Mr. Henry Johnson emails to say he's looking for childcare, he'll be excited to find the right match, and could I please email my resume.
It was a very short and sweet email and the request for a resume was reasonable, so I spent four hours modifying my resume to highlight my relevant experience, as well as get my reference list in order and type a cover letter. It would have taken less time, but I've got a business to run, so I had my hands full with that.
After sending it off, I was so excited and hopeful to potentially get a new kid. I worked really hard on my resume and cover letter, soliciting Bob to proofread for me. I wanted it to be perfect.
A few hours later, around 5pm, I get this reply:
Thanks for your email, We appreciate your response to the childcare service we urgently needed, as you know I'm Mr Henry Johnson, I am 50 years old and my Wife name is Linda. We are relocating to the city of Winnipeg from United State with our daughter Sarah. We will be offering you $450 weekly ($45/hr) for 10hrs a week, we will be needing your services for five hours from 10am-3pm or 4pm-9pm for two days in a week, probably (Thursday and saturday) or (Monday and Wednesday)
We would be needing the service of a childcare Nanny with positive personality to take good care of her for six months on a part time basis.Moreover, I will need someone who could be taking care of my child while I am off to work because we are expecting our second child soon ,I want to be certain you are fit for this position, you will need to prove yourself to be a reliable, honest, and hard working person.Our arrival date would be 6th of january 2014, you will start working on same day.It's okay if you prefer to be a live-out nanny as I can drop her at your home every time, I do not mind a live-in nanny if you can take care of her in our home.I will be spending about six months on an Oil spill research job While my wife would try to push to the market the book she just finished, and you will be rendering us your services for that duration, if you meet up to our expectation with your services. We have a financier that will be handling the payment and as well as our other expenses, so she will be the one that will be taking care of your payment, I will instruct her to pay for the first week before our arrival so as to secure your service.If you accept our offer, my financier would be needing the following for background check on you and your first week payment.Full Name :Home Address or Office Address(where payment should be mailed to.Pls no P.O Box) :City ::Postal Code :Home & Cell Phone Number(Best time to call Day/Night) :You Age PleaseMost importantly, I'll need your total honesty, organizational skill and ability to carry out the task with less or no supervision. I want to believe you will be committed to the work, you can be sure of a great time while watching over our child. I will be waiting to read from you.Regards,Henry Johnson For The Family.
I read over the email a dozen times, making Bob read it too. Something seemed really off about it all and then it dawned on me! Someone is trying to scam me! I was so mad. Just to be sure though, I sent this email:
It was good to hear back from you. Due to the nature of your proposal and your location, I feel as though I need to protect myself in the event that this is a fraud. If you don't mind, I'd like to know the name of the company you will be working for in Winnipeg as well as a number I can call to verify that you are who you say you are. Your response verges on being "too good to be true" so I am treading with caution.
Have a great weekend and I hope to hear from you soon!
Just as I suspected, I never heard back from him.
I looked back at the first email Henry sent me and saw that it was sent at midnight. I suppose he could live out west, (since he conveniently never mentions where he's from) maybe sending the email before bed. However, a seemingly educated man, one who does important research on oil spills and writes emails so formal he dresses them in tuxedos before hitting the send button, misspelled United States, the name of his country. Perhaps you also noticed his random capitalization of words and run on sentences too? His entire candor is sketchy.
Why is he asking for my full name and address when it's clearly stated on my resume I sent him? And doesn't he know it's illegal to ask me how old I am? Someone looking for child care fails to mention a single fact about his child, except her name, and doesn't even bother to ask me any questions about how I run my daycare. The day he gets into town, he's dropping his kid off? He doesn't want to check the place out first, maybe make sure I'm clean and friendly or even anywhere near where he lives or works in Winnipeg
Even the name of his family sounds phoney! They're such generic names, I couldn't get any hits on Google and I didn't expect to. I actually did find an American author by the name of Linda Johnson, but after reading her bio, it was clearly not the same woman.
The biggest and final red flag of all was the absurd amount of money he was willing to pay me. Nobody makes $45 an hour babysitting! If he's so rich that he has a financier and can pay me a ludicrous amount of money for 10 hours a week, why not go through an actual agency that would place him with a qualified nanny? What's he doing on page 7 of the internet classifieds at midnight?
He's trying to scam me, that's what! How does this scam work? I bet once I sent over the redundant information, he would start making excuses for why he can't mail me a payment and all the alternatives I suggest to him won't work, so he'll ask me for my bank account information in order to "give me the money" when in actuality he's draining my account.
Joke's on him though - I'm in overdraft! Good luck accessing my negative funds, bitch!