Most automated job sites
on the Internet have been inundated recently with all sorts of SCAMS. Mainly as follows:
1- Register as a family and then contact au pairs pretending to be a wealthy host family really interested in employing the au pair and then as a measure of goodwill send a cheque or money order for a ridiculous amount and for no good reason, they then and using all sorts of excuses request that part of that advance be sent back via Western Union or other method as a deposit to pay for a property or school fees..etc. Meanwhile of course the original advance doesn't clear or proves to be a fraudulent cheque or money order.
Or they will contact an au pair who cannot get a visa for her target country claiming that they can get her a work permit through their "travel agency" but of course it will cost money to arrange, needless to say as soon as she pays the fee she never hears from the family again.
2- Register as an au pair with fantastic qualifications, exchange many emails with a prospective host family ( to make it all look legitimate ), and usually they will claim that they have a visa for the country where the family lives and then at the last minute request money to be sent using some excuse or other usually to pay for their travel expenses, of course if the family send the money the au pair fails to arrive and keeps their money.
As mentioned above this happens on automated sites, usually membership sites, where the people who run the site rely on large numbers of people registering on the site and then some buying a membership that give them access to contact details of au pairs, so the Scam families will buy a membership using a fraudulent credit card and then work their Scam on unsuspecting au pairs. The administrators of the site can't possibly check every person who registers.
As we are an agency and not an automated matching site, we check every au pair application that we receive, normally from 100 applications a day we accept around 40.
Our host families have to pay a registration fee that is processed in the office by real people so we can check for example that the name of the prospective family matches the cardholder..etc and we speak to every family that registers with us to ensure their authenticity and many of our families are return customers as we call them ***