Scammers are fake host families or fake au pairs, who try to misuse the au pair programme to their advantage. Most of them ask au pairs or host families to transfer money to them, but there are even reports about au pairs being forced into prostitution.
To identify scammers as soon as possible, we automatically screen (by some software algorithm) all profiles and messages for certain patterns and unusual activities. If we identify a scammer, we immediately block him / her and inform all users who this scammer has already contacted via our messaging system.
There are some typical patterns scammers use - if you spot any case as described below, better not reply to any messages from the user and immediately report the user to us (you can do so by clicking on "report" in the top right corner in the user's profile)!
Fake host families
The first message of the family already contains contact details and the au pair is asked to write an email or skype message instead of using the messaging system
The au pair is asked to send her/his CV and pictures to an email address right away
The family refuses to make a live video call
The au pair is contacted by a host family from an English speaking country, although this country is not on the list of wished host countries (as English speaking countries are very popular among au pairs, scammers mostly pretend to live in one of these countries)
The family offers help with travel arrangements at a special low rate - but the au pair has to transfer some money in advance
The family offers much higher pocket money than defined by law / than usual
The family offers the au pair to provide accomodation in a different place (a nearby flat or house) and they will cover the cost, but first the au pair has to contact the real estate agent and pay the rent
The family, situated in the USA, asks the au pair to get in contact with a specific au pair agency, which is not on the list of designated J-1 visa sponsors (check out the USA country info for more details!)
The family sends forged checks (e.g. as support to cover the travel cost), then they inform the au pair, that an awful accident happend and they don't need an au pair anymore and the au pair should transfer back the money. Shortly after, the check will bounce and the money is lost for the au pair.
The au pair is contacted by the lawyer of the family who offers help with formalities - if the au pair transfers a certain amount of money.
Fake au pairs
The first message of the au pair already contains contact details and the family is asked to write an email or skype message instead of using the messaging system
The au pair claims to be an English native speaker (as many families are searching for English native speakers), but (due to being not) only sends standard messages
The au pair is absolutly perfect in all aspects (too good to be true), but can't afford e.g. the ticket to travel to the host country or the insurance and asks the host family to ransfer money to her / him in advance
The au pair claims (s)he got stuck at the air port (due to some accident) and needs money to buy a new ticket as the old one isn't valid anymore
The au pair refuses to make a live video call (due to technical problems, not having a good internet connection,...)