Hey Hey Hey!
I know a lot of people are looking for babysitting and nannying jobs right now, as am I.
I got an email earlier this month regarding a job-- but it sounded oddly suspicious, and from the get-go I had a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach.
Here's the email:
Thanks for your response. I am sorry for the late reply. It is due to a very tight and busy schedule. Well, my name is Stacey Gibson from The UK. I am married to my fiance of 8 years, Daniel Gibson, with 2 lovely children who means the world to me and my husband. We have recently traveled to Africa for business and we are through with the business now. So we will be traveling from Africa to Los Angeles, California , USA for another business convocation which will be keeping us extremely busy. That is why we would be employing your services. We intend to arrive in less than 3 weeks from now and we'll be staying in California for up to 3 months. We have no other alternative nor choice than to bring our kids along with with us, a boy and a girl. Their ages are 14months old and 4years old and their names are Mikel and Michelle..... Mikel is the most attention demanding and he like getting involve in activities.... I tell you, he is an handful. So we are going to need an energetic, dedicated and reliable person who will be taking good care of them while we are out of the hotel for our business during the weekends. We have decided not to choose any particular hotel to stay yet until we are able to secure a nanny/sitter for our kids because we would love to have our hotel very close to the would be nanny/sitter due to logistics. We will understand if you will not be able to work for us for the whole of our stay. We will appreciate enough notice ahead of the time you`ll decide to quit. The required working hours is 4hrs each day of the weekends. I will be watching the kids during the weekdays so I am willing to arrange my schedule during the weekends around your availability between 9am to 6pm during the weekends so you have to choose your preferred 4 hours of working between 9am to 6pm. Fri & Sat, Sat & Sun. or Fri. & Sun.... We are willing to pay you $320.00 weekly for this job.
Concerning the payment, our associates in the USA are the one responsible for our travel expenses. They would send you a payment in the form cheque which will cover your first week payment because we want all arrangements to be sorted out at least few days before our arrival. Meaning that you will receive your first week payment in advance, at least a week, before our arrival.
If you are still interested in the position, please provide us with your full legal name, home address, apt#, city, zip code, age and phone numbers.
Your address is required so that we will know what area to book our hotel and to facilitate your first weekly payment to you. Don`t forget to let me know your availability during the weekends so that we can schedule the working period. I will appreciate any more details or explanations about yourself that will make us know you more better. A swift acknowledgment of the receipt of this email will be appreciated as well.
Thank you and have a nice day.
Regards,Stacey & Daniel Gibson
Despite the suspicion, I replied. We emailed back & forth for a couple weeks, and they gave me a bunch of information about their kids. They even sent a family picture. But when I asked how they got my email & what kind of business they were in, my questions were ignored. I knew this probably wasn't a real job- it just sounded too good to be true. But out of curiosity, I continued to talk to them.
I knew it was a scam when I received this email:
We have forwarded your information to our associate to make out the check to you before our arrival as agreed. And we have gotten a confirmation from them that the payment has been granted and would be sent out to you before next week runs out. However, we were informed that our flight fee would be included in the check that would be remitted to you but I told them not to worry that we will inform you on time. So as soon as you receive the check, you will deposit it at your bank. And as soon as your bank makes the funds available for you, you will deduct the off front payment in the amount $320.00 for the first week and help us, as a favor, to send the rest of the funds, being the amount for our flight fee, to our travel agent so that our flight needs can be taken care of. I hope this won`t be of any problem or issue with you.
That sealed the deal. I officially had no doubt in my mind that this was no good! I continued to talk to them, simply to get as much information as I could out of them.
They sent me a check for $3900. Once I received it, I sent them a final email letting them know that I planned on shredding the check and alerting the local authorities. They responded, asking why I would put their travel plans in jeopardy. They even tried to put the blame on me! What nerve!
I printed the emails, and took them with the check to the bank. They send everything to the fraud department, and every piece of information helps these criminals get caught.
Here are some red flags to help you figure out if you're caught in the middle of a scam:
1. They use poor grammar & spelling. In the two emails above, you can tell that their usage is awful.
2. They offer you a lot of money for minimal hours or entry level work.
3. They want to give you the job immediately without an interview. Who would trust their kids with a total stranger?
4. They're from out of the U.S. and are coming here for business for a limited time.
5. THEY WANT YOU TO SEND MONEY. This is the biggest red flag ever!! If they want to send you your first payment ahead of time, but the check is for more than your pay (for any reason) & they want you to send the rest of the money somewhere else, DON'T DO IT!
* They will send you a check that looks legitimate. When it gets deposited into your bank account, the funds will appear to have cleared and be available. But within a few days, the check will bounce. When you withdraw the money to send to whomever, it will be your money, and you'll lose lots of cash.
- My check had 2 common mistakes that confirmed it was fraudulent.
1. It had 2 different types of fonts. One looked like Arial, and the other looked like a typewriter font. It was like they used 2 machines to print one check.
2. There was a key symbol in the upper lefthand corner, for Key Bank, but it had Citibank written on the bottom of the check.
BOTTOM LINE: If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. And if you have a bad feeling, trust it. Don't fall for their tricks!