I have read scam warnings on your website. What exactly is this about?
(Host mother Irina Sánchez, Spain)
Scam, in this context, refers to fraud attempts over the Internet. What is typical about such fraud methods is that Internet users are contacted via e-mail and asked for advance payments under false pretences. Alleged reasons vary and can include for example, fees for work permits and the arrangement of formalities for au pairs, such as visa or flights. Whoever pays will never see his or her money again, and will be no closer to finding a host family or an au pair. Useful links: Fraudsters increasingly using social networks
How can I tell that it is a scam?
(Au pair Laurence, France)
You can tell that it is a scam as soon as you are asked to send money within the course of the communication. Usually, you receive an offer which is evidently too good to be true. Here is a typical example: Your host family possesses a swimming pool and offers you far more money than the regular amount of pocket money offered in the host country. Yet, you are asked to transfer money to them. This should make you think twice. The same applies if you already receive the first e-mail with photo attachments. Should you still be unsure, you can always check with our team. Furthermore, you can find some useful tips on our Security page. Useful links: Tips for au pairs
I am being contacted by a host family on Facebook. They told me that they recently deactivated their profile on Aupair World. Can I trust them? What should I do?
(Au pair Mandy, UK)
Scammers are increasingly using social networks, such as Facebook. Therefore, we advise you not to contact families through Facebook. If a stranger contacts you asking for money, you can be sure that this is a fraud attempt. Cut all contact immediately and let our team know of the name of the alleged host family. We will check if there is a corresponding profile on our pages. Most importantly: never transfer any money to strangers in advance! Exchange your contact details through Aupair World's website only. We do our best to check the safety and quality of profiles. Useful links: Question of the Week: Contacted through Facebook - is that a Scam?
How can I protect myself against scam?
(Au pair Andrea, Sweden)
The best way to protect yourself is by following the principle: never pay any money in advance! Thus, you will be well prepared. The following also helps: change the data protection settings of your Facebook profile, so that only a selected number of Internet users will be able to find your there. Please forward any suspicious e-mails to our team and ask for our advice. Do not reply to dubious e-mails. Inform Facebook of suspicious mails, as well. This is the only way to take the appropriate measures against the respective Facebook users. Should anyone have caused you any damage, contact the police and file a report! Useful links: Scam - Protect yourself
I read a lot about Internet fraudsters who pretend to be au pairs or host families. How do I make sure that I am communicating with a genuine au pair?
(Host father Martijn, the Netherlands)
There are various ways to make sure that your au pair is genuine. In this context, the following applies: Trust is good, but control is even better. Call your au pair on the phone, have a skype interview with him/her, ask for the postal address and send him/her the au pair contract to this very address. Where practical, why not invite your au pair for an advance visit? The most important thing, however, is not to pay any money in advance. Useful links: Tips for host families
Scams: Are there any new methods and tricks?
(Au pair Nina, Germany)
Yes, indeed! Scammers have lately been using the name of one of the US federally designated agencies with slight changes on a fake Internet website. The background is that, whoever wishes to work as an au pair in the USA, needs to apply for the J-1 visa through one of the federally designated agencies to the USA. However, what you need to know is that each of these legitimate agencies always has a partner agency or office in your country. This partner agency will handle your formalities. Therefore, we recommend that you click on the link for our list of au pair agencies for the USA and compare the web addresses should a host family from the USA contact you and recommend a specific agency. Are the addresses identical or are there any slight differences? To be on the safe side, you can ask our team. Useful links: Security
Thank you very much for your questions! Unfortunately, we cannot answer all of them on this page.
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