How to protect yourself against scam and phishing

Being well informed is the best way to search safely for your au pair or host family online. Get informed about typical methods of scam and phishing so that scammers will have no chance with you.

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What exactly is scam?

Scam is a type of fraud. In au pairing, it typically occurs via emails in which an au pair or host family is contacted. In these emails, a request is made for some sort of pre-payment for a service that has not yet been rendered (and never will be). This type of fraud is therefore also known as advance-fee scam. Sometimes it also is referred to as a 419er.

The sender of the email pretends to represent a travel agency that will be taking care of formalities such as a visa and flight for the au pair. Prepayment is then requested for these services, either from the au pair or the host family. In some variants of this scam, a supposed au pair or host family makes this request for advance payment. Such requests might also be made in connection with a work permit or for the travel arrangements. These fraudulent au pairs or host families often claim to be from Great Britain or the United States – two of the most popular countries.

These scam emails also typically make offers that seem too good to be true. The au pair is described in exceedingly positive terms as a sort of "super nanny". Or the host family promises to provide au pair pocket money that is much higher than typical amounts.

How to protect yourself from scam:

  • Never transfer money in advance to a person you do not know. That means do not transfer money by Western Union or MoneyGram and do not transfer money to so-called "travel agencies".
  • Do not open up bank accounts for any third parties.
  • Do not answer emails that seem strange or fraudulent and instead forward them to AuPairWorld Support.
  • Be cautious about inquiries that come via social networks as well as about offers that seem too good to be true.
  • Have you received a strange-seeming email? Read more about typical scam techniques.
  • Whenever you are uncertain, contact our Support Team.

What is phishing?

Phishing is an attempt to gain access to a user's personal data (e.g. passwords, login details, etc.) via fake websites or emails. The user data that is obtained this way can then be used to gain access to the relevant profiles.

How to protect yourself from phishing:

  • Always be careful when you are asked to click on a link in an email. Be especially careful when this is in connection with a request for you to enter personal data. Such links often lead to fake websites that falsely purport to be the website of an official agency or company.  
  • Read our tips for your safety and get informed about current scam and phishing techniques that are being used.
  • Never respond to emails or messages that demand or request money or documents from you. Also carefully check emails that seem to come from AuPairWorld. We always answer customer questions from the email address: