How did I spot my scammer and being kind to him?
I was in the desperate position when I realized that doing self-studying in writing isn’t enough.
I need a school to fulfill my goal. Thinking about the ways on how I can support my needs and my family needs, pushed me to try to apply as a personal assistant, nanny or an Au pair in the other countries. I was thinking that this is the best option.
But, with this desperation, I almost scammed.
The story goes this:
I registered in a website of an Au pair. A minute later, a host family from the UK sent me a message and offered to be with his family. As a first time as I am, I felt excited receiving that message.
We exchanged emails. He told me that I am going to take care of his six-year-old son; sending him to school, bring him back, and help him with his lesson. I will work 30 hrs. per week and will have a salary of £500 per week.
He told me that for me to be legally become an Au Pair in the UK, he needs to register my name in an AU Pair community in the UK. I agreed.
I was really excited for that opportunity to come in the UK, but I didn’t have an idea about the legal procedure to come there. I didn’t have an idea if how much I will earn when I am there. Therefore, I did research:
The employment status of au pairs, nannies, carers, personal assistants and other people who work in your home - how to…www.gov.uk
I learned about this:
Au pairs usually live with the family they work for and are unlikely to be classed as a worker or an employee. They aren’t entitled to the National Minimum Wage or paid holidays.
They’re treated as a member of the family they live with and get ‘pocket money’ instead — usually about £70 to £85 a week.
With this information, a thought of a scammer hammered me. It should be a ‘pocket money’ and not a salary and worst is, a £500 is excessively big compared to a usual pocket money of an Au Pair.
“A scammer”, I said.
While I was reading the website of UK government, I received an email from an Au Pair community in the UK.
When I saw the email address of a sender, I smiled because I thought it was an official email add from UK government.
I said: “Wow, it’s real and not a scam!”.
Suddenly, as I was staring at the email address;<firstname.lastname@example.org>, there’s something wrong with the email add.
And then, I did research again and found this at the official website of UK; How the fraudsters may contact you.
Always get your information from official websites. Official UK government websites always have ‘.gov.uk’ at the end of their website address.
Official Home Office email addresses are always in one of two formats:
These are the formats of official Foreign and Commonwealth Office email addresses:
Sometimes the email address you see on the screen of a fake website or email is in that format, but when you click on it, it creates an email that will be sent to a different address. Always check the actual address on the email you are sending.
At the first glance of the email address of email@example.com, your eyes might deceive because of the presence of @uk.gov which almost similar to official email add of UK which has @gov.uk.
If he is really a scammer he used an effective technique because not all people can easily spot the difference. And with this information, again tons of disappointments tapped my shoulder.
Again I said, “He is a scammer.”
I have a personality that if I wanted something, I convince myself that I am wrong. Though I have some pieces of evidence that its a scam I keep convincing myself that it wasn’t.
There are already three cases that I should believe that it’s a scam:
- The salary is too big — to attract the victim.
- The decisive email address — to decisive that the email came from the government and the victim will gain trust.
- The presence of email add in the scammer lists — stating the same scenario of mine (only that I discovered it at the earliest).
Ok. Fine. At this time, I need to give up. Forget about schooling. Forget about the opportunity. Save myself first!
Though I have the basis that it was a scam, there were still part of my mind about the “what if” thoughts; what if I am wrong? What if I just accused the person? What if it was true and the family waiting for me?
Arrrrggg! It was so stressful to think. I don’t want to gamble myself and I also don’t want them to expect for me to come.
Then I made a letter:
The letter was straight forward and kind. It’s either he is a scammer or not, at least, I gave a kind disposition.
I don’t care if he is a scammer or not. What count me most is that I learned from this experience which thought me to be more vigilant next time.
Anyway, the best way to kill your enemy is being kind to him. :)