Whether you are new to the UrbanSitter community or a top sitter, 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 at UrbanSitter, 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) on UrbanSitter?
An inauthentic user on UrbanSitter is someone online who is impersonating a parent looking for childcare. A scammer’s main goal is to gain your trust for the purposes of obtaining money (usually through subtle means). UrbanSitter wants to prepare the sitters on our platform with the knowledge and tools to flag these users to our Support Team so that we can conduct an internal investigation and take the appropriate next steps. We created UrbanSitter to help sitters like you, and we always want you to have the best and safest possible experience!
What does a scammer look like on UrbanSitter?
Scammers on UrbanSitter are most commonly parent accounts who post to the Job Board or contact sitters 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:
- A deaf parent who recently graduated from an academy for the deaf, etc.
- A parent who recently lost their spouse or a child
- A parent 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 these “favors”. Examples of these types of requests are:
- Buying them groceries, furniture, and children’s toys to set up their new house
- Buying their child a new wheelchair or other assistive device
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, please review our FAQ: How do I flag an account to Support?
If you are ever hesitant about a user on UrbanSitter, please cease communication and contact our Support Team 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. As always, please feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org at any time with any questions or concerns.