Are you also a fan of furry animals?
Are you also craving a pet?
If you look for a pet on the internet, STOP right there because there is a good chance that you might end up in a scam. Want to know how? Read on to find out.
Due to the algorithm of sponsorships and the clever tricks used by the scammers, an internet result of pet shops or pet adoption websites will most probably lead you to the website of a scammer who either has carefully cloned it from a renowned pet breeder or has made it on their own with the sole intention of stealing money from the innocent people. The most common clickbait of these pet scams are puppies due to their increased demand among pet lovers. However, the scammers have taken it up a notch by providing various other baits such as cats, parrots, hamsters, etc.
How do these pet scams work?
Experts trace almost all of these pet scammers to full-fledged gangs operating in Cameroon, a country located in West Africa. These scammers begin by putting up sponsored advertisements. They redirect these links to websites carefully crafted with cute animal photos to keep the customer hooked. The scams are said to increase during the holiday seasons as confinement to homes tends to make people feel more lonely. When a trader contacts the scammer with interest regarding one of the bait pictures, the scammers will courteously talk to them and send them more photos of the animal they are interested in. Now, the readers must note that the scammers would not have the real pictures. The pictures they share will often be stolen from another legitimate pet breeder or just taken from the internet. The scammer will pressurize you into buying the pet with the claims that the puppy is homesick or other emotional manipulation. Upon a request to meet the pet, the scammer will come up with lame excuses such as being out of the country, etc.
Further on, these pet scammers will ask you for money in the name of various fake reasons such as a crate for the pet to travel in or fulfilling some documents for the transportations, or even buying food for the pet. The scammer will keep asking for money till they run out of reasons or the customer understands that they are stuck in a scam.
Another type of pet scam that happens is when the scammers put up posts on social networking sites claiming that their financial circumstances or any other personal emergency forces them to give away their beloved pet. To make it even more convincing, they will also post pictures of these miserable pets.
How to avoid such pet scams?
The one common solution to avoiding all types of scams is by paying extreme attention while using the internet. Anything can be a scam if we do not observe properly. Here are a few things to watch out for in pet scams:
- The breeder does not let you meet the pet before payment.
- > The breeder uses images copied from the internet.
- > The breeder asks for various different charges.
- > The site looks similar to another famous pet shop or adoption website.
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