Every Stitch member is familiar with the Stitch Verification process, which was created to help protect the community from scammers. Very few members are aware, however, that the fight against scammers continues even after verification, and that each member of the community plays an important role in helping keep the community safe.
We are proud of the fact that Stitch's focus on safety has meant that — since Stitch launched in 2014 — no Stitch member has ever lost money by being scammed by someone they met on Stitch. But as the community grows, we know it becomes an even bigger target for scammers, and we need to be even more vigilant.
We recently received a serious wake-up call that we think all members should know about.
A scammer found their way into the community and managed to trick one of our members into sharing her contact details, allowing them to communicate outside Stitch.
Without any of the safety oversight provided by the Stitch platform, the scammer remained undetected, and within weeks she had been tricked into taking the first step towards being scammed. Luckily the scammer got caught before things went further, but it could have easily been much worse. If you'd like to know what happened, watch the video below:
As we outline in the video, the situation could have easily been prevented if all members who communicated with the scammer in question had paid attention to the warnings Stitch showed them about sharing personal contact details.
The scammer in question was detected by Stitch because he was flagged by a couple of members for sharing his phone number with them, but not quickly enough. By the time he was reported to Stitch, he was already communicating privately with his intended target.
Stitch has increased the severity of the warnings we provide when you share personal contact information via private messaging, but those warnings are only going to be effective if you pay attention to them.
We want all members to know there are only a handful of valid scenarios where it makes sense for you to share your contact details with another member, such as:
You are attending an in-person activity with them, and need to be able to contact each other on the day of the activity
One of you is a long-standing member and trusted Community Champion working to build the local community in your area
You have already met each other in person at a Stitch event
You are both longstanding Stitch members and have been communicating over Stitch for an extended time
If someone sends you their contact details (or asks you to send yours to them), please consider whether it makes sense for you to do so. If there is no valid reason for sharing contact information, you should not do so.
And if you interact with someone you suspect could be breaching the Stitch Community Guidelines, then please make sure you either rate, flag, or report their profile to Stitch. You don't need to make a formal report if you're not certain they are a scammer, you just need to rate their profile by hitting the "Tell us what you think" button at the top of your conversation with them:
and then select an appropriate rating and reason, such as Bad — Made me feel uncomfortable:
Your rating is anonymous but plays an important role in helping Stitch detect members who are behaving in ways that are not in the interests of other members.
Of course, if you do suspect that someone is a scammer, then we need you to report them to Stitch immediately. You can do so using the Manage button at the top of your conversation with them.
Safety is the responsibility of every member of the community. You can do your bit by:
Paying attention to the warnings Stitch shows you
Keeping all your communication on Stitch unless absolutely necessary
Rating all the members you interact with in the community (and that includes giving positive ratings to those you know aren't scammers!)
Spreading the word about the importance of safety, especially to new members
With your help, we'll continue to keep the community a uniquely safe place for years to come!