AyiConnect works hard to provide a safe and reliable online platform. Even with the most advanced technology to detect and prevent ill-intent persons, sometimes it still needs some human intervention and reminders to stop bad things from happening.
Always be vigilant when searching for the next helper or family. Scammers can be anywhere in any form. They are going to do whatever they can to convince you to send money, bank account information, or personal details.
In this article, we have collected a list of warning signs that you should look out for to help you determine whether one is deceiving you or not.
- Request for money before job starts
Think twice before handing over money when a helper asks you to pay her before the job starts. Scammers may urge you to send payments before doing the job or having the job, aka, “a retainer”. Most helpers don’t require a retainer unless it is a maternity job for postpartum care, in which you will need to “retain” the service way earlier to reserve the nanny’s time.
Until you truly trust this person’s intent and can verify through collaboration of references, do not transfer funds. To protect our users, we have a secure messaging system where families and helpers can communicate freely with each other. Options for audio or video calls are available so families and helpers have the opportunity to chat and see each other before reaching any agreement.
- Offer a too good to be true rate or condition
This is the oldest trick in the book. If the rate and the work conditions offered are too good to be true (e.g., triple the market rate and all expenses paid for with a nice condo for relocation purposes), then it could be a sign of a potential scam. Although it may not always be the case, deceivers do try to lure you with a higher rate than normal and give you excessive benefits that get you excited and applied to the job. So make sure to read all the necessary information and discuss the details with the person on the phone. If anything seems fishy, stop all communication.
- Ask for a photo of your ID before you meet
Identity theft is one of the common things scammers are good at. They will send you photos of people who have done the same so they can gain your trust. Don’t be afraid to say that you prefer to show your ID in person, not through a chat session. Remember, AyiConnect has secure messaging with an option for audio or video calls in case you cannot meet in person.
- Request for personal details
Scammers can be very convincing in asking for your personal details such as your social security number, driver’s license number, or bank information. They may tell you that they require it before meeting you, or offering you the job. If it is for a background check, it is usually run by a credible organization or a third party. You will not need to share it directly with the family. Remember, you have all the right to say “no’ and provide it only once you meet.
- Communication outside the platform
AyiConnect highly recommends keeping the communication inside the platform. This way it will be easier for us to track down any breeches and investigate. If communication is taken outside the platform, be on the lookout for messages that have links or information that is not intended or related to any job postings. External links that look suspicious should not be clicked for it can be a spyware or virus to obtain other personal info. Report the user immediately to AyiConnect and relevant authority.
- Send an overpaid check
If a family sends you, a helper, a check or a money order that exceeds your service amount and requests that you return the over-payment immediately, this is an attempt to scam you the “overpaid” amount before you realize the check was counterfeit.
- Sense of urgency or pressure
Scammers have a very short window before their potential victim starts to become suspicious, and they know this. They will often create a great amount of pressure for you to send money, documents, or personal details, like family emergencies that may need some upfront money to help out. Similar to the recent Netflix show series, “Tinder Swindler” shows that people tend to think less critically when their first thought is to help others. Therefore, it tends to create the perfect opportunity for the scam to take place.
Bottomline, stay vigilant with any online communications. If you find any inconsistencies in users’ stories, please report them immediately. Let's fight scams together!
If you came across a suspicious user, please let us know immediately. If it happens outside our platform, make sure to capture evidence like screenshots of the conversation and send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. We take these issues very seriously, and your cooperation will be a great help for us.
AyiConnect is a platform to connect families with helpers who have a language specialty in addition to care. You can engage with them directly through self service or concierge service. The concierge 1:1 service can provide another option to ensure success matches for busy families who don't have time to search or need language assist. Schedule a free consultation here for our concierge service, or check us out on ayiconnection.com