Beware of Scams

Today we are going to talk about the scams you can find online about the experiences as au pair… not to demoralize you, but on the web you can millions of them, so pay attention to what we are about to write below.

  • Normally are the families that approach you by saying that they are searching for an Au Pair, but they are easy to recognize because they have common characteristics:
  • They offer you a higher salary (In the States the salary is 195$ per week, so if they offer you 300$ start to getting suspicious)
  • They ask you money for a “phantomatic” agency, that will take care of all the documents through them.
  • They ask copies of passport and bank account… please don’t give them anything!!
  • They send a lot of detailed stories about the family and many kids’ pictures (THEY ARE FAKE)
  • They send standard emails and they are not personalized, so they will NEVER tell you why they pick you among all the au pairs, but they will only talk about themselves.bassotti-frodi-300x2381

Below a common mail you can receive if you are victim of scam:

“I am really happy that you replied me and interested in working for our family, I hope you’ll enjoy working for our family. Here is a little about us:

THE FAMILY
Our family now have a busier schedule, I started working full time as a financial controller 8.00am to 5.30pm, run his own pipe-lining business which is based on Civil Engineering (so we’re not always available at home) so we are looking for some assistance with Alif
and around the house. Hopefully you can add another language for my daughter to learn and experience a different culture. Our friends, who live minutes away, have an au pair from Spain and it’s working really well for them.
We live on 203 Nassau Blvd Garden City Park, NY 11040, USA which am sure you know is a big city. I am down to Earth, blunt and take things the way they come. I am a very friendly person and easy to get along with. You will have no problem in adapting to our lifestyle here. We will need your services due to the time commitment that is demanding by our job. We want you to know that you’ll never have any cause to regret taking up this job. If you smoke and you want to smoke,it’s most not be in my home cause we don’t smoke in the house and definitely not in front of my daughter, I must say here that were Christian family and we are devoted to our Religion.

ALIF
My lovely daughter’s name are Alif, she will be 6 by October, we enrolled into school at a kindergarten school, after which she will also proceed to elementary school. my Alif is welcoming and though she is young, Alif has got friendly attitude too. she likes playing a lot and I do not think you will not have any problem with her. so far Alif eats and plays well. Very intelligent and fun to be with, they likes candy, chocolate enjoys watching cartoon. You’ll enjoy staying with my daughter.

SALARY
You will be entitled to a pay of $1800 every month while you will also be given an entitlement of $100 every week for petty expenses which you might need for yourself. This salary is subject to negotiations for an upward review upon your arrival.

SCHEDULE
We would appreciate help getting Alif ready for school and walking them down (5mins), collecting them from school, getting her meal ready and sitting down to go through their home work or school activities (at this age its not too taxing!!), taking them out on their bike or to the park which requires crossing one road and you’re there. Food shopping (next to school) and keeping the house tidy, along with meal preparation. There is a good bus service and train network however we are looking at providing a small car. This would give you more freedom and allow you to have trips with my daughter. We love occasional nights out and can agree on evenings and schedule when required.

ROOM
A well furnished bedroom will be made available for your personal use soon as you get here. You will also be provided with a personal computer connected to the internet so you can keep in contact with relatives, TV and other necessary things at your disposal. There will be enough privacy for you; I guess you’ll really like it.
You are free to start as soon as possible, I will appreciate you coming immediately but any date of your choice will also be welcomed. You have every weekend as your off days as my husband will not be going to work during weekends except special overtime.

STUDY
You will be free to study in any school of your choice soon as you get here that’s if you still want to. I will be helping you as regards tuition fees and there are so many colleges and Universities here that offer good and qualitative courses. We’ll be willing to help you with that.

Let me know if you are ready to take up this position and probably get some more pictures from you?

I will love to know how long you want to stay with us and if the salary is good by you?

Do you have a valid passport and other necessary document needed for Visa Application?”

stop_truffe Since a lot of scams are circulating, the au pairs are trying to tutelary themselves and they created this website that allows you to check the email and the name of whom sent you the email. It is not said that all the scams are on this website, but it could be an help.
How does it work?
Go on the website, click on the menu “Intro to Scams”, from the drop down menu select “Au Pair Scam” and write name and last name on the searching bar that is going to appear.

Moreover, exactly yesterday (28/02/2014) the U.S. Consulate general Milan published on its official page the following post:

Attention!

FAKE AU PAIR PROGRAMS IN THE UNITED STATES

Recently lots of web scams related to the opportunity of participating in the “Au Pair” cultural exchange in the United States happened.
The strategy foresees that the victim gets contacted by an American family that later sends the incautious user to an hypothetic legal agency.
After the first request of personal information, money requests start to arrive with the excuse of covering all the visa expenses.
Before starting any action, like sharing personal information or transferring money, make sure that source of the request is legal. Cultural exchange programs in the USA are regulated by a specific Governmental program.

For more information, you can visit http://j1visa.state.gov/ where besides the au program you can find info about all the other  cultural exchange programs

If you are contacted by someone that offers you a certain opportunity and you have doubts, you can email us using our email address usvisamilan@state.gov

p.s. Remember that the only agencies legalized by the American government are 14 and you can find them here.

Your Au Pairs
Mapu & Susa

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