There have been several customers who have called and related to me their experiences with a recent scam that is making the rounds currently. The scam goes something like this: There will be a website (nicely done) that will provide an email and phone contact. There will be several legit sounding testimonials and will offer a kitten at the price rage of 800.00 dollars or so. An unwitting customer will contract for a kitten and send a certified check or Paypal to the cattery for payment and the cattery says a shipping company will contact to make arrangements for shipping.
The day comes for the shipping to occur and the shipping final payment is often double if even triple the original price and the demand for payment is immediate as the kitten is on the way! The final outcome is clear… no kitten … no money.. no way to get the money back!
There are several ways to know if who you are buying from is real!
1: They have a real physical address and are not shy about visits or advertising their location.
2: They take Credit Cards!
3: They have business like phone manners and correspondence with their customers!
4: They can show you the EXACT kitten you will be getting.
5: They have a Vet, who can be called and communicated with.
6: They can make and complete all on the shipping and business arrangements for their customers.
7: They have active and ongoing social media with real people that can vouch for them.
Here is the IPATA scam alert typical scam outline:
The Steps of a Typical Online Pet Scam
FREE PETS FOR SALE
Most pet scams begin with a buyer searching online for free / cheap pets for sale or puppies for sale.
Usually, the seller will offer to give the pet for free and then send the pet directly to them at a discounted price. Other points to look for: They almost always say they are only giving the pet away because their child passed away, that they moved for a new job and cannot provide enough attention for the animal due to work hours, or their new house won’t allow pets.
Once committed to the sale, paperwork and delivery requesting additional money. The scammer will then say that the airline is requiring a temperature controlled crate, shipping insurance, additional paperwork or shots, etc. Sometimes, they even set up additional email accounts, websites, etc to look like an airline or shipping company. This is all part of the scam!! They will even try to convince you that if you do not send them additional money they will report you for animal abandonment to the authorities.
Please see this link for a list of known scammers (these are mostly puppies!) https://www.ipata.org/reported
Here is a great site to make sure to check: petscams.com
Use the search feature to narrow down the search for cattery or kitten to get a list of known scammers!
Be safe out there!