

So what I'm trying to get at is don't always think places like these are a scam. They might not be the best places to work for, but they do provide you with a job and help you get started in China.  After that you can typically find better jobs once youve been in China for awhile.

 

If you want the name of the company I worked for please feel free to send me a private message.  Their pay isn't  good  (5,000rmb + free apartment) but they will get you a job and an apartment and it will get you started in China.

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7 years 3 weeks ago
 
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