Mizzou Student Loses $2,000 in Nanny Scam
COLUMBIA - A University of Missouri Student lost $2,000 in what the Better Business Bureau is calling a nanny con game. The student from Florissant said she made contact with a woman who called herself Amanda Smith through the site Care.com. The website is for families to find candidates for positions like babysitters, petsitters and nannies.
In the first email, the person going by Smith told the student should could only correspond via email because of a hearing disability. She claimed she was a single mother, living in Portland, Oregon and planned on moving to Columbia this month. She was supposedly seeking a sitter to watch her son for five hours a day.
The scammer then sent an alleged $2,775 deposit to the student's bank account and told the student to keep $375 as advance payment for the first week salary. The rest of the money would be used to pay the delivery fee of a wheelchair her son needed after a recent accident.
Soon after that, the mother told the student she had made other arrangements to buy the wheelchair and wanted the remaining money, $2,400, back via a MoneyGram wire transfer. The student made the transfer, but then found out the original $2,775 deposit was fake and the student now had to repay the bank the $2,400 she sent out.
The Better Business Bureau offers the following advice on how to avoid a babysitting or nanny scam:
- Be cautious if a "parent" wants to communicate only through emails or texts.
- Look out for emails or texts with poor grammar or English.
- Pay attention to those who are hesitant to give out personal information.
- Beware of "sob stories" or anything that appears to try and get sympathy.
For more information or to report any scams contact the BBB at 314-645-3300.