Scams have been taking place since time immemorial. As technologies advance so does the scammers’ fraudulent ways. Nowadays the number of reported incidence has also increased.
With the arrival of COVID 19, pandemic people around the world were jailed in their homes for a long time. People sought comfort, relaxation, emotion, and coziness in the company of their pets. Demand for adopting pets skyrocketed. So did the opportunity for scammers to scam pet lovers. Fraudsters took this opportunity to scam innocent people who wished to adopt pets for their company. Travel restrictions made it difficult for pet lovers to view pets in person. This gave enormous rise to the business of pet purchases online. And also it opened gates to online pet purchase fraud.
It was also seen that in some cases scamming continued even after the initial payment. The scammers demanded additional payment to cover additional costs which included insurance, vaccination, transport, shipping charges, etc.
How to avoid Pet Scam
Most of the fake advertisements for pet sales appear on social media and the online marketplace.
If in case you are considering adopting or purchasing pets from individuals or websites whom you don’t know personally. Research the individual or the company thoroughly as possible.
Read reviews and search for other pet buyers. Talk and interact with them. If you are buying from an online market place look for the feedback history of the seller before going any further. If possible, always see yours’ would be a pet in person. If that is not possible request a video call on WhatsApp, Teams, Duo, Zoom, or any other application. Make sure that you get to know the pet’s mother. If you are talking to a scammer, he will try to avoid video calling. Scammers are experienced in handling such queries. They have a readymade answer for most of the common FAQs. They are dishonest and give tricky answers to your straightforward question.
Do not make payment in any form (advance or otherwise) unless you are sure that the pet exists. The animal viewed by you should meet your expectation. Check for pets’ background too.
Most of the scammers will compel or coerce you to make payment through cryptocurrency, or bank transfer. In case of any problem with the animal or a pet scam, it becomes impossible for the victim to recover his money back. It is somewhat possible to get your money back if you pay through a credit card or payment services like PayPal, etc.
In case you have been a victim to a scam, contact the Brokers Complaint team immediately. They offer free consultations if you fill out their short consultation form. You can get more information on their website https://brokerscomplaint.com/. In case you want to read the report on frauds and stay up-to-date with what is going on, click https://brokerscomplaint.com/latest-scam-brokers-2022-report/.
Signs you are scammed by a Pet Scammer?
There are many cautionary signals and signs that you are approaching or being scammed. Look out for the signs.
- The asking price for your pet is far below the normal amount. Especially if it is of a popular breed.
- The seller prefers to ship the pet in place of handing it over to you in person.
- There are many grammatical and spelling mistakes in their communications through email or post or website.
- The scammers demand payment through bank transfer (Western Union, Skrill, Paypal, MoneyGram, etc.) or cryptocurrency (Bitcoin, Ethereum, Teather, Litecoin, Dogecoin, etc.), gift card, etc.
- Scammers inform you that the shipment is held up. The scammers demand money for one or the other issue like veterinary care, insurance, special crate, pet food, etc., the list is endless.
- They show photos or videos of a fine, healthy, good-looking pet. But they ship you something else. What they show and what they ship are dissimilar.
- High proportion of online pet scam victims are mostly late teens or early twenties.
It is better to adopt a pet from a local seller or rescue group. You can search for a local seller of the pet on the internet. Contact him over the phone, and fix an appointment. Brood over different options and variety available. Price can be negotiated. Pet food is mostly available with or nearby the seller.