How to Avoid Babysitting Scams: Advice from


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Babysitting scams are becoming more common on websites. Here's what a typcial scam looks like and some tips on how to avoid them. For more information, visit or your local police station on ways to stay safe online!

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How to Avoid Babysitting Scams: Advice from

  1. 1. How to Avoid Babysitting Scams<br />Keeping yourself safe against sly criminals<br />
  2. 2. The Problem<br />Criminals are becoming more and more creative in the ways the trick their victims. They will often disguise themselves to be people needing help. Many of us just want to help people and these criminals prey on that trait. By the end of it all, they aren’t the ones who need help—WE ARE! <br />
  3. 3. Be aware<br />Lately the scams seem to be targeting babysitters who are looking for work., Craigslist and other babysitting sites have been targeted. The more you know about scams like these, the more prepared you are so you don’t fall for their tricks!<br />
  4. 4. Additional resources<br /> has many tips on how to stay safe on the internet. They describe many tips on their website so check it out for more information!<br />
  5. 5. Typical Scam<br />Here’s an example of what a typical scam looks like:<br />You receive a message from a scammer who is international or works internationally and needs a babysitter. The scammer tells you that they need a babysitter and asks if you are interested in helping them. Once the babysitting and price has been arranged, the scammer tells you that they will send money for a babysitting deposit as well as extra money included to deposit at store or business so that you can buy the children some toys. They ask you to deposit your half of the payment in your account and bring or forward the rest of the money to the store. The manager will send the children the toys after receiving the payment from you.<br />
  6. 6. Sounds innocent right?<br />In reality, you have inadvertently cashed a bogus check! You take out the money from the ATM and because that check is bogus, you lose that amount in your account! You are taking out your own money and have to pay a fee for using a bogus check on top of that! <br />
  7. 7. How to Avoid it—Look for the clues!<br />There are 10 clues to look for to help you see if you are dealing with a scammer….<br />
  8. 8. Clue #1<br />Look for Grammar Skills<br /> Most of us aren’t English teachers, but it’s a good idea to see how good the scammer’s English is. Do they place a question mark at the end of a sentence where there should be a period. If “My name is Mark?” is on the email, you may want to rethink replying to it!<br />
  9. 9. Clue #2<br />Complications<br /> In this type of scam, we think to ourselves “Why didn’t they just write 2 checks? That would have been easier!” Think about this—if it easy for them to get all your information (address, name, etc), they can get the businesses information too! If they can send you a check, they can easily send the business a separate one! <br />
  10. 10. Clue #3<br />Same Names<br /> A good scammer will use the same names for the children he needs a babysitter for, but if they have a lot of people they are contacting, they may become a victim in their own web of lies. If they have two sons, Tim and Tom, one day and the next day it is Mike and Matt, there’s a very good chance it’s a scam. <br />
  11. 11. Clue #4<br />Solutions go Unnoticed <br /> If you have a solution (they could write 2 checks, for example), email it to them. In the response, see if they either ignore it entirely or create some “story” on why that’s not possible. Often the scammer will say how “busy” they are—if they have enough time every day to email you instructions and updates, they should be able to respond. <br />
  12. 12. Clue #5 <br />Sympathy<br /> Most of us want to help people—our hearts break for those who need help. Don’t let the “sob story” cloud your judgment. Scammers will use every trick available (single parent, not enough money to send 2 different checks, want a fun experience because nothing has been fun for a while). Listen to your gut on this one, not your heart.<br />
  13. 13. Clue #6<br />Saved Format<br /> Many scammers use the same email for all the scams they do. If you think you are dealing with a scammer, THROW THEM OFF AND SEND AN EMAIL ABOUT A PREDICTAMENT THAT “SUDDENLY CAME UP”. Tell them you can’t deposit the money today. If they send you a response that is just the same email from before and ignore your situation, you know you are dealing with a scammer. <br />
  14. 14. Clue #7<br />Anger Approaching<br /> In your eyes, you are helping them out so they should be very thankful for the help. Many scammers become more and more impatient as time goes on because they just want confirmation that the check was deposited and instructions were followed. They want to scam you and move on to the next victim. If they are increasingly impatient, back out of the babysitting job.<br />
  15. 15. Clue #8<br />Check the Check<br /> As silly as it seems, have the bank make sure the check is good, in other words, don’t deposit it into an ATM, but go into the bank and sit down with a representative. Explain the situation to them. If they tell you the check is bogus, head straight to the police station. <br />
  16. 16. Clue #9<br />Check the Crime Logs<br /> Before you cash the check, you should contact the authorities. There may have been another person who was scammed in the area that the police are already tracking. Scams should always be reported so make sure you print any email exchanges you have had with the scammer so the police can educate others to avoid this type of scam! <br />
  17. 17. Clue #10<br />Get Opinions<br /> Get the opinion of friends and family and see what they think about the situation. Show the emails and the requests and see if they think it could be a scam. Don’t be embarrassed that you are conversing with a scammer—your friends and family want to help you avoid the scam too! <br />
  18. 18. What to do if you are in a scam<br />If you suspect that the person you are conversing with is a scammer, cease all communications with the scammer immediately. Don’t reply to any emails and hang up your phone if they call you. Print all your emails and head to the local police station to report the scam! <br />
  19. 19. Closing thoughts<br />Above all else, listen to your instincts. If your instincts say “scam”—you need to scram! <br />