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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. 

 

https://www.thebeijinger.com/forum/2014/04/12/too-many-agents-recruiters-now-posting-teachers-expat-forums

 

https://www.eslbase.com/forum/viewtopic/t-3125

 

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.

 

User ReviewsLeave your reviews
5.0/5 from 13 users. ( 6 reviews.)
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Can TheBeijinger.com be trusted?
  · 2 years ago.
Maybe 20,000 expats in Beijing get their daily dose of news from thebeijinger.com, an English language portal that goes back more than 10 years in China. But lately over the last two or three years, users have complained about growing censorship. Not profanity or hateful or racist remarks, but users warning others of known scams that target foreigner in China.

We just want to note for the record that today thebeijinger.com deleted two more Scam Alert threads, one of which was actually asking what happened to a previous scam alert thread related to Rebecca Tang and China ESL which advertised heavily in thebeijinger magazine and online.

https://www.thebeijinger.com/forum/2015/02/02/where-huge-china-esl-rebecca-tang-scam-warning-thread  OP was TBJ user "DLD"

https://www.thebeijinger.com/forum/2015/02/03/beware-chinese-visa-service-companies-withold-key-information-probable

Other threads warning consumers and teachers about China ESL and Rebecca Tang that were deleted by TBJ management include:

https://www.thebeijinger.com/node/1592803  OP was TBJ User "Bannoy"

https://www.thebeijinger.com/forum/2013/01/31/beware-chinaesl-scam-alert-rebecca-tang-will-rip-you  OP was TBJ user "KTCox"

https://www.thebeijinger.com/forum/2013/07/01/beware-chinaesl-rebecca-tang    OP was TBJ use "City Kwok"

We are consulting with an IT expert about restoring the the contents of these links which outlined, summarized, and documented 8 years of criminal activity that victimized dozens of victims.  If you want to receive the reconstructed summary please send an an email to admin@chinascamwatch.org.

Some of the threads deleted were 6-9 pages long, had posts from over 60 users and were the most visited and read pages in TBJ history.

In the interim we will contact Michael Wester the owner of the thebeijinger.com and ask him why these links going back several years and another that was started less than 30 days ago were deleted without explanation.  Stay tuned. Perhaps he will say the government or some hacker did it - who knows. But we do owe him the courtesy of an explanation.

The China Scam Watch Team








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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
This is the biggest problem with most expat forums in China
  · 2 years ago.
I have been in China quite a long time and I am that proverbial monkey who still gets fooled from time to time ((("Even a monkey sometimes falls from the tree!))).  I worked as an ESL/TEFL teacher and also for a less-than honorable recruiter who i discovered has been blacklisted for quite some time. But it took me nine months to realize how unethical she was before I resigned. But it is true that recruiters in China assign there best English speakers and even hire 1 or 2 foreigners to hang out on the popular forums and look for "fresh meat" (the newbie teachers who are easy to spot by their low post count and all the questions they ask) TBJ and ECC will sell their email database to recruiters and that is why you all get a lot of spam and unsolicited calls if you were dumb enough to register with your phone number. 

There is no need to pretend - Expat forums are operating to make money and they do that by selling ads. Recruiters know that these ESL/TEFL forums is the best place to fish for new clients to recruit and sell TEFL courses to. When I worked as a recruiter my job was two-fold... First, to post 50 blind job ads a day on ESL/TEFL forums like ESL.com, tefl.net, thebeijinger, echinacities.com etc. and Second - to "go fish" on expat forums. I got paid 1,000 rmb for every "fish" I caught no matter how I did it.

One of the Chinese girls who also did the same job as me caught an average of three fish a day and me only one (we didn't get paid until the contract was signed) and our boss got 5,000 rmb for every one we signed up. One day my colleague went to lunch and left her computer on so I wanted to know why she was doing so much better than me. That is when I found out that she was just making up jobs that simply did not exist that no foreign teacher could resist. Here is something similar to what she would post:

"Teach on the beach in South China - Foreign ESL Teacher Wanted - 20,000 mo. + furnished apartment.  No weekend work and your air-fare will be 100% reimbursed and we cover your visa expense. Must be native English speaker and available to start within 30 days. For Skype interview this week send your resume to ESLR***hr@126.com"

Only the part about air-fare reimbursement was true and that was IF they completed their one year contract AND renewed for a second year!  So when I asked R how she could run ads like that she told me that once they signed the contract and got to China our boss would "switch them to another school" and that it "usually works out okay".  When I asked the boss about this, she told me in a round-about way to basically let her worry about that. Becaus my monthly pay averaged over 25,000 rmb a month I sometimes chose to ignore what was going on. Yeah, I knew it was wrong.

The next week we were given a call list of foreigners to call on Skype and locally in China and we were told by the Sales manager "If anyone asks you where you got their name and number, just say it was either from the chamber of commerce or the training center, and then go quickly to your script before they can ask any more questions."  I could see from the emails that the list was forwarded from someone named "Ellen" at echinacities.com  Buying and selling information and resumes in China is very common. After one foreign teacher caught on to the trick and screamed at me and called me a traitor, I felt so bad that the next payday, after I got paid, I lied and said I had to go back to the States for a funeral. I never looked back.





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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Beware of agents & recruiters masquerading as ESL/TEFL teachers at expat & ESL.TEFL forums!
  · 2 years ago.
Thanks for bringing this to my attention.  I never noticed this BS until I read this thread and then checked the three websites you guys mentioned (eslcafe.com echinacities.com, and eslteachercafe.co. m) and I see the post censorship and manipulation you talk about. In some cases the morons even delete the OP but leave the comments of veteran posters and other resort to the below the belt tactic of calling those who disagree "sock puppets". They are quite pathetic really.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Beware of agents & recruiters masquerading as ESL/TEFL teachers at expat & ESL.TEFL forums!
  · 2 years ago.
This explains why so many comments don't make sense at eslcafe.com in the China thread. There are many arguments made and when users start posting links to show that China ESL, and Hangzhou Hellen Group, and other famous China crooks are advertising on their web site, the threads get "Locked" (so victims are unable to comment) and people get banned.  Look at the stuff posted by users who talk about scam recruiters , or the TEFL peddlers and you will see the users just disappear in the middle of an argument and the veteran users always get the last word.  I also noticed that the CFTU only made like three of four comments before they were immediately shut out.  Last year I made a comment defending some points raised about the CFTU concerning principals who try to "sell" release letters should be arrested, prosecuted, and jailed. Later when I found a link proving this was a common crime, I went back to add this link at eslcafe, and the who damn thread had just vanished!  There is no doubt these two expat forums don't want people to know the whole truth - only what helps them sell more shit to us.  ESLteacher cafe is another place where comments are heavily censored and about 90% of the posts are from the same guy using different names. They all promote Panda Visa and Travellex Insurance, and Journeys East job placements - so damn obvious.  One user who claimed to be a CFTU  member named "Robinson" was banned 3 times after he kept posting screen capture images of his comments that kept getting deleted.   At Echinacities, the admin just locks the thread when people start posting proof of their allegations (i.e. contracts, emails, etc) These assholes have Zero credibility in my book.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Beware of agents & recruiters masquerading as ESL/TEFL teachers at expat & ESL.TEFL forums!
  · 2 years ago.
This problem is horrible at both ESLcafe.com and Echinacities.com.  People always get censored if they dare say anything negative about
recruiters or even why people should not work in China.  To me I can
understand WHY they do this (they want more people to go to China so
they can make more money on job placements, Chinese lessons, etc - and
the truth from veteran teachers in China will not help their sales)  I
have seen six people in the last four months get deleted and banned for
warning others about advertisers that are know scams. These two sites
are run by Nazi moderators who only allow the veteran bully users to win
their arguments.  Recently a thread called "What really happens when
you get caught teaching without a Z Visa?" with over 30 posts was just
deleted at ESLcafe.  When a user asked why (me) I was banned for
protesting!  People with opposing views and links that document their
arguments are mocked until they quit posting or get banned. Because
these are the two biggest web sites for jobs in China, people just
assume the sites are reputable - WRONG!
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Beware of agents & recruiters masquerading as ESL/TEFL teachers at expat & ESL.TEFL forums!
  · 3 years ago.
This is so true. There are five guys at Daves ESL who bully anyone who exposes crooked agents/recruiters or suggests people use the CFTU or ESL Watch blacklists. If you give links to document the crimes of the crooks, they will ridicule you as being stupid or naïve and then flag your post so you get banned by the moderator. They are without a doubt recruiters.  Also if you point out that some of the scam agents like China ESL have paid ads on their website you will get deleted and banned as I was.  The same crap is also a problem over at EChinaCities.com as well.
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