Dog Sitter Scam

How a Lovely Family Abroad Can Scam You With The Pet Sitter Job

You love dogs, you always did. You might even think that you can make some money dog sitting, so one day you post your resume online looking for a job on sites such as Pet Sitter, Indeed, or Craigslist. After a few days, a lovely family living in a different state sends you a message. They say they are planning to move to your city next month. They are contacting you about their Bella, a beautiful Golden Retriever who will need sitting.

You start chatting, exchange pictures with each other’s dogs, and become friends. Most importantly, earn each other’s trust. More exactly, he earns yours. Little do you know you are becoming a victim of one of the most notorious scams of the week. How does it work?

Criminals use the exact same tactics of an old scam, which has been targeting caregivers and nannies. If you are not familiar with the Caregiver trick let’s take a quick look at it so you would understand the Pet Sitter approach.

Watch the video below to see the scam exposed in the news:

Caregiver Scam Exposed Video

The ’employer’ is not a family, but a cyber crook who sends an initial email just like the one below:

“Thank you for your response concerning the Pet sitting/Dog walking job.

My name is Jefferey Martins, I am married with a daughter named (July) and my Wife Elizabeth then our Pet dog (Bella). We are a devoted Christian family coming in to the United States am planning a vacation to the states with families and our adorable dog for a few period of time in USA from Ontario, Canada.

We have located it and decided to have our family work on all we need before moving into your neighborhood, we have a very adorable dog (Bella), she is cute and adorable (Golden Retriever) she is very friendly and playful. She is also very much comfortable with other dogs and cats too he enjoys being indoors with US.

Going for walks is Bella’s very favorite activity. She plays well with other dogs too. Bella is house trained and crate trained… I would be needing the service of caring with a positive personality to take good care of Bella because I want her to have a wonderful stay and will like to make provision for you to take good care of her for us. More so,I will be making arrangements in renting an apartment close to you but it depends on your location as I will be needing your services.

I need you to take care of Bella around the hours of 2 – 6 pm from Mondays through Fridays or anytime you are convenient with, you just have to let me know your time schedule as for us to fix a time that won’t be a problem or inconvenience your other daily activities.

You would only be needed for 20 hrs per week at your convenience and will like you to get back to me with your available hours. We will be arriving in The states next month on the 7th, which means if you accept to work with Bella you can begin to work with us on the 8th or the 9th..

I will be needing your service for up to 2 months or more, and willing to offer you $400.00 per week with benefits as compensation for a trustworthy and honest candidate. Also, I will like to know if you can also help us run little errands before our arrival too. if you agree with us, our location will not be far from you which is the reason why we want to secure a pet sitter before our Agent gets us a house the Keys and the description of the house will be mailed to you as soon as possible.

We have a financier that is based in the states and will be handling the payment and as well as our other expenses, so he will be the one that will be taking care of your payment. I will instruct him to pay for the first week before our arrival so as to secure your service.

As soon as we reach a concrete agreement, I can instruct our financier to process a cashier’s check to you for the payment i will be waiting to read from you with Your schedule and other questions which you have to ask us.. Will be waiting to read from you,

Regards Jeffery Martins and Family”

So how does the scam work?

They proceed by sending you a check of, say $300, just so you can get the house ready in time for their arrival. They may ask you to buy a lot of pet food so they don’t have to waste time doing it when arrive.

What happens is that as soon as you receive the check you will notice that the amount of money on it is $3,000, not $300. The ’employer’ will ‘admit’ that made a mistake and ask you to deposit the full check into your account, then send them back the difference of $2,700 via Western Union. Little do you know that you were the victim of the Fake Check Scam – meaning that the check they sent will bounce in a few working days and you’ll be in debt a few thousand dollars at the bank.

 

Pet Sitter Scam: How To Avoid

Besides ‘Jeffrey Martins’, scammers also use the names ‘Gary Abston’ and ‘Daniel Santiago’. Report below under ‘Comments’ if you were approached by someone else with the same pitch. Keep in mind, never accept checks in great amounts from companies you don’t know anything about.

Pet Sitter Scam: How To Report

Make your family and friends aware of the Dog Sitter Scam by sharing it on social media using the buttons provided. You can also officially report the scammers to the Federal Trade Commission using the link below:

Report To The FTC Here

 

How To Protect Yourself More:

If you want to be the first to find out the most notorious scams every week, feel free to subscribe to the Scam Detector newsletter here. You will receive periodical emails and we promise not to spam. Last but not least, use the Comments section below to expose other scammers.


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Todd Gorny

I am having a similar situation from a lady named Diane Ellis that says her and her husband are moving to my area from Puerto Rico, and she is also offering to pay me $400 a week. She is sending me a check for a much larger amount of money to take care of some arrangements and it’s all just felt pretty weird. I’m pretty sure I’m getting scammed so I will not be depositing that check

Ginger

They will also text you. Not just email. I have gotten this and please do not fall for it.

Haylee Poe

YES! I looked up phet sitting scams as soon as " mr. Richard Williams" with his wife Veronica and his first son David and they’re very nice golden retriever breed that loves to make friends and likes to make Playmates and they’re out of Canada and will be in the states for 5 to 6 months and talking about their "financier" .. sending me the information regarding the house sometime later and that they will choose an address once I tell them mine… I wanted to know immediately why someone would do this I was extremely confused and now I… Read more »

Amy J Pline

I’ve been approached by a Naomi Leslie Stivale and husband Andy Raul De Souza (supposedly he’s an ttorney. They live in NY and just happen to be relocating to my small town. They follow allong with saying they’re shipping their dogs a day before they arrive, at the end of Feb, so they need me.to go shopping beforehand. Both for the dogs and to help them get some kitchen appliances. Naomi said her husband’s financial clerk will be sending me a certified check, and I’m to deduct $200 for my first week, and use the rest to get dog food… Read more »

Simon98

I too got in contact with “Naomi Leslie Stivale”. I kept being very suspicious of them and googled their names and reverse image searched the pictures she sent me and that seemed to check out. A website said her husband was a public defender so it made me feel a bit better but I was still uneasy. Well I’m stupid and gave them an address for the check. They originally told me only a couple hundred then when she told me she mailed it, she said $2,800 will be on it. That’s when I looked at her previous emails to… Read more »

Anna Logan

I’ve also been approached by Naomi and her husband… I received the exact same emails. They wanted me to come in February, not March… I wouldn’t give them your information.

Honestly it looked fake to me from the start, but I thought I’d give it a shot and apply to their ad. But it was just red flag after red flag, so I finally decided to look it up. Well, here we are! I’m so disappointed.

ruca19

I just got an email today from a man "Alex Preaches". I am pretty sure I’m being scammed because his story is similar to some of yall. The text message was weird, I never received a message on the actual pet service center itself, it just sent me an email. I then emailed him stating I’m available to walk his dog and he then began saying how he’s from Chicago and will be moving to my area at the beginning of the month. I thought it was odd at first but I asked some questions that didn’t add up just… Read more »

Mary

I got the same exact scam as simon98, got the bogus credit union check to deposit and deliver in person to a man 2 hours away the money for new appliances that were being installed in the house they would be renting. It was so urgent to get the man this money, could i just cover their check and overnight this man the money for appliances??!! Thought that was odd, so me and the girl at the bank did our research before i lost $2480 out of my bank acct. I was livid!!!!

Ann johnson

I was contacted by Naomi Stivale too. How do I get Petsitter.com to remove her post?

Alyssa

I was contacted by Naomi Leslie Stivale. Got as far as depositing the check. When I couldnt get a money order to send the "appliance company" I was asked to get gift cards. Red flag and will not be doing anything else.

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