Potential Nanny Scam, Bucktown/WP/Chicago area

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  • #3580
    Alyssa S.
    Participant

    We experienced what we have concluded is most likely a nanny scam by someone who has a profile on this site, and one on Care.com, where we found her. We hired her under the name Maria Juarez, which will show up in her criminal background and driver’s check, however I believe she has other names she can go by which I’ll share later.

    Initially, Maria seemed really great and came with excellent references, including from someone who lived in the Bucktown area. We hired her on December 9th, and she quit January 5th. Out of 18 days she was paid, she only actually worked 6 1/2. She called in for all her sick days (3), and took two bereavement days as paid vacation. In addition, she was off and paid for all the holidays in December and the beginning of January.

    Each time was a different health excuse – the first three sick days were due to a fall she had had. The second two days, which we did not pay for, we due to diarrhea because of food poisoning, which she claimed her doctor told her to stay home for. When we found out she had diabetes, she assured us it was under control and didn’t have anything to do with her previous problems. However when she quit on Sunday, the day before she was supposed to “start fresh”, she claimed it was because her diabetes numbers were suddenly too high, and her doctor had advised her to stay home. This just after sending us a text saying that she was looking forward to starting over. That’s how she would do things – send a text mainly last minute, then pay good lip service and say it wouldn’t happen again. It’s just all too convenient. Obviously, with health stuff, it’s hard to tell and you don’t really want to call a person out on it or pry, but in this case, we should have. And we shouldn’t have paid for sick/vacation time during the trial period. That was a mistake we will not be making again.

    When I called Maria’s Bucktown reference to tell her about our experience, she shared with me that another woman had texted her the last week in December saying that she had also hired Maria to start January 1st, but Maria had told her a week before that she couldn’t. This reminded me that when I interviewed Maria, she told me she had no other job prospects, and then when I told her that would would make a final decision mid-week, she suddenly had a job prospect and needed to know from us asap. I thought this was odd, but we made the decision to hire her and started her at the beginning of the week. She made sure to clarify with me that she would be paid for the entire week. She obviously kept this other woman as another possible mark, and perhaps bowed out because she got the money she needed or knew she would be burning a bridge with her reference.

    Lastly, a day or two after Maria quit, she removed her profile picture from her Care.com profile, and changed her name to Nina J. She also started changing her profile bio. As well, someone liked the poor review I left her, which means they found it helpful. This all indicates to me that she is continuing to look for work, even though she is supposedly too sick to do so.

    We lost a lot of money due to Maria for very little work, and were stressed out with her reliability over the month, during what was already a transitional time for our family. Additionally, we had to pay double to get someone to cover for her. We have a one year old and the fact that she took advantage of us using him is reprehensible. She is not to be trusted.

    Names associated with her are: Maria, Nina, Juarez, Sosa, Ovalle. There are probably others. The email she used with us is mariajuarez286@gmail.com. She lives in the Old Irving Park/Avondale area, will say she’s married and her husband works from home, that she has three children and that she’s a career nanny. If you need a picture, I have one I can send to you. This is her profile on this site: https://viathevillage.com/app/nanny-profile/ck3awcx8c001v0tqurhdpcdne

    Be on the look out for her and spread the word.

    • This topic was modified 2 years, 11 months ago by Alyssa S..
    #3810
    Sara B.
    Participant

    Alyssa,
    I was the woman who Maria backed out on last minute. Told us she was ‘getting divorced’ a couple days before she was supposed to start. She is now on Facebook as Maria Sosa. Everyone stay FAR AWAY from her.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 9 months ago by Sara B..
    #8025
    Katya S.
    Participant

    Unfortunately we were a victim of the same issue. Maria worked with us as part of a nanny-share from January 4, 2020 – August 23, 2020, although actually was with our children for only a fraction of the time. When she was with our kids she was wonderful with them, super engaged and always taking them on walks, singing, helping them develop new milestones, etc. She was also very communicative and really lovely to be around. However, at least once per week there was a medical excuse (including newly diagnosed diabetes, stomach issues, etc), and she would often notify us the morning of. We always gave her the benefit of the doubt, not to mention payed her well beyond her allotted sick and vacation time. We also paid her for many months without work when COVID first hit, as it felt like the right thing to do in a crazy situation. We did a full background check, reference calls, and a google search before hiring her in (in November 2019), but just found this post and fired her immediately. If you need reliable care, Maria is not your person.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 3 months ago by Katya S..
    • This reply was modified 2 years, 3 months ago by Katya S..
    #8028
    Alyssa S.
    Participant

    Hi Katya,

    Wow, this is so infuriating. I was wondering if Maria was still up to her tricks, especially when so many people need childcare at home now. I bet she’s reaping the benefits. And I can almost guarantee you that she was stacking hours and probably made out like a freaking bandit during more strict quarantine. Would you be willing to talk? I know at least 3 other families that she scammed, and another who contacted me that hired her 3 years ago. So she’s been doing this a long time. Let me know and we can DM. Thanks, Alyssa

    #8029
    Katya S.
    Participant

    Wow, this is worse than I ever could have imagined. I’d love to talk and hopefully we can keep this from happening to others.

    #8030
    Alyssa S.
    Participant

    Yea, it’s bad. I looked up your profile and there are two Katya S’s. Are you the one seeking a nanny, with a cat?

    #8031
    Katya S.
    Participant

    Yes, that’s me! Please feel free to call or text me at xxx-xxx-xxxx

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 3 months ago by Katya S..
    #8033
    Katya S.
    Participant

    For anyone that may be reading this post, please do not hire Maria or trust her to be around your kids. After connecting with Alyssa and continuing to uncover more and more information, we have realized that this is way worse than we could have ever imagined. Maria is a master scammer. We are working hard to ensure that she does not do this to anyone else. Please feel free to reach out to myself or Alyssa if you have any more information or questions.

    #9327
    Maria L.
    Participant

    We hired Maria to be our nanny from out of state and she never showed up to the job. She was on Sittercity.com and it’s been the worst experience we have had and put our family into complete disarray. Clearly she is still able to be on sites like that. Has anybody tried to reach out to any of these sites? Clearly she is still doing this.

    #9334
    Kristina B
    Participant

    I know this is an old thread, but my friend is being scammed in a similar fashion by a nanny from the Chicago area — now in Seattle. She is not going by the name Maria but I was hoping someone could describe her appearance and see if it’s the same woman.

    Thanks you!

    #9335
    Heather K
    Participant

    Hello, I believe that I faced possibly the same nanny or a copycat scam artist in Seattle. This nanny did the same thing and said the phrase “let’s have a fresh start” after calling out for four days. I feel so dumb for being so desperate. She took a deposit from us and broke the contract by quitting and has vanished. She seemed so lovely with our son. Also she said that her father lives in the Chicago area. That is also why I believe she may be related or the same person?

    #9336
    Katya S.
    Participant

    I’m so sorry that this happened to you, Maria L., Kristina, and Heather. I’m happy to share pictures and more info, and will reach out individually to see if we are talking about the same terrible scammer.
    -Update, I have no idea how to contact you directly since there are many others with your names. Please feel free to message me though, as noted above I’m the Katya S. with a cat in Chicago.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 4 months ago by Katya S..
    #9337
    Heather K
    Participant

    Okay, sounds good. I have a pic of my scammer nanny.

    I filled out my profile to allow messaging but it isn’t working.

    Are you able to find and message me? Or is there an easier method?

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 4 months ago by Heather K.
    #9410
    Allison C
    Participant

    Can anyone message me to confirm the picture?

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