The internet has created a place where families and caregivers can meet and exchange services for payment. Nanny and caregiver companies and concierges have also helped connect families to skilled caregivers who offer them the care they need for their kids and elders.
However, these days the internet is filled with loads of caregiver scams and fake families looking to scam unsuspecting caregivers seeking jobs. Sometimes, the joy of having been granted a job or contacted a family can make a caregiver let down their guard. Before they know it, they could get swindled, kidnapped, or even trafficked.
So, as a nanny/caregiver, how do you spot a scammer or fake family online? Here are some tell-tale signs of family/employment scams.
- Upfront payment without interview
No family will pay you upfront without a nanny interview or even signing a contract. So, be wary of any employer offering to pay you before you begin working with them. Some will even pay above the agreed amount and ask you to transfer some to another person. Scammers often use that to launder money, so be careful.
- Rushing you to make a decision
Beware of families who won’t give you enough time to think or research before accepting the job. Anybody who pressures you to decide within a tight deadline could be a fraud. They may emotionally blackmail you with sob stories to make you make a rash decision. Don’t fall for it.
- They ask for your personal information
A legitimate employer will only ask for your social security number and banking details to fill out tax forms and work on your payroll after you have been hired, and not before.
- The fee is extremely high
Before you celebrate a family willing to pay you way above the average nanny cost, consider whether the pay is too high compared to your skills.
Be wary if a family offers to pay you way above the average for no obvious reason.
How to be on your guard against scammers
- Don’t accept a job before a physical or online interview. When meeting for the first time, always meet at a public place for extra safety.
- Never do financial favors such as sending them money, receiving money on their behalf, or buying and selling for them. You could get in trouble for money laundering.
- Never pay for background checks. Some scammers will say you need to pay for a background check and request your card details. You might never hear from them again after losing your funds to them. Trusted concierges like Ayiconnect can run background checks on behalf of families, and with the families covering the cost.
- Don’t make decisions based on emotional stories. You might come across a person who claims to be a single mom or dad and needs your help urgently. While your heart might go out to them, insist on following all due protocols before working with them.
- Don’t take correspondence outside the platform you meet them. Ayiconnet has a platform with rules and policies guiding interactions to ensure that families and nannies are safe. Such policies will ensure that any family you chat with has their identity verified, and cannot scam you. However, you could fall prey if you take the correspondence out of the platform.
- Never share your debit card, credit card, or bank details with families or third parties. All your financial details should be kept personal. You can only share bank details for payment purposes with your employer after finalizing your contract.
- Don’t have conversations and interviews with potential employers who hide their ID and phone number. What’s there to hide, if there isn’t something fishy, to begin with?
- Be careful with online Ads. Many families will put out individual Ads asking you to contact a certain number or visit an address. Google such numbers and addresses and see what comes up before visiting. Avoid platforms that expose details of caregivers without having the details of that potential client for security purposes.
Always use a safe platform for your employment search
Ayiconnect has a secure website and messaging system that protects caregivers from scammers when they are job hunting.
We have a secure messaging system that is monitored for your safety. We also have an ID verification for both caregivers and families to ensure that everyone is who they say they are.
Finally, if you notice any suspicious activity on our platform or you have concerns about a family you meet, report to our safety team immediately for investigations to begin.
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