I have received a number of messages from pet sitters about other ways they were scammed. I wanted to make a list of "watch out for these scams" so that everyone can be prepared. Not all of these are pet sitter related - and some technically are not "scams", but since they have caused problems for people, I'm going to list them anyways.
1. Phone call scams. The latest one is a court clerk claiming you missed reporting for Jury Duty. And the caller id looks legit.
-> Know that any phone number and name can be spoofed for a couple of bucks now. Never give out your SSN, birthdate, credit card info, bank account number, or other personal info to anyone who calls you. Even if it is your bank, the social security admin, the IRS, human resources at your workplace, or ANYONE.
2. Refund or rebate checks. They send you a check for a few bucks that looks like a refund (like the "yellow pages") or rebate check. If you sign the "check" and cash it, you have signed up to be charged for some lame service (usually $5-$30 a month or more). Some will auto-charge this to your phone bill or credit card, and you won't notice the charge until 3-6 months later.
-> Always read the fine print carefully - on the FRONT and BACK. Many of these checks are actually forms. If the tiny fine print says "You authorize" or "subscription", or you are suspicious - tear it up.
3. Website Domain renewal notice. They mail you form saying it's domain renewal time - send in your fee. This is also a form, and it's not from your current domain host. It's actually asking you to TRANSFER to their hosting service.
->The fine print on this one is very tiny! Ask your domain host to lock your account so that it cannot be transferred without your written permission. And again, always read the fine print, and call/contact your host if you are ever confused about something you receive. Know the name of your domain host and your domain registrar- have it written down.
4. Register Domain notice This misleading advertisement is a confusing email that looks like a notice about problems with one of your current domains. It includes phrases like "Please be advised that the above noted domain name has now become available for registration.", and references to domain disputes and the UDRP.
-> This is just an advertisement to try to get you to buy another related domain. Just ignore it.
5. Cash a check for us - everyone has seen these, but they get craftier with each new revision. They send you a check for something, and you send them money back after you cash the check. It may be a lottery, an inheritance, payment for services, etc.
-> If you cash a check or money order, know that it can be returned as bad/NSF/no account/fraudulant up to 4 weeks later, or even longer. Never count on that money. And NEVER cash a check you suspect may be bad - if you do, it is a crime. You will have to pay back the money, and you may face criminal issues.
6. Work for us - Scammers will offer to pay you to print checks and/or forward mail for them.
-> The mail you are forwarding is the bad checks from #4. They are trying to make the packages more legit by having you send them from the U.S. with US markings and postage. It is a federal crime. Just turn down those offers!
7. Claim your reward! $10 off your next purchase - you just bought something, and you earned a reward. All you need to do is click.
-> ALWAYS read the fine print. These are almost always subscriptions services, and they are not even related to the website you just purchased something from. If you click, it automatically signs you up for a monthly service, and gives them your credit card info (from your purchase). It is very misleading. If you see the word "authorize" and "subscription", click "No Thanks!" or just close the page!
This psuedo-scam shows up after you order from MANY popular websites in many different ways - including VistaPrint.com and restaurants.com . Next time you order something online, look to see if you can spot this scam.
8. This is an extension of scam #7. When you place a vistaprint order it is a very long process. The final page does not look like the final page - instead it looks like you need to hit continue to confirm your order.
The continue button is actually a link to the subscription services listed in #7. Don't click on it!
At this point, just view the tiny part at the top of the page to make sure that it says "Check Out Complete" - and then close the window and wait for a confirmation in your email.
And don't click any of the offers on your email confirmation either - they are also mostly subscription services.