Carer Safety & Scam Avoidence

Protect yourself and your dataBack to Top

Protect yourself when you're looking for a nanny, babysitter or caregiving job. Unfortunately, online scams and fraud are becoming more common. And among those that fraudsters are targeting are nannies, babysitters and caregivers. Online safety is extremely important to us at MindMe.ie. So here are several tips to help prevent this from happening to you, and to help make sure that your job search is both safe and productive.

carer safety

Popular ScamsBack to Top

There are two main types of scams that are prevalent on the Internet: the “overpayment scam” and the “pay in advance scam.” They're very similar and usually go something like this... A scammer poses as an employer and attempts to trick you into sending money. Typically, the employer reaches out via text message with a job offer that seems too good to be true or asks you to contact them on their private email address.. Once you reply, the scammer may ask you to buy a needed item (like a toy or wheelchair) or claim they're relocating and want to pay you in advance. After you share your full name and address, the scammer sends you a cheque (often for a large sum of money) and requests that you cash it and wire a portion of the money back to them. They may tell you to keep the rest. But here's where the scam comes in: the cheque is fake. Unfortunately, you often don't learn that until it’s too late -- after you've already sent a portion of the money back to the scammer, which you're then responsible for repaying to the bank, as well as additional fees associated with this type of fraud. In some cases this can amount to large sums of money.

Dog carer

6 Signs It's a ScamBack to Top

Here are some clues you were contacted by a scammer:

1. They Use Odd Language Keep an eye out for messages with excessive grammar or spelling errors. Messages from scammers are often full of them. An occasional typo is no big deal, but an entire message of them is a red flag.

2. They Complicate Things In the overpayment scam, you might think: "Well, why didn't they just write two cheques? That would have been easier!" Listen to your gut. If they sent a cheque to your home, they can just as easily send a cheque to the shop.

3. They Have a Very Sympathetic Story Most of us want to help people and so we offer assistance in any way we can. Don't let a "sob story" affect your judgment. If something seems off, it usually is.

4. Their Information Changes Keep an eye out for lies and varying information. For example, a scammer may tell you the names of their "children", but if they're scamming many people, they may mess up. If the person tells you they have two boys, James and John, one day and their names are Peter and Paul the next day, it's probably a scam.

5. They Stick to the Script Many scammers use the same email format (there's usually a chain of emails and they stay with that chain), so try to throw them off by asking detailed questions about the job. If they completely ignore your reply in the next email and re-send the instructions again, you know you're dealing with a scammer.

6. They're Impatient Scammers become more and more impatient and just need a confirmation that everything has been done. They just want to scam you and move on to the next person. If the person is becoming overly antsy or anxious, back out of the job.

8 Tips for Staying SafeBack to Top

Here are a few ways to protect yourself when using MindMe.ie or other online services:

1. Communicate Through MindMe.ie Use the monitored messaging system on MindMe.ie when talking with a potential employer, rather than relying on text messaging or your personal email address. This guards your privacy and allows us to monitor all electronic exchanges for suspect activity, enhancing our ability to remove fraudsters from the site.

2. Don't Give out Personal Information Be cautious of providing your credit card or bank account number to anyone. MindMe.ie only asks for your credit card if you sign up for premium services. The information will only be used in secure transactions, and MindMe.ie will never call you for this information.

3. Avoid People Who Mention Money Don't reply to any text messages, emails or phone calls from a potential employer who requests that you cash a cheque, send a money card, purchase an item or wire money.

4. Don't Accept Money Never accept a cheque, money card or money wire from an employer you haven't yet worked for or met in person.

5. Don't Send Money And don't offer to send a cheque or money wire for them either.

6. Don't Accept Extra If you're paid by cheque, only accept payment for the exact amount that you agreed on with your employer.

7. Have an In-Person Interview Before you accept any job, always meet the family or individual. Make sure your interview is in a public place and ask to see an ID so you can confirm who you're meeting with.

8. Be Wary of People Relocating Some potential employers may legitimately be moving and looking for a caregiver. But be careful. Watch out for messages from people who are “Moving to Your Area” or “Relocating". Delay accepting a job until you can have an in-person interview and don't accept any type of advance payment.

What to Do If You Think You're Being ScammedBack to Top

If you have suspicions about a job or prospective employer, let us know! If you receive a text message or email from someone you believe to be a scammer, stop communication with them immediately and email us. We take reports from our members very seriously and work hard to respond quickly. When MindMe.ie becomes aware of information regarding a member or prospective member that we believe makes them a potential danger to our community, we promptly remove them from our site. If you've already been in touch with someone and think it may be a scam, stop all communications with the scammer. Don't reply to any emails and hang up your phone if they call you. Print any email exchanges and visit your local Garda station. These emails are useful because they can show a pattern for the scam and can be re-printed to educate others to avoid this type of scam. Scams should always be reported because the Guards will be able to tell how widespread the problem is depending on where and when they're getting the complaints. If the number of reports spikes, the Garda will use the knowledge of all of the complaints to track the scammer. Finally, when using you're using the Internet, avoid any offers that sound too good to be true -- they probably are.

How do I report a concern to MindMe.ie?Back to Top

MindMe.ie takes the safety and standards of the website and our members very seriously. As much as we focus our energy on these efforts, the feedback we get from our members is a crucial part of improving the overall experience. If you would like to report a concern to MindMe.ie, let us know by sending an email to our support team at support@mindme.ie

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