The cuter the pet, the faker the ad?!

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If you have a big heart with lots of space for a cute pet, you might be the perfect victim for Internet Pet Scammers. Luring you in with heartbreakingly cute pictures and false promises, these scammers have the potential to take you on an emotional and financial ride that will have your head spinning.
While many pets and puppies have found a loving and caring new home through Locanto, there are still some cases we wished we could prevent.

However, in the majority of cases, an ad is not recognizable as scam posting until an actual communication takes place between buyer and seller.
The best way to keep yourself from falling for such a fraud is to educate and inform yourself about the Dos and Don'ts when looking to buy or sell a puppy.

In general, overseas trading of pets can be highly risky because in case you fall for a scammer, there is almost no chance at all to get your money back.

Therefore, you should definitely follow these few steps in order to buy or sell a pet risk-free:

  1. Be careful when attempting to purchase from or sell to a different country.
  2. If the transaction partner cares more about the money transfer and shipment methods than the pet, you should keep both eyes and ears open.
  3. If the picture looks too cute to be true, it probably is.
  4. Attempt to see the pet first before buying it, or demand for the buyer to meet your pet first before any payment transactions are made.
  5. Never accept cashier checks from outside your country, especially if the amount on the check is higher than the price you requested.
  6. Do not accept to pay with anonymous payment services such as Western Union or Money Gram where the seller cannot be traced back.
  7. Make sure the pet has the necessary documents and is healthy.
  8. If the location of the pet differs from the location listed in the ad, do not agree on any transactions.
  9. Make yourself familiar with the usual market prices and do not accept offers that vary drastically from these market prices.


If you have lost your pet and placed an ad in the Lost Pets section, you should look out for the following scam methods:

  • Someone calls you and claims to have found your pet. They want you to pay the reward upfront or else won't not return your pet. They might even threaten to harm your pet if you don't pay the reward upfront.
  • Someone claims to have found your pet that was injured and needed VET treatment. They want you to send them the money so they can pay the VET invoice and pick up your pet. Then they claim to send your pet with someone else (friend, co-worker, trucker, etc) who is coming your way and could drop off your pet. In this case, you won't only have to wire money upfront, but you will also have to leave your name and address.


Don't let your love for pets become a reason to find yourself in a financial or emotional disaster.
If you are unsure whether the person interested to buy or sell the pet is a scammer, do whatever it takes to remove your doubts. You can also contact your local police department or VET to seek individual help.



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33 Comments

Thanks for the information. I am always looking for more information on trading and your posts are good.

I have had a lot of replies to my ads from foreigners or from "agents" for a foreigner wanting to purchase my item/pet. When I was purchasing or getting for "free" for an extravangant item (which I have to pay shipping, of course so that they can make some money), they will not let me come and look at the item first, will not give me their street location address, may be a city PO box. (not all PO Boxes are bogus, though..)

They want me to pay in advance or will pay me for my item in some OTHER way than I specify. If buying an item from me, they do not ask questions about the item or may ask strange questions about the item, immediately agree with my price without dickering (everyone dickers..), and they immediatly want my address info. (I know the next step would be that they send me more money so that I have to "refund" the difference to them.) Their payment would be bogus and they get my money free and clear, and I do not get the item. I am wise to that one.

Note if a person puts down their title as Mr., Mrs., Miss ....(name) In America, we hardly use our titles, just first name/last name.

The seller does not use proper or correct English in their ads for selling or giving away (for the shippping cost) their item/pet. The sentences are written "oddly" showing they are not familiar with how Americans write letters (using proper English).

Not every typo'd ad is a shyster, but it helps to deal with a person who seems intelligent enough to be able to write a proper sentence too.

Kids, get something out of staying in school to learn to use and write proper English! If you want to sell stuff on the Internet later in life, don't give the impression that the public is dealing with a dummy (you)! You may not be successful as a seller otherwise.

(This has been resubmitted after I joined this site).

RE: Scammers


I have had a lot of replies to my ads from foreigners or from "agents" for a foreigner wanting to purchase my item/pet. When I was purchasing or getting for "free" an extravangant item (which I have to pay shipping, of course so that they can make some money), they will not let me come and look at the item first, will not give me their street location address, may be a city PO box. (not all PO Boxes are bogus, though..)

They want me to pay in advance (they do not want to look at the item first, sight unseen) or will pay me for my item in some OTHER way than I specify. If buying an item from me, they do not ask questions about the item or may ask strange questions about the item, immediately agree with my price without dickering (everyone dickers..), and they immediatly want my address info. (I know the next step would be that they send me more money so that I have to "refund" the difference to them.) Their payment would be bogus and they get my money free and clear, and I do not get the item. I am wise to that one.

Hints: Note if a person puts down their title as Mr., Mrs., Miss ....(name) In the USA, we hardly use our titles, just first name/last name.

Questionable: The seller does not use proper or correct English in their ads for selling or giving away (for "just" the shippping cost) their item/pet. The sentences of the ad are written "oddly" (or lots of typos) showing they are not familiar with how Americans write letters. I look for the use of proper English in the ads.

Not every typo'd ad is a shyster, but it helps to deal with a person who seems intelligent enough to be able to write a proper sentence too.

This is just the sort of info I was looking for! Thanks :)

The add for the lhasa apso "needing a home now" is a scam as the photo of the pretty brown and white pup is identical to one that is advertised for sale in England. One story says the owner going overseas but when you contact the supposed owner they say that they can not afford to look after the pup as they are on a low pension. As yet they have not asked for money but wanted photos of where he was to go. Their English not very good so not sure what they are getting out of it. My security on my computer system is ok but they know the town we live in but not our home address. So maybe they just think its fun to get an older couples hopes of getting a new pet up then let them down. People are really sick sometimes.

Unfortunatly, I founfd this page too late, I was scammed using n advert from this wed site.
the advert was for golder retriever puppies at a csot of R1500.the reply email was to melvisroot@yahoo.com.

I paid the money over and have not seen any dog since. the advert is registered in Gauteng, but when asked where the breader is located, I was informed he was in the eastern cape. they further scammed me out a an additional R1000 for courier fees.

great information! you writing it very easy to understand. I am very lucky to get this tips from you. thanks and cheers! tiger man

Alert - Cameroon Africa Pet Scam -- There is No Puppy, Monkey, Parrot, Kitten, Horse or Pet of any kind from Cameroon Africa.

Someone with the following address seems to be fishy : fbanderson6@gmail.com and lilain.kalima@gmail.com and brenda.mckee94@gmail.com

Read more --http://www.petfriendlytravel.com/purchasing_a_pet

http://www.ozdoggy.com.au/ozdoggy/profile.jsp?ozdoggyid=3557

One of the most disgusting new trends of the online puppy classified sites (and general classified sites) is the ease with which they can be used to perpetrate something that's been referred to as the 'Cameroon Africa Pet Scam'. In the Cameroon pet scam, 'sellers' list dozens of photos of puppies which are "free for adoption" or for sale at drastically low prices.

Scammers obtain their photos by stealing them off of the websites of legitimate breeders. These 'sellers" are located in Africa - mostly in Cameroon and Nigeria. The story can vary as to why the animal is free or discounted -- the current owner is a missionary who needs to find the puppy a new home due to the terrible weather in its current location; the animal was rescued from a natural disaster and needs a good home; owner's busy work schedule, etc. etc.

http://melbourne.locanto.com.au/ID_106912834/Adorable-Pug-Puppies.html

This adv about Adorable Pug Puppies is a SCAM.

Does anyone know anything about the Boxer puppies for sale... the emails i'm receiving from them are worded quite strangely...

Have you had any feed back as yet, enquired about a puppy yesterday and recieved two e-mails from them at 4.30am?

Do you know if this is a scam?

i was nearly scammed yesterday, 'adorable chihuahua looking for home as owner relocated interstate, there is another one that has just come on now and its the same person dont fall for it, ID109602463, he will win you over and say how kind you are and going to a loving family, and then you get the pet-express freight airmail, saying urgent pet arriving pay into WESTERN UNION, I ACTED ON MY INSTINCT BUT ONLY JUST, NEARLY PUSED THE BUTTON

He is doing another ad now like i said just saw it will mention again ID109602464, cute adorable chihuahua (black) ours was white, its amazing how you get taken in, this guy would be a dropout with no qualifications, except slime.

Hope someone will read this before they get taken in nearly like us.

WARNING WARNING

Time spent reading your piece is worth it. More of people should surely read this!

Hi there,

Watch out esp when looking for Siberian huskies, there is a guy posing as a United Nations worker based in London, offering delivery of the pups (so you dont have to meet him). He is adverting all over the world, australia, rep of ireland etc.

No dogs exist nd he is just looking to scam you out of your money.

great points altogether, you simply gained a new reader. What would you suggest in regards to your post that you simply made some days ago? Any positive?

Nice share. I really like your blog. :)

Nice post. I was checking continuously this blog and I'm impressed! Extremely helpful information particularly the last component :) I care for such info a lot. I was looking for this certain info for a very long time. Thank you and good luck.

I was suggested this blog by my cousin. I am not sure whether this post is written by him as nobody else know such detailed about my problem. You are incredible! Thanks!

Paid for a rottweiler pup from rottweilerfarm@gmail.com and became suspicious when he requested additional cost for the freight, the freight cost was suddenly doubled, (some new insurrance Law he claimed), when I suggested another pet travel service rottweilerfarm became aggressive and cut all communications. No puppy existed just another scam to make an easy buck.

Hi,
I'm loocking for a puppie dog like a Cocker. I live in Tokyo. Please send me an email.
Thanks.
A.

The people trying to sell PRESA CANARIO puppies in Adelaide have now moved to Perth and then they wanted me to pay into a Western Union account they are trying to scam anyone be carefull

Great article. Waiting for more.

Interesting web-site. We may well have used a little of the info and not have wasted so much effort.

This ad is a scam, their english is poor, they claim that their son died and having the pugs is too painful. The ad is listed as in sydney but then they say the dogs are in perth and will cost $280 to courier. The emails appear automated.. WATCH OUT

Avoid dissapointment.Contact the Staffie Club, before buying a staffie.Lots of fraud and SCAMS.ONE GUY OPRERATING FROM EAST lONDON. staffieclub@gmail.com ot contact Kennel Union of SA.

I tried to enquire about a teacup yorkie from Benoni.Strangely there was no info about the breeder, only an e-mail address. When I received a reply the English was definitely not up to standard. I replied to the e-mail by asking for their KUSA membership number. From there, NO REPLY. WATCH out. This is most probably a scam!!!

IF YOU ARE SEEKING A PET DOG, CAT, BIRD, PARROTS, THERE IS ONLY ONE PLACE TO PURCHASE THEM:

GO TO THE REGISTERED BREEDERS IN YOUR OWN COUNTRY (LOCALITY)....YOU WILL ALWAYS SEE THEM LISTED IN THE YELLOW PAGES OF YOUR LOCAL TELEPHONE BOOK. THEY ARE NOT HARD TO FIND AS MOST ARE BREEDING, SHOWING, SELLING OR OFFERING THEM AS A PET TO A GOOD HOME.

ANY DOUBTS, DO A POLICE CHECK AND YOU WILL KEEP THE 'SCAMMERS' RUNNING AWAY AS FAST AS THEY CAN RUN.

SECONDLY, KEEP UP TO DATE WITH ALL THE WARNINGS REGARDING THE SCAMS....LOCANTO IS A GOOD COMMUNITY PLACE TO START & COULD SAVE YOU MONEY AND GRIEF.

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I added your blog to bookmarks. And i’ll read your articles more often! Before this, it would be possible for the government to arrest you just based on whatever you were saying, if they didn't like it.

I do not mind sitting within my notebook as well as doing nothing but getting amazed at how excellent and fantastic this web site of yours is actually. There has no other site that will keep me glued for a while other than yours. Please continue the good work!

Ad ID: 117576643

Potential Scammer trying to sell chihuahua puppies. Same photo with previous ads (which was deleted after 1 day posting) I contacted the advertiser and was given different information.

Just beware of this ads ok everyone dont get scammed!

Hi, I was looking for a chihuahua puppy to buy, in Gauteng. I found a beautiful little white puppy in Johannesburg and replied to the ad to get more information. The advertiser e-mailed me today. One of the questions I asked was where he was located and he said in East London in Gauteng. I then knew this was a scam. I also had a look at the map in the ad (if you enlarge the map in the ad it will show you the street name) and the street name is Market street in Johannesburg. Market street in Johannesburg is in the centre of the city of Johannesburg - there is no houses, maybe flats. I cannot see how you can be a successful breeder in a flat, dead centre in a big city. I asked the advertiser for new photos of the puppy and he sent me a couple of photos - when you open the photo and right click on it and select properties it will show you the date and time the photo was modified, and in this case it was this morning just after I sent him an e-mail asking for some more photos. I played along and asked him for photos of the parents, this actually took some time but I eventually received photos of the supposedly dads of two of the puppies - I right clicked on it and selected properties and the time it was modified was just before he e-mailed the pictures to me. I played along some more and told him I want to buy the two females and how are we arranging it. He immediately sent me a form requesting delivery details - which means my home address etc. and that he will e-mail me his banking details as soon as he receives my delivery details. He just assumed that I am not from East Londen (which I actually am not, but never told him) and that he will need to sent the puppies to me by airplane. He said that as soon as his accountant inform him that the money has been deposited into his bank account he will sent the delivery guy to the airport and put my puppies on an airplane to be delivered to my home. I e-mailed him and told him that my son is staying in East Londen and that he will come and fetch the puppies this afternoon and pay him cash. He is still waiting. I just decided that two can play this game, unfortunately he is not loosing anything, unlike somebody else who might fall for his scam. The price he ask for a puppy is far less than the market price, the puppy will be registered, comes with a starter pack and will be micro chipped. This all for R2000.00 a puppy. I hope this information will help somebody. He actually has two ads on Locanto Johannesburg ID numbers as follows: 120798619 (a photo of a couple of adult chihuahua's sitting in a row) and 120715112 (the pure white adorable little puppy which stole my heart when I saw the photo). I discovered this when I enlarged the map of both the ads - both shows Market street Johannesburg) He mentioned in his e-mails that he is also breeding with miniature Maltese poodles. So people please watch out for this guy - he is out to rip people off!!! I just wish Locanto had a system in place whee you can actually report a scam and that the ad will then be removed from the site.

Hi All. I lost 2 Dachshund on 11.03.12 .Both were stolen by a 2 man in a van .I have posted a pic.and info.on LOST PET Section. Hope to them .
Tks All.

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