Jim Hegarty, at the Better Business Bureau chapter in Omaha-Council Bluffs, says a young woman who recently advertised her pet-sitting service was contacted by a couple who claimed they needed someone to watch multiple pets while they moved.
“It involved sending her a check that was going to cover all of the costs for the pet supplies,” Hegarty says. “She was to deposit that money and then wire a smaller amount, $2,600, to what she thought was the pet store that was going to ship her all the supplies to care for all of these animals.”
The situation went quickly south for the entrepreneur and she’s out several thousand dollars.
“The check that she was sent bounced,” Hegarty says. “The money that she wired ended up being money that she’s now responsible for and this couple was ficticious from the very beginning.”
The woman had offered her services on the website care-dot-com. Iowa parents are reminded to keep close tabs on their kids’ online exchanges, especially when money is involved.
“Caution your kids when they’re online looking for these opportunities, do not provide sensitive information about themselves,” Hegarty says. “Most job applications involve Social Security numbers, none of that information should be provided until they’ve had a physical interview with an entity they’ve determined is a legitimate source for employment.”
He says anytime a deal involves depositing or wiring money and reshipping packages, it could be a scam.