Online classifieds sites Craigslist, Kijiji, and certain tutoring sites are full of "catfish" tutors -- be skeptical of below-market fees and requests for deposits.
Catfish tutors prey on naive LSAT tacking seeking private lessons at a more affordable price. These scheisters advertise their services by proudly displaying their own impressive LSAT results in their ads. While some people appear to be impressed, I've often wondered why the screenshot showing “Score: 179” is strangely blurry, and found on 400 other websitesif I attempt a reverse google search. Catfish tutors usually demand a deposit or payment at the time of booking your appointment. This is a major red flag--you'll likely never hear from your 'bargain' tutor again. Use common sense: do the grammar and spelling mistakes that appear in the ad suggest your tutor is a non-native speaker posting from Nigeria?
Catfish are harder to catch then the copyright infringement shown below. At first glance, I don't see any tell-tale red flags in this posting. However, I don't buy the author's story. Who writes the LSAT again after a 99th percentile showing? LSAC actually requires that you attest that you are writing for the sole purpose of gaining entry to law school. The author sure exudes confidence in her abilities: she's an EXCEPTIONAL tutor who's MASTERED the test and has a bucketload of apparent experience -- considering the cost of living in Vancouver these days, a genuine tutor with this background would be charging 2-3x the price. Furthermore, such extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence -- I see no photos, no testimonials, no promotional poster, no website link, not even a simple phone number: I wonder why she's so reluctant to leave anything specific or traceable...?
Kijiji Copyright Con
Here we have an example: the poster, posing a previous LSAT writer, provides mislading photos of the various Actual, Official Anthologies, but later describes his product as the electronic PDF files -- a great way to save on printing. This same add is posted all over Canada and the US. Clearly fraudulent in every sense of the word: despite reports from us and members of lawstudents.ca, Kijiji has done little to curtail these fraudulent ads.
A quick look on Kijiji or Craigslist will reveal electronic copies of LSAC’s entire inventory, being sold by a successful writer from last year. He has no use for it; he’ll charge you a mere fraction of the retail cost. It seems like a super deal, until you consider the costs of printing the monstrous file, and the trouble of getting it all covered and bound, else drown yourself in a disorganized mountain of looseleaf paper and twisted staples.
Still, it was worth the hassle, up until the point you realize that your friendly Craigslist seller sells the same PDF dozens of times, and you just participated in major copyright violations. Not the best way to start your legal career. By the time your friend informs you that your files are drawn directly from the Pirate Bay (or any other torrent site), and that you just fell victim of fraud (you paid with an e-transfer…and those can’t be recouped) you feel utterly defeated. You can’t even report the fraud to police, as you were partly complicit.