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I'm reaching out to the community to seek advice. I'm a statistician by profession. Recently, I was contacted by a person on LinkedIn requesting to conduct offshore software training. He cited the urgency of the matter and wrote,

Hi mnm,

I know this is a little last minute but we have a trainer with visa issues that cannot make training to another country (country name withheld) next week. I was hoping you may be available to help out. The training is 2 days (June 20-21) on Data Science - are you available and interested?
Thanks!

Obviously, this person had checked my LinkedIn profile, so I checked him too. It seemed to appear legit. He was working for an ABC training company with a proper website and phone numbers.

I wrote back to this person asking questions like;

Dear ZZZ,

Thanks for reaching out. Indeed its last minute call. And although I'm available there are a few questions. Hope you can answer them.

Training related Qs

  1. What is the training about and I hope you have the training material?

  2. What is the training group size and how long each day session will be?

Visa, accommodation & travel arrangements

  1. What are the visa & other travel arrangements? Please elaborate?

  2. What is the accommodation arrangement?

  3. What exactly was the visa issue with the earlier trainer?

  4. And finally, what will be the payment for conducting the training.

The person replied saying the following;

So sorry! I had multiple asks out due to the urgency and we had another trainer commit to this training.

Questions

  1. Was it a scam or a genuine call? I honestly think the latter because I think I asked the correct questions and I did indicate my willingness to work.

  2. On an earlier occasion, I had received a similar training offer to conduct 7 days training, wherein the training provider was providing the accommodation and air-fare but was not ready to bank in training fee per day. They wanted to make payment after training was over. Also, they asked me to apply for a social visit pass to YYY country to conduct training. Was this a scam too?

  3. Finally, "Am I asking the right questions Or Am I being too careful?"

Please advise.

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    I do think your questions are very valid, but why do you think it was a scam? They simply let you know “thanks for replying, but we launched this request to several people and we already found someone, so sorry for your trouble”. – AsheraH Jun 15 at 6:12
  • @AsheraH if you see my question 2, you'll understand the backdrop. In past, I've had a similar experience, and although it all seemed too good to be true, an unwillingness to make daily payment and conducting business on social visit pass alarmed me. Now, I know the business on foreign soil is often conducted on social visit pass, but then in these cases, people who do such business know each other well. – mnm Jun 15 at 7:29
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    I think what you are missing is that this was not a heartfelt personal contact based on a careful and thorough evaluation of your profile. He would have sent the message to 100 people and as long as his immediate problem was solved, any further communication is just an annoyance to him. Probably not a scam, but probably not going to lead to a fruitful working relationship either. I'd forget about him. – Gaius Jun 15 at 9:11
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    We can't answer this based on the information provided. Most scams, except for the really well-known ones, need to play out a bit further to be sure it's a scam. Judging whether it's a scam will involve finding out why they contacted you specifically, what sort of interview process there is for you (asking a complete stranger with no validation would be highly suspicious), to which extent you can verify them, the event, the accommodation, etc., most definitely any scam red-flags like asking you to pay something at any point and other things. – Dukeling Jun 15 at 9:15
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    LinkedIn profiles are really easy to fake (I can also say I work for ABC training company and link to their website), so are websites and phone numbers. You can try to call the phone number, but that would only identify scammers listing fake numbers, not those that went to the extra effort of also having a human on the other end (and also not those that listed a number of a real place they have no affiliation with). What's much more important is what the rest of LinkedIn / the internet says about them. – Dukeling Jun 15 at 9:27
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Was it a scam or a genuine call? I honestly think the latter because I think I asked the correct questions and I did indicate my willingness to work.

You cannot decide this based on your questions but based on their answer/s. As per the information provided, I suspect this may be a scam or genuine company but not ready to spend enough.

You can verify it by asking them by saying,

Hi,

I am willing to conduct training for you in future, could you please answer to my previous questions.

If they are not answering properly or telling further excuses then it is a scam.

Finally, "Am I asking the right questions Or Am I being too careful?"

Yes. you were asking the valid questions.

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