[UPDATED BELOW: 11/20/17]
One of our readers sent us this on Sept. 15, 2016:
“I have been contacted by at least 4 different scams now in quick succession. First you are contacted by text saying they are helping a friend find help. Then an email follows, saying they are going to pay you up front, send extra money etc..these are just two of the many emails, and I was sent a check, FedEx as well, which my bank has. These people are relentless, hope you can get the word out. They send extra funds and want you to return them less your first weeks salary as a good faith payment…yeah right.” Apparently, these criminals act with impunity and Care.com still does a very poor job of educating their members. Shame on them!
Between January 1 and July 5, 2016 The Daily Scam was contacted by more than 50 people about scams targeting them through their Care.com service accounts. We have reported on these scams in many articles for nearly two years now but the scams show no sign of slowing down. Nor does Care.com show any signs of doing a better job of educating its members how to recognize and avoid them.
The scammers pretend to need nannies for child care, pet sitters for dogs, home or personal assistants to set up their apartment or home business before they arrive. They are usually “moving to your area” from another state or another country. The victims are often contacted first by a “sister” or friend who provides the scammers contact information. They often claim to be hard of hearing or deaf, have a child in a wheelchair, or have recently lost a spouse and/or child to cancer or a car accident. And they are relentless! Care.com members are now informing us that they are being contacted multiple times by scammers with different pitches. A woman recently informed us that her scammer became confused during their email exchange and completely changed scams from needing a dog sitter to needing a nanny for her six year old. In every one of these scams, the criminal wants to send a sizable check to the victim in advance for approximately $2500 to $3500. The victim is asked (pressured) to deposit the check quickly, keep $300-$400 for their time/effort, and then use the balance to pay for something for the scammer, such as a wheelchair delivery, furniture for an apartment, art work, “dog utilities” etc. What the victim learns days too late is that her bank contacts her to say that the check is fraudulent. But it is too late. The victim has already wired her own real, hard-earned money to the scammer or scammer’s colleague.
The people who contact us are typically women trying to earn some extra money by offering their time, empathy, and love to a pet, child, family or person reaching out for assistance. We are extremely grateful to them for sharing their stories with us and giving us permission to publish them. Unfortunately, there are too many and we cannot publish them all! In our effort to keep you, the public, informed and aware, we have published a sampling of the many emails we’ve received in just the last couple of months. They appear below in no particular order and without correction so you can see that the English language is typically not the scammers first language…
Kalli reported to us on June 27 about “Evelyn Parker” from Texas who says she needs child care. Evelyn texted from 210-468-1510:
Hi, thank you so much for the article you guys published on your website regarding Care.com scams. I received a message very early this morning via text message from a person claiming she needed child care for her daughter and that she would be relocating from Texas “to my area” on July 9th and the kicker… She would be willing to pay $30 an hour.
I immediately screenshot the text and forwarded it to my mom and my husband. My mom being the cautious and skeptical woman that she is thought it was fishy and encouraged me to reply stating that I would like some more information and would like to first meet in person. So I did. Then my mother pointed out something that completely didn’t even occur to me initially… “Why in the world would someone hire a nanny for their child before they’ve ever even met them?” Right-on mom, right-on.
So I Googled Care.com scams and found your website. After reading through the article I realized that I too had almost succumbed to this disgusting internet scam.
Me, being the positive, “believe the best in people” person that I am… I continued the conversation (airing on the side of caution, obviously!) just to be sure that I wasn’t blowing off someone who truly needed child care (dumb, I know… But I just felt so bad). The rest of our conversation solidified to me that this was in fact a scam… the red flags were flying!!!
I have discontinued conversation with “Evelyn Parker” the 42 year old Catholic, Architect from Texas and I just wanted to shed some more light on these scams and share my personal run in. Thanks again for helping keep everyone informed on the latest scams! You definitely helped me today and I hope this post and your existing post can help others.
Michele reported on April 3 about “Sharon Matlock” who needed pet care for her two beagles:
On Mar 15, 2016 11:02 PM, Sharon Matlock <email@example.com> wrote:
Thank you for your response, I hope you are doing good? I’m really glad to know your interest, I’m sure you will be fine with my pets as they’re very friendly. My babies are two wonderful beagles, they are just a years old, vaccinated to date and very healthy. I’m a Geologist and I travel very often for business. I had someone that usually cares for the babies every time I am not home but she moved to Canada due to some personal reasons, hence the reason I am just looking for the service of a new pet care provider.
I’m in need of a pet caregiver starting from 11th of April because I will be arriving on the 10th of April, as I have to continue a project in your area and I will like you to care for my 2 dogs every Monday – Friday from 9am through 3pm either at your place that is if you board pets in your home or in the hotel/apt where I will be staying in your area depending on which is convenient for you,your friends and family can also help I don’t mind as long as they are also pet lovers.
I am yet to be lodged in any apartment by my employer but I have already been informed that it is in your area so you have nothing to worry about as you will be the first to know once I have the address. I will need your service for probably more than a month depending on what you are looking for as I plan on employing you permanently and you will be picking my dogs for the walk at my place, after my arrival,you can also pet sit them at my room no problem,I will be paying you $450 a week to care for my pets unless if you want daily or hourly payments.
I want to let you know that I am relaxed to having you care for them. I will be making arrangement for Pet Products dogs such as (Dog Bed,Dog Crates, foods etc), I believe that will be of help in taking care of them so you can have some time to look into some other things. Also, pay check for your first week services would be arriving as soon as we finalize plans and make immediate arrangement so I can be rest assured that I have secured your service and I will be leaving my pets with you. I will need you to get back to me with your detailed information as listed below:
Home Address(Not P.O.Box):
Phone Number (Home and Cell):
Kindly get back to me as soon as possible with your reply so that we will proceed immediately and finalize all arrangements. I look forward to your prompt response.
Date: Mar 28, 2016 4:10 PM
From: Sharon Matlock <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: MORE DETAILS ABOUT THE JOB
Thanks once more for your cooperation. Kindly reconfirm your names to be writing on Check in my previous message, as to avoid error. The payment will be mailed out to you this week from my employer’s financier and I’ll let you know as soon as it’s sent, so you can know when to look out for it. You’ll be receiving a payment check of $3,850 out of which you will deduct your first week service fee of $450 and send the rest to the supplier for the pet store manager for the delivery of the pet product. I’ll get the supplier information across to you in due time. Also I want you to check your email on a regular basis, I might have updates for you. And here is my official cell phone number 512-430-1557 you can text me anytime. Thanks and God bless you.
On Mar 28, 2016 8:36 AM, Sharon Matlock <email@example.com> wrote:
Good Morning Michele,
I’d like you to confirm your information below for issuance of payment, I mean doing this for accuracy so that the pay check won’t be in wrong names or sent to a wrong address.
[Michele’s personal information removed by TDS]
My beagles names are Max and Nikki once again, and I am sure my babies will be in the right hands with you huh? Then, the pet store owner information will be provided once you send me the deposit slip. So let me know if you have any further questions before commence with having the check mailed to you as soon as possible.
NOTES FROM THE DAILY SCAM:
1. The scammer sent a photo of golden retrievers, not beagles.
2. The scammer’s emails contain subtle language cues suggesting that English is not his primary language and he is likely located in Africa. e.g. “Gog bless you” is a common African way to sign off on an email (and often used by 419 scammers). Also “employer’s financier” is not colloquial, it is more commonly a British term. And “I am sure my babies will be in the right hands with you huh?” (The huh at the end is uncommon.)
3. No one in their right mind is going to send a check for $3850 in advance to you! Period!
4. We used Tineye.com to do a reverse image search and located the photo provided by the scammer sent to represent himself. The photo came from the website: http://www.westcoastcaninelife.com/news.htm
The photo was posted in 2008 and is of a woman named Joanne Fraser with her two golden retrievers.
Michele also received emails on March 25 from a scammer describing himself as “Sussy Baker”
From: sussy baker <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mar 25, 2016 1:06 PM
Subject: DETAILS OF JOB
How is your night going? Thanks for your response, I am glad to read from you. I am a single Mother of two, Richard and Scott, they are 5 and 1+ years respectively I attended Alabama School for the Deaf where I achieved my highest qualification. I have my own business (Self Employed). I attend the catholic. We are in the process of relocating to your area. I am 38 and I am hard of hearing. I work based on the development and counseling of the deaf people in the community, I am moving to your area in few weeks with my adorable dog and I really need a honest and responsible care for my pet. Cookie he is cute and adorable(Golden Retriever) he is very friendly and playful.he is also very much comfortable with other dogs and cat too he enjoys being indoors with us. Going for walks Cookie is very favorite activity. he plays well with other dogs too. Cookie is house trained and crate trained and have contacted a suppliers for the dog Cage, toys, blankets,food,bed.and other things you will care for him starting[8th of April]I will appreciate if you can tell me a few things about yourself and maybe attach one or two pictures of you, below are your duties:
House Sitting,Mail/Newspaper Retrieval,Watering Plants,Pet Sitting/walking,Daily Feeding
This could be a temporary/permanent job. It depends on what your schedule looks like but I do like to be sure if you are available the first month. I made some research on the wages for your service and I have decided to start with $25 per hour and as time goes we can negotiate on a new pay as my dog get along with you. I want to inform you that I have a seminar I will be attending to as soon as I arrive and will be having an interview section with you immediately I arrive with my Dog. Also I will like to include your pay to our payroll for the period just to have you booked down and secure for my Pet. I will be needing the following information below to issue out the check to you and I need your direct mobile number so I can text you in case I need to pass an urgent information:
I have made some arrangements with the dog utility suppliers, so as soon as you get the payment, you will deduct your first week pay and have the rest sent to the dog utility suppliers as soon as the check clears, I hope my Dog will have the best of time while is in your care and I hope you will treat him right just like yours, attached is a picture of me kids & cookie. Get back to me as I have a lot of issue to put in place prior to my arrival. I look forward to hearing back from you.
Thank you and God bless.
On Mar 31, 2016 6:41 AM, sussy baker <email@example.com> wrote:
Good morning Michele , I hope you had swell night?thank you for the information and l`m very happy to know you want to care for my pet,The start date is [4th of April],The pay rate is $25/Hour also l will be living in 325 E 5th St, Loveland, CO 80537,and will like to know if we can meet at nearest McDonald to you(3rd of April)we can have a short meeting to conclude on other arrangements and discussion about the pet needs and activities before work commences…..by 6.00PM if that works for you?..Just to make it clear, The check will come in the amount of $2,880.$400 goes for your first week deposit and the balance of $2,480 goes to the dog equipment suppliers on delivery and l will provide you with the suppliers information once the money is available.
I’m excited and look forward to meeting you soonest
God Bless you.
Paige received a request for child care from Dorathy Cooper on June 8
From: DORATHY COOPER <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, Jun 8, 2016 at 7:59 AM
Subject: MORE INFO.
Thanks so much for your response to my Ad, well i am a single Mother of two, Bryan and David, they are 4 and 1+ years respectively. I attended Texas School for the Deaf where i achieved my highest qualification. I have my own business (Self Employed). I am a Catholic. We are in the process of relocating to your city. I am 37yrs and i am hearing impaired and can only communicate via writing, reading lips or text messaging. I hope that isn`t a problem? We are easy going, very accommodating, down to earth, we love to laugh and so much fun to be with.
I work based on the development and counseling of the deaf people in the community, i am moving to your city in few weeks and i really need an honest and responsible care for my kids. I will be needing your services between the hours of 8AM – 1PM or 4PM – 9PM, Monday – Friday. So let me know which of the hours works best for you. More importantly, Bryan is currently placed on a wheelchair due to an accident he had some months ago which we lost the father. He can walk a few distance though but the specialist advised he uses the chair for a while and i am planning on getting him a powered wheelchair and i am already in contact with a wheelchair seller. You will care for them starting (20th of June). I will appreciate if you can tell me few things about yourself and maybe attach one or two pictures of you, below are your duties:
COOKING FOR THE KIDS
CARING FOR THE KIDS
CLEANING THE KIDS
KEEPING KIDS COMPANY
This could be a temporary/permanent job. It depends on what your schedule looks like but i do like to be sure if you are available the first two weeks. I made some research on the wages for your service and i have decided to start with $400 per week and as time goes we can negotiate on a new pay as my kids get along with you. I want to inform you that i have a seminar i will be attending as soon as i arrive and will be having an interview section with you immediately i arrive with my kids.
Also i will like to include your pay to our payroll for the period just to have you booked and secure for my kids because i had already booked a nanny for the kids and recently she informed me she got another job which was a big disappointment too. I will be needing the following information below so that a check can be issued out to you and i need your direct mobile number so i can text you in case i need to pass an urgent information:
FULL MAILING ADDRESS (PO Boxes NOT ALLOWED) :
CURRENT EMAIL & ALTERNATE EMAIL:
I have made some prior arrangements with the wheelchair seller, so as soon as you get the payment, you will deduct $400 for your first week payment and have the rest sent to the wheelchair seller for it to be delivered to you once the check clears, i hope my kids will have the best of time while they are in your care and i hope you will treat them right just like yours,The picture attached is a picture of me, Bryan and David. Get back to me as i have a lot of things to put in place prior to my arrival. I look forward to hearing back from you.
NOTES FROM THE DAILY SCAM:
1. “Dorathy” cannot figure out how to spell “her” name. Look carefully. She begins by spelling it “Dorathy” and then ends with “Dorothy”
2. The photo she sent identied as “me and David” (mother and one-year old) is actually a photo of an Occupational Therapist named Christie who runs the site MamaOT.com.
3. The photo of “Bryan” in a wheelchair is a photo of a boy named Kumaka who has spina bifida. Kumaka’s mother posted this photo in her blog at: http://fromamomofboys.blogspot.com/2012/10/spina-bifida-awareness-day-30-kumakas.html
Samantha sent us screenshots of these two texts on June 27 from “Rhonda Noble” looking for child care and from “William Acrey” looking for a personal assistant:
I’ve received multiple scam messages on Care.com in just the past week or so and want to make sure others who are innocently trying to make some extra money are not also affected. I am very thankful to have checked your site first!
I am a 25 year old professional in DC moving into a new apartment and need extra rent money for the upgrade, so I have a posting out on Care.com. While I will say I have met a lovely family that I spoke with on the phone, then met in person prior to any commitments, I have been contacted several other times by people who fit the description of the scammers already posted on your site. Here are two examples, both which started with a text message seeking help after reviewing my Care.com profile:
I thought it was odd that both people had reached out to me offering to pay up front through their “financer” in my area and asked for so much contact information without actually speaking to me. In both cases, the English was poor and the families were out of state, but mentioned having highly esteemed careers.
I just hope you can spread the word so more people don’t fall victim to these sick people.
On July 5, 2016 Adrienne reported being contacted by a deaf woman looking for a dog sitter:
I just got contacted by the fake person who needs a sitter for their golden retriever. just exactly what you had reported on. thank you so much for your service to help me side-step this bs! Here’s the “deaf woman with the golden retriever” info
Her phone: 203-409-5934
Her “name” is Diana and her email is Diana.email@example.com
Kassie reported two scam messages on July 3, 2016
I was targeted for a scam in two different instances as a result of my nannying profile on care.com
In the first instance I was sent a text message from a woman who claimed her boss was relocating and needed childcare services for his son. After emailing him he informed me that he “as private investigator with the Special bureau of Canada, a branch of the Department of Justice of the Commonwealth of Canada . The headquarters which is located at the (General Station House), Montreal, QC H3C 5H7, Canada.” and would be moving to my area for a 3 month inspection course with the Special Bureau for Humanity. After inquiring about his child he informed me that he would be sending me a month’s pay prior to his arrival and asked for a list of information including my full address. I declined the position and did not offer him any information about myself.
In a second instance I received a text message from a man claiming to be in the military who was moving to my area and needed care for his daughter, he asked me to email him for more details. I sent a very generic inquiry email with no personal information before realizing the similarities between these situations. I then researched the names and emails from these people online and found this site as well as a care.com article and several other online postings suggesting that this was a scam and that others had been targeted by the same people.
The first text came from phone number 702-901-6555, for a man named David Griggs, with email address firstname.lastname@example.org. The second text came from phone number 213-262-0227, from a man named Dave Howard, with email address email@example.com
On May 18 an anonymous reader sent us this email from a scammer identified as Mrs. Jay Williams looking for child care:
Subject: I AM MRS WILLIAMS ABOUT MY SON JASON BABYSITTER
From: Jay Williams (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sent: Tue 5/17/16 7:51 PM
Hello, thank you for responding to my post on Craigslist…I’m about to leave for work and i want to use the opportunity to email you, I live in Augusta, GA, but i am moving to your area on 27th of May and i will need a babysitter for my 6yrs old Son immediately, Depend on what time you will be available for him and hrs if i am okay by it and i will also need you for an errand to help my mom pay her bills,do some shopping for my mom and son and pay for the furniture for my new house as started in my text . please let me know if you also work on weekend and make sure you let me know when its convenience for you .More importantly, I am willing to pay you just try and get back to me and let me know how much you want for the childcare and the errand helper, which i will pay you separately and handsomely for the errand because i will need to get some thing fix before i move down , like the furniture bills ,mom bills and some little stuff…(Mind you is just a flexible and simple errands, It does not affect your present job if you are not able to babysitter my son) I really need a honest and responsible person. This could be a temporary/permanent job. It depends on what your schedule looks like. I am moving to a new house that i need to fix some interior and get furniture and have contacted the furniture company because i don’t know if you will like to stay in my house or you want my son to stay with you that really depend on what you want. I will let you know as soon as we finalize issues. I will like you to send me your complete name,address and cell phone number so i can include that to my payroll for the period. I also will like you to tell me a few things about yourself. Here is a little about me. I am a single mother, I am 39 and i am hard of hearing. I have lived in Irving, Texas before. I attended Texas School for the Deaf because i am hard hearing , where i achieved my highest qualification. I am a stock brokers and i also a member of charity organization that produce for the Charity (Self Empto know more when we meet. Kindly include in your email your complete name,address and also your cell phone number so i can text you in case i need to pass an urgent information.
NOTE : let me know your charges hourly or daily for the weekdays only? and any other thing you think Jason will need so that i can make provision and also if there is anything you need to get to take care of him,please do tell me so that we can make all necessary arrangements prior to our arrival date.I’m an independent bookkeeper contractor and i also produce for charity and with this Job i travel alot so you can work as long as you want with me but you have to be honest ….I have decided to choose you for this position and i do hope for a very eventful time with you while you look after my son and run an errand . My son name is Jason. I will like to state the job details to you again so we wouldn’t have any complications at the end.The start date is 30th of May).. The pay rate is $20/Hour You will be paid for his snacks/food daily or at the end of each week (which ever you prefer) so tell me what time will you be able to baby sitter him ?..about 6 months ago i had a nanny the him along West Colfax Avenue but she moved to Canada with her husband about 3months ago. I will like for us to meet on (28th of May) evening so we can talk about the kid-fun activities i will be interested in and get to know each other. We could meet at the McDonald’s close to you if that works for you.I once booked a nanny and on arrival she told me she got another job which was a big disappointment.For this reason,I will like to commit you by paying (DEPOSITING) you for the first week of your service before our arrival to secure the date so i can be absolutely sure of having you care for Jason to enable things go perfectly without disappointment.I am planning on having furniture and other interior appliances for immediate delivery to my new house after payment so that you guys can stay in my house if you want and everything will be ready in my house and i want to ensure we are on the same page but kindly let me know if you will be able to do the errands together with the nanny or the only errands because is a very simple and flexible that wont affect your present job and you will be pay handsomely ..I await to hear back from you. and also i will like you to take few minutes of your time to answer the few questions below
1)Can you drive?
2)Can you swim?
3) Do you smoke??
4)Do you have any criminal records?doesn’t really matters to me as long as you have learn from your past mistakes,An ready to give you a chance.
5)where are you located presently and what is the address of McDonald’s close to you ?
6) Are you First Aid and CPR certified?? ( Its just an added Advantage..)
7) Total charges for the hours
8) Date Of Birth ?
9) Let me know which one you will love to do if you can not do the both but its a flexible job
Learn how Steven got scammed out of $2500 using Airbnb so you can avoid this scam!
We could continue posting many more emails and texts our readers have sent but this article is already too long. Below are additional names, email addresses and phone numbers our readers have reported to us because the texts/emails they have received fit the descriptions in our articles about these scams. Also, many of our readers report that the scammers are referred to them through someone else:
Abigail Davies; email@example.com but text came from an “employee’s phone” 484-303-4319 – looking for care for 2 year old son “Micheal”
Ada Long; 732-443-3121 wants a pet caregiver
Amando Bate; 734-315-0524; firstname.lastname@example.org –looking for child care for his 18-month old son, moving from Hawaii; said he would send a check in advance and wanted it deposited asap
Angie Nelson; email@example.com — check sent in the mail. Asked to pay for things while she was out of town and while the funds were processing to be made available
Angelina Lopez; firstname.lastname@example.org – looking for care for her daughter
Ann Cornett (husband: Richard) – looking for childcare for 18 month old daughter “Sandra”
Anne Nuttall <email@example.com> – looking for child care for daughter Ashley (child in wheelchair)
Baily and Jerry Fulgham; “Bailey Fulgham” firstname.lastname@example.org – looking for child care for their son “Ken”
Brenda Carison –looking for a babysitter for her daughter while she is at work; just had “ear surgery” so cannot hear and thus cannot talk on the phone. (A lame excuse!)
Buckner Graham; email@example.com –looking for child care for her 4 year old daughter Kristy. Claims to be hard of hearing and can only communicate via writing, reading lips or text messaging
Carolina James; firstname.lastname@example.org; 989-884-0693 –looking for dog care service, pet sitter and running errands
Celia Needham (husband is David); email@example.com; 626-478-2683 – looking for child care for her 3-year old named Desmond; Another Care.com user reported being contacted by a “Jessica Thompson (phone number 855-296-9077) and claiming to represent a “Celia Needham” (firstname.lastname@example.org) whose husband is named John and is looking for dog care for their 2 dogs “Jeff and Busta.” She claims to be 6 months pregnant.
Christine Tillema; email@example.com — husband’s name is “Peter” are looking for dog sitter for their 2 dogs “Butch” and “Jasper”
Christine Woodford; firstname.lastname@example.org and husband “John” are looking for a dog sitter for their 2 dogs “Jeff” and “Busta” and Christine claims to be 6 months pregnant.
Cole Faith; email@example.com –looking for child care for 6 year old son Joshua (in a wheelchair); father died in car accident
Daniel Chris; DanielChris118@Gmail.com – looking for child care for Janet (5) and Adam (3) and pet care for Golden Retriever “Cookie”
Dave Eric; firstname.lastname@example.org – looking for a house keeper
David Bush –looking for child care for only child named Jamie. Moving from Canada to U.S.
Diana Bruce from Connecticut; email@example.com –looking for a pet sitter for her Golden Retriever named “Cookie”; sends money in advance for pet supplies (A 2nd reader reports “Diana” using the number 203-990-5537)
Elijah Francis <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Wife named Madison, daughter named Claire – looking for a personal assistant/child care
Eunice Lindstrom; email@example.com – looking for pet sitter for her dogs “Jeff and Busta”; Text may be sent from Eunice’s “employee” named Mary using 855-636-9086
Eva Ruizz; firstname.lastname@example.org –Contact made through “sister” named “Cindy” at 8447034379; says Eva is looking for a pet-sitter; relocating from New Zealand and looking for care of her 1 year old Australian Terrier
Hilary Rose; email@example.com; husband’s name is “James” –relocating “to your neighborhood” from Canada and looking for a dog sitter for her pug. Offers the classic scam “We are going to be securing your service by offering you your first week pay in advance. my husband will instruct his financial clerk to pay for your first week before our arrival so as to secure your service in advance and also to show committment from our part.” HUGE red flag! Many weeks later, on 6/27/17 we heard from a reader who received a scam email from Hilary Rose (same email address), saying her husband’s name is “Jerry” and they have a 4-year-old daughter, Jessica. Hilary is coming from Canada (again) and needs a housekeeper this time.
James Debby –looking for a check for a wheelchair and coming from Ohio; phone area code was listed in New York; Another TDS Reader informs us that someone using this name wanted to hire him to look after his 2 beagles, “Max” and “Stone.”
James Fleming <firstname.lastname@example.org> currently in Canada – looking to hire a personal assistant
Jamie Duckworth; email@example.com; 410-888-4831 –looking for a housekeeper and someone to run errands; claims that she cannot call because she just had throat surgery
Jennifer Murphy (Husband is Jerry); firstname.lastname@example.org; 804-624-6498 – looking for dog sitter for her German Shephard “Buddy”
Jessy Archer; (256-588-3558) jessy email@example.com) –no other info provided
Jessica Wilson <firstname.lastname@example.org> –looking for pet care and running errands for her
John Baily (email@example.com) –claims to be a Pastor, needs a personal assistant after saying he already hired a nanny for his son, Kason. Says he is presently in Canada and you can work with him running errands and paying for things he will provide money for, and pay you $500/week.
John Shaffer (No additional info provided besides name.)
Kate John; firstname.lastname@example.org — a single mother looking for child care of her 5 year old named Karen. Karen is in a wheelchair due to an accident. Claims to be deaf and attended Texas school of Deaf where she achieved her “highest qualification”
Kimberly Hardwick (Husband is Douglas); email@example.com –looking for dog sitter for 2 Dogs, Bella a yr old Australian Terrier and Hitler a 4 years old German Shepherd; they say they are relocating from Canada; Another Care.com member reported being contacted by “Susan Long” for her boss Kimberly Hardwick through the phone number: 732-986-9137
Kristi Jenson; firstname.lastname@example.org –needs a babysitter but contact was through a friend named Alexie at 619-202-9038
Laurel Greg <email@example.com> –lost husband in car accident, hard of hearing, attended Texas School for the Deaf and looking for nanny care for her 6-year old son Brian in a wheelchair (result of accident)
Lucy Winston could not talk on the phone because she is deaf; Nanny for 4 yr old daughter “Jessie” and then wanted victim to send money for toys in cash
Mari Cooper (Not much info sent by the person claiming this is another Care.com scam)
Mariah Jordan –looking for a dog sitter for her dog “Cookie”; hard of hearing; sent a large check in advance and wanted a portion of it sent to someone in Indiana (Sender of this info reported same scam on Petsit.com)
Marie Blake; firstname.lastname@example.org; 527-701-9181 –looking for nanny for her daughter
Marcia Rose; email@example.com –looking for dog care for “Cookie”; says that “Kolly Colins” is Marcia’s financial advisor using email address firstname.lastname@example.org
Mario Lukas; email@example.com –referred by “Janice” from 503-379-8553; in need of a pet sitter
Michele Mead (But the email came from Michele Karns <firstname.lastname@example.org>) –looking for baby sitter for her only son “Tom” (2 year old); Claims to be a private investigator with the Special bureau of Canada and coming to U.S. from Canada
Mikel Owen; email@example.com — says he works as a private investigator with the Canadian Bureau of Special Investigations, a branch of the Department of Justice of the Commonwealth of Canada, looking for help to take care of his mother “Mom Dorris” who sometimes needs a wheelchair
Mrs. Adams; 234-414-1455 –looking for a pet sitter for her malamute named Ron; claims to be hearing impaired
Mrs. Aliyah; firstname.lastname@example.org; called from 3 different numbers: 630-478-9657, 708-325-9259, and 708-292-8425 –looking for a pet sitter for her dog. In later emails she also referring to herself as “Mrs Lisbet” and then “Mrs Elizabeth”
Mrs. Winchester –looking for a housekeeper; first contact came through a friend named “Jack”
Nancy (no last name provided); email@example.com –Claims to be hard of hearing and looking for pet sitter and someone to run errands
Pastor John Evans; firstname.lastname@example.org –looking for a babysitter/nanny to care for his 2 year old son
Pastor Richard; email@example.com
Paula Williams – looking for elderly care for her mom
Peter Paulus; firstname.lastname@example.org (wife’s name is Jennifer) –says they are relocating from Quebec, Canada and looking for a pet sitter. Have a daughter Shirley and dog named Blitzen
Richard Morris <email@example.com>; daughter “Julia” and pet dog “Bruno” –looking for dog care
Sarah Tillson; firstname.lastname@example.org (husband named Thomas) –looking for a pet sitter and general house-keeping; claim to have 2 dogs… Butch, a golden retriever and Jasper, a german shephard.
Shanda Parker (email@example.com); husband name is John Parker –claims to be seeking a babysitter and housekeeper; says they are relocating to “your area” from Portugal. She describes a whole adoption story and being a good Christian. Tells you that her store manager, Clark Demond (Phone: 682-200-7691) is the person to send $$ aftrer getting her check deposited.
Sharon Townsend from Texas; 623-226-4809; firstname.lastname@example.org –Sharon is looking for home care (cooking/cleaning, etc.) for her 76 year old mother who uses a wheelchair; Sharon claims to be deaf and graduated the Texas school for the deaf
Shirley Moore; email@example.com –claims to be an architect needing babysitting for her daughter Tara. Tara is in a wheelchair with a broken leg from an accident. “Shirley” sends many photos of her daughter.
Stacy Morgan; husband named Phillip –looking for a housekeeper, relocating to “your area” from Canada; 5 months pregnant
Stacey Woods; firstname.lastname@example.org – looking for pet sitter for “Blitzen”
Steven & Teressa George with 3-year old daughter Treacy <email@example.com> –looking for an apartment cleaner; moving to the US from Toronto, Canada; They say they are a “very good Christian family and GOD Fearing”
Susan Baker (Update from another victim: uses email address firstname.lastname@example.org) –47 year old widow, hard of hearing, looking for house cleaning
Susan Lee; email@example.com and also firstname.lastname@example.org; 520-433-5798 – looking for pet sitter for dog “Billy” and to run errands; UPDATE: “Susan” has been very active recently trying to scam several other people who have contacted us. Same story though now using the number: 617-409-7293 She claims to be hard of hearing and “moving to your area.”
Susan Townsend; email@example.com – looking for pet care for her dog, a golden retriever; Susan is “hard of hearing” and “moving to your area”
Thomas and Michelle Johnson; moving to U.S. from Canada – looking for house cleaner
Tina Daniel (No other information provided.)
Tiffany West; firstname.lastname@example.org; Phone: 305-563-5954 – looking for care for her Mother-in-law named Regina
Tracy Long –supposed to be representing her boss and looking for someone to take care of boss’s dogs; her boss is Kimberly Hardwick and listed above in this list.
William Acrey –“urgently needs the services of a personal assistant”; claims to be a traveling Interior Designer, Decorator & Art Collecter
UPDATE ON CARE.COM SCAMS – NOVEMBER 20, 2017:
Apparently, Care.com still doesn’t care about it’s users! They continue to demonstrate a remarkable disinterest to inform their community of the scams that target them, the tell-tale signs to look out for and how to avoid them. On November 7, 2017 we were contacted by a woman who was targeted with the same exact scam that we’ve been reporting for three years now. How is it that Care.com can’t inform their own community? It’s because they don’t care. Here is Julliana’s recent story…
Julliana received a contact on Care.com from someone identified as “Jake D.” using the email email@example.com and the phone numbers 740-901-8163 and 740-743-8468. Jake was looking for someone to care for his 4-year old daughter named Kate. If you read the texts and emails below that Julliana provided, you’ll see that they contain all the “red flags” we have warned readers about in these scams:
- Jake is willing to trust Julliana with his baby without even a phone conversation! His trust is immediate after only a few email and text exchanges. What parent, in their right mind, would trust a complete stranger without meeting him or her or going through detailed references?
- Jake is looking for a GOD FEARING nanny. Most of these scams make this reference. The scammer often tries to demonstrate a religious connection so as to increase the trust between himself and his “mark.”
- The scammer has a reason to pay the nanny up front and include additional money to purchase something in advance of their arrival. This sets the stage for sending a fraudulent check whereby the scammer asks the nanny to keep her first week’s salary and make a payment with the extra money (often more than $1000) to somewhere else. The check is so good that it takes the bank at least 5 business days to realize it’s a fraud. In the meantime, the nanny has wired her hard-earned real money to the scammer. Game over!
- The BIGGEST red flag is that the scammer says he is deaf or hard of hearing so he or she can never take any calls. Jake D. actually puts that in caps in an email saying “please do not forget that we are hard of hearing so text only. NO CALLS!” This is a complete scam!
Julliana was almost scammed by this guy. She writes “I was scammed big time. I can’t believe that I got tricked this way. I did give this unknown person my name, last name and also my address. I never gave out my driver license my only response was yes to that. I ended up confronting this person and tell him/her to please leave me alone so I completely blocked them off my phone and I stopped using Care.com. I can’t believe they [Care.com] are not accountable for this scammers. I know they can stop this!
They take money away from us just to use their website so I surely recommend that they take some actions. Because they obviously don’t care at all.
Everybody who has an account with CARE.COM HAS TO AUTOMATICALLY PAY A FEE WHETHER ITS FOR ONE MONTH OR A MONTHLY SUBSCRIPTION.
They should protect us more and ask the necessary questions to those who seek babysitting for their children and not just let anyone play trick on us. But of course this is just a big business that it would make sense they haven’t stop it maybe Care.Com has something to do with this.”
After she confronted the scammer on Nov. 9 he plays dumb as if he is for real…