UPDATE : Teacher Scams - September 2021!

New academic year and new scams! With the new academic year a month old for the majority of UAE schools, the number of scam teacher recruitments notified to us at WhichSchoolAdvisor.com over the summer had been limited - it seems even scammers need a break – but business as usual seems to have been resumed.
UPDATE : Teacher Scams - September 2021!
By Lyn Soppelsa
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With schools having been opened barely a month since the summer break, scammers are again hard at work. Two further scams have been brought to our attention in the past week, bring to five the number for the new academic year.

The first notified to us is for Victoria High School Dubai - the fake website is www.victoriahighschoolae.com. Supposedly located in the Emirates Hills area of the city, this non-existent school processes non-existent visas through Barak Travel & Tourism Dubai.  Interestingly, this is one of several scams that has used an employment contract issued by Aspen Healthcare - a genuine UAE company. 

The latest scam is for a school based in Abu Dhabi called Erudite International School - https://eruditeintlschool.com/.  The website is a copy of the site belonging to Loyola International School in Doha, Qatar.  There have been several recent UAE scams where genuine schools located in Qatar have had their websites copied.  In this case, the phony travel agent is Fast Gulf Travel Dubai.

The first two scam recruitment campaigns for non-existent schools of the 2021-22 academic year hit us on the same day. One day later, scam number three popped into our inbox

The latest is Emaar International School Abu Dhabi. The school contact email is info@eis-ae.com, with the ubiquitous mobile contact number of  +971 52 107 5084. No details of the travel agency as yet, but up front visa fees of 3,000 AED. If you have been contacted by this 'school' and have additional information, please contact us at info@whichschooladvisor.com 

On Wednesday 25th August we received notification of Al Haja International School operating from a fake website. This domain was set up on 4th August and is linked to a fake travel agency, Luwien Emirates Travels for the scam visa process. As usual, contact is via a mobile phone number.

The third scam school we have received this month concerns the fictional Elite Private School, Abu Dhabi, with Al Asrar Travel & Tourism - UAE as the travel agent contact, using the following email addresses and phone number. The contacts for the school are : career@epsuae.com or phone:+971523579289, and the contact person Mr. Manuel Narssau.

If you believe that you have been sent a scam job offer, please share it with us via info@whichschooladvisor.com, so that we can ensure other unsuspecting teachers are not duped by these thieves.

June 2021 updates -  a week after two further scams were advised to WhichSchoolAdvisor.com, a further scam - the fifth in the month of June so far - has been advised to us by a teacher approached by ACS International School.

As is normally the case, the offer from the 'school' is unusually generous, and as always, involves payment for visas in advance of arrival in the UAE. This time, the scammers have chosen highly regarded not-for-profit American Community School in Abu Dhabi as a creditable name to base their scam around.

The fake school website is www.acsinterschoolae.com, with the following contact details - info@acsinterschoolae.com or Tel: +971 5 210 75084. The job offer was made in the name of Prof- Wayne Francis Breslin.  The fake travel agency through whom visas are to be applied for is West Bay Travels and Tourism L.L.C, Tel: 00971-558901946,
Email: westbaytravelsllc@outlook.com and info@westbaytravels.com.  The fake website for the agency is www.westbaytravels.com.

The latest to be notified to us by our contact at Stop419scams.com is The Mina International School Dubai.   This is a copy of the Oxford School Dubai website. The Oxford School currently carries a warning on its website about scam teaching positions. This time, the scammers have used Westernised names for their fake recruiters - Mrs. Linda Glenn and Mr. Jack Logan. The school is supposed to be located in Emirates Hills. The travel agency involved is Haamid Travel & Tourism Dubai. If you are contacted by someone representing the non-existent Mina International School, we advise that this is a scam.

In addition, we have received details of a further 'school' Kings College Dubai. These scammers have been smart in choosing a school name (Kings) that is genuine in the city (there are three branches of the Kings Schools), but no College.  The associated travel agency is Hamdan Travel Agency

Fortunately, the teacher who was offered the position at Kings College Dubai made some additional checks.  She found that there was no school at the location provided to be found on Google maps, no reviews of the school on Google either, and that the school was not registered with Dubai's School Regulator - the KHDA.  Simple checks that saved her potentially paying out thousands of Dirhams for visas for non-existent positions.

If you are made aware of a scam recruitment campaign, please contact us at info@whichschooladvisor.com so that we can share it with other potential victims. Please forward copies of emails received - particularly the employment contract and travel agency contact email.  We pass these directly to Stop419scams.com who aim to get fake websites removed without delay. You can check for scam schools bu using the search function on their website.

The scam school details provided on 6th June was ACS International School  http://www.acsinterschoolae.com/ which has duplicated the website of Virginia International School Abu Dhabi. The contact number given for the school is +971 52 107 5084 (a cell number, as usual).  We have asked the teacher  who notified us this scam to forward further details if at all possible, and will update the information related to this scam school as we receive it.

The scam notified to us last week (on 4th June) is for a fake Abu Dhabi-based school - Etihad Global International Schools.  As usual, there is a fake website: http://www.ethdintsch.com/contact-us.html, and the scammers are contacting teachers who have posted their resumes on genuine Career Search sites - in this case drjobs.ae. 

Our potential victim was contacted by Mr Ahmed Robinson, Senior Recruitment Manager, Etihad Global Intl School, his contact details being Tel: +971 52 2043940, Email: hr@ethdintsch.com or career@ethdintsch.com. Also in common with all of these scams, a fake travel agency, based supposedly in Dubai, is involved.  Highwavetravels, is represented by Usman Issah, Head of Visa Permit Operations.

With a salary offer of AED 35,500 per month, our potential victim was suspicious enough to request the person in charge to arrange a Zoom or Skype interview, but was informed that there was no need until she arrived in Abu Dhabi to take up the job. The cost of the employment visa that our teacher would need to pay in order to be able to travel to her new position was US$ 1,499. 

Our potential victim has provided copies of all documents and emails to WhichSchoolAdvisor.com. and, we, in turn, have forwarded them to our friends at Stop419scams.com. The school website (together with that of the fake travel agency) was removed within 24 hours by its host , but the scammers will almost certainly find another host and return.  Do not get caught!

The second scam of May 2021 is for Australian Modern School. This is supposedly located in Mohammed bin Zayed City,  Abu Dhabi. The contact number of the recruiter (STEVE ZAIN HASSAN) is given as +971 52 862 6947.  Please note that all numbers starting with 971 5 are mobile numbers and should immediately evoke suspicion! The email address is info@australianmodernschool.com or administration@australianmodernschool.com.  

As usual, the salary and benefit offer from Australian Modern School is well beyond the norm with a monthly offer of AED 18,500 plus a weekly allowance of AED 2,000.  Payment for the employment visa is to a scam travel agency - City Trans Travel and Tourism LLC-UAE. 

This time, the scammers have set up a fake school web address - www.ams-abudhabi.com - however, this is used solely as an address for emails with no content. In so organising, it is more difficult to close the site down. 

The first scam of May 2021 involves a newly launched fake school due to open in September 2021 - Victoria School Dubai - located in Al Ghusais supposedly. The website is a copy of  Northview International school in Qatar, where Sheldon Smith is Principal. The usual ruse applies with a fake website, the inevitable mobile contact number - this time +971 52 972 1171 - and an untraceable email address - info@victoriaschooldubai.com. Visa processing is through NADAH TRAVELS & TOURISM DUBAI - Phone: +971 55 365 2213, e-mail: nadahtravels@gmail.com or info@nadahtravels.com, Website: www.nadahtravels.com  Do not be caught out! The site has been up and running for at least three weeks as at today's date and we have received a contract copy provided by a suspicious teacher.

Following our first report of 2021, two months on and the scams continue. 

This one is aimed at teachers seeking a position in tertiary education, and although not usually our prime focus, we wanted to share the details of this latest attempt by crooks to take money from the teaching profession.

A further 2021 scam involves University of Jazeera.  The contact person named on the fake website is Luis Matías who can be reached on a UAE mobile number +971 52 802 6249. The email contact is hruojac@techie.com.info@uojac.info. The fake website is www.uojac.info/ae. As usual, the scam seeks to encourage candidates who are offered a dream package to organise their own and their families' visas through a travel agency. In this case, it is Abdulla Al Mazroui Travel & Tourism Agency and the contact person is a Tarik Akram, contact number +971 50 784 1582, and e-mail:abdullaalmazrouitravel@gmail.com or enquiry@abdulalmazrouitours.com.  The "company" website is www.abdulalmazrouitours.com.

Please do not fall into this trap. No genuine employment offer will be vastly overpaid and require visa applications to be made through a travel agency.

Given the difficulties being faced by many schools and teachers currently, ever more scams are coming to light - a trend that is sadly only likely to continue as these criminals take advantage of teachers faced with finding new jobs in the current climate.

The most recent schools to be affected by these scammers are Australian International School Dubai - a genuine school whose opening was postponed for 2020 - and Renaissance School Dubai.  We believe that the fake site for Australian International School has now been taken down by the hosting site following intervention by our expert contact at https://www.stop419scams.com/.  If you receive an offer that looks too good to be true, please do check this site before responding.

In late October, we reported on the scam involving GEMS Modern Academy and a "too good to be true" job offer for Gulf Model School in Dubai. 

Again, the fraudsters have copied the website of the genuine school - and by changing the name slightly - pluralising it to Gulf Model Schools - they have been able to create a fake website - cheekily calling it the Official Website.  Visa payments - the money-making aspect of these scams are to be made to the non-existent Wave Travel Agency in Abu Dhabi.

On September 28th, we informed readers about the scam involving one of Dubai's best known schools - GEMS Modern Academy. The scammers have gone back to the school's previous name GEMS Modern High School.  Although the fake site has currently been removed from the hosting site, this is the second time that the fake site has been set up and we fully expect it to appear again. Teachers who are offered a position at the fake school may confirm the veracity of any offer received by contacting HR officer Payal Sehgal at GEMS Modern Academy at the following email address - paayal.s_mhs@gemsedu.com.

At the same time, a second fake website was found for the non-existent Danish International School Abu Dhabi. This website is a copy of the Amity International School Abu Dhabi website.  Any offers purporting to be issued by Danish International School Abu Dhabi can therefore be disregarded.

Earlier this month WhichSchoolAdvisor.com was alerted to a scam involving the California American School Abu Dhabi. The format is the same as those mentioned below. The scammers appear to be making more and more use of job-seeker websites as a source of teachers seeking new positions. Again, salary offers are over-inflated and no formal interview takes place.

On the 8th September we were alerted to a scam using the very real Dubai-based school - The City School International. The modus operandi remains the same - a fake mirror website with the address https://thecityschools-sch.com/ae/.  The genuine website is http://thecityschool.sch.ae/. WhichSchoolAdvisor.com informed The City School International and requested a contact at the school with whom any teachers receiving an offer can confirm if it is genuine.  As yet, we have not heard back from the school. 

As usual, the teacher who informed us of this latest scam had received an unsolicited job offer, despite having had no interview for the position, on a salary package that was clearly over-inflated.  As usual also, in order to proceed with the process, she was required to transfer funds to a fake Dubai-based travel agency - in this case, Dasmal Travel and Tourism.  The contact was again a mobile number (starting with +97158). All UAE cell phone numbers begin with +9715.  If you receive a similar offer with an obviously inflated salary and conditions and no personal interview this, will be a scam.

In August we were tipped off to a scam involving the Belvedere British School in Abu Dhabi.  This is a genuine school whose own website has been recreated - the school's website is https://belvederebritishschool.ae; the fake website is http://belvederebritishschooluae.com.  Should you wish to check the veracity of an offer from Belvedere British School, Mrs. Rasha, HR Manager can be contacted at bbs.hr@belvederebritishschool.ae. 

UAE schools do not generally use the domain uae.com, but rather ae.com. The fake website also contains a mobile phone number to contact.  Please note that mobile numbers in the UAE all start with +971 50, 52, 55 or 56. 

Belvedere British School fake website

We strongly advise that if you are approached with a job offer for which you did not apply directly, or which appears to be unusually well paid, and where there is a requirement to pay visa costs up front (generally through a travel agency), that you treat this as suspicious.

Al Basma British School is a genuine school in Abu Dhabi. However, the fraudsters set up a mirror website - www.albasmabritishschool.com (not ae as is generally the case for UAE schools - and are using fake email addresses to attract teachers to this scam. The Principal of Al Basma British School has requested that anyone has received offers for the school may contact the school's HR Manager Salam@albasmaschool.ae if they want to verify an offer or want further information.
She further advises that applicants should only apply in response to TES adverts and only by accessing and logging into the official TES website, not by being redirected from any other site or by applying directly to an email address or in response to an advert posted on any other website.

If you are concerned that a job offer may not be genuine, we advise you to check the following community website which has been established to advise of scam websites designed to defraud - https://www.stop419scams.com/.

The last reported scam on 24th June was for Abu Dhabi International School,  in Abu Dhabi whose website address is http://aisschools.com/.  The scam school website is www.abintlsschl.com. An email address using the same domain - info@abintlsschl.com and a mobile phone number - +971586695013 - are also provided. 

Again, we would warn teachers to look out for the common signs - unsolicited offers without any form of interview, salaries that are beyond the usual norm, mobile telephone contact and the requirement to transfer funds for visa payment to a travel agency.

Update, 2nd June, WhichSchoolAdvisor continues to be informed by teachers that offers are being made by Etik International School and Ontario International Canadian School.  Since this genuine school closed in 2019, any website or contact from this organisation will be a scam.

In addition, three new school scams are operating -  these are Ajnadeen International School, Royal International School and Savolar International.com. Royal International School appears to be a copy of the website for Raha International School Abu Dhabi, whilst Sovalar International is a copy of the website for Renaissance School Dubai.

There is also a further university scam site which has recently appeared - University of Jazeera.  This is a copy of the original website which does not appear to be working.

We understand that the majority of the fake websites listed in our article below have been blocked by the web hosts with the exception of Dubai British School, Ittihad University.  There is also a scam which has been operating for some time - Emirates National Schools which has been copied from their genuine website.

Read our below article in full to find out more about the schools that have been used as targets for scams so far, and the key information that will ensure you are not caught out.  It is common practice for these scammers to move their fake websites between different hosts, so a website that may not currently be working is very likely to reappear on a different platform.

This is a copy of the real website  Jumeira University, located in Al Qouz, Dubai.

The fake Ittihad University webpage

In late October 2019, WhichSchoolAdvisor.com warned teachers about the latest teacher scam in our article 'Warning, New Teacher Scam targets Teachers'. A few months on and four further fake schools were promoting themselves, contacting teachers and informing them that they have been selected for a position. WhichSchoolAdvisor.com was contacted first about Etik International School Abu Dhabi

The Etik International School website was removed by the hosting service last week, only to have reappeared again on 20th March, having this time copied The City School's website. 

A day after publishing this article, two more teachers contacted us about Ontario International Canadian School in Dubai.  We then learned of a third school - Reinhold International School Abu Dhabi.  This scam school appears to be operated by the same team behind Etik International School, using the same copied images and content from the Etik website. 

We were then notified of two further schools - Al Madinah Private School, and Dubai British School.  The school bears the same name as the Dubai British School in Dubai, but again, the website is fake, copied from Al Farouk School. 

The salary offer for Etik International School was AED 15,500 in pay, a generous (unspecified) AED 3,000 weekly allowance, AED 3,000 monthly car maintenance allowance, a further AED 3,000 monthly rent allowance and an AED 36,000 annual allowance.  The "lucky" recipient of this fantastic offer was informed that his CV had been taken from OET jobs.  There was no interview and no other screening process.  

Fortunately, the recipient of the offer, Syed, checked for this non-existent school on WhichSchoolAdvisor.com and when he did not find it, contacted us by every conceivable means to check whether the offer was genuine. 

Unfortunately, we have again had to dash an excited teacher's hopes by confirming that there is no such school and that this is another attempt to scam teachers through extracting visa payments up front, with no chance of the visa or job actually being realised. 

The generosity of the offer is designed to attract the potential employee to continue through the process and make the up front visa payments.

Download the PDF here.

The website itself has been put together through the use of images from at least one existing school. In fact, the 'authors' failed to correct their spelling or grammar mistakes and have quoted the real school in error when attempting to post their Mission statement. 

The usual tell-tale sign of an address that does not ring true (this time in a high rise building) and a mobile telephone number add more clues to the evidence that the site is fake. But above all else, the complete lack of interview and other screening process makes it clear that this is in no way genuine.  

In this case job applicants were referred to a "Dubai-based" travel agency - Union Gulf Travel and Tourism.  Again, there is no landline, purely mobile numbers, and the agency appears to focus on visa issuance. 

We advised Syed to contact Abu Dhabi Education and Knowledge Department to make them aware of the existence of this latest attempt by fraudsters in the UAE to take advantage of genuine job seekers. 

The second case was, if anything, even more audacious than that of Etik International.  Ontario International Canadian School was a genuine school, located in Mirdif, Dubai, that unfortunately closed in June 2019.  The scammers simply duplicated the genuine school's website - http://oics.ae/ - and copied it to a new, slightly different, web address,  - http://oicsae.com/.  Once again, the contact number is a cell phone. 

Although WhichSchoolAdvisor.com did not see the offer letter in full, it seems remarkably similar in appearance to that for Etik International School, though we have no evidence of a connection and the terms of the offer a not as generous.  However, a second teacher who has contacted us with a similar (though higher salary) package which included allowances of 'Car Maintenance: AED 3,600, (Monthly) House & Furnishings: AED 36,659 (Yearly), Entertainment & Recreation: AED 2,203 (Monthly), Travel & Events: AED 3,489 (Monthly)'.

'In addition, All Employees will receive AED 21,598 Take home for each leave Period. Employer for each Inter-continental trip shall be paid AED 12929 Flat Rate travel/entertainment allowance to employee. Travel shall be by business class/first class flight, or otherwise if necessary'. 

In this case, the travel agency involved is Emirates Way Travel Agency in Dubai. 

Download the PDF here

Again, we can only advise teachers to stay alert and suspicious of any job offer with an inflated salary package for positions for which they have not applied, and have not been interviewed or screened, and check that the contact details include a landline number (not a mobile number).  Any mention of visa processing for which they are expected to pay, should be the most significant warning sign.

All registered schools in Dubai are listed on the KHDA's website, whilst those in Abu Dhabi can be found here (though ADEK does not list planned or newly opening schools).  In Sharjah, Sharjah Private Education Authority is responsible for the operations of private schools, although these are not listed on their website.  They can be contacted by email on info@spea.shj.ae. 

As of 18th March, the websites for both Reinhold International School and Etik International School had been taken down by the hosting company.

That left OICS and a further website for Al Madinah International School in operation which had cloned the imagery of the premium Swiss International Scientific School, in Dubai.

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