Since I became part of the Au Pair community many things have changed. I remember in 2012 when I came to the U.S., there were no Au Pair groups (that I was aware of), we didn’t have Whatsapp groups, Tinder and we definitely did not use any sorts of social media this much as it is used now.
Social Media is amazing. I truly believe that, but it has led to many more problems than benefits and I am starting to wonder how should we prevent issues and what to do to get Au Pairs to stop comparing themselves, seeking better or believing everything they see online.
In past few months I have witnessed many, many desperate Au Pairs in rematch (for various reasons) searching for families on Facebook.
They will do everything to stay in the country, especially when their deadline approaches and they fear to go home, and in that moment even things that are obviously wrong, don’t seem as bad anymore.
It’s important to know what is legal in au pair matching and what is not.
Here is list of things you can do to LEGALLY and SAFE find rematch family:
1. Talk to your LCC and ask her for all assistance you can get. LCC is here for you. As much as you complain, and she is doing only her minimum, and you don’t like her – regardless what your excuse is – she is your greatest friend in your au pair year.
2. Go on the website of your Au Pair Agency and search for list of employees/contractors that can help you (LCC in different area, mentor or supervisors) and find their emails.
Send them appropriate email explaining your situation and respectfully ask for help or advice.
3. If you already are searching on Facebook and asking everyone, make sure you are not sending generic message to dozens of groups and families. People are self focused and you will not be noticed. Be honest and sincere, and make sure to have your eyes open and don’t fall for too good stories. You are in a system, and if family is real and normal, they will find you.
Problem happens when au pair has only few days left and she doesn’t see things clearly. Being part of several Au Pair Groups (including this one that I am managing, and there is no scammers there), I have seen how ridiculous some people are and what they write, and yet so many au pairs were eager to hear, see and visit them.
I decided to answer few of those ads and see what will happen.
2 of them asked for money, and one of them sent me his naked photos asking me to go on a trip with him because he is lonely.
I know, or at least hope, so many au pairs after coming to that point in conversation probably give up or realize how wrong that is, but if there is one who was naïve enough – I do hope this will be good to know.
I will post what they wrote and how they do it.
Here is how to recognize fake host family/ fake au pair looking for new au pair after she leaves:
1.English is correct, but it’s obvious it’s not how people in US would speak, as well many grammar and vocabulary mistakes. Use of darling, kindly, regards and all of those words you will not hear your au pair mom or friend say
2. That person has no Facebook friends (or has only few) and if you click on their profile, you will see them being member of many, many groups
3. They will post their ad and not respond or comment afterwards – they are done here.
4. They use names of real agencies, AND AGENTS!!, but their email address is usually yahoo, or gmail, Hotmail, etc. Real agents, LCC’s, any employee of any agency will have secure email, and mostly they will not even contact you via email, but through system on website. If you are not sure what real and approved agencies in US are, here is the list
5. They will mostly be a single parent, and in first email tell you all about their family and have approach “it’s up to you, tell me what you want”. It might look natural, if you are kind of au pair that looks for “employee” kind of relationship with hosts, but you will notice – they don’t care about where you are, what you do, what do you have to offer or even why do you want to be an au pair.
Even if you really find great family through social media, you need to ask for at least one Skype conversation and it is important that they are interested in you as a person.
If they ask for your bank account number, or your passport, address.. anything personal without even asking you simple questions about you as a person, reconsider and include your LCC.
Here is one of the examples:
You can notice that some of the girls have responded not thinking is offer reasonable or even possible for an au pair.
As you can see, this person has only few friends and no photos of herself.
That is the message I got back from her. I haven’t responded, since the person got banned from Facebook , but it’s obvious – you do now want to do that!
One of the people I got in touch with wrote to me this email:
I am Danielle a single mother from United States of America (53 smokestone ct street las vegas 89110 USA)… I lost my husband some Years ago…. and i am kind of busy and as well as caring mother.. but i can not combine my work with taking care of my only son after the death of my Husband. So i decided to look for a caregiver/Au pair for my son I need a very Hard working, trustworthy, and Reliable person for my kid who will take good care of him when i am off to work.
About my kid:
I have an energetic but delightful Kid.His name is jonah,
My kid is 5 years old. friendly and like meeting new people,he
is welcoming and though he is young,he love soccer, playing
basketball, swimming, dancing, writing, reading, and watching movies or
TV…lol he likes going out with mom, like going to church, going
shopping with mom.he has a warm and friendly attitude.he likes
playing a lot and i do not think you will have any problem with him so far
he eats and plays well.he is very intelligent and loves to take after
people,this is the more reason i will appreciate someone with good
qualities to be their Au pair/Nanny so that he doesn’t take to bad
Duties & Responsibilities:
I am looking for someone who likes to do their own thing and doesn’t have
a problem staying home, Someone who love kids and like staying with them. I
need a very good, honest, caring, understanding and God fearing Au pair
Nanny for my kid. Your main duties is to take care of my kid . You will
be required to get him ready for the day, take him to school and pick
him up after school and see to his needs in the afternoon. You will
also be required to assist with homework, bath and change as required,
arrange visits with friends, and see to after school activities, play games
together as well as anything else that may be necessary for his amusement
and well being. You will be required to do some cleaning up (including
washing, ironing for him and cleaning of the rooms)jonah
I believe will be keeping you entertained at home during the days! i do
not require babysitting as you see the kid is grown up…hehehe just like
they are always saying, which means that you are free to enjoy these as you
wish. On your days off you can enjoy the Sun on one of the many beautiful
beaches just a short drive away. i also have a summer house by the lake
which we would like you to spend some time with us in. On weekend go to
museums, zoo, aquarium, playground, watching movies, prepare/serving
snacks and foods, and i will arrange a car for you to go around, you can
attend a driving school over here if u can’t drive, Also am ready to assist
you if you wish to attend an English school in other to improve your
English standard level. You will be free to study in any school of your
choice soon as you get here. I will be helping you as regards tuition fees.
There are so many colleges and Universities here that offer good and
qualitative courses here. You will be enrolled in a public institution to
attend a course in any language of your choice for foreigners during the
weekends, for the duration of your stay, (this is however optional for you)
You will be staying with us when you get here, You will have your Private
Room which will have Bathroom/Toilet, Television, Air-Conditional and
Internet Computer. You will have access to the Internet and a Telephone at
home to get in touch with your friends and love ones. You will be having
Saturdays and Sundays as your off days while i will be at home to take care
of the kids, you will be having all the privacy you want, so to enable you
have enough time for yourself.
As for your salary, I will be will be paying you $1000 Usd Monthly
equivalent to the US Au pair program and minimum wage and a pocket fee of
$200 Usd weekly which I suppose should be enough for your needs and
that does not include you to pay any taxes, after when i see that you work
very well i shall increase your salary.
Start Date & Period of Employment:
You are expected to start as soon as you arrive here and I’ll like to know
how long you can work for my family because, completely it depends on how
long you would like to work here with me but left to me, . If due to circumstances beyond your control or for any other
reason, you wish to leave at an earlier date than our agreement, you will
be required to give one month’s notice.
I need someone who is Honest, Caring, Trustworthy, Loving, Affectionate,
Concerned, Understanding, friendly and Who loves Kids, i want to play a
role of a real mother to My kid because he is all i have. Note that you
have nothing to worry about because you will be treated like one of the
family member, all i need from you is that you take good care of my kid as
your attitude towards him will go a long way in future..
Once again, I can assure you that when you come you will be treated like
one family and you will be very happy to work with my family. I will be
more than happy if you are willing to join my family..Well i believe with
this letter you definitely know much about my family so if you think you
have interest in my family and got this attractive, that our family is a
kind of family you are looking for don’t hesitate to reply me asap, to
proceed to the next step about the US Au Pair Program and your
I will like to ask you a few questions:
*How caring and kind are you..?
*Can you really endure when the kids annoy you?
*Are you hot tempered?
*What excites you the most about coming here?
Thanks so much and have a nice and Wonderful day, Stay Blessed till I read
back from you.
Hope to hear from you soon.
After asking about agency and stating how excited I am, she has sent me information about her agent :
Hi Dear, Thanks for taking your time to read the details about my family… I hope you have read all the Information ( About Us, Duties and Responsibilities, Accommodation, Salary e.t.c) I am glad you have no problem about that. Right now i will want you to proceed to contact the Agency about your Application, Registration and Documentation Process and we will be waiting to read more about you and your family together with some of your pictures.
I want you to contact them to know the requirement and the cost involve for the Program and how to get started. Below are the Agency Internet Details.
Great Au pair
I will like you to send an email to Winnie Reynolds which is an International Consultant in the Agency… he is the one to help you about all the details and information you need about the Agency and he will help you with all your application and documentation process immediately you have understand all the details he sent you and you willing to continue.
So below is her contact:
So you need to write her that you directed by Mrs Danielle Taylor and i will also inform her about you. she will help you with all the requirement you need and help you with the forms to start you documentation and registration Process. Please let me know about the progress as soon as you have contact her and you got the information about the program.I dont have time for skype .we have other Au pair in our area and at my free time i spend with my kid and if am at home you are free.you will be responsible for the visa fees cause I also have fees to pay too as host family
Thanks for your Interest on My Family.
Can’t wait to meet you in our midst.
I did contact Winnie, but I have also got in touch with Great Au Pair, to see am I imagining all that drama, because it might be that it could be truth, you never know.
They have answered my email very fast and made sure to reassure me and tell me what is proper thing to do.
This is the response I got from agency scammers pretended to be part of.
We want to point out one of the ways these scammers try to trick you.
We do have an employee named Winnie Reynolds. However, her email is Winnie@greataupair.com.
This scammer usually uses @Hotmail.com or @Outlook.com and sometimes even uses the fake email GreatAuPairUSA@aol.com
See how he added greataupair at the front of the email address to try and trick you.
All GreatAuPair email addresses end with @greataupair.com.
We strongly recommend that you block this scammers email address from your email account and stop all communications.
Where did you find this family? We caution you not to use Facebook or any other social media site to try and find a host family. These sites do no screening or review of the people signing up so you are risking being scammed communicating with anyone you meet on Facebook.
GreatAuPair uses a private, internal messaging system, to protect your privacy and protect against internet scammers, so no family can ever see your email address or contact you at your personal email account.
However, if you bypass this protective internal message system, by sending a personal email outside of the messages area, then the scammer has your email address, and will create multiple alias names and email accounts (like the one above) and contact you over and over using these “alias names”.
We don’t recommend that you ever write a family outside the internal message system; even when they give you a personal email address. Once you send an email to their personal email, you would need to check back on the site by searching for their profile, to know if the family you are communicating with has been blocked. We have no way of protecting you from internet scammers, if you are sending emails outside the internal message system.
We are doing everything we can to prevent scammer activity. The majority of these scammers are identified within hours (sometimes minutes) of signing up and are immediately blocked from the site. Our developers have implemented a number of automated systems to find, identify and remove scammers from the site. When we learn of scammers using our website, we block their IP addresses, accounts, email addresses and credit cards. We have a 30-point anti-fraud system that is designed to identify and remove potential scammers automatically.
There are a minimum of two individuals on a daily basis reviewing every profile for potential scammer traits to protect you and the rest of our members. We do our best, but sometimes the scammers do get through our screening processes.
We feel one of the best defenses against scammers is education which is why we proactively send out personal email messages informing our members, like you, about scammers; what to look out for and how to protect yourself against them. We also post warnings on GreatAupair.com about the scammers and their scams as a way to inform and protect our members.
Even after getting confirmation it is fake, I proceeded with sending email to fake account, to see what would happen if I was really that naïve. Next step was sending to the fake Winnie copies of my documents among other things plus invoice for 1300,00$ I would pay to them. I haven’t responded since and no one has ever contacted me, which shows there was never true interest, and they don’t follow up unless you do.
I wrote this to make sure you know your rights, but also risks of being an au pair. Coming to foreign country will be hard, and exhausting, but also rewarding and amazing experience for you.
But you will also see, learn, and witness crime, drug abuse, way more homeless people than what you are used to, and many more things that will force you to think, and take care of yourself
SHARE, SHARE, SHARE!
Share this among your Facebook friends, in Au Pair groups and among your au pair community. If you have a friend that is in rematch process and she is willing to do whatever it takes to stay in America, there are different, safe ways, and she should not risk her life and finances. Check on this link ideas on how to stay in US legally.
Did you have similar experience?
Share your rematch story or advice for other girls who are going through bad situations in our comment section.
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