Protect Yourself Against Scams
Tuesday, September 11, 2018
Posted by: IAYT Administration
A number of our members have sent us details of contacts by unscrupulous individuals. The members were able to protect themselves by being alert to potential malicious contact through their online information.
As we work to make yoga therapy more visible and accessible to the public, your information becomes more available. We urge you to use caution and be alert to phishing schemes and other potential scams.
We wish to thank those who reported the following incidents for providing details that may benefit all of us.
I was recently almost the victim of a yoga therapy scam. I wanted to alert you to the details so other members can be forewarned.
The individual contacted me via e-mail and immediately I was suspicious; he had the wrong state in which I am located, and he didn't want to call me by phone, and there were odd grammatical errors. He claimed he wanted 12 private yoga therapy sessions for him and his wife; that they were in Mexico as he had a building contract there, and that they would be in the States in August through October. etc. He also said he had contacted other yoga therapists and that they were all "too busy" to take him on as a client (I love that... Yoga Therapists turning down business because they are too busy!)
He asked for my zip code and when I gave it to him he said that was perfect as he would be "5 miles from my location." I asked for references and some proof that he had connections in my area; instead he offered to pay me half of the amount I would charge for the sessions. I was still quite sure it was a scam but I was curious to see how it played out. This is how it works: he sent me a cashier's check for almost $3,000! I of course contacted him and asked why the excessive amount (the agreed upon amount was more like $400.). He then wrote that his assistant messed up, sent the wrong amount ( with a lot of details about how and why that happened) and that I needed to send the difference back to him. I simply told him that I was aware that the check was fraudulent and that I would not be sending him a dime and that I would send any future emails from him into spam.
Please let other therapists know that this is happening and to trust their instincts when they suspect that the supposed prospective client is a scam artist.
I was contacted by someone who wanted to book my services. They sent me a fraudulent check for an amount that was way more than the actual amount I was to bill them. We checked with the bank that the certified check was made under and they confirmed this was not a valid check. Had I not verified I would have been out the original amount + any amount I would have reimbursed them.
We have heard from others who are sharing with us similar scenarios. We urge all members to make sure that your profile privacy level is set so it best meets your needs to allow the public to find you. You can find the details to do so here.
Be aware and learn more from your email and internet provider about how they can help you protect yourself!