A friend recently told me about a Nanny scam which someone on our block fell prey to. It was quite scary and could have ended very, very badly but fortunately the person was arrested. The way it was explained to me, a local female had set up a FaceBook page advertising her services as a nanny. Then, she set up a few fake pages of supposed "happy" and satisfied clients. Her fake profiles would display raving reviews about her nanny skills, and she set the whole ring up to look good enough to fool some pretty savvy parents. Upon being hired, the “nanny” would steal jewelry and cash from the unsuspecting parents. And let’s be clear here, who really cares about any of the material items this scammer hoisted, SHE WAS IN CHARGE OF THEIR CHILDREN!
Where do I come in? My friend asked me if I might be able to put together a one-sheet on tips and tricks that parents can do when they are vetting potential nannies. I have worked in Cyber Security for over ten years and I have also performed Physical Penetration Testing as a contractor for the U.S. government. Additionally I have presented for the Secret Service and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
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To find out a bit about someone's background there are some free services that may be helpful. The free versions yield limited amounts of information but you may be able to glean enough to satisfy your questions about someone. Below are a few:
Sex offenders are required to register where they live:
Do you live in a high-crime area?
Crime Reports - you can peruse these:
A lot of local Police Departments maintain a "blotter" that they post publicly on a community Web site, here's an example: https://www.tapinto.net/towns/soma/categories/police-blotter/articles. Also the hyper-local Web site http://patch.com covers a lot of local crime as well as 911 calls.
Search for the photos used in their online profile elsewhere on the Web, which can bring up multiple (fake) persona's and you may even find it's part of other scams.
To find versions of a Website which are no longer active:
o https://Archive.org caches a ton of Web sites and freezes certain pages. For a historical view, check them out:
o From there, you can view random snapshots back in time:
o Google caches certain URL's and you can sometimes find an older version of a page that you missed by selecting the "Cached" page from a Google search:
o Also, https://CachedPage.co and https://CachedViews.com have archives of older Web pages.
In researching this topic, I came across an interesting link from the FTC, warning about a different type of nanny scam.
Plessas Experts Network, Inc. publishes an amazing one-sheet on gathering information for security research purposes. They also offer professional services which I have heard really great things about.
Lastly, Michael Bazzell is one of the best resources for background information or privacy concerns. If you think you have a situation on your hands that needs expert attention, Michael Bazzell is at: https://inteltechniques.com/services.html. If you need help, reach out, you are not alone!