If you’re looking for a job as a babysitter, nanny, or other kind of caregiver, you might have searched online or used a website that matches you up with potential employers. Scammers also use these sites. Learn how to spot these fake jobs and avoid them.
What to Know About Nanny and Caregiver Job Scams
If you’re looking for a job as a nanny or caregiver, you might have searched online or used particular websites that provide employment matching services — sites like Care.com, Sittercity.com, or Craigslist.com. Searching online or using employment matching websites can be useful for finding jobs, but scammers can also post fake job ads designed to trick you into sending money or sharing personal information.
Here are a few things to watch out for:
- Be suspicious if you’re offered a job and hired without an interview in person or over the phone. Scammers might say they’re out of town or too busy, or come up with other excuses for not talking to you on the phone or meeting you in person.
- If you get a check before you even start working, it could be a fake check scam. The person hiring you might say it’s your first paycheck, or that it’s to buy supplies or for expenses related to caring for their loved one. But later they’ll tell you to send part of the money to someone else, or return it to them. They’ll come up with excuses, like they overpaid you, they need the money to pay for unexpected medical bills, or some other emergency. The check is fake, and by the time the bank realizes it, the scammer has your money, and the bank will want you to repay the money you withdrew.
Here’s what to do if you get a job offer:
- Check out potential employers before giving them any sensitive information. Search online for their name, email address, phone number, and even the text of the message they sent. You might find that others have had bad experiences and been scammed by the same people, or in a similar way.
- Don’t send money to your potential boss. Your employer should pay you, not the other way around. Don’t believe any story about why your employer sent you a check for more than you expected to be paid, and why you need to send some of that money back. And if your new employer asks you to send them money through a gift card or wire transfer, don’t do it. It’s a scam and that’s not a real job.
- Get as many details in writing as you can. Ask the potential employer to send you details of the job duties, the pay, and the hours. If they refuse, that could be a sign of a problem.
If You Sent Money to a Scammer
Scammers often ask you to pay in ways that make it tough to get your money back. No matter how you paid a scammer, the sooner you act, the better. Learn more about how to get your money back
If you gave the scammer your personal or financial information, go to IdentityTheft.gov
to report it and get advice to protect your identity.