Secure Your Spot: How to Identify and Avoid Child Care Waitlist Scams

Jan 23, 2024 07:38 AM
notion image


Beware of a sneaky scam hitting parents looking for child care: fake waitlist spots. Scammers are using pictures of real daycare centers to trick parents into paying for a spot on a waitlist that doesn't exist.

Who is Affected

Parents and guardians searching for child care are the main targets. In the hustle to find a good spot for their little ones, they can accidentally fall into this trap.

How it Can Happen

Scammers set up fake ads or websites, complete with photos of actual child care facilities. They often communicate through email or messaging platforms, offering a chance to secure a spot on a waitlist for a fee. The catch? The waitlist is a sham.

What to Look Out For

  • Mismatched Details: If the emails, contact numbers, or addresses don't match the facility's official ones, that's a red flag.
  • Pressure to Pay Fast: Scammers often rush you to pay, claiming limited spots.
  • Unusual Payment Methods: Be cautious if they ask for payment via gift cards, wire transfers, or other untraceable methods.

How to Stay Safe

  • Double-Check with the Center: Call the center using a number you find independently, not the one provided by the suspicious source.
  • Use Trusted Payment Methods: Stick to methods that offer fraud protection.
  • Trust Your Gut: If something feels off, it probably is. Better safe than sorry.


Finding the right child care is tough enough without scammers making it harder. Stay alert, verify everything, and keep your hard-earned money safe. When in doubt, always reach out directly to the child care provider before making any payments.