ESLinsider TEFL X Online TEFL Course Scams

ESLinsider Online TEFL TESOL Certification Course Reviews Warning

ESLinsider reviews scam? This article digs deep into the Ian Leahy/ESLinsider TEFL/TEKA online course.

ESLinsider reviews scam? We have the inside scoop below for you.


TEFL News! Which are the highest-rated Online TEFL TESOL courses in 2021?

Find out here: The 5 best Online TEFL TESOL courses to take in 2021


trustedteflreviews.com verified customer reviews of the ESLinsider Online TEFL/TESOL certification course program: https://trustedteflreviews.com/category/eslinsider-tefl/

ESLinsider is owned and run by one individual: Ian (Patrick) Leahy.

Ian’s online operations consist of:

  1. A personal blog, where he shares his worldview and TEFL opinions (inghh.com)
  2. A professional blog, where he trashes all of his business competition (eslinsider.com)
  3. A school website, where he sells his unaccredited TEFL/TEKA course (course.eslinsider.com)

Whilst Trusted TEFL Reviews cannot guarantee with 100% certainty that ESLinsider is a scam operation, there are credible (first-hand) testimonies documented online which claim that Ian Leahy:

  1. Convinced people to take his TEFL/TEKA course, placed them in a school, and then creamed off between 20-40% of their monthly salaries without their knowledge or authorization.
  2. Recommended to foreign teachers that it was acceptable to use fake college diplomas; resulting in a number of foreign teachers being detained in China, imprisoned for 30 days, and then subsequently deported from the country with a lifetime travel ban.
  3. Made non-TEFL-related purchases with the credit card details of his customers, without their prior knowledge or authorization.

To be fair here, Ian Leahy has flat-out denied all of these accusations. However, when directly confronted in a popular TEFL forum by one of his alleged victims, Ian avoided acknowledging his customer, a female American teacher in her mid-twenties, and avoided answering any of the allegations levied against him.

Instead, and in true-to-form Ian Leahy style, he simply claimed “fake news” and that he is the focus of a “witch hunt”. When the forum administrators asked how the customer complaints written on over 20 separately-owned websites could be classed as being a fake-news witch hunt, Ian replied that all 24 separately-owned and separately-operated websites are run by the same person – a person who is out to tarnish his reputation. This defense just doesn’t appear to hold any credibility whatsoever.

This article hasn’t been written to prove or disprove Ian’s innocence. It has been written, instead, to shine a brighter light on Ian Leahy and ESLinsider – to illuminate better for the general reader the credentials of the individual who claims to be an insider expert on everything TEFL-related.

We do raise questions and fact-check Ian, but we also give Ian the opportunity to present his side of the story. Ian provides his side of the story in his own spoken and written words: in the website screenshot images below, and in his comments section response further down this page.

The first section of this article below was published back in 2020, and additional material has been added further below that more recently in 2021.

For the convenience of our readers, we have labelled the first article section ‘Article Section A’ and the second ‘Article Section B’.


Article Section A

On July 29, 2020, Trusted TEFL Reviews added a blacklisted warning to the ESLinsider Online TEFL/TESOL (TEKA) certification program and its owner, Ian Leahy.

ESLinsider is run by a guy who goes by the identity, ‘Ian Leahy’. He appears to spend a significant chunk of his free time publishing defamatory material and conspiracy theories on his school blog. Incredibly, these posts are mostly about other Online TEFL programs; i.e. his business competition.

A common thread in his posts is to claim that all positive reviews recorded or written about his competition are fake, and all negative reviews recorded or written about ESLinsider are fake.

Another common thread in his posts is to claim that he has personally taken the TEFL courses of his competitors and that they were all terrible. It could be true that Ian has spent his own money to go Undercover TEFL Student on his business competition, but we feel that this is highly unlikely.

After reading some of Ian’s negative posts levied against his business competition, we can see that Ian definitely doesn’t shy away from writing the most absurd lies in order to try and convince his readership to instead take his TEFL/TEKA course. We tried fact-checking ESLinsider.com, but after a while we just gave up because so much of what Ian publishes is simply not true.

This in itself should be a red flag for anyone considering whether to pay money to him.

We also feel that it is very strange that the only reviews of ESLinsider.com are on ESLinsider.com, and (with the exception of one, 4-star review) they all appear to be 5-star ratings.

ESLinsider also doesn’t appear to have any social media footprint to speak of at all. It has been claimed online that ESLinsider were banned from Facebook for spamming. However, there is absolutely no way that we can verify this claim.

Ian Leahy likes to painstakingly point out, though, that he has reviews on his YouTube channel – something that he, of course, has control over. Ian also likes to brag about how popular his YouTube channel is. Upon closer inspection, though, we see that the majority of his videos have less than a few hundred views and for a channel that has been active for so many years, the number of ESLinsider YouTube subscribers is not as impressive as Ian likes to make out.

Continuing on the theme of reviews: we noticed a batch of recently-written (June, 2020) Quora posts – all praising his course. All five reviews were written within a couple of days of each other, and all five reviews contain the word, ‘legitimate’.

We checked and all of the posts were written by people who registered with Quora at around the same time, just to write their review. The language structure in all five reviews is also remarkably similar.

Prior to this sudden burst of enthusiasm from these supposed ESLinsider course graduates, who suddenly felt a strong urge to join Quora and write how legitimate his program is, no one had written any feedback of Ian’s courses on Quora since he first began operating his program.

Logically, it would appear that those Quora reviews were likely written by someone connected with ESLinsider. As Ian is the sole owner of the program, we would make a logical guess that he in fact wrote those Quora reviews himself.

Here is one of those Quora posts that Ian has successfully managed to market online for himself:

TEFL TESOL scam review
One of five Quora reviews published within a few days of each other and all strongly claiming ESLinsider is legitimate.

In recent weeks, we also noticed that Ian Leahy has been spreading false information online about trustedteflreviews.com, and spreading garbage online about the top 5 TEFL/TESOL courses listed on Trusted TEFL Reviews. Our interest was piqued, we dug more into Ian Leahy/ESLinsider, and the red flags just kept popping up.

About ESLinsider
Ian Leahy’s online marketing strategy in full swing.

It is in our professional opinion that Ian Leahy is probably an English teacher, living in Fukuoka, Japan, who created a website and who tries to drum up business for his unrecognized courses by attacking the big TEFL/TESOL course players with outright lies – hoping to catch some crumbs of business in the process. It is also our professional opinion that the reviews that he lists on his website are probably fake.

We advise proceeding with extreme caution when dealing with this individual.

If you do find yourself being convinced to take his TEFL/TEKA course then ask the owner for examples of reviews that are not listed exclusively on his website, on his YouTube channel, or on Quora. We advise asking Ian for reviews written on third-party review websites, where he has no control over the content of those reviews.

In the meantime, Ian’s program will remain on trustedteflreviews.com – acting as a public service warning.

His introductory, zero-review rating does mean he will need to begin (alphabetically) at the bottom of the Trusted TEFL Reviews ranking table and then work his way up, once we begin receiving verified customer reviews, written by real people.

We welcome any comments from Ian Leahy, and we welcome any student reviews of his program so that we can actually hear from anyone who might have taken his Online TEFL/TEKA course.

Ian has been contacted and invited to add his response to this post.

If it transpires that our information is wrong, we will delete this ESLinsider reviews scam warning.


Article Section B

This article was updated on February 8, 2021.

The following Ian Leahy/ESLinsider website screenshots appear to show a rather different individual than the one who claims to be an insider expert on everything TEFL-related. Two of them, of serious concern I must add, also appear to demonstrate a misogynistic lean in the social philosophy of Ian’s worldview.

Ian Leahy Brenda Leahy Monroe New Hampshire
Ian Leahy has returned (from Japan) to the USA, and is now offering young minds life-changing advice with regards to their future education choices. Ian, btw, studied on the Art program at Arizona State University. After failing to make it as an artist, he took a TEFL course and headed over to Asia, to teach English. Teaching wasn’t really Ian’s thing either, so he set himself up as a black market recruiter for English teachers looking for work in East Asia. Because he always chooses to work without official documentation, Ian has had to move from one country to the next so as to be able to avoid the authorities. And, unfortunately, innocent people who took Ian’s advice or who paid for one of his TEFL/TEKA courses have been victims of credit card fraud and overseas arrest because of him. This is well-documented on the internet and can be found via a Google search.
Ian Leahy ESLinsider TEFL Digital Nomad (1)
The reason Ian Leahy is giving for his sudden return home to Monroe, New Hampshire, is that his ‘website wasn’t doing good’. This might be linked to the ESLinsider reviews scam accusations.
Ian Leahy ESLinsider TEFL Digital Nomad (2)
Ian Leahy is possibly going to start a new career?
Ian Leahy Stop Waiting, Start Doing (1)
The first section of Ian Leahy’s self-written article on his chosen topic: ‘Why nearly all women are prostitutes’.
Ian Leahy Stop Waiting, Start Doing (2)
The second section of Ian Leahy’s self-written article on his chosen topic: ‘Why nearly all women are prostitutes’.
ESLinsider YouTube channel (1)
Ian Leahy, with his hands in his pockets, “teaching” Phonics.
ESLinsider YouTube channel (2)
A viewer’s comment to Ian’s class on Phonics – correctly identifying the core issue with Ian’s “teaching”.

Aside from spamming the internet, and offering an unrecognized, unaccredited TEFL/TEKA course, Ian has also been linked to credit card fraud and recommending to teachers wanting to teach in China that they use fake teaching credentials – resulting in their imprisonment and subsequent deportation from China.

This ESLinsider reviews scam accusation can be read online by conducting a Google search.

We advise proceeding with extreme caution when dealing with Ian Leahy and his ESLinsider TEFL/TEKA program. We can’t write with absolute certainty, but it looks very likely that the ESLinsider reviews scam is a genuine concern.

Mia Williams


Read more ESLinsider reviews

New! Click here for the online TEFL/TESOL international certification course Teachers’ Choice Award winner. International Online TEFL/TESOL course certification at its best.


Rankings: Online TEFL/TESOL certification course program reviews, ranked in order of customer satisfaction – verified customer reviews, written by real people.


The 5 best Online TEFL TESOL courses to take in 2021


How do I know I can trust the reviews on Trusted TEFL Reviews?


14 comments

  1. This is an update on the contents in the above post regarding ESLinsider and its one-man-show creator, Ian Leahy.
    Trusted TEFL Reviews reached out to Ian, but Ian has chosen not to comment on why he has been spreading garbage online about trustedteflreviews.com and spreading garbage online about the top 5 TEFL/TESOL courses listed on Trusted TEFL Reviews.
    If Ian has nothing to hide, we thought he would have jumped at the chance to explain his actions in a transparent manner and clear up the question over whether his TEFL course is a scam or not.
    Ian’s silence is very worrying.

    Mia Williams

  2. OMG. Just looked at the ESLinsider blog and (like you wrote) he DOES trash all of his competition on it! It’s also his MAIN website where he promotes his online TEFL course! Wow! How totally unprofessional! I would never take a course with that guy. What if I somehow got on his wrong side? I would be so worried he would start attacking ME online too! Hopefully enough people read this article so it either puts him out of business, or makes him seriously rethink how he runs his business. Wow!

  3. Rachel.

    I hadn’t thought of that. But yes, you make a very good point when you write that Ian Leahy has demonstrated that he is capable of trashing all of his competition online – so what would prevent him from online trashing an individual who disagreed with him over something that he had a vested interest in.
    The irony for me in this whole affair is that Ian Leahy likes to present himself as a bastion of truth. But when you see how he clearly manipulates reviews of his program, and when you see how he tries to throw mud at an unbiased Online TEFL reviews website, you see that the main motivation behind his behavior boils down to simply drumming up business for his TEFL course – trashing everyone and anyone (in Ian Leahy’s warped perception) who crosses his path in the process.
    It is actually individuals just like Ian Leahy, who contribute to giving the online TEFL industry a bad reputation.

    Mia Williams

  4. I had a quick look through that guy’s site and at first I thought it was a joke site.
    He can’t really think anyone would take him serious the way he paints his face different colors and writes all that baloney about all his business rivals?
    I understand why you have added the warning label for Ian Leahy and ESLinsider, but I really don’t think anyone with an ounce of sanity would take what he writes as anything other than borderline crazy.
    Btw, I found my TEFL course through the reviews on trustedteflreviews.com, so thanks a lot for providing this excellent website and every success for the future!
    Nick.

  5. Hello Trusted TEFL Reviews,

    I’m pretty confident that I share the view of the majority of Ian Leahy’s business competition (i.e. other Online TEFL schools) when I write that we are tired of the incessant, misleading content that he spreads online.

    I don’t think that everyone is aware of the fact that Ian Leahy runs a TEFL program (eslinsider) of his own, and that his sole intention is to cash in on new trainees taking his course.

    He tries to present an image of a champion of truth, but nothing could be further from the truth.

    Ian is well-known throughout the Online TEFL community as an individual who spends the majority of his free time spreading false gossip online about his business competition.

    We have read the article about Ian Leahy’s courses being banned in China, and I must write that we are hardly surprised by the news.

    If only Ian would focus more of his time on the quality of his course, he wouldn’t need to act in the way that he does.

    Kind regards,

    Paul Murphy

    Operations Manager
    info@teflonlinepro.com
    https://teflonlinepro.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/teflonlinepro/
    Teachers’ Choice Award winner, 2019 | 2020

  6. I wish I had bothered to do my research before falling for this scam. Ian Leahy from eslinsider took $300 from me, for a course he claims is “accepted worldwide”. It’s all smoke and mirrors. The course (if you can really call it that) is nothing more than a handful of poorly executed videos. The real clanger came when I began applying for jobs online. It was then when I came face-to-face with the sobering reality that the certificate awarded by Ian isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on. It wasn’t accepted by any of the schools I sent my job application to. Let’s just hope that more people become aware of Ian’s scam.

  7. I have officially had enough of your reviews website.
    Mia Williams (if that’s really your name) reminds me of a lot of the feminists I was unfortunate to meet when I lived in San Francisco. One word defines them: Bi**hes.
    Delete my listing or you will have big problems!

  8. Ian Leahy, owner of the ESLinsider online TEFL certification course (https://www.course.eslinsider.com/)
    Thank you for finally taking the time to leave your reply to this thread.
    I had hoped that you were going to address the issues that have been raised by your customers. Instead, I have had to asterisk the offending insult which you included in your comment.
    This is really a shame because you have been provided with the opportunity of replying to your customers, to defend your business practices, but you simply choose to continue on in a non-transparent manner – continuing with what clearly appears to be an intricate TEFL program scam.
    I have read the posts, written by you online, where you try to undermine the trust of this reviews website by claiming that various schools own trustedteflreviews.com
    It is clear that you do this to deflect the focus away from the glaring issues of your TEFL operation.
    When you feel in a more professional mood, you are very welcome to revisit and write a more fitting response to the (genuine) accusations levied by your customers on this page.

    Mia Williams

  9. We would like to make our readers aware that Ian Leahy, owner of ESLinsider, has now left Japan and has returned to Monroe, New Hampshire, USA.
    Among his reasons for doing so, was the tanking of his TEFL operation – ironically, in a time when online tuition has become more popular than ever.
    Ian also mentions that he might return to Japan.
    If he does, and if he does decide to continue with his TEFL course program in future, we hope that he has a Road to Damascus epiphany; whereby he returns with a completely different business ethic, i.e. treating his customers as the number one priority, and refraining from drumming up business for himself by attacking his business competition with baseless, outrageous conspiracy theories.
    Despite Ian’s past actions, we wish him well on the road ahead and hope that this period of his life serves as a positive transformation – both for him and his business.
    We also hope that Ian has the foresight to reimburse his customers who paid for something they never received.

    Mia Williams

  10. I was going to take the Tefl course through the program Ian Leahy offers (ESLInsider) but then I read the reviews and saw how bitter he is to other Tefl programs. Really, the things he writes online about (mostly) MyTefl and Tefl Online Pro is shocking. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot! I watched his latest YT vid, describing (in unnecessary detail) how he moved back to the US, to live with his parents. Looks like his one trick pony days are over. Thank the heavens I stumbled across this website before I made the grave mistake of sending Ian my money for his course fee. Keep up the good work Trusted Tefl Reviews!

  11. Amber.

    Thanks for your input.
    Ian writes rubbish about all of his main business competition.
    The good news, though, is that his past is beginning to catch up with him now and more and more of his customers are coming forward and giving their accounts of how they got duped by him.
    It’s likely the reason behind why he had to suddenly leave Japan.

    Mia Williams

  12. Unfortunately this 15 year-old company moves from one country to another every time the complaints pile up and victims try to get the police involved.

    After digging around on the internet you will find complaints going back to 2007 and as recently as 2021 but deep down in the search results because Ian Leahy spams so much of his own fake reviews for ESLinsider that they take up the first 1-3 pages of search results. Then you find out that he used to live in Korea, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and more recently in Japan. Is Malaysia, Vietnam, or The Philippines next?

  13. I never used ESLinsider but my former GF in Korea did before she moved to China. Even when she told me how she was jerked around and cheated by the owner (Ian Leahy) she started crying two years after the fact. She actually went into debt because of the ESLinsider owner, Ian Leahy, who must be a super-smooth charmer to fool my ex who is now an IELTS examiner for the British Council. I look around on the internet and this guy spammed himself everywhere looking like a member of the Blue Man Group. A lot of stuff shows up. You know, we always are on the defensive against Chinese and Nigerian crooks, but looking back the ones that really fooled us were the fellow foreigners!

Leave a Reply