Fraudsters increasingly using social networks

Gudensberg, 20 December 2010. Caution: recently, fraud attempts via email - so-called "Scam" - have increasingly been taking place through social networks such as Facebook. This concerns both, au pairs and host families. Therefore, AuPairWorld wishes to appeal to all our users: Please never pay or transfer any money in advance! Otherwise, you will have to endure the same thing as Lynna did. She wished to travel to the USA to work as an au pair, but instead lost 3,500 euros, which she had transfered to scammers.

Even RTL, a private German TV station, reported on Lynna's case in a documentary for the programme "Punkt Zwölf". The young girl from Northern Germany had searched for a host family living in the USA through AuPairWorld. Through Facebook, she received an email from a family living in New York who seemed to be very nice. They offered her fancy conditions: a very attractive salary on top of her pocket money. "This is a method typically used by scammers who have recently been using social networks for communicating," Heike Fischer, expert for security issues at AuPairWorld commented. "The host family is usually too good to be true, and so are the working conditions. At this point, you should rather think twice."

"The only way to protect yourself: Never pay any money in advance!"

Lynna took the bait and the first request for money followed. The 18-year-old girl paid 3 times a total of 3,500 euros for the flight and visa to the alleged agency in the USA. However, neither the family nor the agency were sincere or even genuine. Lynna never received the promised services nor did she see her money again. Afterwards, it turned out to be a fraud ring from Nigeria - the so-called "Nigeria Connection".

How can you protect yourself from scam? AuPairWorld has been working on informing its users about security on the internet for a long time. In the Security section, the users can find many tips and current scam warnings. Heike Fischer advises: "Never transfer any money through Western Union or MoneyGram to so-called 'travel agencies'. Should you be a host family, never pay any travel expenses for the au pair in advance. Cutting it right to the chase: Never pay any money in advance! Furthermore, please inform us of any dubious cases or simply contact us to receive more useful information!" The AuPairWorld Support Team answers users' enquiries our users enquiries from all over the world in six languages. Since 2001, Aupair world has offered free telephone and email support.

Unfortunately, Lynna contacted the AuPairWorld Support Team only after she had been defrauded. She regrets not having read the security tips on the AuPairWorld website earlier. Through her contribution by bravely reporting on her bad experience, she wishes to prevent other persons from falling victim to scam. 

Email:, Phone: 0049 561 31 0561 - 17

Scam, what is that?

Bodies of experts define the following fraud method as a typical scam: Internet users are contacted through email and requested to transfer money in advance under false pretences.

This fraud method is also known as Advance Fee Fraud 419 (four one niner).

Au Pair Scam, a specific fraud method

In the case of an au pair scam, fraudsters pretend to be either a host family or an au pair. For the communication, social networks have recently and increasingly been used.

Users registered with AuPairWorld have increasingly reported to our Support Team that they were contacted by alleged host families who pretended to have received the contact information from AuPairWorld. However, the so-called host families turned out to be fraudsters, therefore, be cautious! If the contacted "victim" positively responds to such fraudulent emails, a request for money usually follows. The person is asked to transfer money to them. Various reasons are given for this kind of request: Fees for the work permit or for carrying out formalities such as visa or the flight for the au pair or the host family. Whoever pays any money, will never see it again!

AuPairWorld's tips for the protection
  • Never pay any money in advance!
  • Do not reply to dubious emails
  • Forward suspicious emails to us and double check with us
  • Should you fall victim to scam, please press charges!

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