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LearningMusician Chat >> Site Questions, Comments, and Complaints >> WARNING!! Lesson Scam alert. You must read this      
Viewing 1-3 of 3 total messages      

Antonio Gandia

Offering guitar lessons, bass lessons, and piano lessons in Moorestown, New Jersey

November 11, 2016 - 1:55 PMReply to this message
Hello my fellow teachers and colleagues.

I have the urgent need to post about what just happened to me today, so that it does not happen to you.

A few days ago, an individual allegedly named 'Robin McKnight' sent me a message here on LearningMusician. The message was rather unusual, not just because this person's use of grammar was odd, but mostly because of what the person was requesting. 'He' was inquiring about me teaching beginning electric bass to his 11-year-old son...and he wanted the lessons to be 1 hour long, 3 times a week.

That was the first red flag. Even in my Berklee days, my private instruction was 30 minutes a week. An 11 year old beginner simply does not take 3 one hour lessons a week. Then he said the lessons would just be for a month and that he wanted to prepay the lessons using a certified bank check...I asked where was he located and he said NYC. I live almost 2 hours away from NYC. It made absolutely NO SENSE that someone would drive almost 2 hours each way to have a one hour lesson 3 times a week, especially considering the hundreds of qualified music instructors who live in NYC. He said his son and his nanny would book a hotel near me for a month so that his son could have the lessons. Now I was really suspicious.

Then he attempted to call me and then texted me saying he had tried midnight...who does that??? At this point I was very suspicious, but I thought, maybe he is a very rich foreigner who is doing business in NYC and needs to keep his son occupied for a month (should not be going to school instead???). But I thought, 'ok, if he prepays one month worth of lessons with a certified check, of guaranteed funds, what do I care?

So, unfortunately I gave this individual my mailing address so he could mail me the check. Then he wrote saying he would send a check for almost $4000.00 (way more than the $600 I had quoted him) but that I should give the rest of the money to the nanny to pay for her salary and the hotel. At that point it became crystal clear to me: I was about to be a scam victim. Fortunately I was not born yesterday, and I had heard of these types of scams, so I immediately texted him and told him to not send me anything, that it was not my responsibility to pay his kid's nanny and hotel and that this sounded very much like a scam. I told him, unless he could provide another form of payment, the lessons would not take place at all. He replied that he simply liked to trust people and that he thought he could trust me.

So, I am telling you now, because it would not surprise me if he tried to pull off this scam with someone else. Here is a government web page where it talks about these types of scams.

Thank you for reading.

Michael Connolly

Offering fiddle lessons, mandolin lessons, and guitar lessons in Seattle, Washington

November 13, 2016 - 12:57 PMReply to this message
Hi Antonio,

Thanks so much for documenting this experience. We actually get a large number of scam attempts like this hitting the site - however, our filtering software is able to reject the majority of them before they reach our teachers. Unfortunately, the message in question did get through to you. You handled it really well, and you're right to point out that the up-front check for too much money is a dead giveaway.

For all teachers: please feel free to reach out with questions if you encounter an inquiry that looks suspicious or fraudulent!


Michael Connolly
Founder, The Learning Musician

Kelly Leggett

Offering violin lessons, viola lessons, and cello lessons in Salem, Oregon

December 7, 2017 - 3:27 PMReply to this message
HI, how long can it take for someone from your company to get back to me? I left a phone message and a message with customer services this last Monday, 12-4-17 and today is Thursday 12-7-17. When I call I cannot get a person. I wanted to know why when someone wanted to make contact with me, once a message was left, I was alerted by email. I paid a month fee and the message unlocked and I called the potential client. I see now that two potential customers in December left a message for me to contact them and I was not notified by email.
LearningMusician Chat >> Site Questions, Comments, and Complaints >> WARNING!! Lesson Scam alert. You must read this      
Viewing 1-3 of 3 total messages