Unfortunately, we have recently seen a rapid increase in scam attempts nationally in Canada. We believe this is due to the economic situation resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.
Rest assured that we have anti-fraud measures in place. By working together, our systems and policies can continue to evolve and keep everyone safe.
As such, please read and follow these safety precautions.
1 Let us know immediately if you see any suspicious behaviours
We are always here to help. If you get a feeling something is wrong, stop communicating with the user and send us an email immediately.
Here are some specific scenarios to beware of:
- If a user immediately asks to communicate outside of the Pawshake platform via email, phone or social media (by claiming the app has crashed or website has frozen, for example).
- If a user wishes to pay in cash or cheque, and not through the Pawshake website.
- If a user requests your home address for a booking where they don’t need to visit your home.
- Initial messages that simply describe the guest pet, with no further questions or information.
- Initial messages that say ‘hello’ and nothing else.
- If a user continues to push you to accept their demands, communicating in a way that makes you uneasy (such as going offline) or won’t take no for an answer.
- If a user pushes you to send them extensive personal information.
- If a user sends you any strange external links to click on.
2 For now, don’t give out your number
We understand that exchanging numbers is a normal part of arranging a meet and greet.
For now, we kindly ask you not to do this until you are sure you have a secure booking in place with a real person. This should always be following a meet and greet.
Instead, ask the pet owner to arrange a skype or zoom call so you can meet their pet and exchange email addresses. If you must speak on the phone, ask the pet owner for their number.
3 Report all scammers to the authorities
If you’re unlucky enough to be targeted by a scammer on any website, be sure to report it to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
The more pet sitters who officially report fraud, the easier it will be for the authorities to catch those who do the wrong thing.
And don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you need a hand doing this or any further information from us.
4 Never send out your password, payment or account information
Unless you are sure you are corresponding with our customer service team, never send your details online. We will never ask for your password or credit card information.
It is important that you trust your gut feeling. If any message or situation raises a sense of alarm, even if it seems small, don’t hesitate to let us know. We’re here for you.