Pet Sitters Can Be Scammed Too!

Those wonderful words anybody wants to hear when they are a small business owner: “I am interested in using your services!” Your heart starts racing and the pulse picks up on your new unsolicited email lead and you quickly grab your mouse to reply with all your information to start to close the deal. Whoa Silver, lets slow down and regroup!

Once you take a deep breath and try to keep your excitement in check, there are a few things you need to observe about this email or voice message:
* where did the email originate?
* how did they find your information?
* does the information appear to be legit or a little far fetched?
* are they in your area or are they “visiting”?
* are they offering you an ungodly amount for your services that no one has ever offered before?

These are just a few questions you should ask yourself before falling hook line and sinker. “How do you know?”, you ask. Well, because I was almost one of those that got taken to the cleaners!

With so many cons coming to light, these con-artists are stepping up their game and preying on any and everybody they can dupe. Always looking for that unsuspecting, honest person just trying to make a living and wanting to get their money without having to work for it. It is important to protect yourself and your business from these modern day poachers.

What follows is the first email I received with some words x-ed out to protect the people that are unaware their information has been wrongfully used:

Hello,
I just saw your post as a pet caregiver on http://www.petsit.com and I’m hoping to talk with you more about it. How many years of professional pet sitting experience have you accumulated while working with Pets? Can I contract your services for my pet, a Samoyed dog by the name Bella? I shall be needing services starting from August 4th and would stretch till September 3rd. I’m flexible with start time but preferably between 10AM-11AM, when i will be off to work. At least a minimum of 1hrs daily, (MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAYS).

Services include walking, feeding and general care. You will be caring for her at my rented suite. Can you tell me your exact location (i.e the closest Major Intersection to your home) so I can calculate how close it will be to my rented suite and also to make further arrangements for the task. I look forward to reading from you soon.

Thanks,
Gary A.

So this seems pretty straight forward right? Well for starters I noticed at seconded glance that the spelling in his signature name and the spelling in the “actual” email address had an extra r in the name. But ok maybe that was the only way he could get that email address. I will let that one slide for now.

But then I received another email after I sent him a generic type of introduction reply. So here is the next email I received:

Hello Sheila,
Glad to read from you and I really appreciate your concern. Your location works out fine for me. I’m coming down from Puerto Rico for a month inspection course with the Bureau of Investigation. I work as private investigator with the Puerto Rico Bureau of Special Investigations, a branch of the Department of Justice of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The headquarters of La Uniformada which is located at the Cuartel General (General Station House), 601 Franklin D. Roosevelt Avenue, Hato Rey, Puerto Rico.

My office is currently checking with Comfort Inn , the hotel was found conducive for my staying. I hope you are familiar with the place. I shall furnish you with the reservation details once it has been booked. Hence you shall be caring for Bella at my rented suite provided her comfort is guaranteed. I need you to understand that after the duration of this course I shall be heading back to my base with Bella for a promotion, so I need to perform excellently well. This might limit my attention towards her hence the reason I’m employing you for this task. Bella is a Samoyed dog that gets along with other dogs and she is also very friendly with kids. She’s very well, healthy and properly immunized. She visits the vets regularly and has no medical problem or whatsoever.

As we speak, my unit is on the field for a debrief assignment and we are not permitted to receive or make calls to avoid any distractions, Meanwhile i can be reached on 937-839-XXXX, I may not always be there to pick up due to my training schedule but i will definitely return your call when i am on breaks. You can text or email me as that will be the fastest and convenient means to communicate for now.

I would schedule you to care for Bella during weekdays only i.e Mondays through Fridays. Starting from 10AM when i will be off to work and you can offer her your care for 45min or an Hour at your convenient. I will be around on weekend and i will be caring for her personally. I’m offering $400 per week due to my budget. Will this work out?
The start date is 4th of August but after my arrival on August 3rd which is on Sunday, we’ll meet formally so that we can get familiar before you start with Bella. Moreover my superior is willing to have your Service Charge processed prior my arrival with Bella. Hence,I’m reviewing your application and I’ll let you know my decision immediately. In the meantime please fill up the Questionnaire below for immediate processing of your details:

REQUIRED INFORMATION
———Full Name:
———Address:
———City:
———State:
———Zip code:
———cell #:
———Best Time to call:
———Number of years as a pet sitter:
———Number of available reference:
AGREEMENTS
Job duration of 1Month (Monday-Friday)
Start date shall be August 4th- September 3rd.
Advance payment of a week will be arranged for you as soon as you agree to the terms above.

Please Do Your Homework Before Accepting That Next Pet Job!
Please Do Your Homework Before Accepting That Next Pet Job!

– I attached both Bella and my pictures herewith so you can have a glimpse of us 🙂
Warmest Regards,

The first flag was needing my full name and address. The second was offering what equals to $80 an hour and then some of the awkward language used. So I started my own investigation!

First I did a reverse lookup for the phone number which turned up being a land line in Ohio! Then I went on Facebook, Person lookup in Puerto Rico and no one by that name exist with the exception of gentlemen twice as old as the guy in the pictures that were sent.  Next thing, I searched for the company he claimed to work for and Lord and behold the first paragraph of his email was copied and pasted from the website!  When I didn’t send him the information he requested,  he sent another email telling me I could trust him and it was TOTALLY SAFE!

Please do your homework and stick to the old adage ” If it seems too good to be true, it probably is!”

Be Blessed!

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18 Comments Add yours

  1. Sarah says:

    Received an email like this about a child care job and they got my information off of care.com. I was first contacted through text saying they saw my application and were searching for qualifying applicants that fit the criteria for their boss who needs child care and to email them for further information. Not knowing it was a scam I did. Weeks later I received a reply with the same email as the one above. Crazy excited I bought it and emailed back and forth for a while, but they never received any personal information besides an address. When things seemed too good to be true i googled it and here I am. Pisses me off. But thankful It didn’t get too far.

    Like

    1. Nanda Coimbra says:

      The same exact same happened to me. Her email went to spam and by the time i read it was already pass the week I supposed to watch her daughter Rachel. I emailed her back letting her know i am really sorry and then she( Gina Anderson) emailed me saying that could still use my help. I knew it was a lie them. Thank God all she had was my phone number. I am trying to contact care.com so the same doesn’t happen with other people.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Doreen Wolf says:

    I received “Petsitter Needed” email last week from “Richard Wilson” 937-839-2774 with exact same message…I had a complete emotional roller coaster occur from excitement to disappointment & queasiness. Thanks for these posts!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yesenia says:

    I got the exact same email from Gina Anderson. I knew it was too good to be true $300 for only 3 days and 3hrs. Way to get the hopes up of a college student.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Anonymous says:

    I got the same email from the jerry owen guy.. what are they doing with the information, has anyone found out.. I am kind of scared now, I gave my address and phone number…

    Like

  5. Christina Battle says:

    Just fyi I just got hit up for this but now they are running babysitting scams

    Like

  6. Alyssa says:

    So what could happen if you gave them some personal information

    Like

  7. cassa says:

    Glad to read from you and since you were refereed by my employee, my name is Jerry owen I feel comfortable discussing this opening as it concerns the comfort of my only child Jennifer. I’m coming down from Puerto Rico to your location

    for a month inspection course with the Bureau of Investigation. I work as private investigator with the Puerto Rico Bureau of Special Investigations, a branch of the Department of Justice of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The

    headquarters of La Uniformada which is located at the Cuartel General (General Station House), 601 Franklin D. Roosevelt Avenue, Hato Rey, Puerto Rico.

    I have instructed my office to check with conducive hotels around your cross-street, when i have the reservation details on my desk i will furnish you with the booking information so you would know where we shall be staying. Hence you

    shall babysit Jennifer either at my rented suite or at your residence provided her comfort is guaranteed. I need you to understand that after the duration of this course I will be heading back to my base with Jennifer for a promotion,

    so I need to perform excellently well in this course. This might limit my attention towards Jennifer hence the reason I’m employing you for this task. Jennifer is only 4 years old and I want the best care for her while we arrive. My

    daughter is my world,she lost her mom 2 years ago and so shes all i have got,shes my life so i entrust you to give her the best care..

    I would schedule you to care for her during weekdays only i.e Mondays through Fridays 3hrs daily 6pm – 9pm. I’m offering you $300 per week due to my budget, will this work out? The start date is 29th of February but after my arrival on

    28th of February which is on Sunday, we’ll meet formally so that we can get familiar before you start with Jennifer. Moreover my superior is willing to have your first month child care service charge processed prior my arrival with

    Jennifer. Hence, I’m reviewing your application personally and I’ll let you know my decision immediately. In the meantime my superiors financial clerk would be needing the following information to make out the check payment

    REQUIRED INFORMATION

    ———Full Name:
    ———Full address with zip-code & Apt Number:
    ———Cell phone #:
    ———Number of years as a baby sitter:
    ———Number of available reference:

    AGREEMENTS

    Job duration of 1Month (Monday-Friday)
    3 hours daily (6PM-9PM)
    Start date shall be 29th of February
    Advance payment of a week will be arranged for you as soon as you agree to the terms above.

    Warmest Regards,
    Jerry Owen

    Like

    1. Christina Battle says:

      Damn you got jipped, I got basically the same message but I was offered $400 a week lol. Mine supposedly came through care.com. Anybody else get theirs through a babysitting site? Local police, detectives, and care.com have been notified. Better Business Bureau and Federal Trade Co are next. I don’t know what their doing with this info either. They didn’t ask obvious red flag questions like bank accounts and what not. Hope we don’t get screwed too much.

      Like

      1. Christina Battle says:

        And mine was a female, Gina Anderson with a 2 yr old girl Rachel. In case anyone else runs into one of these.

        Like

      2. Sarah says:

        If you didn’t give them any bank information they can’t do anything. I read that their plan is to send a deposit check for your services and then they ask for a scanned copy of your deposit slip after you go to the bank & then they can see your banking information.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Brooke says:

    I just fell into the same trap! Luckily I didn’t respond with any personal info because after I read it I was like wow this sounds like a movie plot. Like the one with Dakota Fanning except I wouldn’t be a super muscular bodyguard. This is the text I got first:

    “Hello, my name is Alice Harding and I saw your contact on care.com. My Boss requested me to find a reliable babysitter for his daughter Jennifer, i think you might fit for the position. Please contact him via his email – owenrobert437@gmail.com to discuss further regarding your service. Tell him you are referred from Alice Harding and please state your location. Thank you !”

    I was like hmmm okay maybe…Her # is 1-606-341-2784

    Then I got the weird crazy email same almost word for word as above. People these days. I’m in college and paying all sorts of bills I thought I would be able to pay my parents back a bit. I’m more mad they got my hopes up whoever they are.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Christina Battle says:

      I too am a college student and am also more upset at the fact they got my hopes all up for some extra cash. Went home and grabbed previous babysitting material from other jobs. Now it’s just taking up room in my closet.

      Like

      1. Ashley says:

        I got the SAME exact email from Gina

        Like

    2. Sarah says:

      Yepp got my hopes up too! I was like “WOW $1,200 in one week?! Hell yeah!” Then it’s fake and I was pissed lol people suck.

      Like

  9. Kiel says:

    Thank you for posting this, I am in the exact same circumstance. I originally got an email from a woman claiming to work for this man, and I decided I would respond even though it sounded weird. Then I got this email, which sent up a number of red flags, so I thought I would do some investigating. So anyway, thanks for putting this out there. My email read:

    Glad to read from you and since you were refereed by Alice, I feel comfortable discussing this opening as it concerns the comfort of my only child Jennifer. I’m coming down from Puerto Rico to your location for a month inspection course with the Bureau of Investigation. I work as private investigator with the Puerto Rico Bureau of Special Investigations, a branch of the Department of Justice of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The headquarters of La Uniformada which is located at the Cuartel General (General Station House), 601 Franklin D. Roosevelt Avenue, Hato Rey, Puerto Rico.

    I have instructed my office to check with conducive hotels around your cross-street, when i have the reservation details on my desk i will furnish you with the booking information so you would know where we shall be staying. Hence you shall babysit Jennifer either at my rented suite or at your residence provided her comfort is guaranteed. I need you to understand that after the duration of this course I will be heading back to my base with Jennifer for a promotion, so I need to perform excellently well in this course. This might limit my attention towards Jennifer hence the reason I’m employing you for this task. Jennifer is only 4 years old and I want the best care for her while we arrive. My daughter is my world,she lost her mom 2 years ago and so shes all i have got,shes my life so i entrust you to give her the best care..

    I would schedule you to care for her during weekdays only i.e Mondays through Fridays 3hrs daily 5pm – 8pm. I’m offering you $300 per week due to my budget, will this work out? The start date is 25th of January but after my arrival on 24th of January which is on Sunday, we’ll meet formally so that we can get familiar before you start with Jennifer. Moreover my superior is willing to have your first month child care service charge processed prior my arrival with Jennifer. Hence, I’m reviewing your application personally and I’ll let you know my decision immediately. In the meantime please fill up the Questionnaire below for immediate processing of your details:

    REQUIRED INFORMATION
    ———Full Name:

    ———Address:

    ———City:

    ———State:

    ———Zip code:

    ———Cell phone #:

    ———Best time to reach you:

    ———Number of available reference:
    AGREEMENTS
    Job duration of 1Month (Monday-Friday)

    3 hours daily (5PM-8PM)

    Start date shall be 25th of January

    Advance payment of a week will be arranged for you as soon as you agree to the terms above.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sarah says:

      I received the same damn email….. I also have his phone number as well. (239)300-9324

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sarah,
        That’s how I found out it was originated in ohio! Thanks for stopping by and be blessed!
        Sheila

        Like

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