TEFL Online Pro Review Warning: Is it Legit?

Are you looking for a TEFL certificate?

Teaching English abroad or online is a great career for many reasons. Not only is it a well-paid job that will enable you to live comfortably in another country, but it will also allow you to see and experience a different culture in almost any part of the world.

Check out our list of some of the best countries to teach abroad to see some options!

But let’s not forget our responsibilities! Being able to shape others’ minds and help them learn is the most important part of the teaching journey. Therefore, we must become suitably qualified as ESL teachers so we can find a job abroad.

In this article, we will give a TEFL Online Pro Review so you can make an informed decision before you purchase a course from this TEFL provider.

Overview: There seems to be some suspicious behavior on TEFL Online Pro’s end. We will give you the facts to help you decide whether TEFL Online Pro is legit or a scam.

Who is TEFL Online Pro?

TEFL Online Pro is a TEFL provider that claims that their unique selling point is their unrivaled student and teacher support. They provide three types of courses: a 60-hour fast-track course, a 120-hour TEFL course, and a Hybrid 150-hour TEFL course.

I immediately have a number of questions for this site, and upon further evaluation, I realize that it doesn’t look so good. But first, let’s learn about what you need to look for in a TEFL course.

What do you need to look for in a TEFL Course?

Before you choose a TEFL course, here are the things you need to look for:

  • At least 120 hours of training
  • Accreditation by an independent external body
  • Job support and assistance
  • Instruction provided by qualified teacher trainers
  • Teaching practice is advantageous

You want to look for an accredited course to verify that it meets quality standards in terms of course curriculum, level of instruction, course training, and practice.

Many courses take place online, but it really stands on your resume if you can gain some teaching practice. Some TEFL courses offer this in their “combined” (online and in-person) courses.

Is TEFL Online Pro Legit?

The TEFL courses are said to be “internationally recognized” and “award-winning,” but they don’t seem to be accredited or regulated; therefore, we have no proof that this is a legitimate TEFL course.

The TEFL course claims to have won the Teacher Choice Awards from Trusted TEFL Reviews, which has glowing reviews of the TEFL course on their site.

However, there seems to be something terribly wrong about this.

Upon closer inspection, it appears that Trusted TEFL Reviews and TEFL Online Pro may be operated by the same person. There is some very damning evidence to suggest this.

More on this below.

The Teachers Choice Award Winners

The TEFL Online Pro was awarded The Teacher Choice Award by Trusted TEFL Reviews.

So, can we trust Trusted TEFL Reviews? Well I mean they call themselves trusted, right?

I took a look at the records of both websites and I couldn’t believe my eyes. They were both created in the same month, and have the same address and phone number linking to both sites.

What’s worse is that people are believing the reviews on Trusted TEFL Reviews, and going straight over to TEFL Online Pro to purchase the course.

Trusted TEFL Reviews, on the other hand, has supposedly no affiliation with any of the TEFL courses, and states that they are the only site that can be trusted for reviews online.

Here is the Whois record for TEFL Online Pro:

TEFL Online Pro
TEFL Online Pro Scam

And the record for Trusted TEFL Reviews:

Trusted TEFL Reviews Scam
Trusted TEFL Reviews

Yikes! Something looks extremely fishy.

Basically, both websites are hosted on wordpress.com. Both websites bought their domain name (www) from the same company. Both sites were created 10 days apart.

They also have the same address details and phone number. The name is withheld for privacy reasons. Trusted TEFL Reviews claims to be owned by Mia Williams. TEFL Online Pro claims to be owned by Paul Murphy. If you try to look up these people, you can’t find any Linkedin profiles or photographs whatsoever. I asked if they would engage in a video call with me and they refused.

Is Trusted TEFL Pro Legit?

If you take a look at Trusted TEFL Reviews, TEFL Online Pro is the only course they avidly promote with discounts and offers on their homepage and the only course that has ever won their teacher choice awards.

Trusted TEFL Reviews

Their website was only active for two years, and TEFL Online Pro has won both times. It is extremely unlikely that Trusted TEFL Reviews even had teacher choice awards in 2019. It takes years to build up a website so we have no idea who even voted in these teacher choice awards. Also, the TEFL Online Pro website was only established in 2019. So it won an award in the same year?

Hmm. I find it difficult to believe they have no affiliation whatsoever with The TEFL Online Pro.

We also found this video from Ian Leahy, from ESL Insider, who exposes TEFL Online Pro for their past shady behavior:

The TEFL Online Pro Recommendation: Avoid

We recommend avoiding this particular site because there is no evidence to suggest this course is in any way regulated or accredited.

There is also no information available on the internet on sites other than Trusted TEFL Reviews. You can’t find any mention of it on established review sites, such as Trustpilot or the GoAbroad, an established website for TEFL courses.

Still, from our research and evidence, it seems as though Trusted TEFL Reviews was set up to endorse The TEFL Online Pro. I would love to hear what TEFL Online Pro has to say about this.

Recent Updates

Edit: TEFL Online Pro has recently reached out and asked me to remove this post; threatening legal proceedings. They said I am providing misleading information yet didn’t say what was misleading. Please, I am more than welcoming your correction. I also invited them to a video call, which they refusedaccording to their email, it is “too late for that now.

Edit 2: Since writing this post, the TEFL Online Pro has decided to add “accreditation” to their course. (I am not kidding, this story just keeps going and I really want to get on with my life).

Please be aware that some schools set up their own “accrediting body” (usually with a website and an impressive name) to provide them with faux accreditation that is not recognized in the TEFL field. An accredited body with only 20 or 30 organizations and opened a few years ago is not likely to be respected in the TEFL field or considered legitimate to potential employers.

Well known accreditation bodies include TQUK, College of Teachers and ACCET.

TEFL Online Pro is accredited by a fake organisation called ACTEFLC (Accreditation Council for Teaching English as a Foreign Language Courses).

It has also NO publicly available Whois database as it was created on Wix. This means that I cannot find out when the site was made. (But why would he make the same mistake twice?)

Instead I researched his site traffic, authority and existence on other websites.

In summary of this data scraped from Google, I can confirm that ACTEFLC has a domain authority of roughly 3/100 (this is likely because it is a brand new site). It hasn’t been visible to the search engines before January of 2021 and it has zero monthly traffic.

His Twitter and Pinterest have only been set up in the last few months:

I found an article about on Medium about ACTEFLC:

As I have previously written on Medium, I can confirm with absolute certainty that anyone can create an account on Medium and publish an article. Christopher Haines again is another name that I cannot confirm is real from web results. You can find him popping up concerning ACTEFLC, where he has created a profile (all in the last two months) on different parts of the web.

The only websites that mention ACTEFLC accreditation are (surprise, surprise) Trusted TEFL Reviews and TEFL Online Pro. The result issuu is a website where you can upload your publications, for reference.

The results speak for themselves.

Edit 3 (In 2022): Many former students of TEFL Online Pro who have commented on this post later asked me to remove their comments via email. He is calling them, abusing them and stalking them to the point of insanity.

I have had to remove multiple comments on my website due to the threatening nature of the person behind TEFL Online Pro.

I am also currently facing a stream of unimaginable abuse which I will refrain from disclosing here. He is constantly monitoring this page.

Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do about this matter and I am still glad I could help others who were misled.

Why You Should Still Consider Doing a TEFL Course

I hope I have not got your hopes up! There are still plenty of accredited TEFL courses out there. Here are some reasons why you should get a TEFL-certified:

Reasons to Get a TEFL Certificate

  • There is a great demand for the English language
  • Teach ESL online or abroad
  • Many potential job opportunities, such as TEFL teacher, au pair, teaching assistant
  • Experience other cultures and ways of life
  • Work in schools, colleges, or organizations for adults
  • Looks good on your resume
  • Great part-time and full-time opportunities available

Alternative TEFL Courses

There are many other TEFL courses on the market, and they more or less accomplish the same task; to qualify you as an English Language Teacher so you can work abroad or online.

In Conclusion

There are many other highly accredited TEFL courses you can find on the internet, but unfortunately, TEFL Online Pro doesn’t look like one of them. From this TEFL Online Pro review, we can see this is a potentially untrustworthy site. So be careful!

Due to the threatening nature of the person behind TEFL Online Pro, please refrain from disclosing your name or details of your issue in the comments section. You can email me privately if you have any concerns at hello@tprteaching.com

Please, if you can, support me by a simple post share or comment on another post you find interesting. That helps my website grow and reach more people. Thanks.

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I'm an Irish ESL teacher and blogger. I started teaching in 2016 and have since taught in the UK, Spain and online. You will find tons of resources to help you start teaching online, grow your income, and learn and teach languages on this site. Please show some love and support by sharing this article with others. Thank you!

22 thoughts on “TEFL Online Pro Review Warning: Is it Legit?”

  1. There’s always a scam out there. Thanks for posting! Maybe the other legitimate courses out there will work together to try to rid the market of TEFL Online Pro? I keep thinking of all of the victims of this man.

  2. The guy behind TEFL online pro and Trusted TEFL Reviews is learning the hard way that creating a business front with imaginary people is an endeavor that is impossible to pull off over time. Caitriona has put forth a lot of evidence in this post to prove this, but there’s a much easier way to check the validity of these claims.
    All anyone has to do is ask TEFL online pro’s (supposed) head trainer, Paul Murphy, to prove that he exists; that he’s a real person. What will happen to you, as it was for me, is that you will quickly be ignored by the company. I don’t know if an organization is able to run this way. I don’t know if PayPal, or any billing service, will permit an organization to lie on their site and operate under false pretenses.
    I’m sure if you wanted to put an end to TEFL online pro immediately, someone could easily file a complaint with PayPal and they would banned from using their billing services.

    • I’m not a legal expert but here are my thoughts on it. Paypal can definitely help you get your money back if you are not happy with the provided service, and they can also put a hold on the business account if they suspect something suspicious. Paypal usually asks for photo ID and proof of address. He probably had to prove that he is a real person to Paypal if he has a business account with them. Of course, all that information is confidential. The same goes for the website hosting, etc. They have to protect the name of the individual, so it’s not possible to find out that name. Paypal have no grounds to stop him, unless he is receiving a ton of chargebacks. And there are always other billing services that he can use instead of Paypal. It’s very hard to prove that he is operating under false pretenses. As long as the billing services know he is a real person, it doesn’t matter what his name is on the website.

  3. I don’t know if the school and the review site are connected, though the information here, with the same addresses and telephone numbers, combined with declining to talk with you pretty much confirms it for me. On the other hand, regardless of any connection, Trusted accepts reviews of (other) online programs and also engages in dialogues on related topics. So, even if the reason for setting up the review site is dodgy, in practice it has some useful information.

    • Hi Kim, the problem here is you don’t know what to believe that comes from that site. How do you know if any of the reviews can even be trusted. The “verified” reviews are verified by who… potentially a con man. There is a very good chance he has written all those glowing reviews for TEFL Online Pro. The information is not impartial if he is the owner of a TEFL course himself. He can twist or edit anything in whatever way suits him.

  4. Thanks for sharing this Caitriona. I am happy to see that you did share this and you didn’t succumb to his fake legal threats. He made those threats to me too and spread all kinds of BS around the web about me and my site. I think more people need to speak out.

    The only thing in this article that I feel differently about is this:

    At least 120 hours of training
    Accreditation by an independent external body
    Job support and assistance

    That (120 hours & accredited) is the status quo of TEFL courses. And if your goal is to just check the box and you don’t think too deeply then that might be fine as far as getting a job goes.

    But the 120 hours thing means absolutely nothing online. It’s a made up number. As a test I completed a fairly popular 120 hour course online in about 7-8 hours straight. Now that was just a Groupon course. And it was accredited.

    But I have seen similar comments about other courses including the one I’ve seen recommended on this site where they finished these supposedly highly accredited courses online in a few days.

    I think the whole “120 hour” course thing is maybe courses trying to look reputable and like a CELTA course which was originally 120 actual hours in a classroom.

    I also took a TESOL course before teaching in Taiwan that gave me a 60 hour (so they said) certificate in like 2 days in a classroom which was probably no more than 16 actual hours there.

    As far as accreditation goes I read a pretty interesting pdf about accreditation by GOACTA (non-profit) called Why Accreditation Doesn’t Work. As I understand it accreditation was originally for colleges to help students get financial aid. But TEFL isn’t college and there is no financial aid. Accreditation is just a fancy sounding word that sells more courses which is probably why TEFL Online Pro decided it was a good idea to make a fake one.

    Accreditation in TEFL is about paying a 3rd party $$ (usually someone no one knows anything about). Or creating a fake one like Neville did.

    Accreditation isn’t about learning it’s about money.

    TEFL courses aren’t the authority on teaching abroad.

    TEFL courses are more like middlemen. The authorities are the governments that issue visas (unlike a degree TEFL courses are rarely required to get a visa). The next authorities down would be the schools that employ teachers.

    I looked into accreditation at one time and getting ESLinsider’s courses accredited, but it seemed like a scammy money grab to pay these people hiding behind their fancy sounding acronym. Plus the accredited courses I took were not useful so why would I want to possibly bend my course to fit whatever their methodologies are?

    Guess I am an independent thinker.

    As far as job assistance goes you definitely don’t need a TEFL course to do that. That TESOL course I took when I first started offered that but they actually had very few jobs where I wanted to teach. “Accreditation” and job assistance is all about security and making the consumer feel safe about purchasing a course.

    Most of these courses and the people taking them are about getting a job not actually ‘doing’ your job.

    Anyways those are just my thoughts.

    And other than that TEFL online pro, Trusted TEFL reviews, and ACTEFLC is a scam run by the same guy.

    Thanks again for sharing.

    • Hi Ian, thanks for your comment.

      Here is how I feel when it comes to accreditation. I feel a sense of security knowing that accreditors review the TEFL courses on a regular basis and provide recommendations to improve the quality of the course.

      There are some well-known accreditors out there, such as TQUK (Training Qualifications UK) and ACTDEC (Accreditation Council for TESOL Distance Education Courses). I think this is the accrediting body Neville tried to fake. The problem is when people start to fake the accreditation by creating their own accreditation website.

      Yes, there are Groupon-type TEFL courses that will give you that quick fix– which I only really recommend if you need an online ESL teaching job fast. Otherwise, I recommend level-5 government-regulated TEFL courses.

      Yes, TEFL Online Pro is a scam. I hope that we can give all the details to the police ASAP.

      • Hi. What are the possible consequences of participating in this course? What can they do to you apart from just taking
        the money?

        • Hi, yes he takes your money and you are left with a poor quality course. Some reviewers who have spoken out after taking this course have suffered great ordeals with this man. I am unable to go into much detail to protect the privacy of the individuals, but many have reached out to me since publishing this review.

    • Thanks so much, Ian. But how DO we evaluate a course if accreditation, websites, and reviews are all suspect, if not meaningless?

      • They are not all suspect. Find a course that is accredited by a known organization such as OFQUAL (The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation). This body regulates qualifications, exams, and tests in England. They will have an accreditation number that can be checked with the accrediting body. Most reviews you’ll find are fair, and you will know from reviews pouring in from across the internet which courses are good. Even check out the reviews I post on this website, as I thoroughly check the legitimacy of TEFL companies before I review them. Just don’t trust the reviews from the phony website “trusted TEFL reviews.”

  5. Thank you for your report! I am wondering what happens when you take these ‘fake accredited’ courses, do the countries hiring you even know the difference between courses? I want to know which course most hiring managers would like to see. I have a BS in Science and decades of teaching experience. I don’t know what course would be good for me to take so that I can teach English overseas? Can you help?

    • If they check out the certificate and the certificate number, they will see it’s fake. It’s best to go with a course that is internationally recognized, one that most countries have heard of. I understand that you have a lot of teaching experience but is it teaching English as a second language? Teaching English as a second language is a different ball game, in my opinion. Having a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) level-5 course is the best, but you can find a 120-hour one that will also give you an adequate qualification. We have different ones recommended on the site you can check out. Feel free to choose any internationally recognized TEFL course that tickles your fancy! I recently made a list of popular cheap TEFL courses here. Hope it helps! 🙂

  6. Many former students of TEFL Online Pro who have commented on this post later asked me to remove their comments via email. He is calling them, abusing them and stalking them to the point of insanity.

    I have had to remove multiple comments on my website due to the threatening nature of the person behind TEFL Online Pro.

    I am also currently facing a stream of unimaginable abuse which I will refrain from disclosing here. He is constantly monitoring this page.

    Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do about this matter and I am still glad I could help others who were misled.


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