Stay safe - Protecting yourself in the global marketplace

We have received 3 complaints of fraud from Nov-Dec, 2017 (2 from Kenya and 1 from India). It's not that difficult to protect yourself financially and physically if you know some basics.

Summary: If you read nothing else:

  1. If you are meeting in person, meet at a public location like a library/mall etc
  2. If paying someone online, pay with PayPal - they have fraud protection.
  3. If paying in a bank account, if the tutor's profile name doesn't match bank account etc, you should at the least be sceptical that the tutor might be a fraud.
  4. Start work after you get a partial payment, at least.

How to protect yourself online?

Most scams are done online - mostly due to anonymous nature. We are working every day to make the system so it's easier to trust individuals. In the mean time, here are few things you should know.

For Teachers

  1. For projects/assignments, always ask payment in advance for the work to be done. If student is unwilling to pay, ask a partial amount. Send the proof of the partial work and get more payment to complete the work.
  2. For online tutoring, give a demo of one hour or whatever you are comfortable with. That should tell the student if you are a good fit. For further sessions, ask the money to be deposited as the lessons go. 

For Students

  1. Pay with PayPal. They have buyer protection policy. Make sure you have selected "Paying for services" option. 
  2. Raise a dispute if you don't get the promised service.
  3. If the expert says to close a dispute as they will deliver shortly, just say politely that you will close dispute once they deliver as promised. This is important as you can't raise dispute again once you close a dispute in PayPal.
  4. If PayPal option is not available, tread carefully, and pay as less as possible initially.
  5. Search online for known scammers by just googling "{tutor name}+scam".
  6. Most scammers won't use real names in their profiles. However, they give you correct account details when receiving payment. Make sure to double check that against known scams. 

Meeting in person?

The danger of financial fraud is relatively remote than the danger of physical abuse. You probably already know how to handle yourself. If not, you can blame your parents 😉

Meet at a public location for at least the first few meetings. 


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