Police: Darien Teen Gets Close to Being Scammed in Summer Job Scheme

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An 18-year-old Darien teenager appears to have been close to being scammed when she agreed to a pet sitting job from someone who emailed her, according to this police account:

On about May 1, the woman, an Anthony Lane resident, received an email from someone who said she was “Barbara B,” a “care specialist” from the Care.com website. Barbara B said the Darien woman could contact a “Nicole Doherty” at a gmail address to get details of a potential job.

Doherty, by email, described a pet sitting job for a family moving from Canada to Darien. The job would pay $35 an hour for three hours of work a day, twice a week to care for two dogs.

Doherty also said that she would send the Darien woman an advance check and the key to the apartment in town where the family would be living. She also asked “the Darien woman resident for identifying and mailing information, which was provided.

A “cashier’s check” for $2965.00 was received by the Darien resident on May 8 by mail. The name on the check was “Keith Allen Clayton” of San Diego, and the Darien woman deposited it in her bank account. The next day, May 9, the Darien woman received another email from Doherty asking her to withdraw cash from her account when the check cleared, and that she would get further instructions on what to do with the cash.

At this point, the potential theft fell apart. The Darien woman contacted her bank and found out that the check was rejected as fraudulent. The woman suffered no financial loss and police were contacted at 4:01 p.m. on Friday, May 12. Police are continuing to investigate the matter.

Darien police issued this statement with the description of the incident:

The Darien Police Department again wishes to advise our residents of the potential pitfalls of internet scams such as this one. Pet sitting email scams like this one have been reported in other jurisdictions and can be researched on line. Any offer to send a check to a resident in advance of a face to face business meeting can almost assuredly be considered a scam. Look upon any unsolicited contact such as this with a critical eye. The old caveat is still of great utility today….”if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is….”

The Connecticut Better Business Bureau has also warned against similar scams, and many of the features described in this warning were part of the description above:

Watch Out for Fraud When Summer Job Opportunities Come Up, Better Business Bureau Says (May 8)