A safety concern about using nanny web sites are scams. Unfortunately, just as nannies and families have discovered these web sites, so have scammers looking to perpetrate fraud on unsuspecting victims.
How Nannies Get Ripped Off
Scammers fill out an online profile at the nanny web site. They pretend to be a wealthy family in need of a new nanny urgently, stressing their willingness to pay a very high wage in exchange for top notch care for their children. To further attract the nanny's interest, the con artist sends a large check or money order to the nanny. Right away they say they sent too large a sum by mistake and ask for part of it to be returned. Of course this is done before the original funds clear the bank because when they do, the nanny will realize they've been tricked by a traditional money order scam.
Good scammers understand how to take hardship and especially fear and turn it to their gain. Many nannies really need these positions and receiving a generous amount is meant to disarm you and make you think you've hit the jackpot. It's not hard to see that many nannies could fall for this scam.
Remember the old adage, "if something seems too good to be true then it probably is". Individuals don't send large amounts of money to others they neither know nor trust.
How Families Get Conned
Unfortunately, families can get conned just like nannies can. The con artist will sign up and pretend to be a nanny looking for work. They portray themselves as experienced with excellent skills and references. They lie in wait for families to contact them. Once contacted, the fake nannies take great pains to develop close relationships with the families searching for a nanny.
When convinced the nanny is eligible to work in the United States, the family offers the position to the bogus nanny. Everything seems like it's going well, but at the last minute the nanny sends a message saying they're just short of the funds needed to purchase the plane ticket or a close family member has suddenly taken ill and needs money for treatment.
Because of the time taken to develop the relationship, most people feel they can trust the nanny at this point. Beware as con artists work very hard to trick you and can be very believable. No matter how swayed you may be, never send money to strangers. To protect yourself from these types of scams, check references right away, before establishing a relationship with any potential nannies. If the references seem dubious or don't check out completely, stop working with this particular nanny and move on as they're many legitimate nannies looking for work.
Scam Red Flags
*Family offers to hire you without interviewing you.
*Family offers you money in advance.
*Any references to a cruise ship.
*Any references to Africa.
*Any references to textile importing or fashion boutique.
*Amazing salaries or work conditions.
*Mother died in a horrible car accident.
*Asking you to open a bank account, especially with Wells Fargo and Bank of America.
*Needs a 'favor' with you to forward money someplace for medical care, furniture moving, via Western Union.
*Any pre-payment or overpayment for services such as the 'family' will have an emergency and need the 'money' back before your bank tells you the check was bad.