Be warned, 7 common internet nanny scams…

Extracted from –

Many families are hiring a nanny or au pair to care for their children specifically in their own home. Some even like to hire a caregiver from a different country so their kids can learn a second language and be exposed to a different culture. There are several online agencies set up to match families with potential nannies and vice versa. The reputable sites (like are careful to screen for fraudulent profiles, but since not all online conversations are monitored, they’re not always caught. If you are legitimately looking for a position as a nanny or are looking to hire one, beware of these common internet nanny scams.

  1. Bogus family – Online scammers will set up a fake profile on one or several of these nanny websites looking to hire a nanny right away. They will depict themselves as fairly affluent and offer an enticingly high salary with luxurious accommodations. The scammer will then offer to hire the nanny, often without even conducting an interview. Thinking she just hit the jackpot, the unsuspecting mark will get a generous salary advance to help with travel expenses. The funds received will exceed the amount agreed upon which leads to the employer asking for the balance to be refunded. This is the classic money order scam that’s been going on for quite some time. The duped person deposits the bogus check or money order in their account and then sends a check for the difference back to the scammer. The deposit is ultimately rejected by the bank and the victim is left with no job and less money in their account.
  2. Bogus nanny – Not only are the nannies being targeted in these internet schemes, but families can be victimized also. Scammers will set up fake nanny profiles on these same websites depicting themselves as highly experienced with excellent references and credentials. They will take great pains in establishing a great relationship with the potential family and start making travel arrangements to start their new position. Invariably, some last minute problems arises that leaves the fake nanny short of funds. They need money for travel expenses or there was a death or illness in their family. Once the unsuspecting family sends the funds requested, they never hear from the nanny again.
  3. Travel documents – A variation on this internet scam is when it involves international travel. The fake overseas employer is happy to make all the travel arrangements and get all the necessary documents in order. The scammer offers to pay most of the expenses and asks the unsuspecting nanny to send money for a small portion of the cost. This is particularly despicable when the unfortunate mark borrows the money to cover these expenses in the anticipation of a lucrative job, but ends up with neither.
  4. Identity theft – Another common problem with nanny scams is the potential for identity theft. These online criminals will go to extraordinary lengths to gain your trust and eventually will ask for personal information. As potential employers they will ask you to fill out employment documents and provide your social security number. The next thing you know is your identity is stolen and you’re out of a job.
  5. Craigslist – These internet hoaxes aren’t only on the nanny websites, but they use Craigslist and other personal ads to implement their schemes. Always check potential nannies or families with the known scam and fraud offenders on the Craigslist online community.
  6. Online predator – Posing as a wealthy, recently widowed father looking for a nanny is a perfect cover for online child predators. They can use this ruse to lure unsuspecting young girls to meet with them for an interview with less than honorable intentions.
  7. White slavery – The worst case of internet nanny scams is to entice young women to travel to a distant foreign country where they will be at the mercy of their employer. Some unfortunate au pairs or nannies have found themselves in a foreign country only to be placed into virtual bondage with no ability to contact their family or return home. Some are even sold into white slavery.

Working as a nanny or au pair for an affluent family in a foreign country can seem like a glamorous position, but it may not be all that it’s cracked up to be. When using online services to secure a position or hire a nanny, be sure to watch for signs of these scams. Unfortunately, there are unscrupulous people who will take any opportunity to part you with your money.

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