Luckily, the anatomy of how offenders organise pet scams is fairly simple and there are some early warning signs to spot them. The job of a pet transport company is to safely bring your pet from one destination to another. One victim’s comment that I found described paying US$10,000 (£7,306) after being informed that there had been a plane crash and the transaction had incurred significant legal costs. Pictures and videos stolen from legitimate breeders will often be sent to victims as part of this process to convince the buyer that the animal exists. A reputable pet transport company be happy to answer all of your questions and address any of your concerns over the phone. If a seller encourages you to send a down payment or any form of money before receiving your item, this is a strong indication that they are trying to scam buyers. These scams often leave expectant pet owners empty-handed, and with an empty wallet. If you find matching images or text on multiple sites, you’re probably dealing with a scammer. A good place to start is by locating the company’s contact information. DOT Ruling on Service Animals: What You Need to Know, The Top Dangers of Putting Pets in Airplane Cargo. Myles Allen, Kaya Axelsson, Sam Fankhauser & Steve Smith in conversation Pet scams are usually organised into two stages: a hook and a sting. Dating and relationship coach Maya Diamond says: "If you haven't met someone in person and they're saying, 'I love you,' there's a good chance they're a scammer, especially if they haven't made an effort to meet you. Review all ads, picture or not. The most common fee usually requested during this stage of the scam is for some sort of refundable cargo crate, often one which they claim is “temperature controlled” despite planes already having pressure and climate control in their cargo areas. However, learning to recognize the red flags can help protect you and your family from fraud. Breeder’s priorities should be for the care and welfare of their animals before anything else. Other transporters will only speak to their clients via online chat in an effort to conceal their identity. The best way to ensure that your furry friend is successfully transported to their destination is to place them in the care of a pet transport company. To give a quick summary, check for bluntness, money orientation, and a lack of welfare. We are often asked if it is safe to pay with Zelle and while it may be secure, it is dangerous to use Zelle to make payments to people you do not know. Maybe they claim the pet is great with kids, incredibly loving, or lonely in his old age. Birmingham, Birmingham, The Large Hadron Collider and the Hidden Universe As a result, they go out of their way to hide their foreign area code and insist on communicating exclusively via email. — Many potential pet owners are scammed through craigslist pets, email scams, buying dogs online, scam websites, and pet travel scammers. How do you Spot a Pet Scammer? Seeing these temptingly low costs may make you think you’ve just struck an unbeatable deal. Here's how to … Watch for poor grammar and spelling mistakes. Key points: Would-be buyers have lost nearly $300,000 on puppy scams since January; Puppy scammers place online ads for animals that don't exist In many cases, the transporters who advertise on these sites don’t intend on transporting your pet as promised. Any other costs that are included in a company’s transport services are only there to trick you into spending more than necessary. Using this, they will attempt to get more money from the buyer by asking for more fees. Listen people. Scammers can target anyone. Pet scams are usually organised into … At Blue Collar Pet Transport, we provide our clients with pet purchase fraud protection resources so that they can steer clear of scams. Speaking over the phone also helps grant you peace of mind that the company will take care of your pet and ensure that they arrive at their destination safe and healthy. The best thing you can do for your four-legged friend is to take your time doing extensive research on your chosen pet transport company before you make that call. 2. If their email address contains a third-party domain instead of the name of the company, this usually means they aren’t a legitimate source that you can trust. However, the number of victims and the estimated cost of this scam for consumers is estimated to be increasing. Unfortunately, it isn’t uncommon for pet owners to fall victim to pet transport scams when attempting to bring their pet to their preferred location. There are plenty of ways to avoid being puppy scammed online. Not all pet transport companies are created equal, though. Do not buy any pet from an online seller unless you really do your homework. If … Sit down, make a list of deal-breakers (size, age, sex, good with cats/kids/other dogs, etc.) Ask yourself: do they promise that you will become rich overnight? If you see this advertised online, consider this a red flag. Discounted or Negotiable Prices. Do an internet search of the picture of the pet you are considering. Facebook, Craigslist, free websites or even local newspapers are often home to fraudulent pet transport advertisements. It has come to our attention that there are a growing number of scammers using Zelle to receive payment for non-delivery fraud, specifically pet scams. However, Action Fraud in the UK has recently reported consumer losses from pet scams of over £280,000 over a two-month period, due to the fact that prospective buyers have not been able to travel to see their desired pet in person during the pandemic. In the first stage of the scam, offenders will typically seek to build trust with the unsuspecting buyer by using scripted messages which promise pet wellbeing items and after-sale documentation. Before you reach the payment stage, it’s well worth your time to avoid searching for pet transport companies on websites that are notorious for scams. Send us an email and we will let you know if we think something is up. Luckily, the anatomy of how offenders organise pet scams is fairly simple and there are some early warning signs to spot them. Ask for a phone number for the person selling the pet and a veterinary clinic the pet has been to. In addition to stealing the names of trusted pet transporters, these scammers also tend to copy their logos and website. The best sources for purebred puppies will have ample positive reviews or referrals from... Meet your breeder or puppy seller. If you respond and hear back that the person who is giving away the animal is out of town, you're likely looking at a scam, according to the IPATA. If the pet transporter you choose turns down any request you make to speak over the phone, be wary of its legitimacy. The scammer will say "Say [word] if you want me to make your pet neon" and when someone takes the bait and says the word, the scammer will tell them to trade their pet(s) that they would like to have neon versions of. When planning to transport your pet, you want to ensure that they’re as safe and comfortable as possible. BBB urges the public to be on guard against online puppy scams; inspect an animal in person before paying money, and pay by credit card if you do make an online purchase. The online dog-for-sale ad looked trustworthy enough. Looking to adopt a pet, but don't want to be scammed? Portsmouth, Hampshire, Online talk: Prof Sir Andy Haines and Prof Chris Dye in Conversation: "Building back healthier: climate change, health and the recovery from Covid-19" More people are falling victims to pet scams today than ever before. If their response is poorly written or teeming with spelling or grammatical errors, there’s a good chance it didn’t come from a reputable pet transport company representative. According to their website, PuppySpot.com is a business “rooted in the belief that dogs should be celebrated” and that owners should be able to expect trust, confidence, and transparency when finding a new puppy to bring home. These professionals have no intention of cleaning and grooming your pet or giving them a checkup. Whether it is a puppy, kitten or even an exotic bird, animal companions can relieve the stress of spending prolonged periods indoors. Not only do these payment methods tend to be untraceable, but they also don’t accept refunds in the event that you want your money back for unsatisfactory service. This website promises their customers that they have zero tolerance for puppy mills or substandard breeding practices, and that all of their puppies are “raised with love by breeders who are held to industry-leading standards.” PuppySpot screens and vets all the breeders they work wit… Those following best practices will also only adopt out pets who are up-to-date on vaccinations, have been seen by a vet and are spayed or neutered before going to an adoptive home. Most pet transporters rely on trusted payment methods like PayPal or a reputable credit card company to complete transactions. This includes practicing social distancing, wearing masks, sanitizing our vehicles frequently, and following any other guidelines outlined by the Federal Government. Then, an online scammer will reel you in with a story about the animal’s history of abandonment or abuse. Shelters and rescue groups will be able to tell you about the basic health and some history of the pet you want to adopt. Puppy-farmed dogs show worse behaviour, suffer ill health and die young – so adopt, don't shop. These specialists monitor weather, road conditions and other relevant factors to provide your pet with a safe and hassle-free experience. As a pet owner, it’s crucial to do your research on your chosen pet transporter and make sure you can trust them to take care of your beloved pet. How Can I Safely Find a Breeder or Puppy Seller Online? Jack Mark Whittaker runs petscams.com, but doesn't make any money from it. — We are taking appropriate measures to maintain the health and safety of our drivers, pets, and clients. Puppy adoption scams and dog flipping is a thing, and it's growing. Once the victim trades their pets, the scammer … Because of this, it might be tempting to go on the internet and look for a new animal companion. PhD Candidate, Sociology of Cybercrime, University of Surrey. How to spot a scam: Criminal scammers will often use the names of legitimate pet shippers such as Jetpets, use pirate websites and the logos... Scammers will generally offer to provide free or inexpensive puppies, charging just for the price of shipping. The main goal of a pet transport company is to keep your animal protected from harm throughout their entire journey. — Do search for the seller’s email and web address to see if the person has been the subject of complaints, and check the seller’s name against watchdog lists of suspected scammers (see “More Resources”). Be sure to find a different company before you end up losing precious time and money. When you read the listing from a pet transport company, be sure to confirm that they only charge for the cost of transport. Fraudulent pet transport companies often charge clients at a very low cost for transportation. This is just a method for obtaining more of your money. For those seeking to buy a pet online, especially during the pandemic, the acid test of finding out whether you are interacting with a scammer is to have a video chat with any prospective seller. If their response is poorly written or teeming with spelling or grammatical errors, there’s a good chance it didn’t come from a reputable pet transport company representative. Online talk: Net zero – why and how? Not only will your pet be safe and healthy when you place them in our care, but we’ll also help ensure that you don’t fall victim to any misleading claims as you work on finding a safe transporter for your pet. The very easy way to prove it is ask for a videochat with them where they can show you the puppy. Meeting in … How to avoid a pet adoption scam & warning signs: Emails contain broken English as the scammers are generally in another country. ... ━━━━━━━━━━━━━ SOCIAL MEDIA in most cases, however, some pet scammers been... Behind a pet transport company is to send them an email and we will you. Whether it is a list of deal-breakers ( size, age, sex, good with dogs. Area code and insist on communicating exclusively via email, typically stray from the buyer asking. 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