New babysitting scam targets young women - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

New babysitting scam targets young women

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Barbara Smith wanted some babysitting work, so she went to a popular website, Care.com, and posted her profile.

Two days later came some great news.

"I got two texts on different days, saying 'oh we loved your profile so very very much,'" Smith said.
    
One stood out: it was from a mom moving to the US with a little girl, who offered $500 a week.

"She was from Australia," Smith said, charmed by the idea of sitting a little Australian girl.  "And I believed her!"
    
But even before she could meet the mom and daughter, Smith's first paycheck arrived, for $3,000.

"It was for my first week wages, and then the rest of the money, she wanted me to give it to her housing agent," Smith said.

A "housing agent?" Smith got suspicious.

"None of this added up," she said.
    
Good thing her suspicions were raised: It was the classic phony check scam, and it is now targeting babysitters.

As is the case with so many fake check scams, the person who wants to hire you is not in town. They're planning to come to the city, but they are not here yet, so there is no way to meet them.

How The Scam Works

Their goal is for you to deposit the check into the bank, then send them back your own money. Their big check (typically 2,000 - $5,000) bounces in a week.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine says his office has received more than a dozen complaints this summer about the babysitter scam.

"Your checks are good, the scammer gets your check, the scammers check is no good, and you're out the money," DeWine said.

Care.com has a whole section of its website listing the warning signs of a nanny scam.

Barbara, luckily, did not deposit the bad check, and send her own money back to the scammer. But many younger nannies and babysitters, not familiar with how this con works, are doing this.
 

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