In addition to being a wonderful family member, pets may bring a much-needed dose of optimism into your life. Unfortunately, though, puppy or kitten scams are rising in the digital sphere.
An unwary victim is duped into thinking they are buying an adoptable puppy or kitten when they are the target of a scam. Scammers post fake adverts on pet adoption websites, asking potential victims to wire them money to cover the adoption fee and the expense of shipping the puppy or kitten to them. When victims send money, it doesn’t get to the legitimate pet adoption service like they were led to believe it would.
Protect yourself against pet con artists by adhering to the following guidelines when considering the purchase of a new pet:
Follow these guidelines while you consider getting a pet to avoid falling victim to a con:
- Don’t accept the use of a wire transfer or prepaid debit card to buy a pet. Alternatively, it would help if you inquired about the possibility of using a credit card for the transaction. If the sale goes south, you have an out and can cancel the purchase.
- Never buy an animal online without first seeing it in person. A cute dog photograph can be found online, and anyone can advertise the animal for sale.
- Any merchant located too far away from you should be treated with suspicion. It’s preferable to do business with a nearby vendor so that you may hand over cash and the animal in person.
- If you want a pet but are worried about being taken advantage of, it’s best to adopt from a shelter rather than buy from an individual.
- Research the vendor thoroughly before concluding a deal with them. Inquire about their complete identifying information, including their street address, phone number, and name. Just do a simple Google search to see what people say about them. Without any results, you should assume that the given name and address are fraudulent.
- Pets offered for “free” should raise red flags. They may be a ploy to get you to pay inflated “shipping” and “insurance” costs for a fake animal.
- Don’t trust false claims that stopping payments may cause harm to the animal or result in legal trouble for you.
- Do not be fooled by websites that appear legitimate. Scammers steal images, videos, and reviews from legit pet websites and use them to construct elaborate websites for fraudulent transport firms.
- Find out what other people are charging for the breed of dog you want to adopt so you can set a fair price. People that provide purebred pets for free or at a very low price should be avoided at all costs.
- Indicators include sending emails with poorly written grammar and English.
Adopting a new pet is always a cause for celebration. Do your research, and don’t try to cut corners when adopting. It is ideal to adopt from a reputable local rescue group, shelter, or ethical breeder. If you have adequate pet insurance coverage, you can avoid incurring costly veterinarian expenses.