Why should I pay a membership on AuPair.com instead of using social media platforms for free? This is one of the first questions that Au Pairs and Host Families ask themselves when deciding to start their search without a full-service agency.
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The Au Pair program is one of the cheapest childcare solutions for Host Families, and a smart way to live abroad and improve a foreign language for young people on a budget. Nevertheless, it has some costs that both parties need to take into account. That’s why - even though full-service agencies take care of the whole preparation of the stay - some applicants and Host Families decide to search for a match and organize all the details on their own.
Creating a profile on AuPair.com and matching with candidates from all around the world is completely free of charge for both applicants and Host Families. However, the website offers different types of memberships, which can vary between 39 and 98 euros IN TOTAL so that users can keep communicating. This is about 1% of the cost that a full-service agency could charge you. In fact, the average fees of full-service agencies are between 400 and 2000 euros; except for the USA, where prices are much higher and average between 7000 and 12000 U.S. dollars.
Even so, you could have noticed that some people try to find their match through social media platforms such as Facebook. This happens because many users think that it is more convenient to use free resources instead of purchasing a Premium membership. Keep reading to discover why you should purchase a one-time-only membership instead of using social media.
The first reason why you shouldn’t use social media is that it is the perfect place for scammers to hide and show up when a possible victim arrives. No matter how much of an expert you are, it could happen to anyone to be scammed on social media. By having access to a countless number of pictures on the internet, it is very easy for scammers to create fake profiles on Facebook and Instagram and make them look like real ones.
How do scams on social media work
Fake Host Family profiles: scammers who create a profile as Host Families usually get in contact with applicants on Facebook and show pictures of “their perfect family”. The offered pocket money is usually much higher than the standard in their country. They will probably offer support with the visa application and will ask you to forward your documents to their family lawyer. Together with the documents, you will have to prove that you have enough money to cover the trip or other expenses. They will then ask you to transfer the money to an account from which it will not be possible to withdraw the money, and as soon as your documents are in order, they will send the money back to you.
It sounds like the perfect family and the best way to get a visa for free, right? That’s why it is not true and it is one of the most common scams that you will find on Facebook groups. Once you will send them the money, the “Host Family” will block you from all social media platforms and you will never see your money again.
Fake Au Pair profiles: scammers who pretend to be Au Pairs usually claim to be very interested in the language and culture of your family’s country, but need your financial support to get the visa or to buy the flight ticket. There are two possible scenarios: in the first and very common one, the person you’re talking to does not intend to come to your country, but will only get your money and never buy a ticket for it. If they accept you to buy a ticket for them it is not safer: they could be interested in coming to your country, but will never join your family. The second possibility is that they will get a visa with your financial support, arrive in your country and will not show up to your family. This way, you will invest your time into the research, waste your money and help someone to enter the country and stay there illegally.
If you want to support your Au Pair financially and contribute to his/her travel expenses, you can give them the money back once they join your family. Be sure to make it clear in the contract who should pay for these costs.
How to avoid scams on social media
The best way to avoid scams on social media is not to use social media to find your match at all! Profiles on social media platforms are checked by no one, and that’s why it is so easy to create fake profiles, commit frauds and then disappear so easily.
On AuPair.com profiles are checked daily and users are often requested to provide proof of their identity. At the same time, every conversation starts directly on the website, so that the security team can check for any misuse if needed. Users can also report a profile if they suspect being talking to scammers. In case of scammers on the website, AuPair.com’s security team immediately blocks the profile and sends an email informing every other user who has exchanged messages with them. Moreover, Aupair.com’s customer care service is always available for any security questions and has a great Wiki section with useful articles regarding this and other topics, as well as a Blog and FAQs sections.
Finally, after visiting a profile on the website, getting in contact with users through the platform and meeting in a video call, it is a good idea to follow each other on social media if you wish to keep talking and make your relationship grow before starting the Au Pair experience.
After creating your profile and answering our questionnaire, you will be matched with applicants or Host Families who meet your requirements. You are able to visit all the recommended profiles and not only. This way you can change your search criteria if your needs change during the time, but also if you want to increase your chances of finding the perfect match.
Thereby the search is very flexible and can be edited and refined over time, but it is still automatic and gives you the opportunity to save a lot of time. While it is true that there is no specific person directly in charge of the matching process, our server is constantly being improved so that it provides more and more satisfactory results.
If you want to save even more time, the best option is to contact a full-service agency. That’s why Au Pair agencies can create a profile on AuPair.com. Click here to find the list of agencies by country.
In addition to searching for the candidate, organizing the Au Pair’s stay can take a lot of time. Whether you are an Au Pair or a Host Family, you will have to think of several details and there will be some paperwork to be done.
What kind of insurance does the Au Pair need? Is it mandatory to attend a language course? Does the Au Pair need to register in the local office in the host country?
AuPair.com provides all users with tons of free information regarding all of these aspects. Premium members have also access to a very detailed handbook to download and consult before and during the stay.
Basic users can also download a contract template to customize and print, while Premium users have access to a more detailed version of the contract to be sure not to miss any important detail.