As the holiday season comes, more cases are registered for fake pet or puppy scams reported by the organization’s scam tracker device. To avoid such scams, you need to be beware of pet scams and you must always pay extra care while shopping for a pet or puppy online using a pet delivery company or by some agent. Usually, after placing the order online, their hearts break into several pieces after learning that it was a scam.
The rate of such crimes is rapidly increasing. According to a deep survey, it can be estimated that about sixteen thousand cases are registered where companies are selling puppies and pets online in the name of a business and have been filed a complaint of being a scam. The reports suggest the case can be worse as only some percent of all victims file the complaint.
How do these scams take place?
Usually, the internet is a seed of this scam. People find an ad for the adoption of a cute puppy, kitten, or any other pet. You are wooed by the beauty of that animal and find out that a pet seller, or breeder and in most cases an owner of the pet who is looking for a new house for it, is trying to make an offer with you. They put forward a condition where they need to pay the whole amount through some payment gateways or online portals.
Once you make the payment, they start making false promises that the pet will soon be shipped to your house. When a few days pass by, and no parcel arrives, you get suspicious. On asking several times, they keep fooling you by giving excuses in the loop. The excuses may never seem to end, like: we are facing carriage problems, the specific crate is not available, or the shipment charges are excluded from essential, high insurance charges, etc. In a few cases, such demands are put upfront to the customers even before taking the order. They promise to initiate a refund as soon as the pet reaches the destination.
You can find a scammer ad in a newspaper, a promotion over email or any social media network, auction sites like eBay, and sometimes even through online classified platforms like Gumtree. There are many cases reported where a user account is hacked while using an auction site like eBay, and the profile is used to put fake comments and reviews to misdirect other users towards falling into the scamming trick and providing a sense of security.
There are following ways how you can avoid falling into the trap of scammers:
- Never trust the seller by looking at the pictures of the pet. Try to arrange a meeting with the seller and if that doesn’t seem possible, at least meet the pet via video calling. You must also check with the vet, showing all the medical certifications and be assured of the health condition before confirming the deal. You must do all the things mentioned above before making a payment. If you plan on making the payment with a card, avoid using a debit card instead of using a credit card for disputed charges.
- Do not agree with a payment method that is unfamiliar to you. You must always try to make the payment for such deals using PayPal as it provides a dispute resolution service in case you are stuck with payments for something you did not receive. You must also be attentive; if the seller asks you to pay in the form of a gift card, you are dealing with a scam.
- You can also look for the pictures of a dog from the breed they are selling, and if you find the same picture on multiple websites, then you may be dealing with the scam because he might have uploaded the picture from the internet.
- You must stay updated with the market process for the breeds you plan to put your hands on. You must do a small research about the prices the pet is available for purchasing over different sites and get an idea of charges. If the seller is ready to give over the pet for deeply low prices or free in the return of shipment charges, you are dealing with a fraud.
- You may also get an idea of the scamming policy by referring to the mails he tries to contact you. If the mails are written in very poor grammar from the free account provider site, and if the seller is overseas-based, there are high chances that it is a scam.
If you are considering getting a pet, you must go for ordering it through the legitimize sites for cats and dogs and order from them. You can also consider adopting or getting a pet from the rescue pet center where you can provide a home to homeless animals.