Scams are attempts to defraud au pairs or host families by approaching them (mainly) via email. Most of the time, the scammers will ask their targets to send money as an advance payment. This type of confidence fraud is therefore also known as advance scam, Nigerian scam or 419 (four-one-niner).
The person sending the email usually pretends to be a travel agency responsible for taking care of formalities, such as the application for a visa or the booking of the flight on behalf of the au pair or the host family. For its services, the 'agency' asks for an advance payment. Sometimes, the persons asking for money can also present themselves as an au pair or host family. In this case, their request is made under the pretext of applying for a working permit or paying for the travel expenses. The fake au pairs and host families often pretend to come from the UK or the US – the most popular countries among our users.
One distinctive feature of these emails is the type of offer made - which is always too good to be true. To name just a few examples, beware of au pairs describing themselves as the ultimate nannies and be careful with host-families who wish to offer you above-average pocket money.