Finding a job is hard enough. Then the scammers have to come in. Why they think they can scam au pairs, I’ll never know. I mean, really, that’s the demographic you are going to hit? But, sometimes it works. Here are ten of the most common things to watch out for with au pair scammers.
- Family offers to hire you without interviewing – Interviews are a necessity. No contest. If a ‘family’ offers you a job without ever meeting you, run.
- Family offers you money in advance – Same thing goes here. People are not stupid. They don’t hand out money like candy. In fact, they don’t even hand out candy like candy… unless it is Halloween. Don’t fall for this.
- Any references to a cruise ship or other vacation – No one hires when on vacation. At least not an au pair. Don’t fall for this.
- Any references to Africa – Nigerian scams? Heard of them? Yeah, you have. They’ve been around as long as the internet has. Don’t fall for them.
- Any references to textile importing or fashion – Don’t wish for the stars here or you’ll get to eat crow. No one travels so much that they don’t have time to meet the au pair they are hiring. Just no.
- Unbelievable salaries or work conditions- No, you will not get hired for a $3000 a week, 4 hour a day job without an interview or background check. No, you will not be an au pair to the stars (most likely). Don’t fall for this.
- Mother died in a tragic car/plane/boat accident – There is such a thing as tragedy. Just don’t let someone else’s tragedy make you stupid. Yes, it is sad, but no, I will not take the job sight unseen.
- Asking you to open a bank account – Especially with Wells Fargo or Bank of America. No one has to do that. There is no LEGAL reason to. Run.
- Needs a favor – Please forward money someplace for medical care/moving /burial via Western Union. Um, no! They have friends for that. They do not need an au pair, they need a brother. Just say no.
- Overpayment for services – The ‘family’ will have an emergency and need the ‘money’ back before your bank tells you the check was faked. Now you are broke and someone else is laughing. Like I said, there is no such thing as free money.
There is never a reason to send money to any family you are working for or may work for. They are hiring you, not vice versa. And never trust a ‘family’ you haven’t met yet or checked references on. Not everyone is who they seem to be online.