Inman college student, deputies warn of online babysitting scam - FOX Carolina 21

Inman college student, deputies warn of online babysitting scam

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Lauren Robinson said she was almost the victim of an online babysitting scam (FOX Carolina: 7/20/15) Lauren Robinson said she was almost the victim of an online babysitting scam (FOX Carolina: 7/20/15)
INMAN, SC (FOX Carolina) -

An Inman college student said she wants to warn others of a scam that could affect people looking for babysitting work.

Lauren Robinson said a couple of a weeks ago she was contacted by a woman who she believed got her information from her Care.com profile. Robinson said she had a sad story to share.

"She lost her husband and a four month old baby," said Robinson.

The woman told Robinson she had plans to relocate from Phoenix, AZ to Inman, SC within the coming weeks. Robinson said she was offered $18/hour to babysit the woman's wheelchair bound son but she was never interviewed for the position.

"I wouldn't trust a person you don't know with a child, especially when you've already lost the child," said Robinson.

Robinson said once she exchanged contact information with the woman she began getting text messages about a check that was coming to her home in Inman to help pay for a wheelchair for the woman's son before they moved to the area. Robinson shared the messages with FOX Carolina.

One of them read, "When you get the check you can just deposit it in your bank account and when the funds clear, you can help pay the seller."

The check came to Robinson in the mail for nearly $3000. She didn't cash it.

Care.com has a list of scam warnings on it's website and it describes the same scam that Lauren avoided.

The site goes on to say often the scammer asks for a portion of the check back once it's deposited. The catch: the check is fake and those who comply end up paying the bank out of pocket.

Sergeant Tony Brown with the Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office said he sees reports of several online scams a week and at least one similar babysitting a month.

He said the big problem is the scammer is from overseas and contacted someone else in the U.S. to help with his or her scam.

"They also post ads for personal assistants... They're paying these personal assistants to make these checks out. The people that are sending these checks out in America are scam victims also," said Brown.

Brown said the people involved in the scam in the U.S. have no idea they are defrauding people. He said that's why it's so important to verify any checks you receive in the mail with the bank of origin.

FOX Carolina reached out to Care.com for a comment but we have not heard back yet. To see the websites list of scam warning signs, click here.

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