Online Nanny Site Safety
Safety Advice for Online Nanny Job Searches – BE AWARE!
The internet is a fantastic venue to put families with childcare needs in touch with individuals looking for nanny work. Most families are honest and caring, seeking only the best match for their children and their needs. However, there are some bad apples in the barrel – read on to learn safe internet job search tips.
A nanny is wise to think through safety issues before accepting a job offer. We hear so much about families being concerned about leaving their children in the care of a relative stranger; nannies considering relocating and living with their employer need to be just as cautious. There are some important tips for nanny candidates provided here.
First, no one has checked out the families at 4nannies.com, any more than you have been checked out before registering. 4nannies.com requires paid registration for full family members, and this tends to discourage flakes. Discourage, not completely eliminate!
Identity theft is the first thing candidates worry about, yet it is relatively rare. MONEY SCAMS are much more common.
4nannies.com takes reasonable steps to protect you. We do not collect or publish your Social Security Number – this should only be provided directly to a hiring family after all interviewing is done your references have been checked the family has made you a written job offer
We do not publish
- your address
- date of birth
- your email address (families and candidates email each other by clicking a link)
You have the option of listing your phone number. If your phone number is listed in the phone book, be aware there are other websites that can look up your address using your phone number. Many candidates post their unlisted cell phone numbers – this makes you easier to reach and still maintains anonymity.
Protect your personal identity. This includes being very sure you are accepting a job and have completed all of your own checking before you give a family your Social Security Number, Driver’s License Number or bank account information. It is a delicate balancing act. These are needed by the family to perform criminal and driving records check and to report your wages to the IRS, and to process your payroll, but they are not needed until you get to that point in the process.
MONEY SCAMS: These types of scams first promise you salaries and work conditions that are too good to be true, and offer to hire you without every talking to you! The scammer may offer to advance travel expenses or salary advances. A certified cashier’s check arrives via FEDEX or other delivery service. It is much larger than the promised advance, and, OOPS, they need a ‘favor.’ “Can you forward part of the money via wire transfer or money-gram to a third party, often to … pay the movers , pay for textiles being shipped from Africa, pay child’s tuition, child is sick and needs immediate funds for medical care?” Scam artists sound very convincing – that is why they are successful. If you are contacted in this way, please let 4nannies.com know immediately.
WARNING! Do Not Deposit Checks for Advances, Fees, Travel Expenses! NEVER forward money to parties you do not know.
Interview safely. It is safest to have your first meeting in a public place – however if you are going to the family home you should either bring a friend with you (he/she can wait in the car or at the corner coffee shop) or make sure you leave the name, address and phone number with someone as a precaution. Let the family know you are bringing a friend in advance. These cautions are not intended to scare you – after all the in person interview is hands-down the best way to determine a good nanny:family job match. Instead, we want to empower you to be SAFE in your job search, and not become a victim of a mugging, sexual assault, or worse. And remember, it is okay to ask the family for references too. Talk to their former nanny or childcare provider if at all possible before you accept the position.
The vast majority of families are honest and caring, looking for the best care for their children. The parents should not object to your thoroughness and thoughtful consideration to the job offer, but rather see it as indicative of the care and caution you will exercise as their child’s caregiver. If a family objects to you asking questions, remember, there are many more families out there who will welcome them. You are an adult considering accepting an awesome responsibility for someone else’s children; make sure you take responsibility for yourself too.
Be very wary of job offers from families who have neither requested or checked references or your criminal background.
Verify the name and location of the family you are speaking to. Public Records Now and Anywho.com are free resources that can help verify a listed phone number and a legal name (address). We recommend that these basic checks be done before you provide the family with your Release to Conduct a Background Check. We aren’t trying to scare you – just keep you safe.
Check family references. Ask for the names and numbers of the family’s previous caregivers. These can be former nannies, family daycare providers, or center-based care. Explain why you are calling and ask them questions. Would they consider taking this job, or having their daughter take it? Were they paid on time? Is there anything about the family that they think you should know?
If at all possible, visit the family in person. Ask a friend or family member to accompany you … even if you have to drive all day to do so.
Scam artists are very convincing. Keep records of your conversations and repeat questions to make sure the story stays straight. Your MyFolder can help you here.
NEVER Deposit Checks for Advances, Fees, Travel Expenses! NEVER forward money to parties you do not know.
Trust your instincts. If there is anything about the job or the family that makes you uneasy, keep looking.
Have an escape plan. It is just foolish to consider moving hundreds of miles away without at least having either a friend nearby or enough money for a few nights in a motel, just in case. Call this insurance, and don’t leave home without it!
- Family offers to hire you without interviewing
- Family offers you money in advance
- ANY references to a cruise ship
- ANY references to Africa
- ANY references to textile importing or fashion boutique
- AMAZING salaries or work conditions. No, you will not get hired for a $2000 a week, 5 hour a day job without an interview!
- Mother died in a horrible car accident
- Asking you to open a bank account, especially with Wells Fargo
- Needs a ‘favor’ with you to forward money someplace for medical care … furniture moving … child’s tuition … payment to colleague … via Western Union