Fake hostfamilies – do not fall for them!
It seems to be that time again when fake hostfamilies appear on Facebook and sometimes even in email-inboxes. They are announcing wonderful families with one or two kids in a great location, sometimes even just saying they need a “driver”, or offering a position without an agency and with higher pay. Do NOT fall for them!
With modern technology come new ways of exploit. In this case many AuPairs are lured into the trap of exiting families, wonderful locations, houses, and amenities, as well as better than expected salaries. The sad truth is, they are often fake hostfamilies, set-up profiles to get money or personal information. I am not saying every family-request or searching AuPair is a fake but be aware there are MANY out there.
Examples of fake hostfamilies and their requests
- November 2015: An online exchange about a family with the following information: I’m just in contact with a family in Nevada. They respond to emails very quickly even now that you are about 1:30 am. But they told me about an agency in San Francisco but I don’t know:
Host Family Placement Specialist.
Agent Aupair INC
Citibank Building, Suite #340
1801 Van Ness AVenue
San Francisco, CA 94109
Brea’s Desk Phone: (614) 407-9304
Why is this a fake? The email-address does not match the organizations address, it should be …@agentaupair.com in this case. And yes, Agent AuPair is a small AuPair agency but is being hijacked in this case.
- August 2013:
Thanks for taking your time to read the details about my family… I hope you have read all the Information ( About Us, Duties and Responsibilities, Accommodation, Salary e.t.c) I am glad you have no problem about that. Right now i will want you to proceed to contact the Agency about your Application, Registration and Documentation Process. I want you to contact them to know the requirement and the cost involve for the Program and how to get started. Below are the Agency Contact. Agent Au Pair Website:www.agentaupair.com
I will like you to send an email to Andrea which is an LCC in the Agency… She is the one to help you about all the details and information you need about the Agency and she will help you with all your application and documentation process immediately you have understand all the details she sent you and you willing to continue.
So below is her contact:
Andrea| LCC Agent Au Pair, Inc. 1450 Sutter Street #526 San Francisco, CA 94109 Email: agtaupair @outlook.com Tel: (972) 836-7414
So you need to write her that you directed by Jeffery Carneal and i will also inform her about you. She will help you with all the requirement you need and help you with the forms to start you documentation and registration Process. Please let me know about the progress as soon as you have contact her and you got the information about the program.
I have attach in these email some pictures of my family and i hope you will like them. Thanks for your Interest on My Family. Can’t wait to meet you in our midst.
Why is this a fake? Again, the email-address does not match, LLC’s do not work at the headquarters at the agencies, San Fancisco has a different area code than the one listed, the English is off.
- February 2016:
Hi.. i am Mr Robert from USA, i am currently working and living right here in UNITED STATE OF AMERICA, TEXAS with my lovely family. We have 3kids, and we are looking for a proactive God fearing NANNY, DRIVER AND HOUSE KEEPER who is ready to work and live with us right here in our home. interested applicant should kindly message me here on the position he/she is interested with. For the applicant.. we are looking for trust worthy and reliable ones urgent
Why is this fake? Click on the name on Facebook, “Robert Ollie”. You will find a picture of a father with 3 kids, him listed as working at an Oil Platform. Ups, there is a picture with 4 kids in there, too… Maybe the profile is real but an AuPair is a bit different than “a proactive God fearing NANNY, DRIVER AND HOUSE KEEPER”. Also why do you need to describe the “position he/she is interested in”? Obiously there is no organization listed, so this would be the first question to ask.
- June 2013: Example-text of fake families
Hi Au Pairs,I’m looking for a fun, responsible, social and warm person to join my family! I’m young, fun, active family with (2-4) gorgeous children! We live in a large house in (e.g.: Brooklyn New york), The right person must be kind, caring, fun, organized and a good role model for my kids and who will take good care of Then when we are off to work.we are offering you Good salary, feedings as well as accommodations. If you are Really interested in working with my family,feel free to message meEmail ; …@hotmail.com, …@gmail.com, etcLove from, (…)’s Family.
- I just found another great example of a fake AuPair request (July 27, 2016) (it was posted by a Patricio Clara Lopez to International AuPair USA Group 2016/2017):
Posting for a friend who currently just left her host family who lives in Chicago Illinois,here are some details about her family,They got beautiful children of Age 5 and 3.They would need someone who is careful,Caring and Intelligent to look after their children, Because they are a very Busy family,They provide all the necessity to make you comfortable in their home.you are to Join the Family when you available because they are without an Au-pair, They also work with an agency so Its going to be easy for Any applicant to register or Match with the family, The family provide accommodation which include you would be having your personal bedroom,Toilet and have access to use the computer with Internet and talk to parent on phone because your host family pays the phone bills and pays your flight ticket to the states as well as the return ticket and some other bills..If you willing to work for the family or know someone please contact her for more information about her previous host family or Send an Email :
Why is this fake? Click on the name on Facebook, “Patricio Clara Lopez“. You will find a picture of a girl with no friends, no photos, no history. Ups. Maybe the profile is real but why so many spelling mistakes, wrong cases, and information that are required for AuPairs anyways (i.e. accommodation, bedroom, toilet, flight ticket). Obviously there is no organization listed, so this would be the first question to ask and don’t transfer any money if they say you need to do that to register!!!! Post “for a friend” seem to become a new trend – don’t fall for them!
How to weed fake hostfamilies out?
Here are some hints that you may be communicating with a fake hostfamily, someone who wants money, or a family that does not know what is legal:
- If you are going with a recognized organization, use their website and their tools to find a hostfamily.
- If they tell you they cannot access the organizations online-database to look up your name and ID you received.
- If a hostfamily tells you to change organizations because they will not.
- If the hostfamily or the “supposed” organization ask you to transfer money via Western Union or another transfer service before any type of service starts – organizations do not use such money transfer services!
- If the hostfamily or the “supposed” organization ask you to transfer money to a private bank account.
- If a family wants to pay you (much) more money than you would earn normally because they do not use an agency.
- If a family tell you to fly to the US without a proper J1 visa and work for them on a tourist visa.
- Some former AuPair is looking for the next AuPair – while this may sometimes be true there are many fake profiles out there announcing such positions.
- A family writes you that they are “matched” with you but you do not see them in your account.
- Just because someone posts on Facebook in a legitimate organizations’ forum does not mean he is real.
- Google the email-address and possibly the name to find more information about the person.
- If you are still unsure, mail the agency if they know the person listed or that you are in contact with.
Posts from fake hostfamilies and fake previous Aupairs are becoming more sophisticated. They add some words or abbreviations they pull of websites but they often don’t grasp the meaning of them. Follow your instinct and better ask a question more than fall for it.
- Only organizations/agencies recognized by the United States are allowed to provide you with a legal way to become an AuPair in the United States (other countries have other rules). If you are unsure if your hostfamily uses a “legal” organization, check here: http://j1visa.state.gov/participants/how-to-apply/sponsor-search/?program=Au%20Pair .
- Keep in mind the organization in your home country may have a different name but work with a recognized organization in the US.
- If it sounds too good to be true it probably is!
- Don’t send any money to a foreign address!
- Don’t give out personal information without first verifying they are legitimate and with a verified organization.
Please tell other AuPairs about fake hostfamilies and profiles and you may also want to inform the agency they are trying to scam – we are a community and need to help each other!
Have you had fake hostfamilies contact you? What is your advice for future AuPairs? What should they watch out for?