Beware Nanny / Au Pair scams spread via spam email

Filed Under: Featured, Spam

NannyIt's time to hang up my spurs as a Naked Security writer, as I have been offered an exciting new career as a nanny!

I must admit it took me by surprise when the email offering me the position arrived in my inbox, but when I read the details of the job they were offering it seemed too good to be true!

  • A starting wage of £2700 per month, plus £700 per week for "petty expenses" - with room for negotiation upon starting.
  • My own private well-furnished master bedroom, with laptop, internet connection, TV and "other necessary gadgets".
  • Freedom to study in any school of my choice, with tuition fees all paid for.
  • Don't have to work at weekends, so free to explore London or hang-out with other well-paid nannies.

Surely I would be crazy to turn this job down? There can't be many nannies being offered an annual salary of £32,400 (with an additional £36,400 for petty expenses!) just for carting a couple of kids to school every weekday? Not forgetting the internet connection and paid-for tuition fees too!

I can't believe my luck!

I wonder how they selected me out of all of the email addresses on the internet?

Nanny email

Here's one section of the email:

SCHEDULE
Your job is not a hard one,I do not believe in supervising or monitoring people to do their job.I believe people should be giving a free role in whatever they do.So,I believe you should be able to perform well without being told.All entails preparing Our kids for schooling in the morning,taking them to the point where the school bus picks them up to school.You will have a free period then whereby you can do any vocation or practice whatever is at your disposal.Then you help monitor them after they are brought home by the school bus,just to make sure they are alright till my wife's arrival from work.

SALARY
You will be entitled to a pay of 2700pounds every month while you will also be given an entitlement of 700pounds every week for petty expenses which you might need for yourself.This salary is subject to negotiations for an upward review upon your arrival.

ROOM
A well furnished Master bed room will be made available for your personal use soon as you get here.there will be your personal laptop connected to the internet, TV and other necessary gadgets at your disposal.There will be enough privacy for you,i guess you'll really like it.

Of course, for anyone who hasn't realised already, it's a scam.

If you respond to the email, the scammer will ask you for all sorts of personal information. That could be bad enough - but things can get even more sneaky with nanny/au pair scams.

Steam rollerFor instance, the prospective employer might send you an advance payment which they tell you to put in your bank account. However, before the cheque has cleared you receive a message from the scammer saying that some terrible tragedy has occurred (maybe his wife and children have been killed by a runaway steam roller) and that he no longer requires your services.

Would you mind awfully, asks the poor grief-stricken scammer, wiring most of the money back to him? Perhaps via Western Union to resolve his personal situation as quickly as possible?

Thinking that you have received his cheque, and assuming it will clear into your account, you send the scammer money and are ultimately left with a hole in your finances.

Once again, the old adage applies. Just because something is written in a nicely proportioned font, doesn't mean that it's true. Stop believing everything you read on the internet and keep your wits about you.

Otherwise, you could fall victim to an email scam.

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11 Responses to Beware Nanny / Au Pair scams spread via spam email

  1. Tim B · 5442 days ago

    That is an amazing offer. Maybe an offer for The Superanny. Anyone who would think of accepting that offer should have their internet access steamrolled.

  2. Perhaps these scams, mostly from Africa, are revenge for when missionaries scammed them with christian beliefs offering fake "salvation".

  3. Bogwitch · 1043 days ago

    Given that the author is supposed to be an accountant, I would expect to see a much better grasp of English, punctuation and grammar.
    It sticks out a mile as a scam, if for no other reason than, as you suggest, the high salary and expenses on offer.

    That said, unfortunately I'm sure there will be some that fall for it, greed is a powerful incentive!

  4. nilda · 1043 days ago

    i, too got an e-mail like this...hope this kind of people will be caught and stop swindling innocent people ...

  5. I was about to write almost the exact same comment as Bogwitch. Surely the first give away for any type of scam/fraud/backdoor/etc email is to actually use appropriate spelling and grammer? A space after a full stop is a given, random capital letters "Our children" "Wife" "Insurance", use of a £ sign instead of writing pounds after it which signifies weight, not money, and when has a master bedroom ever deserved a capital letter? Unless maybe these people are so wealthy their bedrooms have Masters degrees?

  6. Lisa Vaas · 1043 days ago

    *Ahem.* that would be "grammar," yes? :-)

  7. ChefJoAnna · 1043 days ago

    They've been targeting people in all industries with this kind of scam. I'm a chef, I have heard of others in my profession who been offered all-expenses-paid travel and accommodation, with guaranteed advance payments as a deposit for their time. Then, after giving the chef time to deposit the check, comes an e-mail that says "Due to an illness in our family the trip has been canceled, but please keep 15% of the deposit for your trouble, and would you kindly refund the balance".

    When I posted this to my blog, (http://chefjoanna.blogspot.com/) I had people write me and tell me that they lost hundreds, even up to a thousand dollars, because they accepted a deposit for a gig that got canceled, and then they refunded the money.

    I've also heard of this being done to photographers, models, musicians, artists, and all sorts of other self-employed entrepreneur professionals. There's also another scam going around for "secret shoppers", where they send you a check and tell you to go eat at restaurants and shop at upscale stores, then cancel the job and ask you to refund the balance of the check, less your commission and reimbursements.

    If the deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

  8. judyjardin · 1043 days ago

    If the sender is not on my contact list, I usually just delete the emails.

  9. I was laughing at the poor English too, from a supposed intelligent high earning English family, best bit was where he fel he needed to tell you his daughter Rita was female :-)

  10. anon · 1040 days ago

    This kind of offer can be even more dangerous in person. A friend of my daughters' was staying with us and was offered (in person-can't remember how she met the man, supposedly the family's accountant), a high paying job as a nanny in Russia. She was so excited, getting ready to pack up and leave, despite friends and family trying to convince her it was to good to be true. Fortunately, her parents were concerned enough to contact the RCMP and they came to speak with me. She wasn't there at the time, but I told them what she had told me. They showed me a map of the known human trafficking routes which included many countries in Europe, including to my surprise, the UK (London), (and a lot of similar places I would not have thought would be); Russia was on it as well. The RCMP said it was strange that she would be offered a salary more than most professionals make in that region and that they would choose to hire someone randomly instead of getting someone through an agency for much less. Also, that the chances of her getting to a nearby consulate if she were in trouble, would be rather slim if she was locked up somewhere and even if she did manage to escape, the language barrier would make it difficult to ask anyone for help. Luckily, she changed her mind about going after learning of the RCMP's visit and what they had to say. Scarey stuff.

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About the author

Graham Cluley runs his own award-winning computer security blog, and is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and gives computer security presentations. Send Graham an email, subscribe to his updates on Facebook, follow him on Twitter and App.net, and circle him on Google Plus for regular updates.