DARIEN — An 18-year-old Darien woman was the victim of a pet-sitting scam where she received a fraudulent check after accepting a job via email.
Around May 1, the teenager was contacted by someone named “Barbara B.,” who claimed to be a care specialist from the job site Care.com. She told the teen about a pet-sitting job for people moving to Darien from Canada. Barbara B. told the Darien woman to contact “Nicole Doherty” and provided Doherty’s Gmail email address.
The 18-year-old reached out to Doherty, and Doherty said she needed someone to care for two dogs, two days a week, for three hours a day at a rate of $35 an hour. Doherty said she would send an advance check, as well as the key to the Darien apartment where she would be living. The Darien resident sent Doherty information on where to send the check.
On May 8, the woman received a cashier’s check for $2,965 in the mail. The check was from Keith Allen Clayton, of San Diego. The woman deposited the check the day she received it.
On May 9, Doherty emailed the woman, asking her to withdraw cash from her account when the check cleared. Doherty said she would send further instructions on what to do with the cash. The woman contacted her bank and found the check was fraudulent. She suffered no financial loss.
Police are investigating this incident and remind residents to avoid offers to cash checks in advance of doing business with someone, as those situations are usually scams.