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TEFL Online Pro review: A potential fraudulent company backed by a fake tefl review site

O
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3:57 am EST
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In the online TEFL space, there are bound to be a fair amount of unscrupulous characters and scammy programs out there. It appears there is a new player on the field, TEFL Online Pro, which might take the cake as being the pinnacle of a fraudulent company backed by a fake review site — Trusted Tefl Reviews.

There is mounting evidence that suggests that TEFL Online Pro's entire operation is poorly conceived scam, run by one individual pretending to be both graduates and staff of this made-up online TEFL company. This individual appears to also be the creator, and operator, of the potentially fake TEFL review site, Trusted TEFL Reviews, creating multiple fake personas to give the review site (and TEFL Online Pro) the optics of looking credible.
Even more troubling is that TEFL Online Pro and Trusted TEFL Reviews might indeed be the work of a man named Neville David Thomas, a past scam artist in the online TEFL space {proof below}.

Let's take a step back and unpack how we got here. Trusted TEFL Reviews — trustedteflreviews.com, appeared on the scene in mid-2019 as a credible review site that didn't accept advertising dollars. The owner of the site was a very active woman named Mia Williams. Shortly after this review site's inception, it became clear that this site was nothing at all to be trusted. The review site's real intended use is to prop up Online TEFL Pro and write fake negative reviews about legitimate TEFL courses. Evidence below.

i) Both TEFL Online Pro and Trusted TEFL Reviews were created in the same month (March 2019) within 10 days of each other. Both domains were purchased from the same website company, registered anonymously and registered in Panama of all places. This can be verified by searching the WHOIS records for these domains.
* Already this is quite a coincidence, surely a smoking gun. Why would a TEFL course pay extra money to hide the true identities of their owners?

ii) Mia Williams and Paul Murphy {the head trainer at TEFL Online Pro} do not exist until 2019. There are no LinkedIn profiles, company registrations, bios, pictures, blogs, work history, for either of them. If people have decades of experience + are active on the internet, it would make sense for them to have a teaching history/professional profile, wouldn't it? Well, there's nothing. They simply did not exist until both websites were created in March 2019 {within 10 days of each other}.
*Some people do not have LinkedIn, but 'Mia Williams' has been incredibly active on social media with over 280 posts on Quora since March 2019. Wouldn't it be reasonable for her to also have a LinkedIn account? Wouldn't the head trainer/owner of a TEFL course also have a professional profile? Neither of them does and that's because they are made up people.

iii) Shortly after Trusted TEFL Reviews was created in March 2019 (although they write and lie that they have been around for years) TEFL Online Pro just happen to win their fake Teachers' Choice Award. You can currently view those details on the review site. Ironically, TEFL Online Pro have no other reviews on the internet. There are no Google reviews and they are not listed on any other TEFL course review website. That's strange.
*It is so obvious at this point what is going on that it's kind of humorous.

iv) Negative reviews for other online TEFL courses begin to pop up frequently on Trusted TEFL Reviews.

v) Finding it peculiar to see multiple negative reviews coming from unknown graduates on a new review website, a few legitimate online TEFL courses questioned the authenticity of the reviews on Trusted TEFL Reviews.

Instead of offering proof that these negative reviews were credible, Trusted TEFL Reviews decided to attack the other online courses, creating both a scam and blacklisted section. You can currently view this content on their website. Needless to stay, the information in these sections is false and Trusted TEFL Reviews refuses to make any counter argument from the online companies public — they are not allowing us to add comments on the site. When an impartial review site creates a scam section about your company for questioning the legitimacy of some reviews you've received, you know there is something up.
*This is where it became clear what Trusted TEFL Reviews M.O. was. Review sites do not attack courses directly.

vi) While 'Mia Williams' {the potentially fake persona of Trusted TEFL Reviews} has created a scam section and blacklist section for certain courses who questioned the validity of the review site, she has gone out of her way to defend TEFL Online Pro on various forums and platforms on the net. So much so, that the mods at Reddit have banned all mention of TEFL Online Pro and have added both TEFL Online Pro and Trusted TEFL Reviews to their 'avoid like the plague' section. You can view this in the r/TEFL section on Reddit.

I think the case has been made that there is indeed something very strange about these two entities.

Connection with Neville David Thomas?

i) In an effort to find out the real owners of TEFL Online Pro and Trusted TEFL Reviews, a few online courses decided to do some research. It was quite easy to conduct. We just went on Facebook and searched for these terms in various TEFL/teaching groups. Low and behold, a man named Neville kept popping up recommending both TEFL Online Pro and Trusted TEFL Reviews, saying he was the owner of TEFL Online Pro.

A quick google search of his name brought up a history of Neville creating multiple fake review sites for fake TEFL courses in the past.

These go back as far as 2012. There was even a review site {circa 2015} where he created another female persona as the creator. You can view this evidence for yourself here — https://teflonlinereviews.wordpress.com
*Note that this review site uses the word 'trusted' in its description and is managed by another female persona. There is also a scam and blacklisted section as well.

So, there you have it. All of these claims can easily be thwarted by Trusted TEFL Reviews and TEFL Online Pro. All that is asked is for Mia Williams and Paul Murphy to prove that they are real people. This can be solved immediately by a link to a LinkedIn profile (something created before 2019) or official registration docs/articles of incorporation of their companies.

We believe that neither of these entities will produce this basic information and that proves that these websites are at least lying about who they really are. We would also ask that Trusted TEFL Reviews provide proof of the many negative reviews that other legitimate online TEFL courses have received and remove the scam/blacklisted sections on their review site. At the very least, they should allow us to add comments and defend ourselves. They won't, because they appear to be lairs.

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7 comments
Add a comment
M
May 31, 2022 7:31 am EDT

I am writing to respond to the false accusations made toward me and my TEFL Reviews website.

The accusations made against me and trustedteflreviews.com are incorrect.

Trusted TEFL Reviews is an independent TEFL Reviews website.

It was established by myself and a few other teachers that live and work in Vienna, Austria (Europe).

We are all English teachers.

The motivation behind establishing Trusted TEFL Reviews was to provide people with a non-biased reviews website where they would be able to read verified customer reviews and then make up their own minds about which TEFL/TESOL certification course they felt suited them best.

I understand first-hand the frustrating and stressful process of choosing a TEFL company to take the certification with.

Trusted TEFL Reviews was birthed from this frustration and stress.

I would like to make note that the majority of TEFL companies do (mostly) follow and stick to better business practices.

This, for Trusted TEFL Reviews, means that they take negative customer reviews for the constructive criticism that they almost always are intended to be.

There are, though, a few notable TEFL companies that have tried to gain an unfair advantage by trying to have fake (positive) reviews of their company published on Trusted TEFL Reviews.

Three companies in particular spring to mind:

ESLinsider

MyTEFL

TTA The TEFL Academy

Some other TEFL companies are no angels either, but the poor business practices of ESLinsider, MyTEFL, and TTA The TEFL Academy really does stand out from the crowd. You could say that they are award-winning in this category.

All three of these companies have had multiple reviews of their TEFL program denied publication because of alarming red flags.

All three of these companies appeared to take this backlash as a personal affront to their company.

My understanding is that they were so used to having their reviews published automatically on other TEFL Reviews websites that our verification steps were a complete shock to them.

The fake reviews kept filling up my email Inbox and we had little choice other than to issue a public warning notice on the Trusted TEFL Reviews website- exposing these three companies for their continued pattern of fake-review behavior.

I only planned to have the warnings showing on the website for a few weeks because I thought that would have prevented any further abuse of the review submission process.

How wrong I was!

What followed was months, turning into years, of online abuse directed at Trusted TEFL Reviews and me.

ESLinsider was the first.

It is a one-man-show business that has been run to the ground by its owner, Ian Patrick Leahy.

MyTEFL was next, and TTA The TEFL Academy joined the defamation party from March 2021 onwards.

MyTEFL and TTA The TEFL Academy just regurgitate what ESLinsider wrote.

I wasn’t really up on the TEFL gossip at the time that Ian began writing false accusations about me and my reviews website, so at first, I did actually wonder if ESLinsider was an industry expert. The name sort of implies it.

Of course, I did my due diligence into ESLinsider and I discovered that he had/has a long history of attacking TEFL review websites, attacking TEFL accreditation websites, and attacking his TEFL company business competitors.

It appears that he does this to attract free advertising for his TEFL program.

I immediately understood that I wasn’t dealing with a TEFL expert at all.

Instead, I was dealing with a conman.

In fact, having read some of his articles and having watched some of his YouTube videos, I discovered that Ian is in no way qualified or experienced enough to even run a TEFL certification program. He didn’t finish college, he took a dirt-cheap TEFL course, he has very limited knowledge of TEFL, and (if the rumors are true) he is not exactly Bill Gates when it comes to managing his and his customers’ finances.

MyTEFL is also run by one individual- Ben Glickman.

TTA The TEFL Academy is (sigh) also run by one individual- Thomas Gibbons.

So out of all the TEFL companies listed on Trusted TEFL Reviews, I only have had major issues with three TEFL companies, and these three TEFL companies are each run by a head honcho that can’t take criticism.

It is, therefore, no wonder that ESLinsider, MyTEFL, and TTA The TEFL Academy have reacted in the way that they have- taking the rejection of the publication of a review of their company personal and then reacting in a very unprofessional and completely uncalled for way.

Instead of just ignoring the warnings that I had written about them, and instead of encouraging their TEFL graduates to submit real reviews for inclusion on Trusted TEFL Reviews, all three TEFL companies responded with a smear campaign- just as they have done in this thread on this public complaints website.

TTA The TEFL Academy has really gone the extra mile by having one of its employees (Caitriona Maria McTiernan) establish a website aimed specifically at promoting its TEFL courses and spreading false information about Trusted TEFL Reviews.

Now that is dedication!

Some of the false accusations written about me:

I am not Mia Williams.

Trusted TEFL Reviews is operated by a TEFL company.

I write all of the reviews on Trusted TEFL Reviews.

1. Just like any other individual, I am entitled to my personal privacy and I don’t expect to be harassed.

I do use my real first name, but I am not going to allow people like Ian, Ben, and Thomas to know my real full name.

I don’t know how they managed it, but Caitriona Maria found out where I live in Vienna and she wrote me a threatening email.

You can read all about this in the latest TTA The TEFL Academy post on Trusted TEFL Reviews.

2. I co-own and co-run Trusted TEFL Reviews.

None of us have any connections whatsoever with any of the TEFL programs that we have listed on the Trusted TEFL Reviews website.

The two TEFL companies that have been falsely accused of owning and running Trusted TEFL Reviews are TEFL Online Pro and OISE University of Toronto TEFL.

These are the 1st and 2nd top-rated TEFL programs on Trusted TEFL Reviews, so I assume that the false claims are just sour grapes on the part of TEFL programs positioned lower down in the TEFL course food chain.

3. To claim that I, or one of my colleagues, writes the reviews on Trusted TEFL Reviews is just so absurd and I highly doubt anyone believes such nonsense anyway.

If ESLinsider, MyTEFL, and The TEFL Academy would only have their graduates write a real review of their TEFL Course experience then all of this mess could be avoided.

The fact that they haven’t done this, that they have, instead, chosen to try and convince readers that Trusted TEFL Reviews is biased and not trustworthy, is a poor sign that they, instead, choose to try and cover up their bad customer reviews and is a possible indicator that the reviews they have on other TEFL Reviews websites are questionable in terms of their authenticity.

I see there is also a lot of hate directed at TEFL Online Pro, and that TEFL Online Pro is experiencing similar smear campaigns and fake accusation attacks.

TEFL Online Pro (teflonlinepro.com) has won the Teachers’ Choice Award three years in a row- 2019, 2020, and 2021.

It is the top-rated TEFL program on Trusted TEFL Reviews.

Is this because I have a preference for them over other TEFL companies? No, of course not.

TEFL Online Pro is a three-time winner and currently the top-rated TEFL program because its TEFL customers think so and vote for TEFL Online Pro and write positive feedback about their experience with this company.

TEFL Online Pro is not a scam, just as Trusted TEFL Reviews is not a scam.

Oh, and I have FaceTimed with the TEFL Online Pro team three times now (after each time an award was won) and I have seen their team and their school offices.

I also had the opportunity to have a few minutes of FaceTime with Paul Murphy, the Operations Manager at TEFL Online Pro.

I think that public complaints websites definitely have a purpose on the internet.

They are a valuable medium with which to expose dishonest people and dishonest companies.

But, they can also be abused and I see that this complaints thread has been completely abused.

The thread was begun by ESlinsider (it is his MO) and MyTEFL and TTA The TEFL Academy have chimed in also anonymously.

All three are unaccredited; meaning they are not obliged to adhere to strict accreditation codes of conduct.

TEFL Online Pro, btw, is fully accredited and has to adhere to strict accreditation codes of conduct.

I can only see one complaint that might be authentic, written by a TEFL Online Pro customer (perhaps) who it appears wasn’t satisfied with the course content, having just completed half of the course.

Does that warrant a claim of “scam!”? No, not at all.

I would wager that the person only wrote their complaint because they had read the other false complaints, written by ESLinsider, MyTEFL, and TTA The TEFL Academy, and believed their false narrative.

IMO the person should have left a review on Trusted TEFL Reviews.

That way, their complaint would have been a verified review.

Not everyone can be satisfied with literally every product or service.

L
Apr 26, 2022 7:59 pm EDT

TEFL online pro is a scam! I am currently a student and have learned absolutely nothing. There is absolutely no way that these lessons that constantly give contradictory lessons, unnecessary information, and tons of grammatical errors won a Teacher's Choice Award. Peter is running a one man scam show.

R
Sep 08, 2021 9:23 pm EDT

Before the TEFL online pro scam he was doing another review scam called ittp tefl. Same story. See for yourself:
https://www.complaintsboard.com/ittp-tefl-fake-reviews-and-terrible-accommodation-c618064

I
Dec 18, 2020 11:08 pm EST
Verified customer This comment was posted by a verified customer. Learn more

Ian Leahy didn't write the post above or any of those comments, but I did write this:
https://www.eslinsider.com/blog/is-trusted-tefl-reviews-tefl-online-pro-a-scam

That "Teacher's choice award" is fake.

P
Sep 23, 2020 10:33 am EDT

Hi

It does seem a bit suspicious. Below is the complete history of my interaction with them. Start from all the way down where I try to submit my initial experience.

Thanks

Peter

Peter.

Try contacting other schools then and see if you can get better answers from them instead.
I think you will find though that every school you contact will react in a similar way.
It's worth a try though.
Trusted TEFL Reviews can't help you any more because we only publish reviews from customers of online TEFL courses.
There are lots of TEFL courses out there. Good luck with your search!

Mia Williams

On Tue, 8 Sep 2020 at 13:51, Peter Shankar wrote:
Mia

The whole point of the review was that I wasn't allowed to do the course because not enough information was given. The review should be based on anything from the first interact to last experience not just completing the course or not.

Peter

Sent from Yahoo7 Mail on Android

On Fri, 4 Sep. 2020 at 12:14 pm, Mia Williams
wrote:
Peter.

Trusted TEFL Reviews only accepts reviews from people who have completed a TEFL course.
When you have completed a TEFL course, submit your review.

Mia Williams

On Fri, 4 Sep 2020 at 04:10, Peter Shankar wrote:
Hi Mia

I will be happy to submit the extra words. I have not completed a course from pro tefl. This review was based on my initial course inquiry experience with them.

Thanks

Peter

Sent from Yahoo7 Mail on Android

On Fri, 4 Sep. 2020 at 12:05 pm, Mia Williams
wrote:
Peter Shankar.

Reviews need to contain a minimum of 300 words to be published.
Resubmit your review and attach a copy of your course certificate.

I have published your content as a comment:
https://trustedteflreviews.com/2020/08/31/teaching-english-online-tefl-online-pro/

Mia Williams

On Thu, 3 Sep 2020 at 15:06, Trusted TEFL Reviews wrote:
Name
Peter Shankar
Email
pankaj233@yahoo.com

Comment or Message

Sounds very good on the phone. Won choice awards as well. After exchanging a couple of emails and having a phone conversation with Paul, I wanted to know where my course would take me in terms of working hours. I explained this in a email to Paul. At first he didn't even bother replying. When I sent him a reminder email he said they don't 'provide job guidance' to international clients and that I should enroll in the course first. When I told him that this could hardly be considered 'job guidance' and was part of the initial course inquiry, he again chose not to reply. Unfortunately, this guy prefers to ignore emails rather than dealing with them directly. Coming from the education industry myself, I dare say he's more a business man a educationalist.

Peter

N
Jul 31, 2020 12:53 pm EDT

In the same article, Neville promotes his “award winning” “#1 course” on a previous fake review site he created with a different alias

The pattern shows similarities with the current scheme perpetrated through Trusted TEFL Reviews to promote TEFL Online Pro as an “award winning” “#1 course” and “special discounts”.

Mia, where is the next gala for the awards? Would be my honour to meet you in person.

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N
Jul 31, 2020 12:45 pm EDT

In this screenshot we see Neville David Thomas trashing his Czech competitor when he run ITTP TEFL.

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