A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

BBB Trends: Nanny job may sound too good to be true; scammers could be trying to get your money

By Sandra Guile
Better Business Bureau

The school year has begun and for many families, it may be necessary to find a babysitter or nanny to ease the pressure of a hectic schedule. If you’re in the market for such a job, be wary of the posting descriptions that sound promising.

The posting may read as a family seeking a nanny offering a great salary with wonderful working conditions. For example, it might be $2,500 per week and only part-time. If you were to respond to the ad, the fake parent may respond only by text or email.

The communication gives you the feeling you’ve already been hired for the job without the benefit of an interview, background check or any of the normal procedures of a hiring process.

A boy’s babysitter reading him a story

Also, there’s nothing mentioned about buying supplies or other equipment until a check appears in the mail with instructions to deposit it and transfer money to a vendor to buy supplies related to the job.

At this point, don’t do it.

Unfortunately, scammers post fake job listings for nannies and caregivers, then make up elaborate stories to get your money. The check will bounce. So, the money you sent is actually your own money and it’s gone. In other cases, the alleged family will request payment with a gift card or prepaid cash card, another telltale sign of the posting is a scam.

Before responding to what sounds like a promising online posting for a caregiver or nanny position, conduct a search using the name, phone number or email that’s listed on the post. See if you can find comments, reviews or contact another client that used the service before. Instead, research potential nanny opportunities using reputable agencies that don’t charge you for applying for a job and ask for the opportunity to interview the potential family that you’ll be working with.

If you see an ad online or receive an email that promises a lot with little proof, make sure to research it before committing to anything. See if the company attached to the claim has a BBB Business Profile on bbb.org, and report any questionable activity to scamtracker.org

Sandra Guile is the Community Outreach Specialist for BBB. She promotes BBB’s message of marketplace ethics through public speaking engagements, presentations, media relations, press releases, web content, and other written materials. Your BBB is located at 1 East 4th Street Suite 600 Cincinnati, Ohio 45202 – to reach the office, call 513-421-3015.

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