Asia Articles

Search ESLwatch

Log in Register

Log in

A 25 Point Red Flag Review Will Keep You Safe From 90% of China Scams...


After spending a day with China Scam Patrol at one of their free Beijing seminars, Taylor, Johnny and I were impressed with how thoroughly they envestigated scams in China and immediately understood why their "Scam Patrol" series was so popular in 2012.  Though they spend most of their time and energies doing corporate due diligence for private investors, we asked them about one of their favorite subjects - Head Hunter fraud in China.  Here is what they wrote about it back in 2012 but we wanted more.


Yes, we wanted a DIY free and sure way to spot the scam job agents before we decided to send them a resume and certainly a passport scan.  Jason obliged but first gave us the profiles of three scam artists so that we could see how they pretty much come from the same mold and follow much the same routine - and often work with each other out of neccesity.  Meet Derrick Yazwa of  Phoenix, Arizona, (New Life ESL)  David Valley of Toronto, Canada, (Valley Organization) and Rebecca Tang of Beijing (China ESL) 


Derrick Yazwa   

----------------------- Derrick Yazwa ------------------------------------- David Valley -------------------------------------------------- Rebecca Tang -----------------


All three of these people rely on the same ingredients to swindle their victims as follows:



1.  They target young, gullible, and often the unemployed people of America and Canada

2.  The use a fancy website that looks fairly credible

3.  The have plenty of "testimonials" and great "reviews" (self created or purchased)

4.  The count on your ignorance of Chinese laws

5.  They only let you learn the truth after you arrive in China and they have you under contract

6.  They rely heavily on the "Bait & Switch" ruse of offering you a great job but upon arrival you are given one nobody wants



So here are the 25 Red Flags To Watch for, and Jason says that if any recruiter or agent of any sort (Visa Agent, Travel Agent, etc...) falls into 5 or more categories below, you should geta all of their info including phone number, emails, names, website address, and report them to and then block their number and emails. Not to worry they will contact you again within a month using a different name and identity/email - they always do.


Your 25 Red Flags:

1. Employees all use Chinglish names like “Peter Gao” or “Susan Liu”. These are fabricated ghost names that are virtually untraceable.

2. Their web site is less than a year old (or they don’t have one at all)

3. Their web site uses a .org or .cn domain.

4. Their web site contains no verifiable street address for their office.

5. Their web site has no land-line telephone number published – only disposable mobile numbers.

6. They demand copies of your passport before you receive a written job offer and sign a contract.

7. They cannot produce a color scan copy of their SAIC Chinese business license which can be verified on line.

8. They insist on meeting you in a coffee shop or your office – never their own.

9. They always fill out your visa application in Chinese so you cannot understand if they are lying or not.

10. They are not members of the BBB or any legitimate Chamber of Commerce. (if they are US-based)

11. They use disposable free emails like gmail, hotmail, sina, 163, qq, 126, yahoo, etc.

12. They claim there is someone else with your same name in the computer system and they need your taxpayer ID (SSN) to clarify for the Chinese visa bureau.

13. They tell you that you don’t need a Z visa right away and to just come to China on an L, F, or M, visa.

14. They offer to sell you a fake diploma and/or TEFL certificate, or FEC

15. They tell you that you have a job before you ever even interviewed with the school or director employer.

16. They never give email confirmations of verbal promises made to you.

17. They rush or pressure you to sign a contract giving a fake deadline that is only a few days away.

18. They ask you for the names and phone numbers of your teaching colleagues as a professional references. (They are later contacted and offered jobs in China)

19. No written job description with the name and school location is provided to you until after your arrive in China.

20. They ask for up-front money or a deposit of any kind.

21. They coach you how to lie when applying for your visa.

22. They tell you that the average wage for expats in China is 5,000-7,000 yuan per month.

23. They tell you that you must use a visa agent because the application process is very complicated and confusing and/or all the forms are in Chinese! (absolutely false).

24. That without a TEFL certificate it is impossible to find a teaching job in China that pays more than 5,000 Yuan per month.

25. That your China employer must hold your passport for a 3-6 month probationary period.



Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, please read before you send out another resume!

Also be sure to read the other great tips, advice, and fraud alerts found at


1 customer review

5 out of 5 stars
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • Experience
  • Professionalism
  • Work location
  • Living situation
  • Pay & benefits
  • Support & facilities
  • Health & safety
2 ratings
9 helpful voted.
The very best post about spotting China job scams and recruiter fraud I have ever read - Kudos!
7 years ago.
Institute Review
By far this is the most useful post on this entire web site for China foreign teachers IMO. You will never see a post like this at th*b*,, or - they would delete it within an hour for sure. Thanks for sharing these red flags, I tried it todat with a recruiter named Gloria Wu and after I asked her just five questions she knew - I knew and sai she had to take another call!  My guess is less than 10% of the the China job agents can pass this smell test. This post will save a lot of times and grief for expat teachers in China.
  • Experience
  • Professionalism
  • Work location
  • Living situation
  • Pay & benefits
  • Support & facilities
  • Health & safety
Show more
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful

Adding Your institution is Easy as 1-2-3

Simply add your institution, the form only takes a few minutes.

Register yourself on the website confirm that you are a human. Wait for confirmation via email.

Once you login to the website you can then review your chosen institution.

Recently Added

AMA University and Colleges has a number of branches located in the Philippines. Address: Main University - Maximina St.,...
ELC Speaking is company located in Green Lake City, North America. Address: Jl. Boulevard, Crown B-5, Green Lake City 15147,...
ELC Enormous Wishing is a company located in Banten, Indonesia. Address: Crown B, Jl. Green Lake City Boulevard No.5, Tangerang,...
Henry Harvin is an online website located in India. Address: B-12, Sector 6, Noida, 201301, India. Website: Henry Harvin
OKI International School has a few international schools located in Sri Lanka. Address: OKI Senior School - No 43, Old...
EYASKIDS Learning Academy is a franchise located in China. Address: ACADEMY-Washington Branch- Pingguo Community - South Building 13#, Pingguo Community, Baiziwan Road...
Greenhill School is an independent day school located in Texas, North America. Address: 4141 Spring Valley Road, Addison, TX 75001 Website:...

Connect With Us Today

We believe it’s important to stay closely connected with the great individuals and organizations in the ESL/EFL industry, and what better way than through social media? We’re constantly posting updates online and participating in the buzz.

Please consider connecting with us on the following social media websites to stay up-to-date and connected!


Select a Country

Have you added your Institution!

Add your institution for review!

Thank for using ESLwatch, just one more thing before you go. Have you added your institution for review?

Does not matter if it is a school, college, university, recruiter, company, individual or online website that you have had dealings with in the past or present. The review form only takes a few minutes and you do not have to review the institution yourself.


Add Your Institution for Review