Scams & Fraud (Upper-Intermediate Lesson)

ESL/EFL Level: Upper-Intermediate (B2/C1)
Lesson Topics: scams, fraud
Skill Focus
: Reading, Vocabulary, Speaking
Approximate Class Time: 1.75 hours
Lesson Plan Download: scam-fraud-lesson-plan-upper-intermediate-062023.docx
Lesson Overview:

  • After warm-up questions, students try to guess what two stories are about based on two word clouds. Next, students read the stories, the first which describes an AI-related scam involving voice cloning, and the second which is about romance. After, students complete a recall activity and answer comprehension questions for each. Finally, students match key vocabulary to definitions and then create three discussion questions.
  • For speaking activities, the lesson has a debate about what should happen to Indian call center employees who were caught defrauding the public. In the next role-play, students practice giving advice about dating without getting scammed.
  • Next, students prepare a presentation on tips to avoid being scammed. There is also an activity asking students to determine which industries/services/products are inherently scammy.
  • Finally, the lesson ends with discussion questions and a quick collocation review.

A man phishing for personal information online

UPPER-INTERMEDIATE (B2/C1) EFL Lesson Plan on Scams & Fraud

Warm-up Questions

  1. Do you often receive suspicious emails or messages? How did you deal with them?
  2. Have you ever been scammed? In other words, has someone ever tricked you and took your money?
  3. What are the most common scams in your country?

Look at the word clouds for two stories. Try to guess what happens in each story.

Two word clouds related to stories about scams/fraud.
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-- Lesson plan on Scams & Fraud written by Matthew Barton of (copyright). ChatGPT helped in creating some ideas for this lesson and providing answer keys. Site members may photocopy and edit the file for their classes. Permission is not given to rebrand the lesson, redistribute it on another platform, or sell it as part of commercial course curriculum. For questions, contact the author.

Possible answers to comprehension questions:

Story #1

  1. Likely because they used cryptocurrency, which provides anonymity and a lack of traceability to criminals

Story #2

  1. There is something romantic about dating a soldier, especially one who is isolated from his culture on a mission. Also, a soldier (especially a Captain) sounds like someone with a strong sense of duty, so it makes the victim more comfortable trusting them.
  2. When people open up their emotions, they become irrational.

Vocabulary Answers: 1-j, 2-f, 3-k, 4-a, 5-e, 6-d, 7-b, 8-g, 9-i, 10-c, 11-h

Collocation Answers: 1-b, 2-f, 3-e, 4-g, 5-a, 6-d, 7-c


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