Scams are attempts to defraud Internet users by approaching them on false pretenses via email, social networks or illegitimate websites. In connection with au pairing, scammers will frequently ask their targets to send money or to make a deposit in advance.
How can you recognise a scam attempt? The following questions and answers point out typical scam risks. Take the whole test and learn what's important for safe Internet searching and avoiding scam attempts.
What do these symbols mean?
: No problem. You can relax.
: Be careful! Someone is probably trying to take advantage of you.
1) Has the au pair / family used the AuPairWorld Messaging System to contact you for the first time?
Yes: That's good. This means you're dealing with another registered user on AuPairWorld. But anyway, keep taking the test!
No: Be sceptical about au pairs / families who contact you via Facebook, Twitter or directly through your email address if you have not previously given these contact details to them. Do not trust them even if they tell you they have had a profile at AuPairWorld before. Be on your guard since this person is not using the AuPairWorld website as it is intended.
2) Has the first contact been made using Facebook or another social network?
Yes: You need to be careful here. AuPairWorld provides an in-site messaging service to raise security and guarantee that the people who contact you are also registered AuPairWorld users. If the first contact comes via Facebook, Twitter or directly to your email address then this person is not necessarily registered at AuPairWorld and we have no information about how trustworthy they are. Remember that with AuPairWorld you are the one who decides who receives your contact information.
No: Good. It shouldn't be! Go to the next question!
3) Does the offer of the au pair / family seem to good to be true (they are offering an unusually large amount of pocket money, for example)?
Yes: Don't believe offers like this. They are tricks to take advantage of you.
No: This is the way it should be. Offers that seem too good to be true are too good to be true. It is the first step of an attempt to take advantage of you and should be ignored.
4) Has the au pair / family asked you to pay money in advance (to get a visa, to pay a “travel agency” or to cover some travel expenses) or to make a deposit to guarantee your au pair stay?
Yes: Be on your guard if au pairs / families ask you to pay money in advance. You should NEVER pay money in advance to people you do not know personally. As an au pair, you are the one who has to pay for the visa and your travel expenses. Never pay money to an alleged travel agency or an organisation claiming that it will arrange your visa*. If you are a family and want to pay for your au pair's travel to your country, you should reimburse the money to the au pair once he/she is in your home, but not in advance.
No: Perfect! Never paying money in advance is the best way to keep yourself protected on the Internet.
5) Have you read the information provided in our Info Host Countries section about the formal requirements for being an au pair in the host country you want to go to?
Yes: Good! If you are well-informed, scammers cannot take advantage of you.
No: You should check in our section Info Host Countries for your intended host country and also ask the embassy if you will need a visa and which other formalities you need to complete in order to become an au pair. Scammers typically try to take advantage of those who do not know the specific requirements to become an au pair in a particular country. This occurs most frequently in connection with scam offers to be an au pair in the United States or the UK.
If you think scammers may have contacted you, end all contact with them inmediately. Do not reply to any of their e-mails and contact us at AuPairWorld.
* Exception: In order to be an au pair in the USA, you will have to go to an authorised agency. Remember there are only 15 clearly identified official agencies. Use our specific list or google their names. Never click directly on the links families send to you.