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Watch out for online nanny and caregiving job scams

CaregiverFinding a new job can be a challenge. Websites can help you find work, but scammers also use these sites to find people to rip off.

Do you look for work on caregiver/nanny job sites? Sometimes scammers will offer a job but say you need to buy supplies or other equipment, said Carol Kando-Pineda, attorney for the Federal Trade Commission’s Division of Consumer and Business Education. They pressure you to act quickly before you have time to think. They send you a check and tell you to deposit it and transfer money to their vendor to buy the supplies.

Don’t do it — scammers post fake job listings for nannies and caregivers, then make up elaborate stories to get your money, Kando-Pineda said. The positions seem real, but they’re not — it’s a scam. The check will bounce. So, the money you sent is actually your own — and it’s gone.

Some scammers may pressure you to send money via gift card or cash reload card. Anyone that asks you to pay with such a card is scamming you.

If you’re looking for work on a caregiving site:

  • Don't send money to someone who says they want to hire you. Don’t deposit a check and wire money back. Don’t send them a gift card or cash reload card. 
  • Search online for a potential client’s name, email address, and phone number. You might find complaints by others who’ve been scammed and find out more about the scammer’s tricks. 
  • Contact the company you used to send the money – bank, wire transfer service, gift card company, or cash reload card company – and tell them it was a fraudulent transaction if you sent money to a scammer posing as an employer. Ask to have the transaction reversed if possible.
  • Report nanny and caregiver job scams to the job site and to FTC.gov/complaint.

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