Crooks Online May Be Looking to Target Babysitters

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HARLINGEN – A woman said there are online crooks targeting babysitters online.

Juanita P. Casanova said she's dedicated her life to education and helping others. Two years ago, she retired after teaching more than two decades.

Casanova explained the urge to shape young minds never left.

"Hearing that laughter, you know a child's laughter is addicting. You know, there is nothing in comparison to that," she said.

Casanova said that urge drove her to join the Red Cross and start babysitting.

"So, I thought maybe if I do babysitting I could start reading to the kids," she explained.

She said she joined an online job search site for babysitters. The site’s called Sittercity. Casanova explained she started speaking to a parent on the site offering to pay her $25 per hour.

She said the man claiming to be a parent asked that they move communications to text messages. That's when things started to unravel.

"He needed some information and I said OK and basic information which was already on the resume on Sittercity. But he also asked for where I banked and I thought why would you need that?" Casanova told CHANNEL 5 NEWS.

Casanova said the man's story began changing which drew more red flags. Then, she received a check for $3,520 from the man.

She told CHANNEL 5 NEWS the problem is she hadn't started work yet. Casanova also noticed the names and address on the envelope and check didn't match. She wisely refused to cash the check.

We contacted Sittercity to find out what they are doing to protect babysitters like

Casanova. They sent the following statement, which reads in part:

"Sittercity supplements its technology with aggressive education about scammers. For example, shortly after registering on Sittercity, each caregiver receives an email about recognizing and avoiding common scams."

Casanova said moving forward she'll follow Sittercity's tips. You can also call 866-205-5625 to file a report. 


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