10 Tips on How to Avoid Yoga Teacher Phishing Scams

Have any other yoga people gotten this (likely) phishing scam? 😏 

(According to a conversation amongst my FB friends this is very common and a LOT of people have lost real money on it!)

Read on to see how it came to me, and learn to spot a wellness industry targeted phishing scam before you get trapped in it.


Dear Anandra,

Apologies for the late reply. I was recently on a business trip.

I'm interested in booking private yoga sessions for my sons, Dennis (18) and Lukas (20). They are both amateur footballers, and I came across your profile as you specialize in yoga.

We'll be vacationing in your city from May 26th to Aug 27th, 2024. During this time, I'd like Dennis and Lukas to attend private yoga sessions to build a strong foundation in yoga principles.

The focus would be on core strength, flexibility, and body awareness, which would benefit their overall movement and prepare them for upcoming club trials. Ideally, they would learn basic yoga exercises, breathing techniques, and develop focus and control.

To learn more about you:

How long have you been practicing yoga?
Do you offer private yoga sessions?
Do you have a yoga studio?
What are your charges per hour for private sessions, considering two sessions per week for one months?
What days and times are you available for these sessions? We are flexible with scheduling these sessions twice a week.

My financial department will cover my sons' travel expenses. We would prefer to prepay for the sessions in advance.

Payment Options:

Do you accept mobile deposits or checks?
Alternatively, we can send a check. If you prefer check payment, please provide the following details:

Name on the check
Full mailing address with postal code
Phone number (home or cell)

We look forward to your response.

Thank you,
Jullia Park

Sound healers, yoga therapists, yoga teachers - anyone in the wellness industry is probably more trusting and eager to share than in other fields.

Please be careful! I've had several family members get caught in actual scams where they lost money - BIG money - in the past few years. I got this phishing scam email the other day and was curious enough to write back to find out if it was real, and then I posted it on my FB and found out LOTS of others have received it too. Better safe than sorry!

Phishing scams targeting sound yoga therapists and mantra yoga teachers can be particularly insidious, as scammers often exploit the trusting nature and close-knit community ethos typical in this profession. 

Here are some tips to help sound healers and yoga teachers spot and avoid phishing scams:

1. Check the Sender's Email Address

  • Scrutinize the Email Address: Phishers often use email addresses that are similar to legitimate ones but with subtle differences. Look for misspellings or extra characters. (In my example, a RED FLAG was that the email ID for the first inquiry was different than the second!)
  • Domain Name: Verify the domain name of the sender. Reputable organizations typically use official domains (e.g., @companyname.com) rather than free email services (e.g., @gmail.com).

2. Examine the Email Content

  • Generic Greetings: Be wary of emails with generic greetings like "Dear Instructor" or "Dear Teacher" instead of your name. Also, if they DO use your name don't assume that it's real. Be alert, because AI is smarter than ever before and scams are very tricky these days.
  • Urgent or Threatening Language: Scammers often use urgent language to create panic and prompt immediate action, such as "Your account will be closed" or "Immediate action required."

3. Look for Spelling and Grammar Mistakes

  • Poor Language: Legitimate companies take care in drafting their communications. Emails with numerous spelling and grammar mistakes are red flags. Weird syntax and word usage can be another giveaway. 

4. Evaluate the Offer or Request

  • Too Good to Be True: If an email offers something that seems too good to be true, it probably is. This could include exaggerated job offers, high pay for minimal work, or unrealistic discounts on yoga or sound healing equipment.
  • Unusual Requests for Information: Be cautious of emails asking for personal information, login credentials, or financial details. DO NOT EVER give out your home address, bank address, social security number, phone number, or other personal info. If you're curious to find out of it's a real thing, GET THEIRS and contact them. In my example, see how they sent a form letter but didn't respond to my request? RED FLAG!!

5. Inspect Links and Attachments

  • Hover Over Links: Before clicking, hover your mouse over any links to see the actual URL. Phishing emails often include links that lead to malicious websites. Typing in a URL is always safer than clicking links in email, just in case.
  • Avoid Opening Attachments: Unless you are expecting a document and know the sender, do not open attachments. They can contain malware.

6. Verify Legitimacy

  • Independent Verification: If you receive an email from a supposed client or organization, try to verify their identity independently. Contact them using a known and trusted method and other sources, not through the contact details provided in the suspicious email.
  • Cross-Check with Official Sources: Check the official website of the organization for any warnings about phishing scams or to verify any offers.

7. Look for Signs of Personalization

  • Personalized Information: Authentic emails will often include specific information that indicates they know who you are, such as mentioning your studio's name or your classes, how they actually heard about you, or friends in common. But again, just because the email has this info doesn't mean it's legit. A clever hacker can find most of that (including your favorite coffee shop!) by stalking you on social media, if they really wanted to.

8. Be Cautious with Payment Requests

  • Unusual Payment Methods: Be wary of requests for payment through unconventional methods, such as wire transfers, gift cards, or cryptocurrencies.
  • Double-Check Invoices: If an email contains an invoice that looks unfamiliar, cross-check with your records before making any payments.

 9. Use Technology to Your Advantage

  • Email Filters: Use spam filters to reduce the number of phishing emails reaching your inbox.
  • Anti-Phishing Software: Consider using software that provides an additional layer of security against phishing attempts.

10. Stay Informed and Educated

  • Training and Awareness: Regularly educate yourself and your staff about the latest phishing tactics and how to recognize them.
  • Community Alerts: Join forums or groups within the yoga community where members share experiences and warnings about potential scams.

By staying vigilant and following these tips, we sound healers, yoga therapists, and yoga teachers can protect ourselves and their businesses from phishing scams.

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