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Suspected Scam Artist Used Babysitter Ads on Craigslist to Sell Fake Background Checks

by Tom Ahearn 9/16/2009 5:23:00 PM

A recent story about a suspected scam artist who posted non-existent babysitter jobs on the online classified ad site Craigslist and asked applicants to pay for a background check that would never be done serves as a reminder to jobseekers – even babysitters – that in this tough economy criminals and identity thieves will try anything to make money illegally off the search for gainful employment.

According to a report from Fort Wayne, Indiana’s, Fort Wayne Police have arrested a man – 30-year-old Randy A. Hatter from Flint, Michigan – that they believe is behind a multi-state scam that used the online classifieds site Craigslist to post babysitter jobs as a ruse to lure unsuspecting applicants into providing personal information on forms before paying $25 to run background checks that were never performed.

Hatter – who was convicted in 2006 for identity theft and was out on parole at the time of this arrest – was caught in a sting operation by Fort Wayne police, the News-Sentinel reports, after two local victims who happened to know each both responded to the same babysitter job posting on Craigslist, were contacted by Hatter, and then asked for money for a background check.  When the victims realized that they both never heard back from Hatter after giving him money for the background checks, they contacted police.

According to, detectives then answered the babysitter job posting on Craigslist and two female detectives posing as respondents to the ad met Hatter, gave him the $25 for the background check, and police arrested him on three preliminary counts of theft and one of deception.

With the number of unemployed people reaching 15 million according to latest figures, jobseekers need to be wary of scammers who use the search for employment as opportunity to make illegal money. To gain protection in these uncertain times, prospective employees can perform “personal” background checks on themselves to show to potential employers during pre-employment background checks.

While most background check companies focus only on employers, offers jobseekers – including babysitters, nannies, and au pairs – the opportunity to perform background checks on themselves to use to find employment. For more information on personal background checks, visit, email, or call 1-800-503-2364. To follow on Twitter, visit

NOTE: If you think you were a "Craigslist Babysitter Background Check Scam" victim, call Detective Casey Furge or Detective Joe Lyon at the Fort Wayne Police Detective Bureau at 260-427-1201.

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