Unfortunately, we live in a time that wherever there is a great love for something, there is always those few that are lurking in the background, trying to take advantage of those with big hearts and lots of love for furies…
We see it all too often and it breaks our hearts! So many people who decide that they need some furry love in their lives, looking online for a puppy/pet to adopt and end up paying a lot of money over to a scammer. In the end, they never see their money back and they never get the pet that they had their heart set on.
It’s so easy to get sucked in because these fraudsters have seemingly professional websites (often using the names of real pet shippers, illegally using their logos, pirating websites, and website content) and look extremely professional from the outside.
We aim to help stop this from happening, so here are 5 tips to look out for if you decide to transport or buy a pet online and something is feeling off or you just want to make sure before you commit:
- Often, the “breeder” is in some obscure town in the middle of nowhere. On top of wanting to charge you for the pet, they insist they will have to “courier” the pet to you and do not use the name of the “courier” company or use variants of the company name. It is advisable to contact the “courier” company for the credibility of the breeder.
- If there is mention of a required “electronic crate”. We always ask – what is an electronic crate? Does the door open and close by itself? Electronic crates don’t exist and is not required.
- If they start charging exorbitant “deposits” to secure the crate and airline space, etc. but insist they will refund a portion of the deposit later on. Their aim is to get as much money from you as early on as possible. Once you start piecing it together and get suspicious, they already have a very large amount of money from you.
- Really have a look through their websites. Although pretty and eye-catching and looking good at first glance, once you start to really look closely, you can see there are details and things that just don’t add up! For e.g. we have seen a scammer use the name of a pet transportation company based in Australia and stated that they were the leading agents in Australia yet all their details, address, contact number were for the USA. Take note of the details.
- Once you have paid for the pet, paid for the crate, paid for the shipping and are now expecting the pet, usually on the day or the day before they start listing a bunch of other things needed such as vet checks or kennels or vet treatments, etc. or they don’t even bother with that and you go to the airport to collect your pet but they never arrive.
If this has happened to you, the best thing to do is take it to the police to see what they can do to assist you further from there. We hope that this will stop any more unsuspecting victims from being scammed out of both a potential beloved pet as well as their money!
Be vigilant and as a rule, we are firm believers in the #AdoptDontShop motto. So many pets in animal shelters are waiting to be loved and given a home. Before you look to buy a pet online, please consider giving one of the sheltered pets a loving home. Barking Mad and Dogtown are great places to start when deciding to open your hearts to one.