Scam Warnings!


'Tis the season for unscrupulous individuals to try to scam the honest, unsuspecting music teacher!  They come in with a variety of catch phrases — the ‘talented’ child — what is your fee — your studio owes money, etc.  They’re getting a little more sophisticated each year.  And they’re NOT limited to just emails — now we’re getting them in text messages!  If you don’t recognize the sender, DON’T RESPOND!  

It is sometimes difficult to spot a geniune student inquiry from a scam, especially if you are based in the area where the email or texts might originate.  Most of the time these emails originate from an overseas source.  There are patterns to scams which could contain many of these elements:

  • Poor English, poor spelling and puncations, incomplete sentences.
  • Demands for a ridiculous teaching schedule like “one hour lesson every day for four weeks”
  • Can’t meet in person immediately because they’re traveling
  • Strange travel and accommodation requests for the child
  • Pupil is always very talented
  • Attempts to dictate terms to you rather than asking for your terms
  • No phone number
  • Greeting does not use your name, but rather “Hello”
  • Does not refer to an actual instrument, but rather generalizations such as ‘music lessons'
  • Uses a hotmail, yahoo or other disposable email account.
  • Requests an address for sending you money, generally several hundred dollars.

Ignore emails and texts containing any of the above!  And NEVER accept payment by wire transfer or checks by mail - ALWAYS in person. 

If the message says your studio owes money, it’s a scam — another scare tactic.  Companies, collection agencies or the IRS will NEVER contact individuals via email, text or phone.

Craigslist is another playground for these individuals.  It is highly recommended that you DON’T advertise for lessons on Craigslist.


For some sample scam messages, CLICK HERE. If you have any you’d like to share, send them to  We’ll include them in this list.

Scam email received 7.13.18


FTC Consumer Information on Phishing

United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team - Online Safety

FBI Scams and Safety on the Internet

FBI - Filing a Complaint with the IC3

IRS - Report Phishing and Online Scams

Apple Website: Phishing and other Suspicious Emails



Gmail -


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