For years, I have literally trusted this site when it comes to"teaching jobs". When I arrived in Thailand in 2005, this was the very first thing my friends recommended to me in order to find a teaching job. It wasn't easy at all because the competition between Filipinos and Caucasians is tough. I still believe it up to now. Fortunately, I was hired by a private school after a month of searching but not through Ajarn though. It was nice and cool during my early years. Most of us stayed. Some (farangs) have quit and moved to other schools or gone home. I have learned to speak a bit of basic Thai language, learned to deal with their customs and traditions, etc.
I recently decided to find a school in Bangkok for a change of scenery but most available teaching jobs start at a salary of fifteen thousand. I cannot accept that. I am a certified teacher with valid qualifications in teaching English but I am teaching science at Mattayom level. I am now receiving a healthy salary. But if in case I would be hired by another school, I would appreciate a twenty thousand baht starting salary.
So what is this all about trusting Ajarn?
I received a message from a Mrs. Mary Lee, who emailed me four days ago. She was hiring me as a nanny in the UK with the promise of a brilliant salary. We exchanged emails but I asked her questions like "how did she knew my email and where did she find me? Her reply was that she found me in Ajarn. After five days of emailing each other confirming me that she wanted to hire me, I provided her my name and mobile number. It was a horror to receive the promised contract who then changed her name to "Janet". I did not reply or did not even bother to confront her. I simply called her a bastard.
My question to Ajarn is this - how can outsiders like this scam artist email me if its true she found me here? Are emails of your featured teachers safe? Or was she only using this name knowing there are lots of Asian looking for a teaching job? It is so frustrating that some people can have time to fool others like spreading emails to every single individual just to make money perhaps, or may I call it a new style of scamming. She mentioned I should pay 30% of my expenses. If you feel that my message to you would not alert people of this kind of scamming then ignore this. But I suggest that you take precautions in keeping us all safe as job seekers and be at least guarded on being scammed using Ajarn as their information board of knowing people.
Thank you for your time and may this also help Ajarn.
Philip / ajarn.com replies
Dear Anna, I'm sorry that you had such a bad experience using the ajarn.com resume database. I know exactly when you were contacted by the mysterious Mary Lee. In fact, you were not alone. Mary Lee contacted exactly 100 people who were displaying their resumes on ajarn.com and the scammer was able to look at resumes and teacher contact details by using a stolen credit card. Unfortunately the mysterious Mary Lee logged into the ajarn.com system at about 11.30pm on the night in question and looked at resumes throughout the night. There is absolutely nothing we can do in this situation because not to put a finer point on things - the ajarn.com webmasters are in bed. When I logged on to the ajarn.com system at about 6.00am the following morning, the damage had already done and I could see that the scammer had been looking at resumes and seemed to be targeting both Filipino and African teachers.
Unfortunately stolen credit cards, which are then used to buy online services, represent the dark side of the internet. We have on average about six instances a year when someone tries to use a stolen credit card on ajarn.com and it is always for the purposes you describe in your letter - the offer of a lucrative but bogus job abroad. Nannying in the UK is a prime example of a job title that the scammers use. Usually, the scammers try these tricks during Thailand business hours (Malaysia seems to be a hotbed of stolen credit card fraud for some strange reason) and because either myself or my ajarn.com partner is tracking things on the site, we can close the person's account and inform the bank immediately. But not at 11.30pm we can't. I'm sorry.
In ajarn.com's defence, we do already have at least one article on the website describing this particular teacher scam in detail. In fact, google anything associated with 'nannying in the UK scam' and good information is never far away. And it's often Filipinos that are targeted. Actually, I'm quite surprised that you even contemplated such a job offer, moreover, that you entered into a period of communication with what was clearly a scammer. Remember the old adage - if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Thank you for bringing the matter to our attention.