We had a thread about this topic a couple of months ago, but I couldn’t find it. It was a warning to fellow instructors / trainers to avoid the scam where the trainer gets an email request to train a group of foreign travelers. At the time, there was a bit of confusion regarding how the scam worked. This post was copied and pasted from another fitness form, that explains a little more about what the scam looks like and how it works.
Never make arrangements that involve giving your bank information or paying an overage or issue a refund before an original payment clears.
We had discussed a new Nigerian scam where you might get an email from a man who wants “private classes” for his whole family. They can contact you either via text or email. A lot of us ZINs are getting these emails. Do not fall for this and please reference this link for a little more info. Basically the scam is that they “overpay you” and say that you will send the overpayment back to their account. Their transaction never clears their bank and you will be on the hook for the money you tried to pay back in overpayment. I did not fall for this scam, but am still getting emails and texts. I am sending this out to all of you so that you will be aware of the scam before they try to contact you too.
I’ve heard two new twists on this old scam this week.
1) The person who wants to hire the service has laryngitis, so they can’t be reached by phone because they can’t talk.
2) The person arranging the service is on their way to the ICU and won’t be able to talk by phone. This one strikes me as the most silly. If they’re really on their way to the hospital with a serious illness, then the last thing they’re going to be doing is arranging personal training or yoga or other services for their family!
I got another one of these yesterday, my third in a year. I know to ignore these scams, and I know how to tell very quickly if something is a scam, but I wonder if there is a way to catch these people at their game. My husband suggested pinging the server from which the email originated and then contacting the non-emergency police number of that area to see if there is a department that handles it.
I received a text but when I told him I do not accept credit cards as payment he immediately stopped texting me. I had a bad feeling about it because he said he would be having his private driver drop off his wife and three daughters because he was in the hospital out of the country. Just sketchy!
I get these types of scams contacting me from time to time. I do get some real contacts from people legitimately coming to Hawaii wanting to keep up their fitness programs. The scams always want to send money without meeting me. I always tell everyone that they have to meet me first. The legit ones have no problem with this as it is wise for both of us. The scams never reply to this requirement.
Anyone wanting to come the Big Island of Hawaii for a fitness vacation or continuing education vacation, check out my website. www.hawaiifitnessacademy.com