Protect yourself from internet recruitment scams

We received this message from Maite, from Spain – who has now found a lovely family through smartaupairs and is preparing for her arrival in June.


Please help me out, I just had a terrible experience with a family I contacted through internet, we weren´t doing the whole thing through an au pair organization but through a travel agency. Things where going great, to good to be true actually, but then when I was needed to pay for the ticket, they gave me a Nigerian address, it sounded pretty wired, though I paid. We still decided to have them check through a friend who lives in London, and she told us that besides everything was beyond wired, that the phone number the family game us was fake and the whole family as well.

I’m completely dissapointed, but still I’m not giving up, I want to have this experience in working as an au pair.

Is there anyway you can help me??


below a message from IAPA, who work closely with BAPAA to provide a safe network for au pairs to find families:

Protect Yourself

Why you should always use a reputable
and established au pair agency.

Newspaper, internet advertisements or one of the many
web-based matching services may appear to be acceptable
and inexpensive alternatives for securing an au pair placement.

There are, however, potential risks in arranging a placement
in this manner.

10 potential risks you face when not using
a reputable and established au pair agency

• high probability of unsuitable au pair or host
family candidates

• absence of a written contract

• little or no experience in the au pair industry

• lack of professionalism or financial stability

• nonexistent standards or guidelines

• insufficient references and /or medical

• danger of document falsification

• no rematch policy (secondary placement)
if the initial placement is unsuccessful

• no local support during the placement

• limited understanding of national au pair

This message was provided by the International Au Pair Association – please take note and tell your friends!


4 thoughts on “Protect yourself from internet recruitment scams

  1. I have registered on numerous au pair sites and have had 10 or more scam responses. After googling “au pair scams” I was surprised how many unscrupulous people there are out there. The common thread in all the emails was
    1. A job offer too good to be true.
    2. There was too much information provided.
    3. No interview requested.
    4.The english composition of the letter suggested the writer was not fluent.
    5. Last but most important, travel arrangement made through a bogus travel agent and money to be wired through Western Union.

    Hope this helps future au pair candidates, my advise is to go through a reputable agency.

    1. Thank you Della, we will e-mail you and offer to assist you in finding a genuine host family through a reputable agency. There is no charge for this.

  2. Can anyone please tell me if their are any legit au pair agency sites! I really need to know all the ones ive signed up for so far were scams were I kept getting sent the same emails with promises of lavish amounts of money, no required experience or interview and most suspicious of all fake phone numbers and addresses. all written by so-called “wealthy”individuals of affluent English/US background with perversley very poor grammer,spelling and just general grasp of the english language! and were half the time the email content was the same and only the family’s names were changed! Please help!I dont want to get conned.

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