Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Scam Hits Woman Using Nanny Website

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.


Anonymous said...

Raven should be happy that all she lost was money and not worse.

Everyone must be careful when using any job posting site!!

Nannny Michelle

Anonymous said...

Sorry to say this but Raven, you are an idiot. This kind of stuff has been happening for years. I am sorry this happened to you, but come on...?

At least others can learn from your story. I hope they do.

Anonymous said...

I've gotten responses to ads from people in foreign countries saying they are moving to the US or coming for a few weeks and need care. Whether it's true or not, I don't respond because majority of the time it is someone trying a scam. especially the ones asking your help to cash a check or asking for personal information. I never give things like social security number til I've met them in person and had an interview. People emailing that they are coming to the US do NOT need my bank account info for any reason nor do they need my address. You've got to be really careful using free sites.

Anonymous said...

We are a couple with 3 children.A 7 year old boy Jones,5 years
old girl Lilian and 3 years old boy Jude...My name is Bruce James
.I am a civil engineer and work with Collins Engineers, Inc. I just
got transferred by my company to our new office in California.Thus,
the need for us to relocate to a new home in the United
States..Although we are presently in the UK, we will be moving
in by the last week of August. Our new home is in New york,Queens.

We need a nanny to take care of our kids and also for mild house
keeping.The nanny responsibilities includes supporting us with newborn
including attention to,caring for the kids in an attentive manner,
their meals,dressing, and hygiene.You will work from 9a.m till 2p.m
per day, generally five days per week.Live-in or Live out,we are okay
with either.You will not work on weekends.We believe you have some
previous child care experience,and not less than 18 years of age.We
also believe you must be a honest and homely person
We will be moving down there by 20th of september
as aforementioned and you may just be starting work by then.We've
almost gotten the new house and I will give you the address when
everything is done..The house as a matter of fact is still yet to be
we will be paying you $400 everyweek we
won't mind paying you at least 2 weeks upfront to be rest assurred we
have secured a nanny.

well since we have your FULL NAME:
with only need your current occupation

We will forward this information to my company and they will use it in
preparing your pay through Money order or check. We are doing this

because we
want our relocation and settling down with the kids to be easy.I will
keep you posted as to when you will receive the payment.Thank you very
much thus far.
with love,

Gmail - jamesbruce5@gmail.com BE CAREFUL

DeShaun said...

I am with the other posters, when I see emails like this I dont even answer them as a matter of fact with my gmail account you can see the first sentence of emails and I usually see the the standard intro with these scam emails and just delete them! I am sorry if you need me to deposit money into my account I would first questions the job in itself! I agree that was a idiot move on her part!

Anonymous said...

OMG the same thing with the same person just happened to me.

trang09 said...

Same thing just happened to me

katie said...

Just because you fall for something like this doesn't make you an idiot. Perhaps SOMEONE should be a little less judgmental. This guy also tried to scam me, and he used different names, so be aware of that. If anyone named Wiley Horn contacts you, ignore it.

Luckily, it didn't get to the point with me that I have given him any money, however, he's told me that he's sent the check for the "nintendo" any ideas on what to do with it? I was thinking I'd go to the bank and get them to document it and void it so I don't run into any legal trouble if it turns out not to be a scam. (that would suck).

janet said...

The internet can be an effective venue to match families looking for childcare and nannies looking for work. Most families are honest and fair and are looking for the best care for their families. However, it is important to learn safe internet job search skills to protect yourself against possible dangers and scams.
Identity theft is not that common but it does happen. It is important to make sure you do not provide the following information on an online application.
• Social Insurance Number or Social Security Number (this should only be provided to your employer once you have been offered a job)
• Date of birth
• Names and phone numbers of References
• Copies of birth certificates or other identity documents
• Bank account information
Money scams are far more common. This type of scam may promise you salaries and working conditions that are too good to be true. They sometimes offer to hire you without even talking to you directly. They may offer you a salary advance and ask for banking information to deposit the cheque.
When you speak to a potential employer on the phone it is important to get a sense of how comfortable they are with your desire to remain cautious and careful during the interview process. If fact, they should see this as an indicator of your professionalism.
If you have any hesitation about going to the family home for an interview it is a good ideas to conduct your first meeting with the family in a public place. If you do go to the family home make sure you leave the name, address and phone number with someone as a precaution. Ask if you can speak to their former nanny or childcare provider. The family will want to do reference checks on you so they should not object to this.
A nanny is wise to think through safety issues before accepting a job offer. We hear so much about families being concerned about leaving their children in the care of a relative stranger. Nannies considering relocating and living with their employer need to be just as cautious.

For more information please contact


Anonymous said...