Whether you are new to the UrbanSitter community or a top caregiver, online safety is a top priority to ensure you have the best experience on the platform. While our team is continuously improving our detection measures, we know that scammers will find new ways to try to go around the system. With that in mind, here is some helpful information in identifying scams to help you stay safe during your job search.
What is an inauthentic user (i.e. a scammer)?
An inauthentic user on UrbanSitter is someone online who is impersonating a parent or care seeker looking for care. A scammer’s main goal is to gain your trust for the purposes of obtaining money (usually through subtle means). We want to prepare the caregivers on our platform with the knowledge and tools to flag these users to Member Services so that we can conduct an internal investigation and take the appropriate next steps.
What does a scammer look like?
Scammers on UrbanSitter are most commonly family accounts who post to the Job Board or contact caregivers through messaging. They are generally eager for you to take the conversation off UrbanSitter, either via email or text message, and are hesitant to talk on the phone or meet in person. Scammers most often have an overly sympathetic story to entice individuals that they contact to help them out. Examples of these stories are:
- Someone who recently lost their spouse or a child
- Someone whose children have some type of major disability
Scammers often claim that they’re “moving to your area” without mentioning your specific location. They often offer to pay an abnormally high rate. Some signs of a scammer are a large number of misspellings, grammatical errors, and unusual phrasing in their communication.
A scammer will most often initially request a favor or service involving depositing or wiring money. Scammers will offer a check or bank wire transfer to front the money to complete “favors” such as buying groceries, toys, and other things needed for the care job.
What do I do if I see a scammer?
- If you are in contact with someone that you suspect might be a scammer, we recommend ceasing communication immediately.
- Flag the user’s Job Board post or profile, or contact Member Services directly at email@example.com. To learn more about flagging users, click here.
If you are ever hesitant about a user on UrbanSitter, cease communication and contact Member Services so we can investigate this matter further. Rest assured, our Trust and Safety Team regularly monitors for inauthentic users and overall platform safety. However, we do encourage the UrbanSitter community to help us monitor activity that violates our Terms of Service and Community Guidelines. Pease feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org at any time with questions or concerns.