DENVER -- Scammers are targeting people trying to make ends meet through apps and employment services.
Lauren Richards, who is from Henderson, was contacted for a job through a nanny app. She was excited and feeling like the new job would turn her financial situation around.
"I was so excited! First thing I told my boyfriend; I told all the family. I’m like, 'I finally got a job; it’s perfect! The hours are going to be great with school," Richards recounted.
The college student started exchanging long emails with the family. Giving them personal information and learning elaborate details about their kids.
"Mike is five years of age but acts like a four year old kid lol," one email read.
"I was so excited; they sent me two (photos) -- just a beautiful family I wonder who they are," Richards said.
They settled on $350 a week. Lauren was surprised to get a check in the mail for over $1,900 in advance of her employment.
"I was told $350 is for your first check, but the rest is for groceries and things for the apartment…that’s a little weird," she said.
She ultimately learned from police not only was the check not real but the family probably wasn't either.
"He kind told me usually what they do is they send you a large sum, have you deposit it and they will have you send some money back to them," Richards said.
These types of scammers typically ask for some of the money back right after the check is deposited. But once the bank realizes the check is a fraud, the person holding the account is left owing the bank.
Richards never deposited the check. She became suspicious when her mother noticed the check was from a company in Louisiana. But the family said they were moving to Colorado from Texas.
"When I first opened it, to be honest, all I saw was the amount. I was like, 'Oh man, this is a big check.' I didn’t pay attention it was from Louisiana," Richards said.
There are dozens of apps helping people connect with nannies, dog sitters and other care giver services.
Lauren hopes her story prevents other hard-working people from getting scammed. She is still looking for another nanny job.
"Funds are low, I have to pay my bills, I would have been out almost two grand; it really would have messed up my life," Richards said.
You can file a complaint with the FTC about these types of scams here.