I regret to say that I have, thus far, had a great deal of difficulty keeping my New Year’s Resolution of earning $100 each week through tutoring. Although I have posted advertisements on craigslist, they have attracted mostly spam as responses. I have had somewhat more luck, however, having people contact me through the Department’s website (they have a special section in which prospective tutors are listed).
Earlier this week, I thought I had another such response: it seems that some lady in Austria (by the rather unlikely name of Ann Taylor, email address firstname.lastname@example.org) was looking for a tutor for her homeschooled son, who would be moving to Canada within a week or so. I found the request to be highly unusual, but then I don’t pretend to understand at all how homeschoolers roll, and it seemed fairly specific, so I replied, told her my rates and the hours that I was available.
She responded by offering to pay me a lump sum of $600 dollars to tutor her son for six hours a week for a month (with the possibility of renewal should he find my services satisfactory). I’m generally used to working irregular hours, rather than on a fixed schedule, so this seemed rather odd, but I am disinclined, at this point in my life, to turn down offers of money outright*. Upon consulting with my friends, however, it became clear that many of them had been negotiating similar contracts. Either our Austrian friend was a very shrewd business woman…or she was out on a phishing expedition.
It was the second one.
So mercifully, I have been alerted to the scam in time. The question now is: what should I do about it**? I could just start filing her missives into the spam folder, but I dislike having my time wasted and poverty taken advantage of, so I feel inclined to play with her a bit. I’m not yet quite sure how, but I’m sure I’ll think of something.
*I did, however, feel a great swell of pity for the poor kid. What seventeen-year old boy wants to spend six hours a week in parent-arranged tutoring over the summer?
**Other than publish this post so as to warn off others.