Returning to campus: Information, updates and vaccination requirements. Learn more.

Tutor Overpayment/Prepayment Scam

Threat Level: Medium
Threat Type: Payment Scam
Advisory Date: 08/28/2020

Description

University of Regina is warning tutors of a payment scam involving prospective students writing fraudulent cheques and then asking for reimbursement. 

In this scam you get an unsolicited email asking you to either tutor this person’s child or relative, many times the people claim to be from overseas so they cannot meet you in person.

Typically, emails will be received asking for detailed tutoring services by a scammer.  The scammer will only be willing to meet virtually.  Once an agreement with the tutor has been reached, a fraudulent cheque will be issued from the scammer to the tutor.  Finally, a refund or reimbursement will then be sought by the scammer in the hopes that the tutor hasn’t yet discovered that the original payment is fraudulent.

Such scams have been attempted on the Student Success Centre Tutoring Search.  Tutors are urged to be aware of such scams.

Example emails:

Example 1:

Subject: Grade 9 Math

Hello,
Can you teach Algebra? I need your service for Sam my son. Sam is 14yrs old in Grade 9. For some reasons, Sam is currently living with our nanny who will be driving him to you at any agreed public location like libraries. I understand the current situation so if you are unable to do person to person lesson at this current time we can consider online lesson which can be by zoom or Skype.  Let me know if 4th September, 2020 is convenient to start? Sam is flexible and he should be able to fit in to your schedule, so let me know days and time that work best for you. I will like to know the cost of tutoring for 1 months at 1 hour per day 3 times per week.
Thank you...

 

Example 2:

Hello < Tutor’s Name >,

Hope you are doing good?

I'll like to know if you can tutor my son in Algebra 1. My Son (Eric) is 14 Years old and he's in 9th grade. Eric is currently with my Nanny who is living in Regina and i have inform her that once i get a tutor for Eric she will be driving him to agreed venue for his classes with you and she had agreed with me. I will like the lesson to hold in a public place like public library or coffee shop. Also, Would 6th September 2019 be okay to start.

My son is currently flexible from time between 3-8pm. Let me know the Total cost of tutoring for 1 months (1 hour per day 3 times per week).

Kind Regards.

Impact

If tutors engage with such scammers, a cheque for over the agreed upon amount may be issued.  The scammer will ask to return a portion. In such a scam, the cheque is fraudulent, and the funds do not exist.  When a tutor returns the money, it is removed from your balance and the tutor has lost the funds.  Tutors may be finanically liable for the amount of funds sent from their finanical institution.

Resolution

  • Verify all payments.  Be cautious of receiving payments with a cheque.
  • Be suspect of all requstes for a refund or returning money to the student. Review our phishing guidelines to learn how to spot phishing.
  • You may wish to provide services to verified student of the U of R only.  This can be done by accepting jobs from a verified Uregina.ca email address.
  • Deal locally with customers who are able to meet in person as most scams are done at a distance.
  • To avoid prepayment or overpayment schemes, act with extreme caution if anyone who wants to give you money before they meet.
  • Never wire funds via Moneygram, Western Union, or any other wire service.  Anyone who asks you to do so is in all likleyhood a scammer.
  • Note that with fraudulent cashier chques or money order, banks will cash them and hold you financially liable when they are discovered to be fake.
  • Never give out financial information such as bank account number. 
  • Do not reply to suspicious e-mails. Doing so reveals your e-mail address. If in doubt, wait to find out more information before you reply.

Resources

If you receive a suspicious email or have engaged with potential fraudsters, report it.

This is a typical overpayment/prepayment scam.  Further details of this scam can be found at: