This Friday's question is...
-Q: I received this email. what should I do?
Date: Mon, June 11, 2012 1:57 am
Thanks for your review recently on ************************** for ITTP.
As part of our verification process for all reviews on our website, we randomly ask reviewers to verify their identity. Would it be possible to send us a scan of your passport and a scan of your passport stamp from Czech Republic to verify your identity and time on the program? Thank you for taking the time to do this and apologies for the time it will take. It is a big help in ensuring us in keeping the site working with only genuine reviews online.
-A: Firstly, I think it is good that some review websites take the time to verify the source of reviews because there are some very dubious negative and positive published reviews out there and for a reviews website it is important to maintain a level of professional control over the authenticity of its review database.
However, to verify whether a participant has taken a course then all which is needed is simply a scanned copy of the original of the TEFL/TESOL certificate as each certificate is numbered and catalogued.
I would never ever recommend sending a scanned copy of your passport photo page or any passport page because of the very real threat of identity theft and I have NEVER heard of this practice being done before - I certainly know that tefl-reviews.com don't hold this policy or we would have heard about this before from other clients who we recommend this site to. I noticed in your email to us Rachael that you did contact the US embassy in Prague and that was the wisest thing to do before considering responding to the reviews website email which you received. In addition, phishing emails and scam sites are not uncommon on the web. My advice is to write back to the reviews website which sent you the request and offer to send a copy of your TEFL/TESOL certificate received from ITTP.
Hope it helps!
Hezky den!/Lovely day!
Rachael's forwarded response to us from the American Embassy in Prague:
Good afternoon. We always strongly caution U.S. citizens against sharing their personal information over the internet. Please use exceptional caution and healthy skepticism when someone asks you for your personal details.
American Citizen Services Prague