Nannies Beware of Internet Scams
This summer we have discussed that both parents and nannies must be cautious when using nanny websites. Parents and nannies are essentially on their own when using the bulletin board style sites.
Parents must screen caregivers themselves and nannies must know labor laws and protect themselves when using nanny websites. Click here to see article about background checks. Click here for article for nannies about parents offering less than minimum wage on nanny websites.
This weekend Fox station in Denver posted this article.
The same nanny websites nannies keep emailing Best Nanny Newsletter to complain about are discussed, yet again, in this news story.
"Scammers are now using nanny job websites to con women into giving them money they don't have."
"Raven Capps, 18, had a profile on care.com. A conman replied to her ad --and preyed upon her desire for a better job. We learned from a blog website, other victims also got conned while registered with sittercity.com."
"He contacted me and said he had a daughter, 5 years old, named Maria. He said he and his wife were moving to the U.S.," says Capps.
"He said he was Alfred Atakorah, originally from Belgium, but stationed in Malaysia for work. He emailed Capps for nearly two months -- even sending pictures of himself, his wife Jennie, and their child, Maria. "That makes it more personal, thinking you know their faces," says Capps.
So when he asked her for a favor she agreed.
He sent her a check to buy a Nintendo DS handheld video game system and games because he wanted the games in English and said he couldn't buy them online with international credit cards. "I got a check and it was for $2,871. That was way more than I expected," says Capps.
He said his associate messed up -- that the money was also to pay for shipping their property to a home in cherry hills village.
"That sounded like an understandable thing to happen. He asked me to send the money to the shipping company to make sure his properties got here on time," she says.She deposited the check and wired the money to the alleged shipping company in Malaysia.
"That very same day the bank called and said the check came back unverified. I assumed they verified the check because they put the money in my account," says Capps.
Now her bank wants its nearly $3,000 back. "I thought I was helping someone and it turns out someone was just using me," she says.
Capps then learned other girls had been had by the same scam. On a scam website, other victims posted nearly identical emails -- with the same names for the wife, daughter and native country.
"He said God bless you. You're really helping my family. That hurts me. How could he do that to someone he knows has a baby to support and a family?" she questions.
Raven even gift-wrapped that Nintendo game system with pink bows and wrote "for Maria" on it.
We contacted care.com to ask what protections it offers clients from crooks like this. We haven't heard back yet. But its website lists safety tips to avoid scams.
Best Nanny Newsletter does not blame the specific website since this has happened on many job posting websites. This story proves yet again why nannies and parents must be careful when using nanny websites to either find caregivers, or find jobs.