To all my teaching colleagues I just want to make you aware of a dozen agents who pose as "fellow teachers" on the main ESL and expat forums. They lurk there daily behind anonymous user names and they are indeed foreigners as well as some Chinese. Their purpose is to give advice, win your confidence, and then send you PMs recommending that you work with a certain agent who they claim to have a "good experience". The person they recommend is themselves. At one site half of the posters are the same guy name using user names of "guest", "Brenda," "Administrator", etc. who as soon as you become a member, will try to peddle you job placements, visa services, travel insurance, tefl courses, dating services, apartments in China, etc. When the CFTU questioned them about their tactics, the thread was deleted, the CFTU was banned, and so was "Robinson" and all the other users who supported them.
Anyway, you can recognize these recruiters camoflaged as teachers by the followin tell-tale signs:
* High post counts
* They attack or poke fun at people who make negative statements or claims about agents
* They play down the Z visa requirement
* They never document their arguments with links and only rely on each other for support
* If someone starts naming names of fake or scam recruiters they will gang up on that user and ask admin to ban them
* Each forum has at least three to five such agents masquerading as teachers but they will never say where they work
* They insist in harmony that super-low wages are "normal" in China and how foreigners should be grateful to get a job in China
* They delete comments about courruption or name crooked companies that advertise on their site
* They delete or ban comments of the CTA or CFTU
Recently, even the moderator at thebeijinger admitted these phony teachers were a problem on their forum. The topic was also raised at other forums.
When I tried to discuss this issue at Dave's eslcafe, I was immediately banned without any explanation. Specifically I pointed out that China ESL was one of their biggest advertisers yet dozens of their own users tried posting threads about how they were ripped off by China ESL. The worst comments were deleted, otherthreads are locked, and a few comments remain. Still, they continue to take $ from China ESL knowing their reputation is almost criminal. Just try to raise this subject at any expat forum and you will see what I mean. They also ban anyone who supported the old CTA or the CFTU and advise people not to make complaints to SAFEA, or any Minsistry or the police in China if you are cheated by a job recruiter! How convenient.