Now it's YEAR 2013 and I still received this kind of email...
I saw the posting on craiglists and I didn't think it's a scam because on craiglists it just said "we are looking for a babysitter for our 6-year old son. Housework is not required. Kindly send an email to Janet Anderson <firstname.lastname@example.org> for more information) So, I sent the scammer an email, and here's the reply:
Thank you for responding to my job posting. I live in phoenix but i am
moving to Chicago on 27th of January and i will need a nanny for my
6yrs old Son immediately between the hours of 9 a.m. to 3 p.m,
Monday`s through Friday`s as stated.
More importantly, My son is currently placed on a wheelchair due to an
accident he had some weeks ago. he can walk a short distance though
but the specialist advised he uses a wheelchair for a while. I am
willing to pay $17/hour. I really need a honest and responsible care
for him. This could be a temporary/permanent job. It depends on what
your schedule looks like but i do like to be sure if you are available
the first month. I am planning on getting him a powered wheelchair and
have contacted a seller. I will let you know as soon as we finalize
issues. I will like you to send me your complete name, address and
cell phone number so i can include that to my payroll for the period.
I also will like you to tell me a few things about yourself.
Here is a little about me. I am a single mother, I am 46 and i am hard
of hearing. I have lived in Phoenix all my life. I attended Arizona
School for the Deaf where i achieved my highest qualification. I have
my own business (Self Employed). I was never married. I attend the
catholic. You will get to know more when we meet.
Kindly include in your email your complete name, address and also your
cell phone number so i can text you in case i need to pass an urgent
---- At this time I was like, wow, that was a lot of info! I didn't really think deep into it, but i was somehow sensing a bad signal, you know, woman's intuition. However as I just came out of college, I needed income, so I replied to the mail again, telling the scammer my basic information, including my name, my degree, and my past jobs (titles only, no company names or address). I was concern about giving out my address (again, woman's intuition), so I just vaguely said that I lived nearby the train station at XXX, but I did included my phone# at the end, so that she can text me her location as I said.
The scammer replied as follow:
Thank you for your email. I have decided to choose you for this
position and i do hope for a very eventful time with you while you
look after my son. I will enroll him in a catholic school after some
weeks but currently he isnt enrolled in Chicago. children are very
important and i want a proper care for him. I believe you are
promising this? His name is David. I will like to state the job
details to you again to avoid complications in the future.
The start date is 28th January
You will have David from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m Mondays through Fridays
His nap time ranges between 12:30pm to 2pm
He has no allergies
The pay rate is $17/hour
You will be paid for his snacks/food daily or at the end of each
week(which ever you prefer).
I was in your area about 6months ago and had a nanny for him but she
moved to Canada with her husband about 3months ago. I will like for us
to meet on Sunday(January 27th) evening so we can talk about the
kid-fun activities i will be interested in and get to know each other.
We could meet at one of the McDonald's around. We can figure it out
before the time.
I have once booked a nanny and on arrival she told me she got another
job which was a big disappointment. For this reason I will like to
commit you by paying (DEPOSITING) you for the first week of your
service before our arrival to secure the date so i can be absolutely
sure of having you care for David to enable things go perfectly
without disappointment. I am planning on having the wheelchair seller
deliver it to you immediately after payment so you can have it ready
for him on arrival since the seller lives in your area. Hope that
isn't a problem? I will be looking forward to your email to ensure we
are on the same page.
Thanks and have a blessed day.
----Rebecca? My name does NOT have even one letter of it. Now things began to smell fishy. Maybe "Janet" has some vision problem too (besides some hearing problems as she said )? Or did the she just copy and paste to every one of the people who inquired about the babysitter job? She even wanted to pay me upfront? But she said she had bad experience so might that be true? And she forgot to tell me where she would be living ! So for the second time i replied to her, telling her it's not a problem to meet when they arrived, but again asked for her location to make sure if i would be able to go there.
Now scammer's third email:
Hi xxxxx! Attached is a picture of me and my kids. David is the
eldest and his little brother Kelvin is the youngest who died in the
accident. I will appreciate you working for us as one family and not
just a caregiver. That increases the love and build a great
partnership between us. I`m wondering if we can meet at the Mcdonalds
on ### SOMETHING Avenue, City name at 6pm on Sunday. We re going to
be living at ### Something ROAD, CITY NAME. and the care will be at
I was able to finalized with the wheelchair seller yesterday. The
wheelchair cost $2790 so i will be mailing your first week payment
($17/hr x 6hrs/day = 102 x 5days a week= $510) of $510 plus an
additional deposit of $2790 to make a total of $3,300 on the check.
You re to deposit the check into your account and pay for the
wheelchair soon as the funds become available. I will send your
address to the seller for the chair delivery so you can pay on
delivery as soon as you have the funds available in your account.
Kindly include in your email your name and address as it should appear
on the payment.
I will look for your email this morning to ensure everything is clear
and understood so i can forward your information for immediate
processing of your check.
----- OK now instead of my intuition, my human brain is telling me there must be something wrong with it. Send me a big check upfront? It's not my money. Deliver the wheelchair to me? I don't need that. I searched the address the scammer mentioned, the McDonal's address is right, but the residential address is not "a house with a small yard in the front to play" as stated in her craiglists posting, instead, it is a 10-floor apartment building with different unit #s. Power wheel chair? in an apartment building? for a 6 year old boy? David? What kid of mom is that? Another big big flaw, the death of a young kid is NOT something a sad mom will share with a stranger that she never met!. Just wanna gain some sympathy on me so I would easily fall? Wrong strategy ! (BTW, this loser forgot to attach a fake picture of "her and her two sons, of which the younger one died in an accident.)
--- I immediately realized this was a online scam, and googled "babysitter scam" - a lot of similar cases and examples pop up.At this point everything was crystal clear. Woman's intuition is always right! I wanted to reply with the police's address to trick the scammer, but decided not to, in case i burn myself.
My only concern is that I've given out my phone #..... Would it be a problem?...
Hope I won't get anything like this.