Beware Nanny / Au Pair scams spread via spam email

Graham Cluley
Graham Cluley
@[email protected]

NannyIt’s time to hang up my spurs as a Naked Security writer, as I have been offered an exciting new career as a nanny!

I must admit it took me by surprise when the email offering me the position arrived in my inbox, but when I read the details of the job they were offering it seemed too good to be true!

  • A starting wage of £2700 per month, plus £700 per week for “petty expenses” – with room for negotiation upon starting.
  • My own private well-furnished master bedroom, with laptop, internet connection, TV and “other necessary gadgets”.
  • Freedom to study in any school of my choice, with tuition fees all paid for.
  • Don’t have to work at weekends, so free to explore London or hang-out with other well-paid nannies.

Surely I would be crazy to turn this job down? There can’t be many nannies being offered an annual salary of £32,400 (with an additional £36,400 for petty expenses!) just for carting a couple of kids to school every weekday? Not forgetting the internet connection and paid-for tuition fees too!

I can’t believe my luck!

Sign up to our free newsletter.
Security news, advice, and tips.

I wonder how they selected me out of all of the email addresses on the internet?

Nanny email

Here’s one section of the email:

Your job is not a hard one,I do not believe in supervising or monitoring people to do their job.I believe people should be giving a free role in whatever they do.So,I believe you should be able to perform well without being told.All entails preparing Our kids for schooling in the morning,taking them to the point where the school bus picks them up to school.You will have a free period then whereby you can do any vocation or practice whatever is at your disposal.Then you help monitor them after they are brought home by the school bus,just to make sure they are alright till my wife's arrival from work.

You will be entitled to a pay of 2700pounds every month while you will also be given an entitlement of 700pounds every week for petty expenses which you might need for yourself.This salary is subject to negotiations for an upward review upon your arrival.

A well furnished Master bed room will be made available for your personal use soon as you get here.there will be your personal laptop connected to the internet, TV and other necessary gadgets at your disposal.There will be enough privacy for you,i guess you'll really like it.

Of course, for anyone who hasn’t realised already, it’s a scam.

If you respond to the email, the scammer will ask you for all sorts of personal information. That could be bad enough – but things can get even more sneaky with nanny/au pair scams.

Steam rollerFor instance, the prospective employer might send you an advance payment which they tell you to put in your bank account. However, before the cheque has cleared you receive a message from the scammer saying that some terrible tragedy has occurred (maybe his wife and children have been killed by a runaway steam roller) and that he no longer requires your services.

Would you mind awfully, asks the poor grief-stricken scammer, wiring most of the money back to him? Perhaps via Western Union to resolve his personal situation as quickly as possible?

Thinking that you have received his cheque, and assuming it will clear into your account, you send the scammer money and are ultimately left with a hole in your finances.

Once again, the old adage applies. Just because something is written in a nicely proportioned font, doesn’t mean that it’s true. Stop believing everything you read on the internet and keep your wits about you.

Otherwise, you could fall victim to an email scam.

Graham Cluley is an award-winning keynote speaker who has given presentations around the world about cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. A veteran of the computer security industry since the early 1990s, he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows, makes regular media appearances, and is the co-host of the popular "Smashing Security" podcast. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

What do you think? Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.