Fake checks: The nanny or caregiver scam

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Do you offer your professional services as a babysitter, nanny, or other kind of caregiver? You may have used websites that can match you up with potential clients – sites like Care.com or Sittercity.com. These sites can be a convenient and efficient way to drum up business. But scammers may misuse these sites. FTC staff has seen complaints about con artists cheating caregivers with a counterfeit check scheme that asks you to send payment to a third party. Details may vary, but, in general, the scam works like this:

Someone replies to your listing on the site, saying they want to hire you to care for their child, parent, or even a pet. They often say they live out of state and are moving to your area soon. They may ask you – with a very persuasive story that tugs at your heartstrings – to accept delivery of special items or medical equipment their loved one will need while in your care. They send you a check to deposit and ask you to keep some money as payment for your services and then transfer the rest to a third party – supposedly to pay for the goods.

What’s the problem? The check and the third party turn out to be fake. It takes only a day or two for your bank to make the money available to you, but it can take weeks for your bank to determine a check is phony. If you already withdrew that money, you’re on the hook to pay back the bank. If you’ve already transferred the money to the third party, it’s gone – like sending cash. And, since the recipient can pick up the money from a different money transfer location than the one you sent it to, it’s nearly impossible to find the recipient. That’s how these con artists avoid detection.

So how can you protect yourself? If a potential client urges you to transfer money using a service like Western Union or MoneyGram, it’s probably a scam. Don’t send money to someone you don’t know, either in cash or through a money transfer service. Likewise, don’t deposit a check from someone you don’t know and then transfer the money. No matter how convincing the story, it’s a lie. And, as always, don’t respond to any messages that ask for your personal or financial information, regardless of whether the message comes as an email, a phone call, a text, or an ad.

If you or someone you know was tricked into transferring money – for any reason, report it to the money transfer company:

  • MoneyGram: 1-800-666-3947 (1-800-955-7777 for Spanish) or at moneygram.com
  • Western Union: 1-800-448-1492

Then, report it to the FTC. And you may want to notify the site that’s being misused. The scammer is likely trying to prey on other caregivers looking for work.

Tagged with: fake check, jobs, scam
Blog Topics: 
Jobs & Making Money

Comments

Just wanted to now if scammers use EVO Bank in Spain? Because I had been asked to transfer money there.

Don't do it!!

I wish I had checked here before I put this check in my account. Now that the check is there, what can I do? The bank says it might take 7-10 days before they can find it is a bad check. If it is bad, it will take the money back. and it will cost me $16. As long as I don't pay for the wheelchair that is supposed to arrive, will I be ok?

The FTC wants you to know that counterfeit check scams are on the rise. Some fake checks look so real that bank tellers are reporting being fooled. The scammers use high quality printers and scanners to make the checks look real. Some of the checks contain authentic-looking watermarks. These counterfeit checks are printed with the names and addresses of legitimate financial institutions. And even though the bank and account and routing numbers listed on a counterfeit check may be real, the check still can be a fake. These fakes come in many forms, from cashier’s checks and money orders to corporate and personal checks. Could you be a victim? Not if you know how to recognize and report them.

What do i do if i sent the money back? Can i be held responsible?

If you deposited a fake check and sent money from that check to a scammer, the bank will contact you when it finds out that the check is fake. You will have to pay the bank back for the money you withdrew.

What ended up happening?

has anyone actually cashed the check at a check cashing and it worked? i just deposited the check and now seeing this site

The check is in my account but haven't move the money so can I do just wait and inform the police or what????
Please help me

If you think the check you deposited is fake, you could talk to someone at your bank.

What should i do? I replied to an ad on craigslist for a house cleaning position. The person said they were relocating soon from illnoise and their mother and daughter where moving in to their new apartment. The person wanted me to receive a check from them in a an amount and wanted me to take the portion for the first weeks pay then another for ther materials and tje other to send to some agent so they can give me the address to the home and the key. I thought it was too good to be true. I did not give them any of my personal like social or bank information but i did give them my address and phone number and email. What should i do if i cet the check?

If you aren't sure if the check is legitimate or fake, you could show it to someone at your bank.

I dont have a bank account but I recently received a mailed check with my name on it and a text message and an email saying to go and cash the check at a local gas station but I think this check is a fony. What do I do?

The FTC wants you to know that counterfeit check scams are on the rise. Some fake checks look so real that bank tellers are reporting being fooled. The scammers use high quality printers and scanners to make the checks look real. Some of the checks contain authentic-looking watermarks. These counterfeit checks are printed with the names and addresses of legitimate financial institutions. And even though the bank and account and routing numbers listed on a counterfeit check may be real, the check still can be a fake. These fakes come in many forms, from cashier’s checks and money orders to corporate and personal checks. Could you be a victim? Not if you know how to recognize and report them.

DO NOT DO THIS what they will do is you'll go withdraw the funds and send it on and then your bank will contact you saying the check is fraudgulent and the funds will come out of your account. The exact same thing happened to me, they said they were lying for my first weeks pay and the rest would go on to a supplier. DO NOT SEND IT. I was scammed this exact way out of $3,000 and now I am suffering the consequences of paying the bank back

On 6/25/2017 I answered an ad for a Nanny on Craigslist. The person who posted gave the name Tony James. Father of 5 year old Ann and relocating to the city where I live. Ibgavey name and DOB for background check. Supposedly the child needed a wheelchair to be delivered to me after I get a check to pay me for the first shift and the special need wheelchair. The check and delivery details are to be coming to my address. I decided to check for possible scams and found an article about this kind of thing. What harm am I facing by giving my name and address? I will not process any check that may come. The offer seemed too good to be true and the phone number used for contact is just a text number - 804 885-5727. I went back to the listing and marked it prohibited. I also gave out my email address. Is there something else that I should do? Please help. I live on SSI and cannot afford any more financial stress.

When you give a scammer your personal information like name, DOB, address & email, there's a chance that he will use it for identity theft. Read about the warning signs of identity theft so you know what to watch for.

Hi did the ladies name happen to be Rebecca Robinson and was doing charity work in Denmark? She is from Illinois but isn't there. Her mother is 72 daughter 19 I wrote to her back in march but never heard anything back even sent her my resume..you think it might be her?? Plz reply back.

I have, it worked until a week later when it was fraudulent. 3,000 court fees included that my fiance and I are now responsible to pay

Omg why the 3,000 court fees? Court for what?

I too am being scammed by a tiffany Smith seeking care for her mother. The spelling was correct, yet the grammar was off...yes I have been scammed before so I have an idea what to look for. I have been playing along, but the check for wheelchair was really set me off. My profile was on care.com beware!!!!!

I too am being scammed by a Emily Goad. Got the check yesterday and they are begging me to get it to the bank. Which is not going to happen. I am playing around with them. Did you all take this to the police or what did you do?

Hey Gladys I happen to read your comment and saw that you were being scammed by a Emily goad which is the same person that try to scam me I recently just received her check that she is begging me to hurry up and deposit which I am not now knowing that it is defiantly a scam what did you do with the check after she sent it?

Denny yes i just let my scammer know i knew it i pretended to go along like i deposited it and busted them with knowledge and they never replied anymore rush me to deposited but at the end let them know i was smarter than them that wheelchair deal and being deaf pissed me off

just got scammed today with the whole deaf and wheelchair story. i am a college student and started having a gut feeling that this isnt right. I decided to look up care.com scams and i found my story. the grammar, deaf story everything was exactly the same.

I got contacted by the same story! wow I can't believe some people.

I just got contacted by an annie williams... told me her husband just died on a long vacation, her son is in a wheelchair from the injury and she is hearing impaired... very weird in their responses both in email and text. after reading the above article, i am very suspicious as she wants me to accept a wheel chair to keep at my house and is "moving to the area" to escape the area her husband died...

does anyone have experience with this name?

I just recieved an email from her today. SCAM! I'm glad I googled before I responded.

I just received an email from a Rachel Carter with the same story. Everything sounded so unreal that I decided to google it. I'm glad to find this article before I send her my address for the wheelchair.

Does anyone know which risks we are on once they got our address?? I am afraid to be chaised! I deposited the cheque and tried to cancel it after 2 days but couldn't do it. The guy got my picture too. Do they want just money or I am in risk?

I just recieved a txt from a Tiffany Smith says she is in Ohio and moving to my area and wants me to be house keeper. Isent a msg asking how she got my info she says ti rroky to her email because she is havung trounble with her phone.glad I checked this out not that I trust anyone these days.

I got a email from a Jennifer Krags/ krag who said she is deaf and graduated from the Texas School for deaf. Sob story about the husband dying and wheel chair and $20 an hour. Glad I followed my first mind and knew it was a scam.Then texted me I asked for her info so I could run a background check lol

Jennifer Krags Emailed me too. Same sob story of being def, dead husband and her daughter being in a wheelchair. Almost fell for it out of pure sympathy but when I received the checks I could tell they were fake. Definitely watch out for any of that! People are sick now a days and would do anything for money

A few weeks ago a "Tina Robert Daniel" sent me a text claiming she got my number off my Care.com profile. She asked me to please email her. I automatically knew something was off. She told me that she was partially deaf and a stock broker from FL and would be moving to my area at the end of August. She said she would need care for her daughter "Kate" and companion care for her elderly mother. She claimed that she went to the Texas school for the deaf in Tyler Tx. She offered $20/hr for my services and wanted to send me money in advance without ever meeting me in person or having a telephone exchange. I was to keep $500 and use the rest of the money to pay other people. SO MANY RED FLAGS!! I didn't cash the check and also told her or him that i have already notified the appropriate authorities. Haven't received anymore texts or emails just yet. Please be aware of tons of grammatical errors in texts and emails. Also be aware of people that say they are moving to "your area". IT IS ALWAYS A SCAM!!! Protect yourself!!

Yep I got the same exact story. Her name is Arlene Lucas though. Different state. I knew something was up because after a couple days of emails it turned into text messages and I couldn't find the emails anymore. After that I started going along with it. I asked her if she had a fb and she was like she hear bad things happen on there . That was completely dumb on account of my whole family has a fb. I started trying to look the name up, now I see why it's not searching Bc according to this website she uses different names. I decided to do more research before I even thought about cashing her fake check! Then I ran into this. I busted her and threatened to turn into police. So thanks for having this website. And she was so aggressive to getting this check deposited!

I received a text from the # 8443345822. It said that their supervisor was moving to my area and to email "Hillary Wright". I have emails from this person asking for assistance with her to dogs when they move to my area on December 20th. Stated in detail what I would be doing for the dogs. Lot's more in the emails. Last email said she was going to have her estate agent send a cashier's check. I looked up the phone number and nothing. I google searched Cassidy Wright in Canada and nothing. I emailed this person asking for proof of who they are, phone numbers, addresses. I am certain at this point that this is a scam. It is very unfortunate that people like me who need to earn a good income are subjected to scammers who bring out hopes up.

The same thing happened to me. A person named Mary Murphy from #866-587-3366 sent me a text saying here Manager Hillary Wright needed a pet sitter for her pups near my area .Her email address is hilwright03@ .She said she was coming to my area from Canada and needed someone to set up her apt. run errands and take care of her dogs Misty and Razor. She was going to have her Financial clerk send me a check and I would take $400.00 for the first week for my self and use the other money to take care of her errands and dogs. She was going to have her estate agent send me keys and her address to get the appartment ready and buy dog food. She also stated she wanted me to purchase 2 gold fish. One an Fancy Goldfish and a Auratus Cichild. She said bonus will be paid if any over time.My husband looked under Scams and guess what her name came up. I texted her and her counter partner and told both of them I was turning them in!! It's really sad that someone would try and scam something who was looking for a part time job and thinking this would be perfect job for them. Shame on Mary Murphy and Hillary Wright!!!

Contacted via text today from: 216-799-0586. Stephanie Coopman Steppcoop.ndsu@ 

Said needed help for Mom "Bridget" who would be moving from Colorado Only have to work 4 hrs per day,my choice days/hrs. Will be paying my first week pay via Certified Check in advance, as would need to ready apt, obtain medical equipment.

No mention of anything else but It smelled WRONG...I shut them down when the second email had a lot of the same information copy and pasted. BIG CLUE: English written Communication, but sentence structure is VERY CHOPPY, omitting commonly used Tiny words in the English language such as: is, as, a, the, do,if, can...

My profile is on Care.com BEWARE...If it sounds too good to be true....Well it probably is!

Also got the same kind email. It is obvious that the long messages are pasted.

I was just contaced by a Stephanie Coopman. ndsu regarding an online post I placed for an apt. Like you, the language and terms used did not "feel" right so I googled the name and come across your post. We have not gotten too far in our communications, thanks to your post I'm shutting this down! Thank you!

I just received an email from Stephanie Cooperman as well for a personal assistant role. Lots of misspelled words. Asking me for all of my personal info. BEWARE. I at first thought it was genuine since I am job searching but after a second email and looking this up, I now know this is a fake.

I received a similar scenario from a Ruth Stone regarding her and her husband Peter who were moving to my area and needed a dog sitter for Butch and Jasper. Initially I received a Text from Elizabeth and reached out to Ruth via Email. Tried to look up Ruth on line but found nothing. Glad I came across this. Who can I report this to? I'm nervous because I sent my address to them before I found this like an idiot.

I just had the same exact thing happen to me. She wanted to send me a check for like $3,000 and then I take out my first weeks payment and then take the money to a store manager. It sounded too good to be true, so I said I couldn't do it. The check was delivered to my house and I returned it to sender without even opening up the package.

WOW!! I got this same email from Hillary Wright as well saying she was moving from Canada to my area and was urgently looking for a baby sitter for her nephew and I believed it until now! She sent me a large check and was telling me the same thing! My bank would not accept it because they thought it was fraud! So glad I finally searched her!! So evil!

Hi Olivia! I recently applied to a Nanny position on Craigslist. Sounds very similar to your case. Haven't responded to his response email, detailing to position and fishy scenario.
NO ONE that I saw has reported this stuff to police....who is going after these people? They can probably trace them, no? Find a clever way to catch them?

This just happened to me as well. I recieved a check saying to deposit it to the atm. I was always taught by mom to never do that just something I always followed. I proceeded into the bank and was ushered into the mangers office. I waited for 15min and was left alone in the room. Suddenly I have 3 cops walking into the room and I began to be questioned about this check. I was terrified I had no idea what was going on. They explained to me what happened. They then took all the emials and text messages I had exchanged with the person as well as the check and the envelope the check came in. They said that I was lucky that my mom taught me that lesson or else I would be owing the bank all that money back and now they can find more out about this person.

what should I do because this person is claiming to hunt me down after sending a check and I refuse to respond to them.

This exact thing happened to me. Hillary Wright said she was talking care of her 3 yr old grandson because the parents were in Australia. She told me she was sending a check and key complete similar story to yours and I believed it until I googled her email address hilwright03 and your comment came up. I am very thankful I found it. I emailed her right away and let her know I was turning her into to police and if her key and check show up they will also be turned into the cops. Its really to bad there are sick people like that out there.

I had a woman named Helen who used her "husband" to communicate with me via email. He insisted they had a daughter and I'd care for her 3 days a week for 4-5 hrs a week and he'd send me a check of $400 to secure the position I was offering. He mentioned other tasks would include purchasing groceries and supplies for an apartment they'd rent near my home once I gave my address. Luckily for me I am not only an investigator but I also live in a military base so the moment I informed them they lost contact with me immediately. Lots of copying and pasting on their end. Apparently they were moving from Canada and his wife had a miscarriage. BABYSITTERS BEWARE!

Wow she just emailed me with that bs too I have screenshots

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