Buzzfeed has a curious story up today about a guy who specializes in doing the schoolwork for international students studying in the UK on visas. Tell me, does anything in this story sound at all fishy to you?
At first, it was mainly writing short essays, reports and presentations — never more than a couple thousand words. We could normally hammer out each project in three or four hours and charged around $300 a pop. After doing this for a while, one of our Libyan clients asked if we could write his entire MBA thesis, which was supposed to be something like 15,000 words. This guy was clearly wealthy — he lived in a nice apartment and just sat around playing video games on his massive widescreen all day. I'm pretty sure he just wanted to live in the UK and studying was the easiest way to get a visa.
We tried highballing him on the price, figuring he wouldn't really care about the money. So we asked for $21,000 for the whole thing, and let him negotiate down to $15,000. But just as we were planning to take a vacation and write the thing, the guy and all his friends had to unexpectedly return to Libya. This was in March 2011 and the civil war was just starting to kick off. I figured that if these guys were rich enough to sit around in the UK they probably had something worth fighting for back in their homeland. But for us, it meant we lost thousands of dollars of potential work overnight.