Whenever possible, and if you are comfortable with it, meet perspective buyers in person and get cash - follow this one simple rule and you can avoid many of the scam attempts you may encounter when surfing o the internet. Use common sense when arranging deals via the phone or internet.
Avoiding Scams and Fraud
Whenever possible, and if you are comfortable with it, meet perspective buyers in person and get cash - follow this one simple rule and you can avoid many of the scam attempts you may encounter when surfing the internet. Use common sense when arranging deals via the phone or internet.
- Do not transfer funds via wire services – most of these services do not include buyer protection. Agencies like WESTERN UNION, MONEYGRAM and other wire services do not insure your transfer and will not refund your money should the recipient defraud you - anyone who asks you to transfer money via a wire service is likely to be a scammer.
- Checks (bank notes, money orders, etc) are easy to forge; your bank may cash them but, when the fake is discovered weeks later, you will suffer the loss. If you accept a money order for payment, stipulate a 2 - 3 week waiting period until the bank has received the funds before delivering any merchandise.
- Never give anyone your personal information, this includes bank account numbers, social security numbers, eBay/PayPal information, etc.
- Avoid any deals involving escrows, having to wait for anything overseas and the like. only a scammer will offer to "GUARANTEE" your transaction.
- Phishing is a major issue via the internet, avoid any emails that offer you easy money’ or organizations that suggest your account was locked or asking you to verify any personal or account information. When in doubt, visit the actual website ( not via any link in the email ) and search for scamming or phishing information on that site. Short of that, simply delete the email and move on.
The Lost Pet Scam
It has come to our attention that there are international spam/scammers who join classified ad sites who are replying to both pets wanted and pets for sale ads. They also placing ads for pets for sale or Adoption (we delete them the second that we spot them...) they will offer to ship the pets to or from OUTSIDE United States i.e. Africa, Cameroon, UK etc...
At first they may not state they are outside United States, so ask where they are located. Ask for an address, a phone number, and other information to prove they are even close enough that your pet could have arrived there. This is still not a guarantee that the offer is legitimate.
Another more nefarious scam is to email the seller stating that the payment they are sending was accidentally written for more than the agreed upon amount. They then request that the seller refund them the difference as well as send the merchandise (which they never wanted in the first place). Whatever you do, do not fall for this financial scam.
BEWARE, - Scammers will tell you they are outside of the U.S on a business trip, etc. in an effort to get you to transfer the money via a wire service.
It is a major task and a major cost to import or export pets to and from the U.S. Sometimes they will offer some sort of incentive such as saying the pet is free as long as you pay for shipping. Pictures they send of the pet for sale are often just generic images lifted from the internet and any references quoted are likely fake. Apparently internet pet scams (any type of online scam for that matter) are an issue worldwide, not just here in United State. Just type "pet scams" or "internet scams" into any search engine and you'll find plenty of information on phishing and other tactics to separate you from your money.
What & What not to do
Please DO NOT Deal with people or persons who are outside the U.S. Their agendas may include collecting your bank/Visa details etc and/or to collect or harvest your email address ( and then spam you or even sell your address to other spammers), to request money from you - for which no pet, trust fund, or other resource which likely does not exist. Please note your email address will only be known to them if you give it to them, or by replying using your own email service.
The internet is a great thing, but there are scammers out there, so please be careful, deal ONLY with United States people for any item you find on this site. We cannot nor do we attempt to provide any confirmation of items or services you may find on this site. Do not send any money or bank details / credit card details for purchase of pets, for "shipping” or any other mode of insuring a future delivery of any item.
Lost & Found Pet Scams: How Not to Become a Victim
Many of us have lost a beloved pet and know how devastating the experience can be. There are unscrupulous people who have found ways to capitalize on your lost pet situation in order to dupe you out of money. Here are a few of the ways this can happen:
Pet Scam #1. You have placed an ad in a local paper about your lost pet, and particularly if you offered a reward, you may get a call from someone claiming to have found your pet.
The caller wants the reward in advance, and if you refuse to pay, they'll threaten to harm your pet, or not deliver at all; they put the pressure on so you'll pay up.
Pet Scam #2. Again, in response to an ad placed by you, you may get a call from someone who claims to have who found your injured animal as they were driving through the area. The claim continues that your pet needed vet care, which they have paid for, and now wants you to pay the additional cost before you can have the pet back. The pet delivery date is several days in the future; giving the scammer time to disappear with your money.
Pet Scam #3. A team based scam - Your lost pet ad prompts a call from someone who claims to have found an animal that might be yours. In the process of exchanging descriptions, the caller will say that he's found a different animal, not yours. He'll apologize for your loss, and for taking your time.
This is a set-up - in a short time, he uses the information he's gotten about YOUR pet to have a second person call and claim to have found your pet. Again, he'll try to collect any reward money in advance.
Pet Scam #4. Your lost pet ad prompts a call from someone who precisely describes your pet, and wants to return it to claim the reward. In reality, your pet has been STOLEN by this person, who hoped that you would run an ad and offer a reward. This is more likely with full breed pets with high dollar values.
Pet Scam #5. In a bizarre twist, scammers also respond to 'found' ads with the claim that you have found their pet. They may tell you that it is destined for a death at a research facility and that you must act immediately. This scam preys on your love of the pet and the fear of having it put down or studied in a research project causing you to act without thinking about the possibility that it is a scam.
There are certainly other pet scams, but these are some of the most common and insidious. In order to prevent these scammers from taking your money or harming your pet, here are a few things you can do:
1. Make sure your pet is always properly licensed and tagged. New technology methods include microchips just under the skin that identify you and your pet.
2. Keep your pet indoors, in a secure yard, or on a leash at all times.
3. If you must place an ad, include only the essential information.
4. If you get a call from someone who claims to be out-of-state, ask them for a phone number where you can call them back.
5. If a caller appears to be 'fishing' for information about your pet, make THEM initiate the information regarding specific details about your pet's description.
6. If you've found a pet and someone claims it belongs to them, before you return the pet, ask for some kind of documentation that the pet actually belongs to them -- ownership or breeding papers, records from the vet, or even family photos. If you have lost a pet, don't make your grief even worse by falling for any these cold-hearted pet scams!
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