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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

I received a text message from a jude Hawley in the UK Tuesday, I responded and after reading the email he sent back I know its a scam.

I just had that last night.

Had it this morning. DO NOT REPLY TO JUDE HAWLEY. He will ask for your address.

Rec'd a response to babysit from Jude Hawley. He sent a large ck. I deposited and ask bank to verify it was good. They confirmed it was NOT. Thank Heaven I never withdrew anything from that ck. Smooth talker was just not smooth enough.

I just got into the same situation. Betty williams (47) found me on care.com and I have my phone number there and she texted me first asked if I could help watch her son when they come back from India because Robert(6) fell and had a back injury and got surgery there. This all happened within 3 days. She over nighted the check and i recieved it on april 14. They're suppose to come back on April 18 2015 and basically she sent me a check for 3225. 3000 for the wheel chair her son needs and 225 for an advance pay.
Yesterday I put the check in my account,today she told me to go to Walmart to deposit the 3000 through Money Gram. She told me to transfer it to chigozie kizzito with a surname of ndubushi in the city JLT, state:dubai, country: united Arab emirate, phone:0559260867. Luckily,my two friends began telling me these scams and I was texting betty and asked "is the money going to dubai or did you order the chair there" betty replies with "yes the money is going to dubai and I ordered it from there". that's where my friends got suspicious because she could have well ordered the chair herself. We are constantly texting and I reply with "ok I'm just wondering why you need me to transfer the money now. You are unable to in India with western union?"
15 minutes passes by and she FINALLY responds "I couldn't do it because I couldn't cash a US check here. Have you made the transfer yet?" I respond with "no I haven't. I want to make sure this isn't a scam.." they respond with "this isn't a scam so please don't even go there" I get a phone call from the doctor who helped robert. We talk but he did not act like a doctor when I was asking for questions. I asked if betty was there and he responded with "yes she's partially deaf".
He kept pushing me to transfer the money and I was so scared but my friends were telling me it's fake. I asked for his name and he asked why do I need it. My friend took the phone from me and threatened to report him and 'doctor alfred' hung up. He didn't want to give me his last name either. So I text betty saying I'm still at Walmart I just need proof this isn't a scam. She texts back "go home and have the money to yourself if you are refusing to send it" I replied back with "no. Once you return on April 18 3015 I will return 3225 back to you. I did not work for that money." She says "you will hear from the fbi shortly. Don't try me" I began googleing betty williams scam and this page came up. I just want to warn people that it can happen to anyone. I got lucky with the help of my friends and always be careful when it comes to doing things for others.

I just got scammed by the same person with the same story! However the woman's name was Mary Taylor. As soon as she mentioned sending me a check I knew it was fake. It was very believable though because she sent me her address in Des plaines. so sad that there are such awful people on this world.

Did she's end you a picture of her and her son? I am dealing with a woman named Mary Taylor right now. I didn't think it was a scam until I deposited the check she sent me and then she became super impatient and wanted me to use my own money and keep the money she sent me once it was approved.

I received an email from a man replying to my craigslist ad about a baby sitting position. he claims to be a missionary coming from Canada he will need a sitter for his two year old daughter Olivia. he claims that his wife is carrying their second child and it will be too much with the two year old. he then asked me to give him my address and full name so that he can send me a check to buy groceriescontains a deposit on the apartment he will be staying in. I sent him my address in my nameand then I started to think that maybe it was a scam. I didn't respond to any of his texts or emails in 2 weeks and then receive the check for 2900. he immediately texted me asking if I had received the check and if I was going to transfer the money for him. please beware of Mr Charles Hickkens has he is a scam. has anyone else been contacted by him?

I have recently been contacted by a man named Daniel Carlson coming from Canada with 8 deligates. Same story just different names

There is a new scam now hiring a caregiver and the offer is so good but it is. Scam. Caregiver of 72 years old diabetic. Luckyly im not resigning my current job to apply this beware in job rapido

Another fake one from Katrina Walton katrinawalton002 claiming to be hard of hearing, from Toronto, with two kids, moving to Chicago and needed dog care services.

Hello I believe that I am being scammed right now by two people. Both texted my ohone saying they say my profile on care.com one is a women named sherry cowell stating that she has a dog sitting job for me. At first it seemed so real until she said that she needed to send me money up front and send the rest to a store manager since she was moving to my srea. The number was not from fl nor from Massachusetts like she said she was from. The other one is from a lady named Marianne D stating that she needs me to watch her 2 year old son Zeb. This one struck me as alarming right away seeing as it was almost identical to the other womens stating she needed to send me payment upfront and to send the rest to a store manager for sending me Zebs toys. They both seemed so legit and after feeling insecure i looked up scams from care.com and came upon this site. I have not received any checks but i am going to the police station today so that i can inform them of these scammers. I have also recieved another text just like the othe two that i have not replied to but i deleted.

I got the same scam from Lisa Follmer from Asutralia, at bunniebu . I replied to her that I was interested in the position, but after she sent me a second email offering the job and the check I became suspicious. I am desperate for money, so I agreed straight away, and realized literally 15 minutes later what is was on my own. I found this page, and it confirmed my worries. Also, be en more careful because somebody actually texted me telling me that "their" friend needed a babysitter. So they can't just access your care.com profile but they also find yor number somehow. Also, her email address has a photo and she does make herself sound legitimate in the first email, but it's all a scam.

The same thing is happening to me on that website. Two women. Victoria Almond and Hope Carter.

The same has happened to me, a woman named hope carter , thank god i read through these comments and did some research before it was too late.
Thanks for the help!

I got a job offer from care.com from some lady named kimberly wright she wanted me to care for her sister that supposily had just got into a car accident she said she was going to move near me and send me a check of 3,559 to pay for a wheel chair and 300 for myself. Me like a dummy not thinking straight i deposited the check to my account 3 days later they closed my account found out it was a fake check and they said i could no longer have a bank account with them possibly no other bank im so dissappointed i cant belive i fell for this lady i feel so dumb n lost my account for this her email is kimberly00wri

It can be really hard to tell if a check is a forgery.

By law, banks usually have to make funds available to you within certain time. But, just because funds are available doesn’t mean the check is good. Forgeries can take weeks to be discovered and untangled. Until the bank confirms that the funds from the check are deposited in your account, you're responsible for any money you withdraw against that check.

You might want to talk with a legal aid lawyer or find a Credit Counselor  for ideas about getting a bank account.

I received an email from care. com similar to this one from an Elise Cooper. Has anyone else received this?

I received a 2775$ check from Lisa King, Scam, fake check. sent the free gift now im out 2775$. what can I do???

Even though the check was fake, if you withdrew the money, you are responsible for repaying the bank. You can  file a complaint with the FTC about the scam, and contact your state Attorney General and local consumer protection agencies.

I just got an email on sitter city from Katie/Kate D she wanted a nanny to look after her kids at any day/time which I thought was weird but went along with it until she told me to go shopping for food and to send her my full name and address where she would have a check for food and my pay for the week which was 500 I blocked her number do you guys think she will find me? I'm scared this was the number she contacted me on +1 (904) 310-0760

Beware of Harold P Campbell looking for childcare. Rold

I caught on right away when Lisa mention in her first e-mail her Husbands name but not the child's name and no questions asked about my self and offered me a Metro pass?? hello this is South Dakota...so I goggled her name sure enough I found this helpful site. This morning the famous e-mailed arrived buy this and that my reply was this"The Problem with you is that you forget your talking here with an ADULT I suggest to you to get a real Job instead of trying so hard stealing money from people your fake friends phone will be located from FBI an your Pc will be also hacked and located soon" I didn't tell her about her mistakes nor gave her this site in case she want's to get better at this but I did copy from some of yours complaints.Maybe,maybe she will stop.

The Australian one looking for childcare has a new email and name! danamorgan and the name is Dana Morgan. Do not give her any of your info! I have a two year old child and the wording of her initial email correspondence raised a lot of red flags for me because as a parent I would never, ever hire someone from a websit to watch my child until I had met them in person. Real people don't just hire strangers off the street to babysit, or in this case to be a nanny, without a huge list of questions. Needless to say, this is a total scam.

Good day to You,

How are you doing? I'm Dana and my husband name is Martin, I ask my cousin to help me seek a Babysitter and housekeepers. We are relocating to your neighborhood from Australia. I recently got a contract with a company on a private research job. However, We need someone that will help in running some few errands and babysitting.

Which city and sur-burbs are you?

We need someone to work 3 days per week 4 hours per day and job includes to pick up of our baby from daycare a few blocks away, someone that is mature whether young or older, loves children, reliable and punctual. The Nanny will take care of of a 4yr old boy for three days a week and will have to take baby home, give him a bath, dinner brush his hair, clean his lunch kit/bag, put back pack away school clothes away and monitor him with the best care possible. We are willing to provide a metro card to pick him up at daycare. responsibilities for baby will be to look after him feed him meals, bath, keep him clean safe and of course change diapers regularly. My kid is my life so i entrust you to give him the best care..
I will be offering you $350 weekly, i will be needing your services for 4 hours at any suitable time of yours between Monday, Wednesday and Friday. If you believe you are fit for this position in as much you will prove yourself to be a reliable and good person, I will instruct my financial to pay for the first week before our arrival so as to secure your service in advance.I will be waiting to hear from you.

I got the same exact message from a "Erica Parish" DO NOT BELIEVE IT.

My daughter also got an email from "Erica Parish" with the same story. We spoke to her hubby on the phone and he surely did not sound like he was from Australia, but was definitely a foreigner. This makes me so furious. The email she is going by is Desmondsmomat3

I have just had this "erica parish" contact me as well. I believe it to be a scam.

I received this same email two days ago, but the weekly payment was $400 and it was from "Belinda Williams" at bbwillias0 . Glad I looked for similar scams online before I provided her with my address and other personal info!

I just got that exact same email from her

This is the email that I got from Belinda.On Tue, Jan 19, 2016 at 11:24 AM, Belinda Williams wrote: Good day to You, How are you doing?

I'm Betty.. me and my husband are seeking a Babysitter and housekeepers. We are relocating to your neighborhood from Australia. Please where in the area are you located? I recently got a contract with a company on a private research job. However, We need someone that will help in running some few errands and babysitting. We need someone to work 3 days per week and 4 hours a day and job includes to pick up of our baby from daycare a few blocks away,someone that is mature whether young or older, loves children, reliable and punctual. The Nanny will take care of of a 3 years old boy for three days a week and will have to take baby home, give him a bath, dinner brush his hair, clean his lunch kit/bag, put back pack away school clothes away and monitor him with the best care possible.

Responsibilities for baby will be to look after him feed him meals, bath, keep him clean safe and of course change diapers regularly. My kid is my life so i entrust you to give him the best care.. I will be offering you $400 weekly, i will be needing your services for 4 hours at any suitable time of yours between Monday, Wednesday and Friday. If you believe you are fit for this position in as much you will prove yourself to be a reliable and good person, I will instruct my financial to pay for the first week before our arrival so as to secure your service in advance. I will be waiting to hear from you. Belinda.

I ADVISED HER THAT THE CASHIERS CHECK WILL BE TAKEN TO THE BANK AND ONLY UPON VERIFICATION WOULD I REQUEST MORE INFORMATION FROM HER. This is the 4th scam I have gotten but I will play their games. BEWARE AND NEVER DEPOSIT THE MONEY TO YOUR ACCOUNT. TAKE TO LOCAL BRANCH OF BANK OR POST OFFICE. The other 3 are: MIKE BUCKNER mikebuckner14  4245712982 GLORIA WILLIAMS gloriaw249         5167145334 Tamara Chapman tamarachapman8           Kate Grange from care.com 2132142599 Belinda Williams bllwills001          2012317139

Lisa Fuller is a SCAM. I am SO SO SO happy I found this site because I, too, have received a text/email from "Lisa Fuller" from care.com. She said she was moving from Australia and her "financial caregiver" will give me $350 ahead of time to secure my position. I was very suspicious to begin with, because the email was written in poor English and had very poor grammar; that is what prompted me to search her name further. We have had 3 email exchanges and I have not given out any personal information, nor has she sent a check yet. Any suggestions on what to do next? Should I report this to a specific person/police as an attempted scam? Since I have not received a check and have only exchanged 3 emails with this person, is there anything that I can legally do?

Young girls need to be very very careful of this "Lisa Fuller" because she is targeting young girls like myself (19 years old) across the nation.

Thank you for sharing your experiences. These are useful details for a complaint.  Please go to ftc.gov/complaint to report this. It’s important to submit a formal complaint because investigators from all over the country use the FTC's database to spot patterns in complaints.

bryantelliot01 is another one phone#702-519-1808

nanny scams got a check in the mail today we no its a scam its from ff sully parthers lp new york.beware of these people.if you didnt work for it ...its a scam

Just received this:

Hanna Richland .org> 12:35 PM (1 hour ago) to xgbfb-50300952. Hello, I'm Mrs Hanna Richland, I came across your ads at Craigslist as an experience child care . i would have love us to talk on phone but due to the fact am a deaf patient then we can only contact through messages till we meet in person. kindly get back to me if you are ready to work with me . Thanks with love

************* I won't fall for it email is thru craig's list so she doesn't know my real email

this is very ridiculous

A Megan Baker Contacted me saying she needed a nanny, and found me through care.com. After a few emails, she told me that her son was in a wheel chair and they were moving to my area within the next few weeks. She said that she would send me a check to pay for the wheel chair for their arrival, and that i keep the rest for myself as first weeks pay. An alarm went off in my head, i knew this was a scam. I told a friend about this and she sent me a link to this article. It matches this scam perfectly. I am in the process of reporting this to the FTC.

The Australia person has sent me the same info and will not tell me what part of the city she is moving to just says she is sending a check and her kids is her life. She is now Sheilabarnes

The story I got was from kate balmforth. The crazy thing is, she accidentally put a signature saying her name was Rachel. She said her husband died in a car accident and her 6year old son was paralyzed from it. She's moving from Phoenix to Orlando. She would send me the check for a deposit and I would have to pay for wheel care services with the other part of the check. So the wheelchair can come to my house before she gets here. I asked to skype her, I asked for a phone call, I even asked for the name of the delivery servicer multiple times. She ignored my concerns and continued to insist she send the check. Then I looked on her and boy am I glad I did. What a joke #nanny #scam #nannyscam

Wow I received the same exact story from the same lady. I got the check and everything. Luckily the bank confirmed ahead of time that the check was fake. That's pretty sad what people will tell you to get you. Lesson learned.

Exact same for me as well. But mine was from Phoenix to atlanta. Scam all the way.

This is sad... I just received a text and emails from this Kate woman as well as others in the past! Its sickening that whomever it is would use a handicapped child and his pictures as a part of their scam! Thank God something in me told me to Google her name! I am only 2 seconds from cursing this person out.

Hi all I have a question I am in need of employment so I put a ad on sitter city and a younglady responded by the name of Sarah gold saying she needed someone to take care of her sister with disabilities that would be moving here from Utah next week long story short she begin to ask for my email address pH number and age and said she would be paying me the first payment via certified check because I would have to get some medical tools ect I really feel this is a scam any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Don't agree to deposit a check from someone you don’t know. If you deposit a check, then withdraw money to wire it to someone or buy things, you have to repay the bank if it turns out the check was a fake. Don't tell anyone your bank account number either, even if they say they will deposit a check. If they have your account number, they can take your money.

How can we stop this from happening to anyone else? Would love to catch these people

I sent this message to my Licensing Specialist so it can be sent out to all the area child care providers before someone falls for this scam.

I am forwarding messages received today. I had replied asking for more information from the first one from Dr. Jany Payne <paynejany that arrived on Sunday. Then received a response which through up red flags for me. I responded declining services. Then received another email with the EXACT SAME information from Dr. Shantae May <shantaet. The child has the same name, age and every word is identical INCLUDING the spelling and punctuation errors.

Please use CAUTION and DO NOT reply to these scams or fall for them. The scam has been around for ages and seems to be hitting Anchorage Caregivers on Craigslist now. They send you more money than discussed for the period of service you will be providing. Then ask you to reimburse these funds before the checks has ever cleared your bank leaving you with no funds because their check is fraudulent and you are over-drawn!!
Below are the emails that I received today.
-----Original Message-----
From: jany payne [mailto:paynejan]
Sent: Sunday, May 31, 2015 8:51 AM
To:
Subject: CHILD CARE
My daughter Wendy will need your service for 1 month Monday - Friday 9.am to 4PM.. i will rather we discus this more via email..
-----Original Message-----
From: jany payne [mailto:paynejan]
Sent: Monday, June 01, 2015 5:13 PM
To:
Subject: Re: CHILD CARE
Hello,
Thanks for your response, my name is Dr Jany Payne from Canada (Toronto) I'm moving to your area for 4 weeks contract with Environmental Protection Agency ( EPA) in united states. My daughter name is (Wendy, she is 5 yrs old) i want you to help me Care for her from 9am to 4pm from Monday to Friday for 4 weeks.She is very nice gentle attractive .You do not have to worry about transportation, I have negotiate with a cab Driver that will be driving her down to your place go and come. Get back to me with the total cost, it is my financier in the united state that will sponsor me and responsible for the payment, so i want you to get all information to be use to have the payment, so that i can forward it to my financier in the state to send you the check, you will be paid with Us dollar certified check.
Please get back to me with the amount and i will be glad to update you and make the payment in advance to show you how serious i am, because i want everything to be done before i will get back to the states. Kindly get back to me with the below information so that the check will be made out to you immediately.
Full name to be on the check :- Street address (not P.O Box): - City:- State:- Zip code:- Total charges:- Mobile number for easier communication:
I will await for the information from you as soon as possible. Remember she is all i have and i really want a conducive and pleasant atmosphere for her. We will arrived to the state on 21th of June, start on the 22th June 2015

-----Original Message-----
From: shantae may [mailto:shantaet]
Sent: Tuesday, June 02, 2015 9:46 AM
To:
Subject: Re:
Thanks for your response, my name is Dr. Shantae May from Canada (Toronto) I'm moving to your area for 4 weeks contract with Environmental Protection Agency ( EPA) in united states. My daughter name is ( Wendy, she is 5 yrs old) i want you to help me Care for her from 9am to 4pm from Monday to Friday for 4 weeks.She is very nice gentle, attractive .You do not have to worry about transportation, I have negotiate with a cab Driver that will be driving her down to your place go and come. Get back to me with the total cost, it is my financier in the united state that will sponsor me and responsible for the payment, so i want you to get all information to be use to have the payment, so that i can forward it to my financier in the state to send you the check, you will be paid with Us dollar certified check.
Please get back to me with the amount and i will be glad to update you and make the payment in advance to show you how serious i am, because i want everything to be done before i will get back to the states.Kindly get back to me with the below information so that the check will be made out to you immediately.
Full name to be on the check :- Street address (not P.O Box): - City:- State:- Zip code:- Total charges:- Mobile number for easier communication:
I will await for the information from you as soon as possible.Remember she is all i have and i really want a conducive and pleasant atmosphere for her. We will arrived to the state on July1st and you start the second day we arrive.
Dr. Shantae May 236 Elizabeth St Toronto, ON M5G 2C4

I just got the exactly the same email. I read it the first time and I got the funny feeling that it might be a can so I looked up the name Dr Jany Payne and this is where it lead me so thank you very much for posting on here. I would not have fallen for it but I hope that if the name lead me to this site that others out the will get the same information that I did What tipped me off was the wording and the way they said that( they would be driving her down to my place go and come). For a person who is supposed to be educated the way they worded things threw red flags.

The people I got scammed from is a couple named Conner and Erika Ludovic with Thor daughter Lillian. They were paying me $350 a week and that they were coming from Canada. They also sent me a check for $2700 and I was deposit it and wait for it to clear. And it did. Please do not expect any money from them or cash any checks that they give you. They also told me to deduct my payment and send $2200 to China. Please bewhere of these people. Take precautions.

These details are useful. Please file a complaint with the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. If the scheme involved the U.S. mail, submit a Mail Fraud Complaint Form to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

This article about fake checks scams explains under federal law, banks generally must make funds available to you within certain time. But just because funds are "available" doesn’t mean the check is good. It can take weeks for a bank to discover that a check is a fake.

Until the bank confirms that the funds from the check have been deposited into your account, you can't count on the money being there. You are responsible for any money you withdraw against that check. If the check is no good, you have to repay the bank.

I had the same exact thing happen to me today. A woman named Victoria Almond found me on Care.com and wanted to hire me as a nanny for her four year old son Nicholas. They were moving to Louisville and wanted a nanny to make the transition easier. I received an email the next day telling me I couldn't start work until the next day because they had been in a car accident on the way to a funeral. She said that both she and her husband were badly injured and that they would have a financial adviser send me a check to cover a week's advance payment and some extra money which was supposed to pay for new toys for their son. Today I received an envelope in the mail containing a check for two thousand dollars. When I tried to ask why there was so much money she got very defensive and wanted me to deposit the money into my bank account before she would tell me what it was for. I decided then that this was WAY to much and this had to be a scam. Really glad I got smart before making a big mistake.

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