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an offer from an unknown school
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kristin



Joined: 13 Sep 2009
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2009 11:15 pm    Post subject: an offer from an unknown school Reply with quote

i have been offered a job by a spanish school called norman international academy. apparently this is a new school, they can't be found online. i wonder if anybody has ever heard of this program or knows anything about it, since i feel a little insecure about taking up an offer from a place that i can't research. does anybody have tips for researching schools? thanks!
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Lexicon



Joined: 11 Sep 2006
Posts: 153
Location: New Orleans

PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2009 1:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Even a new school has to be registered with the relevant taxing and licensing authorities in their country and locality. You can either request the information from the school, or if you feel they may be put off by that you should be able to look them up.

Ask to speak to some of their current teachers about working for the school and in the town.

Most importantly of all, DO NOT SEND THEM ANY MONEY!!!

If you are not an EU national, you will need a visa/work permit to teach in Spain. They must secure this for you before you come. Do not fly to Spain without this.
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hannahtramaseur



Joined: 18 Sep 2009
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 11:19 am    Post subject: Norman International Reply with quote

I have also been offered a job at Norman International. I have signed a contract and sent it back. Before everything else can be processed, I have been asked to send 520 euro's for 2 months rent. Having searched on google etc. I am a little reluctant to send the money but I have a signed contract. How far have you got in your application? Can you let me know what you are going to do? Many thanks.
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Lexicon



Joined: 11 Sep 2006
Posts: 153
Location: New Orleans

PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Never send a school money in advanced, period!

No real school will ask you for money from abroad.
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unionjack
Site Admin


Joined: 04 Jun 2004
Posts: 498
Location: UK

PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 3:03 pm    Post subject: advertisement Reply with quote

Where have you seen the advertisement as there is every indication that it is bogus?

UJ
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mochi



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 7:08 pm    Post subject: Oh no... Reply with quote

Thank God I read this post before I just sent 870 Euros to this fraud company!!! I'm in the same boat as everyone else - I too was accepted by NIA and asked to send 870 euros to "David Freeman."

I literally had taken out the money from the bank and was going to go to Western Union. But the banker had mentioned something about a lot of fraud going on when you send money internationally. He said there was no way to get it back. Something didn't feel right to me, so I went home and tried to Google map Norman Intrernational Academy, because businesses/schools will usually show up. I couldn't find anything. Even on Google Earth, the street "Avda Del Prado" is a bunch of fancy looking houses with pools??

I'm mostly just so disheartened. Maybe I'm a fool for thinking the company was real! But the process actually took a while, with all the different forms and questions, so I thought why would they bother if it wasn't real... My family and friends were so happy for me, and I was thrilled at the idea of teaching in Spain! What a blow.

Some things are definitely iffy to me now: The defense that they automatically gave me for not giving me a phone interview (something about "bad" connections). I hadn't even brought it up - they did. Then, the impending website that was going to be up in November. Another thing were those pictures they sent me - too good to be true?

Is there anyway to stop these fraud applications from going on? It would be so horrible if I had actually sent the money! Please let me know what other people have found out.
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Lexicon



Joined: 11 Sep 2006
Posts: 153
Location: New Orleans

PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You guys could help by telling us where the advert is that you have all replied to.

Also, just FYI Freeman and Freedman are common sirnames from Liberia and Nigeria -- hotbeds of fraud. Be wary of anyone with those last names.

Again some simple things to remember:

- Legit schools will always do a phone or in person interview.

- They do not require money be sent in advance.

- They do not offer employment to non-EU citizens in Spain or Italy.

Do not send a photocopy of your passport, credit card, bank info, or anything else to anyone.

Real jobs will require you bring these things with you, but mainly if you need a visa, this is done through that country's Consulate in the US or Canada. You have to submit the paperwork from the US to the office in the US. The school must send you a letter of employment (official offer) including dates, status, pay, etc. You then submit this with your packet to the Consulate or Embassy.

If the school won't send you (by post) certified documents, then don't get on the plane! They will eventually scam you.
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jacqui



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 11:06 pm    Post subject: isaac heskel ain't real!! Reply with quote

Hi all,

I saw the ad for NIA as a google add on when I was browsing the ESL newsletter. The wage appealed to me - 1600 euros per month - come to think on it - it's way too good for spain!!! Oh well, glad I read all your posts before I went ahead and sent my documents to the conmen.

Isaac Heskel alias needs a good ass whipping amongst other things!

J
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mochi



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2009 7:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Norman International Academy" advertises on almost every ESL/TEFL website. If you just google their name (put it in quotes), three pages of their postings show up! It's even posted on this very website:

http://www.eslemployment.com/dcforum/DCForumID1/4330.html#

Luckily for me, this forum page also shows up - and the reason why I didn't lose 870 euros today!

Thanks for the heads-up everyone.
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unionjack
Site Admin


Joined: 04 Jun 2004
Posts: 498
Location: UK

PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2009 9:18 am    Post subject: DELETION Reply with quote

Thanks for that; we will delete that today and look out for it in the future.

UJ
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rphillips



Joined: 23 Nov 2005
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2009 3:17 pm    Post subject: Fraud school in Spain Norman International Freeman Reply with quote

Hello,

Thanks very much kristin, Mochi, hannahtramaseur, jacqui for cluing us in on this bogus post, and very sorry to hear you had these dealings with them. Indeed, I echo the sentiment that it's very important to never send money when job hunting for an ESL post. Employers should not require you to pay them anything for a job position.

I apologize that we were not able to catch this posting more quickly, and that it was on the site at all. We are working on some new systems to regognize these scam listings so they do not appear at all. We greatly appreciate your continued use of our service at ESLEmployment.com.

Thank you again, and all the best.

Rich
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hannahtramaseur



Joined: 18 Sep 2009
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2009 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is what I emailed David this morning followed by the response I received back -
Hi David,

I really want the job offered and to get the ball rolling. I have to admit I am concered about sending money when there is so little information about you on the web. I have joined a few EFL forums and have found the following about you -

Do not apply for, nor accept, any jobs offered by the Norman International Academy, of Malaga, Spain. The school does not exist. Adverts for jobs there are an attempt at extortion. After a scam online interview following the submission of documents and so on, you will be accepted for a job but then asked to send money for accommodation (spelled incorrectly in the offer email along with many other literals and errors) and/or visas. Do not, repeat NOT, send them any money. It will be the last you see of it - or them. You will be asked to send the money to the company barrister davidfreeman. The 'director' is a man called Isaac Heskel.
You have been warned.


Obviously I am not going to send any money after reading this. Please can you prove the job and school is real, i.e. prove you are a registered Spanish company etc, send my airplane ticket in advance etc...

I appologise if this is a genuine offer and hope you can understand my concerns.

Many thanks,

Hannah

this is the response-

The director is ready to sue anyone who calls NIA scam to the international court of law.Most uninformed idiots think that every school that requires money upfront is a scam.If we can get the name and address of the person that posted this scam information,definitely ,he must be sued to the international court of law for deformation of character.

If you have any brother/sister/friend/relative in Spain, please advise the person to come and verify our existence/Legitimacy on your behalf.It is highly annoying that people will just rise to spoil the reputation of others,their aim is only to destroy,they are 'terrorists'.

You can give this contact information to any of your people in Spain to reach us when he/she wants to visit the school.

FAX: +34911881389
TEL: +34695871148

After their verification, you will help to spread the news that Norman International Academy is a reality.

Have a great day,

David


What do you all think? Am confused!
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Lexicon



Joined: 11 Sep 2006
Posts: 153
Location: New Orleans

PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2009 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Notice he didn't give you any sort of verification from the Spanish Authorities.

Walk away.

Oh, and note his poor English skills...not very likely the level of someone representing a school.
_________________
The first step to teaching is realizing that you don't know nearly enough yourself.

My Blog: http://calleteach.wordpress.com
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rphillips



Joined: 23 Nov 2005
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2009 6:37 pm    Post subject: Responding to you hannah Reply with quote

Hello Hannah,

Thanks for taking the time to post and continue the thread. I think this could be a good real life "case study" of sorts. Let me point out a few things that come to mind and I'm sure our other members will have even better insight on top of this:

- Notice there is no answer to your questions other than a phone number. It is easy to set up a phone number with either a direct line to a scammer, or an answering machine message, which will provide even another level of purported legitimacy to a scam. It is harder for a scammer to get a real address, in a place like Spain no less since a lot of these scams originate in Africa.

- Spain is commonly used as a fake location due to the attractiveness of posts in Spain, and the difficulty in getting work there due to the high competition for those positions, as well as EU restrictions for non-EU nationals like Canadians, Austrians, Americans, etc.

- the harsh language, spelling mistakes, and poor grammar are indicative of scams as well. Plus the threat of suing somebody is probably some kind of scare tactic or possibly a second step in the scam process. That is, if you don't pay initially, the scammer will have a string of messages queued up to try to get you to pay. This is probably one of them in the process that uses the threat of legal action to scare you into paying.

Keep reading I'm sure there will be more good insight. My strong advice at this point is to forget this job, but by all means feel free to continue E-mail and posts as this is very valuable information to have on these scammers, and our site often comes up in search engines for other ESL job seekers looking for work so this information will be read by many, and help many avoid losing money to these types of bogus postings.

Thanks again for your time posting in the forum.

Rich
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mochi



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 9:50 am    Post subject: NIA's reponse Reply with quote

Hi Everyone,

The other day, after I learned about the NIA scam, I couldn't help but email them to see what they had to say for themselves. I questioned them on their lack of information (Spanish white pages, Google map search), their location (up-scale surburban neighborhood - they don't seem to know about the wonders of Google Earth), and a certificate of recognizition from the state.

This is what Isaac responded with (it's quite long):


"Please be informed that Norman International Academy is a registered firm in Spain.However,it is necessary for you to know that registration of schools in Spain normally pass through different stages before you could find it in the Spanish white pages.After the initial registration,the school has the full authority to operate .However,it will still be required to get approvals from the governments educational authorities.Getting these approvals from the government is a gradual process,it could take up to three years to be completed.

As you were earlier informed,Norman international school is still a young institution,you will be seeing us on spanish white pages,google searches etc when we must have gotten all the necessary certificates from the Education authority.It is the authorities that will give us the to be included in the White pages.Also ,our website is still under construction,that hinders us to be found on searches,though it will be ready by November this year.Remember to submitt your recent photo for the building of the website.


Avda del Prado, Marbella, Malago, Spain is our address.We bought the place from another company,that is why you seem not to find our name there.The change of ownership is will be completed soon.

Yeah.... the school has an official certificate which was issued after the intitial registration by the educational authorities.But,sending the certificate to a newly accepted employee is not part of the selection/employment process.If you are in doubt of our of our legitimacy/existence,simply ask any of your friends/brother/sister/relative living in Spain to visit the school on your behalf.I believe it will be the best proof and source of relief on your part.

I have attached my passport to this email,just for you to know more about me.

Finally,if you still have the interest to continue with us, do not hesitate to contact the barrister today,we do not have much time left to process your travelling and working documents.It is better to commence the process on time in order to meet up with your arrival deadline."


The email indeed includes a passport of a man named Isaac Heskel; however, I have been told that passports can be easily filched from tourists and used for identity theft. Most of the response seems to be a stream of excuses. If NIA is really a "two year-old" school, they certainly could not have lasted this long without being registered in Spain and located on a map!

In addition, I have spoken to someone who also applied to work for NIA, and actually DID have his friend who lives in Malaga check out the given address. Nothing was there, let alone an academy of "650 students." His friend asked around, and no one had heard of the supposed school. For anyone who wants to virtually visit the address themselves, just look it up using Google Earth. From what I can tell, the street is full of expensive houses/mansions with pools and tennis courts.

I'm surprised that NIA has the confidence to invite people to visit the school for themselves. I'm wondering if they are betting on the applicant's lack of connection in Malaga?

Hope this bit of information helps.
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