Police warn of employment scam aimed at nannies

| 30/04/2009

(CNS): The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS) have said that residents should be on the look out for an employment scam which targets potential nannies and housekeepers. An advertisement that ran in the Caymanian Compass appealing for a full time experienced nanny / housekeeper may not be above board and may involve cheque fraud.  

Police explained that a member of the public responded to an advertisement for a nanny offering $30 per hour for a fun loving, caring person with a patient personality. However, the resident became suspicious and reported their concerns to the RCIPS. As a result the police discovered that the ad may be part of a scam which involves the potential Nanny being sent a cheque by this supposed employer who almost immediately asks for its return because of an emergency. In some cases the potential employee has returned the money from their own funds only to find that the original cheque bounces.

“Further investigations have revealed that a number of warnings about this type of scam have been published,” a police statement said. “Basically, the potential employer will likely send some form of pre-payment or overpayment to the employee in the form of a cheque. The employer will then request the money back for a ‘family emergency’ fairly rapidly. The victim is then forced to send some of their own money before the cheque has cleared. The cheque then bounces and the employer is never heard from again”

Polcie said the same scam can also be used to obtain people’s personal details which could be used for identity theft.

“It can be hard to tell the difference between a genuine opportunity and a scam,” the police said adding that red flags to indicate a possible scam include if family offers to hire you without an interview; the family offers you money in advance; there are any references to Africa or cruise ships; the salaries or work conditions which seem amazingly high or unrealistic; they ask you to open a bank account or ask a ‘favour’ from you to forward money somewhere for medical care, furniture, moving, child’s tuition etc via a money transfer centre.

In this case aside from offering $30 per hour the ad it asks for two years experience with babies and excellent spoken and written English. It stipulates that the person should be a non-smoker and that applications should be sent to john.kellog@yahoo.com.

There are more details about the various housekeep and nanny scams on the sector specialist website –www.4nannies.com/info/nanny-scamsAnyone with information about crime taking place in the Cayman Islands should contact their local police station or Crime Stoppers on 800-8477 (TIPS). All persons calling Crime Stoppers remain anonymous, and are eligible for a reward of up to $1000, should their information lead to an arrest or recovery of property/drugs.

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    International Nanny Association (INA) Cautions Nannies Against Employment Scam
    In this economy when nannies are desperate to find good paying jobs, they must be super vigilant and use caution when trying to find a position without the assistance of a reputable INA member nanny placement agency.
    Unfortunately employment scams like this aren’t new. For the past few years, INA has been getting complaints from nannies about a scam that involves a potential employer offering a nanny pre-payment for a position via check or wire transfer and then demanding the money back with promises of reimbursement. Once the check or transfer is completed, the funds aren’t available and the nanny is left with the responsibility to pay the funds back to the issuing bank, leaving her out the cash.
    INA offers nannies these four tips when searching for a job without the assistance of a reputable INA member placement agency:
    Protect yourself. Never meet a potential employer that you’ve connected with online or through a newspaper in a private place. Opt for a public meeting area like a coffee shop where there are others around.
    Protect your personal information. You really don’t know with whom you connecting. It is important to guard your social security number and other important identifying information to prevent identity theft. Use call blocking to protect your phone number until you are confident the position and potential employer are legitimate.
    Do your research. Ask for references. Google the employer’s name and business information. Do all you can do to verify that you’re dealing with who you think you are.
    Use a work agreement. When you opt to find employment on your own, you’re on your own. Use a work agreement to nail down the specific role, responsibilities and expectations of both parties.
    If it sounds too good to be true, it likely is. Remember all the glitters isn’t gold, so use caution and protect yourself from falling for such a scam. INA urges nannies to use a reputable INA member nanny placement agency when looking for a nanny position.
    INA is a non-profit association committed to educating the public about quality in-home child care. Visit http://www.nanny.org to learn more.
  2. Knal N. Domp says:

    Love the Julie Andrews pic-  makes me wonder if that nanny is aimed at me…