Are you a nanny or caregiver who lists your services on sites like care.com, sittercity.com, or craigslist.com? A few months ago, we warned about a scam that targets caregivers like you. Here’s a reminder: a con artist emails or texts an offer to hire you. The scammer also sends you a check and asks you to deposit it, keep some money for your services, and send the rest to someone else to — supposedly — pay for special items or medical equipment. But the check is fake, and it can take weeks for a bank to discover the forgery. If you deposit the check and withdraw the funds, you’ll wind up owing the bank all that money.
After the last post, we heard back from many people with great ideas to help avoid this scam:
- Don’t deposit a check from — or send money to — anyone you don’t know.
- Never share your bank account number — including with a potential client.
- Be careful with potential clients who claim to be out of town or pressure you to deposit their check.
- Check out your potential clients. Search online for their names, email addresses, phone numbers, and even the text of the message you received. Many people said that an easy search told them they were dealing with a scammer.
- Call MoneyGram (1-800-666-3947) or Western Union (1-800-448-1492) if you were tricked into transferring money.