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5 Signs a Nanny Job is a Scam

September 14, 2012

At eNannySource we caution all of the nannies who use our service to be cautious of nanny employment scams. While we have internal controls in place to weed out illegitimate jobs and immediately investigate any job postings reported to us as suspect, like with any Internet based matching service, users must always be proactive in ensuring their safety.

While our site contains information on job scams, we wanted to use this forum to remind users and those considering using eNannySource of the signs that point to a nanny job being a scam.

While there is no guarantee that if a job shows these signs it’s a scam and if it doesn’t it is not, there are definite things that successful nanny job scams have had in common. If a job has one of these 5 signs, it’s best to disregard the opportunity all together.

1. The job sounds too good to be true. Your mother’s advice is truer now than it ever has been. If a job sounds too good to be true, chances are it is. No legitimate employer is going to offer an inexperienced nanny top salary or offer a full-time salary and benefits package to a nanny prior to ever meeting her. If you’re reading a job listing and say to yourself, “Wow, I can’t believe it”, don’t.

2. The parents are currently in a foreign country but moving to a town near you. “We’re out of the country but relocating to your town” has been the opening line of many job scammers. If the potential employers say they’re in a foreign country, consider if they’re saying so to avoid phone or in-person communication, which is commonplace in nanny job scams.

3. The ad includes Western Union, Moneygram or cash advance. Any job listing that makes any reference to wiring funds or sending a check in advance is undoubtedly a scam. There’s no legitimate reason that a potential employer would send their soon to be employee funds. The traditional money order scam involves a potential employer sending the nanny money (to either purchase something on their behalf from a third party, often after giving a sob story, or as a salary advance), alerting her they sent too much and then asking her to return a portion of it. The problem occurs when the nanny returns the money prior to the funds clearing. The scammers end up with money and the nanny not only loses money out of her own pocket, but also has to pay bank fees. Nannies should not cash checks, money orders or accept wires as part of any pre-employment arrangement. Nannies should never give potential employers money.

4. If a potential employer only wants to communicate via instant messaging, email or text messaging, and when she does, it’s barely in English. The Better Business Bureau suggests that communications with poor grammar or English could point to a scam. They also suggest that potential employers who only want to communicate electronically could be trying to withhold a phone number or hide a foreign accent. It is industry standard that nannies and employers have in-phone interviews and in-person interviews and nannies should insist on each.

5. There is a lack of personal information or job details. Potential employers should provide nanny candidates detailed information about the nanny position that they are offering. They should be able to talk about their children’s interests, preferences and tastes, their jobs and the area where they live.  Parents should also be willing to provide references for the nanny to check. Potential employers who refuse to share important job details and personal information that would allow a nanny to make an educated and informed job decision could be trying to conceal information.

While a majority of nanny job listings are legitimate, as we’ve seen in the media, nanny scams are popular and even college educated nannies fall for them. If something tells you a job isn’t what it seems to be, don’t ignore that feeling. Instead, heed the internal warning and pass on the opportunity to be a potential scam victim.

In the course of using eNannySource if you have any questions about any job listing, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Our in-office customer service team is always happy to answer your questions.


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