Taking a look at the internet these days, you can start to see that the COVID-19 crisis has brought out the best in some people, but also the worst in others. We’ve seen skilled doctors coming out of retirement to serve on the frontlines and neighbors looking out for the vulnerable in their community. However, the world has also unfortunately seen an increase in scam activity— individuals who are looking to take advantage of the uncertain times we all find ourselves in.
What We’re Doing
At Sittercity, we want to help you understand how to protect yourself from online scams. We’re continuing to monitor the site for scam behavior by using a combination of predictive analytics, machine learning, and regular, qualitative review processes to help identify and remove disingenuous users quickly. However, even with all of that, it’s still important to know how to identify suspicious behavior.
What We Won’t Ask For
When reaching out to the Sittercity team directly for assistance with your account:
- We’ll never ask you for detailed banking information.
- We’ll never ask you for your social security number.
- We’ll never ask for the password for your account.
Keeping Yourself Safe
When creating your profile and looking for jobs, have these things top of mind to help keep yourself safe:
- Don’t include your full name or contact info in your bio or initial job applications.
- Keep all initial communications on Sittercity—don’t give out your contact info right away.
- Please report suspicious accounts directly to our team before replying to their post.
Recognize Scam Behavior
When applying to jobs online, it’s important to understand how to identify scam behavior. Common scam requests that we see include:
- “Moving to your area” and offering to pay you upfront for things needed prior to relocation.
- Offering to pay you upfront before meeting you.
- Asking to reach out to them directly in the job listing or screen name by spelling out emails or phone numbers. e.g. “Sarah8887776666” or “Sarahcontactmeatinfodotcom” or “five 5 five 1 two 3 four 4”
- Offering an unusually high pay rate.
- Using commonly known current events (like the COVID-19) crisis to appear to be legitimate when asking you for money or assistance without ever meeting you.
As always, please review our Trust and Safety Center for more helpful information. We’re always delighted to hear from our users when they’re reaching out to report potentially suspicious activity to help keep our community safe. Together, we can keep the Sittercity community a place where families can find reliable sitters like you, and you can find reliable jobs with great families.