How Nanny Scams Work
The scammer will typically hire you without interviewing you, and will send you your first payment, in the form of a fraudulent check or money order, before you even begin working for them.
After you deposit their check, they ask you to forward some of the money to a third party, or they come up with a reason that they need the money back (to pay for unexpected medical bills, a child's tuition, etc). You will ultimately have to pay your bank for the fraudulent check, and lose the money you sent back to the scammer.
Another common scam targets nannies who want to work in foreign countries, but cannot get the appropriate visa. The scammer, posing as a family, will claim that they have a lawyer who can help get a visa, but the nanny has to send them money for the lawyer. Once the nanny sends the money, he or she never hears from the family again.
Nanny Scam Warning Signs
These nanny scams are common, but it is easy to look for red flags if you remain vigilant. Be cautious of nanny jobs that seem too good to be true - ones that offer an amazing salary for minimal work. Also, beware of families that hire you without interviewing you. After all, would a real family let someone take care of their children without looking into his or her background?
The most important rule to remember is never, ever send or receive money from a family you have not met. No family would actually pay you money up front, and no family should ask you for money either.
Note that these scams can also work the other way around. Some scammers claim they are nannies that live out of the country and need money to apply for a visa, or need their first payment early. Families that are hiring a nanny should never pay the nanny before thoroughly checking into his or her background and, ideally, meeting him in person.
More Information on Job Scams
Avoiding Job Scams
How to tell if a job is a scam, typical employment scams, work at home scams, and how to avoid scams.
How to Report a Scam
Have you been scammed or almost scammed? Here's information on how to report a scam, including where and how to report an employment scam.
Scam Warning Signs
What's a scam and what's not? It can be really difficult to tell the difference between scams and legitimate job openings, especially when it comes to work at home jobs. Here are scam warning signs to watch for and how to spot a scam.