A Georgia couple claims a babysitter they found on the babysitter-finding website Care.com stole thousands of dollars from them using their stolen identities.
David and Keating McCarthy said they hired a nanny named Regina Christopher to watch their 8-year-old son after paying close to $300 on Care.com to find Christopher and perform a background check.
“I felt like she was just a very safe and nice person that would do a great job and care a lot for my child,” Keating McCarthy, 48, told ABC News.
Christopher spent just one night sitting for their son and spent time watching their dog while they were away on a summer vacation, the McCarthys, of Chamblee, Georgia, told local ABC affiliate WSB-TV, which conducted an investigation into the McCarthys’ claims that Christopher stole their identities.
“She [Christopher] tried to charge several charges on my American Express and she tried to open up two Capital One cards on my husband’s account using his Social Security number that she had stolen,” McCarthy told ABC News.
When packages of items they had not purchased arrived at the McCarthys’ home in June, just days after Christopher dog-sat for them, McCarthy took a photo of the nanny’s license plate and called police, according to WSB-TV.
Police say the nanny the McCarthys hired is actually a woman named Gina Groves, who had warrants for her arrest in four counties. Groves gave a fake name to Care.com, which is why her background check came back clean, police said.
“I just could not believe I was so gullible to have let a virtual, a complete stranger into my house and left her at home alone with my child,” McCarthy said.
Groves was arrested for violating her probation on June 21, 2015, and is currently in the Douglas County Jail, according to WSB-TV, whose investigative reporter found six mugshots of Groves dating back more than two decades.
Care.com called the McCarthys’ experience a “highly unfortunate incident” in a statement to ABC News, writing, in part, “This provider is a career criminal who violated our terms and conditions by providing false information.”
Cyber security experts recommend parents do an online search of the provider themselves to make sure their pictures match.
Experts also recommend checking references, setting up a nanny cam in your home and coming home earlier than expected when first using a new babysitter.