Beware of Job Scam on Craigslist

Young folks looking for a summer job as a nanny or babysitter... beware. A Colorado Springs woman lost big after responding to an ad on Craigslist. Here's what to look for if you're hunting for work.

She exchanged emails and text messages with him for two weeks. Kaitlin Sanders was totally convinced a man named Kenneth Steward was legit, and soon she'd be babysitting his 3-year-old son, Paul once the family moved to Colorado Springs from Canada.

Katelin says, "He offered $400 a week so it would be $20 an hour. He wanted me from 2 to 6 for summer for one kid... which is pretty awesome."

Katelin says Kenneth sent her a check for $1,950 and told her to keep $400, buy $200 worth of groceries, and then wire the rest to his landlord in Shawano, Wisconsin.

She says she had no idea there were any problems till the check bounced and her account was in the red.

She goes on to say, "I think I was just... So like in love with the idea of it that I convinced myself otherwise."

After Katelin called the Shawano County Sheriff's Office, a deputy investigated and learned the landlord was really a middleman who had been collecting checks from all over the country and then wiring money to Nigeria.

That middleman was named Randy Scott. He reportedly had no idea the money he was collecting was from victims like Katelin who had been duped.

Katelin explains, "I cried. I just felt terrible like... you know, you trust someone and... I was conned."

Shawano authorities won't file charges against Randy Scott. They consider him a victim, too, but after her calls and ours, Katelin received $914 from Scott.

Katelin's worried about others. She's seen the same bogus ad on sittercity.com, a Web site babysitters and nannies check for jobs.

She's telling everyone she knows what she learned: to only deal with those you can meet face to face and to never wire money to a stranger. That's good advice.


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  • by Angela Location: Washington on Jul 19, 2011 at 03:07 PM
    I've experienced the same people, They are hiring a nanny and they responded with they live in canada and they were moving down in a month, and they would send me a check to make sure they had me as a nanny, to help get their apt ready, And they wanted me to recommened a dr for their son,they only need somebody from 2~6 @ 400 a week...What a joke She gave me the name of Shylla Franklin
  • by Candi Location: Nebraska on May 25, 2011 at 01:42 PM
    Here are a few more tips from Nannies4hire.com... Do not accept an upfront payment from a family without starting a job or really ever interviewing with them. Do not give out your personal bank account information. (many times the fraudulent families will want to send you money upfront to purchase items for them before they arrive in your location) Be cautious. If it sounds too good to be true; it maybe is. If a family wants to hire you without even checking references, interviewing you, etc...it probably is not real. You are taking care of the most important part of their life and they want to be safe, just as you do. Check references, do background checks, meet at a public location for the first interview, etc.
  • by Anonymous on May 25, 2011 at 08:43 AM
    Are people seriously this stupid???
  • by tsuby84 on May 24, 2011 at 10:18 AM
    that was pretty dumb they do warn u on craigslist... but ive gotten lots of stuff off of craigslist n it was 4 real!.... But that was dumb... they warn u on craigslist about stuff like that!!!.... Never meet people at there house or at yours!!!... in a public place with a friends or people around!... N DUH.... wiring $$$... obviously suspicious!!!
  • by Anonymous on May 24, 2011 at 09:33 AM
    What happen to your sister pauline? How much was the check for?
  • by Sarah Location: Co Spgs on May 24, 2011 at 09:01 AM
    Craigslist is worthless and has absolutely no credibility as a reliable job-hunting website. I am astounded that they continue to allow this to happen. It's laughable that someone would actually be fooled by such an obviously-fake job offer.
  • by Gail on May 24, 2011 at 08:53 AM
    Anyone who falls for stuff like this is obviously not to wise to the ways of the modern world. Why would someone with so much money want you to pay something for them? Stupid.
  • by Unknown on May 24, 2011 at 08:47 AM
    Why would someone send you more money then needed and ask you to send money back, that right there is a red flag !!!
  • by Man Location: Col Spg on May 24, 2011 at 06:14 AM
    The sad thing is, there are valid jobs on CL, just hard to see them through all the scams. We advertised several summer jobs paying decent money at our local recreation center ... though we filled all our slots, there weren't as many applicants as you would think.
  • by Anonymous on May 24, 2011 at 05:30 AM
    Wow! While the fact that this woman was scammed, is truly a shame . . . I really think she should have known better. She was most likely the culprit of a "Sakawa Boy," scam. For those of you who are not familiar, google it. But come on really? Anytime someone you met online wants to send you a check and then have you wire money to someone else, give me a break, it should have been so obvious!
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