WMHCA members are encouraged to be diligent in accepting payment from clients who are outside of the country seeking counseling services. In general, WMHCA advises its members to carefully consider the situation when providing counseling services to clients who are not located within the U.S. state where the counselor holds an active license (some states have laws about this, and it may be unethical/illegal to practice in a state where you are not licensed or are unfamiliar with the laws around counseling services). The same applies to providing technology-assisted counseling services to persons residing in a foreign country. AMHCA members are encouraged to read the AMHCA Standards, which includes standards for the practice of technology-assisted counseling services.
In that context, a WMHCA member recently was involved in a situation whereby a faux-client claiming to reside in a foreign country attempted to scam the counselor through the use of fraudulent checks. This “client” sent the counselor a fake check for payment, and later claimed that they wanted their “money back” as they did not intend on coming to the U.S. after all. WMHCA members are encouraged to ignore any phishing emails from clients who are seeking services from abroad and attempt to pay via check. It is recommended that counselors accept payment only after services are rendered and those who are providing technology-assisted counseling services to foreign clients use a form of secure monetary transaction.