Internet Scam attempts on Nanny Job sites

Posted on by Deborah | in Uncategorized

What you should know to protect your money and your identity.

Deborah Smith, President, Parents With Nannies, INA Board of Directors

When I started my company in 1999, the Internet was a much kinder, less exasperating place to do business.  Today, thanks to the undying efforts of mostly foreign scam artists, we in the on-line nanny business are constantly combating the nameless, faceless imposters who try to lure naïve individuals out of their money and even their identity. 

You may have been the recipient of one or more of these bizarre job offer emails.  They usually involve a non-U.S. family who is moving to the states and needs your help.  They offer you a job without even speaking to you.  The job sounds too good to be true, because it is.  And, they want to send you money (usually too much) up front to lock in the deal.  What they don’t tell you is that the check they are sending is a fake.  They will back out of the deal before that check ever clears and ask you to send some of the money back via wire transfer.  By the time you find out the check is no good, they have your money and have disappeared into the hills of some country you’ve probably never heard of.

Not all of the scams are exactly alike, but if you look at enough of them, as I have, you’ll see many similarities.  We post scam attempts on our blog.  I usually get at least one notice every day forwarded to me by a nanny.  I encourage nannies to read them and get familiar with their common elements

Some of the typical characteristics of a bogus job offer and scam attempt are:

  1. The job appears too good to be true.
  2. The family is from overseas and is relocating to the U.S.
  3. They offer you the job in basically their first email to you.
  4. They request “help” from you. Ask you to receive funds, furniture, or some other odd request that a typical employer would not make.
  5. They request personal information from you, copy of your drivers license, passport, social security number.  All of these should be kept completely confidential until you have met your future employer and will be using this information to run a background check.

If you receive one of these scam emails:

  1. Don’t reply. 
  2. File a report with the Federal Government at:
  3. Send a copy of the email immediately to whatever nanny database service you are using.  If you use many and don’t know where it came from, send it to all. 

Please keep us informed at, so we can help spread the word to other nannies.

I would also encourage nannies who use on-line nanny job services to ask the owners of these services what measures they are taking to discourage the scam artists and to protect the privacy of the nannies and families who use their service. At we have spent months implementing new technical roadblocks that will hopefully stop the scammers from ever entering our site.  We can’t guarantee that a scammer won’t slip through, but if they do, we have created a way for nannies to keep all of their contact information private, even email addresses, by using our new on-line message board system.  You can now keep track of where the message is coming from, and we can quickly and easily identify the scammer through his messages on our system.   

To educate yourself on the different types of scams and how to protect yourself against them, visit the Internet Crime Complaint Center located at this address:

Deborah Smith is the owner of Parents With Nannies, Inc. Their websites, and offer online recruiting and advertising services to families, nannies and agency owners.  Deborah is an INA Board Member and serves as co-chair of the Public Relations Committee and the Internet Committee.

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