Pet Sitter Scams


I may not get to write often, but when it comes to catching a scammer and warning others, I make it a point to share my findings.

I have a membership on care.com. Please do not misunderstand, care.com is not affiliated with any of these scammers, they are a wonderful and reliable, trustworthy website and company. It is only the fact that I have the membership, that I didn’t initially question being contacted for a local pet sitting job.

Occasionally I would get a text that someone in my area was looking for a pet sitter, and it would provide a contact email address. For instance: “New pet sitting job in your area. Please contact _________@_____.com”

This time, I wrote back, since I had recently updated my care.com information.

The scammer email associated with it was christinafarley@outlook.com

We corresponded back and forth, twice and since it’s the web I didn’t (and am careful to never) disclose much information.

The mentioning of specific dates were a red flag, needing me a few weeks before their arrival, when July is already almost half over and I wouldn’t be around tis August…?

Not answering directly about the dogs being safe with my son, having mentioned being pregnant, she would have made sure to iterate the point if she were real. 😉

I will copy-paste the entire email conversation below: Keep in mind I didn’t want to alert the scammer that I was on to them, so I kept it professional, while I sent their email address to the proper authorities. See bottom of post for information. 🙂

 

Hello Christina,

I apologize, but I am only able to start care in August, and since you need someone to start before the arrival of the dogs and yourselves, I won’t be of much help.

Best of luck!

Sonja


From: Christina Farley <christinafarley@outlook.com>
Sent: Wednesday, July 12, 2017 2:30 PM
To: Sonja Corliss
Subject: Re: Pet Sitting?

 
 Hello Again,
 
Thanks for your reply, There will be no problem working with us.We will be living in Franklin, My family and I would be moving into town on the 29th of July, but the dogs will be arriving earlier by the 27th. However, for the first few weeks, what we require from you is light housekeeping & preparation for our arrival. So when will it be convenient for you to start?
 
My husband will instruct his financial clerk to make out a check to you before our arrival. You’ll receive a Cashier’s check from which you will deduct your upfront payment for the first week and the remaining funds will be used to buy the Dog foods, shampoo and other things needed for the dogs and house equipment. We’re willing to pay $300 weekly.
 
The real estate agent will be instructed to release the keys of our apartment and address to you via mail or pick up, whichever one is convenient for you. This will enable you to do all the necessary preparation before the arrival of our Dogs. We need you to help us get the shopping and preparation done before they arrive so that you wont have to start running around when they arrive. We’ll reimburse your cost of transportation.
 
Please forward the following information to me to send to the financial Clerk
 
Full Name:
Full address with zip code & Apt Number:
Phone number:
 
All I need from you is total honesty and sincerity. I know you will be committed to the works that are required from you. You will also have a nice time working with us.
 
Regards,
Christina Farley

From: Sonja Corliss <dancerSLC@hotmail.com>
Sent: Wednesday, July 12, 2017 3:25:22 PM
To: Christina Farley
Subject: RE: Pet Sitting?

 
Hello Christina,
I want to make sure Im understanding you correctly.
You need someone for a few hours at a time, a few days a week to care for, feed, bath, walk and play with the dogs and do some housekeeping? That would suit me just fine.
I live near (old) downtown Franklin. I am a stay at home mom to a 16 mo boy, Ethan. My schedule is very flexible, I have time in the morning between 7 & 10 and again from 12-4. I love animals, my son does too although we dont have a dog as our apartment is too small. We have a deaf cat named Benson. 
I would be bringing my son with me, if that is acceptabe for you. Are your babies ok with human babies?
I am out of town for about 10 days this month. I would be able to begin in August, when are your boys arriving?
I look forward to hearing from you,
Sonja

——– Original message ——–
From: Christina Farley <christinafarley@outlook.com>
Date: 07/11/2017 2:26 PM (GMT-06:00)
To: Sonja Corliss 
Subject: Re: Pet Sitting?

Hello,
 
I’m Christina and my husband’s name is Peter. We are couple of 5 years and we need a Caregiver for our two dogs, Butch and Jasper. My husband and I are moving into town. He just got promoted and transferred from his place of work.
 
We need someone we can entrust our dogs with, a competent person that will help look after them to make sure they receive the best possible care. My husband is very busy with his work schedule and I’m 7 months pregnant. It’s our first child and Peter & I want everything to go smoothly till I put to bed. Our furry babies are friendly, Butch is quite big, and he is a retriever. We got him from London and he is considered our “first child”, Jasper is a German Shepard he is 4 years and some months old, he’s friendly and loves to play around the house. Lol… “Our second child”
 
We need someone that’s mature, loves dogs, reliable and punctual. Duties include: Helping with care, meal preparation, bathing & laundry, light housekeeping and providing companionship as well as taking them for walk. 
 
Butch & Jasper are well trained and won’t give you any problem. We will be happy if you would love them like we do they are quite adorable, Our dogs will be arriving before us and my husband requests to pay you to secure your service before our arrival as well as for you to get some dog foods, shampoo and other things needed in the house.
 
You will be working 2-3days a week on a flexible casual part-time basis excluding Sundays for three hours minimum. We prefer you look after them at our place.
 
Where in the city do you reside, so we can calculate the transportation cost if needed?
 
I will be waiting to hear from you.
 
Regards,
Christina Farley

From: Sonja Corliss
Sent: Tuesday, July 11, 2017 4:53:29 PM
To: christinafarley@outlook.com
Subject: Pet Sitting?

 
Hello,
I received a text about possible pet sitting near Franklin. 
Im not sure if you are still looking, but if I can help I would love to!
Let me know exactly what you are looking for and Ill respond as soon as I can. 🙂
Sonja
When wanting to report phishing and scam emails, refer to the below information from Consumer Information:

Report phishing emails and texts.

  • Forward phishing emails to spam@uce.gov – and to the organization impersonated in the email. Your report is most effective when you include the full email header, but most email programs hide this information. To ensure the header is included, search the name of your email service with “full email header” into your favorite search engine.
  • File a report with the Federal Trade Commission at FTC.gov/complaint.
  • Visit Identitytheft.gov. Victims of phishing could become victims of identity theft; there are steps you can take to minimize your risk.
  • You can also report phishing email to reportphishing@apwg.org. The Anti-Phishing Working Group – which includes ISPs, security vendors, financial institutions and law enforcement agencies – uses these reports to fight phishing.

I hope this blog has helped to prevent future scams from this and other email addresses alike.

 

Stay safe!

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