Avoiding Nanny and Babysitter Scams

Stay safe and always be on your guard

The internet is a great thing. People all over the world are able to connect and communicate with ease and it's opened up a whole new world for online communities such as Childcare.co.uk.

As in the offline world, most people are honest, friendly and trustworthy but there are a rare few whose sole aim is to scam others and take advantage of them.

You should always be on your guard against potential scams.

Never give your Childcare.co.uk login details to a third party - enter them only on the secure Childcare.co.uk website or mobile apps.

Do not provide your credit card, debit card or bank details to third parties.

Here are our Top 10 tips for childcare provders on how to stay safe:

1. Never accept a job from anyone you haven't met in person and be suspicious of requests for Background Checks

Genuine families will want to meet you and interview you in person before employing you. A common scam involves someone you have never met offering you a job. They state a condition of the job is that you submit to a "Background Check" and send you a link where you are requested to pay for the background check yourself.  The job and background check is fake. They simply take your money for the bogus check and in the worst cases use your card details to shop elsewhere. Never agree to pay for a background check.

2. Always meet for the first time in a safe public place

For a first interview, it's always best to suggest meeting for a chat in a well populated public place, such as a coffee shop.

3. Never accept money from anyone before you have worked for them and never send them money

A common scam involves people, usually from abroad, wanting to send you money (usually a cheque) to buy toys or other goods to send back to them before you start a job. Often this is a scam where a cheque is sent and may appear to clear but can take as many as 6 weeks for your bank to inform you that it has bounced, even if the money apparently shows in your bank account.

Another scam involves a parent offering you a job before you have met them and they insist that you pay money to have a 'background check' conducted through a third party. Once the money has been paid for the background check, you never hear from them again. Do not use your own money to pay for background checks through unknown companies

4. Don't conduct a telephone interview with an employer that hides their phone number

It's a great idea to have an initial telephone interview for a potential job before you choose to meet for a more formal face-to-face interview but be cautious of taking a call where the Caller ID is unavailable or is withheld.

5. Always use the Childcare.co.uk safe and secure messaging system

Our messaging system is safe and secure and protects your personal contact details. Always use it to discuss potential jobs until you feel safe to take the conversation elsewhere. The messaging system is monitored and stores a permanent record of all communication. Be cautious of people who try to take the conversation away from our platform using services such email, WhatsApp or Telegram.

6. Be careful advertising anywhere other than Childcare.co.uk

Childcare.co.uk is the largest and most secure childcare advertising platform in the UK. We have a significant number of security features and procedures to make things as safe as possible. We also record the details of every person who has viewed your profile and accessed your direct contact details (if you have optionally chosen to add them to the Profile Plus section of your profile). Most other advertising platforms make your contact details available for anyone to view and they do not record who has accessed them.

7. If an offer sounds too good to be true then it usually is

Employers offering rates of pay or benefits that sound too good to be true often are, so tread carefully and be aware of unusually generous offers.

8. Beware of sob stories

Scammers will often try and pull your heartstrings. A message from a father telling you that his wife has recently passed away and is in desperate need of help may be a fictitious attempt by a scammer for you to feel sorry for them and gain their trust. Scammers sometimes try to gain your trust by purporting to hold senior, trusted jobs such as heart surgeons, so be cautious of anyone overly boasting of their profession.

9. Report any suspicious activity to Childcare.co.uk

Our Safety and Security team work 365 days a year to monitor our platform and assist our valued members. If you have any concerns about another member or any aspect or our service then please report it to us as soon as possibe.

10.  Trust your instinct

Often when we reflect on things, we wish we'd trusted our gut instinct. If something doesn't seem quite right then cease all communication with the person you aren't sure about and let us know, so we can take a look for you and provide some advice.

For more tips on how to stay safe please read our Safety Centre

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