If you're looking to make some extra cash as a nanny, be warned: crooks could be targeting you. Reputable nanny websites say cyber criminals create fake postings claiming to be parents looking for childcare.
Haley has a story like so many Americans. She was looking for work to make quick cash to help out her family. A quick search online, and she thought she'd found the perfect fit. It was a job for a nanny. She was excited but says something didn't feel right. "I emailed them to the email they provided and sent like a resume and they needed references and made it look very real," she said.
She was on a reputable nanny website but when the supposed family told her they couldn't meet her because they were out of town, more red flags went up. The kicker was that the family sent her a huge check before she even did any work. She knew this wasn't legit. "They weren't from in town and they wanted me to purchase things and keep it at my house until they arrived and they would send me the money," Haley explained.
Many times these crooks are after your private information or your money. Legitimate nanny websites are on to this deception and are aware that criminals target their sites and post fake ads. Many put up warnings to help keep you safe. A local company is also staying ahead of cyber crooks and taking the fear out of searching for nanny jobs.
College Nannies and Tutors trains and helps place nannies with families. Owner, Vicki Daniel says they do all the work and provide a safe dialogue between parents and potential employees. "It would be hard for the nannies to know when they are seeing a family, if they are real or not, but for a nanny to meet one of our families, we have already been to their home and interviewed the family themselves to ask questions about what they are looking for but to also make sure we are sending our nannies to a safe environment," she said.
Never accept money if you haven't started working. Never wire money to a potential employer, be cautious of families saying they are relocating and before you accept any job, always meet the family in person.
Carmen James is the family placement manager at College Nannies and Tutors. She's heard the horror stories of nannies looking for jobs online. "It is almost like a dating site where someone presents themselves in a profile but you have no idea what's behind that profile," James says.
Haley didn't fall the online nanny deception but knows cyber criminals are always in search of their next victim. She's hoping her story will help others. "Going to meet people you have met online that you really don't anything about, it kind of goes without saying, so there are different levels of danger here but all of them worth watch out for," James says.
Even on legitimate sites you have to surf with caution. Another red flag, cyber criminals will tell you they need your banking account information before you start employment.