Beware Do Not Get Scammed

What are these scams?

How can I tell if a website is fraudulent?

Fraudulent websites can be easily spotted by looking out for these 5 red flags.

Asking Right Question

Knowledgeable pet acquisition starts with education and using resources to make an informed decision. Asking the right questions, researching credible sources and demanding transparency from those who provide companion animals, you can rest assured knowing you are taking the right steps before you select and take home your new family companion. In today’s digital world, almost everyone uses the internet for shopping, including finding a new cat or kitten!

How a Puppy Scam works?

Scammers claim to be animal breeders and use fake websites and classified advertisements to defraud the public. They offer a variety of vastly popular pet breeds at discounted prices. In some cases, they also offer pets for free if buyers agree to pay shipping and handling fees. The scammers often refer victims to fake animal transportation websites where they charge shipping fees through instant payment services such as the Western Union and MoneyGram. Once these criminals pick up the transferred funds, they never ship pets to their victims.

How can I tell if a website is fraudulent?

Fraudulent websites can be easily spotted by looking out for these 5 red flags.

How to determine if a website is fake, fraud, or scam in 5 steps.

01.

Domain age

While there are plenty of legitimate, new websites, domain age can be a red flag indicating that a site is fraudulent. That is because scammers often have to set up new websites in an effort to outrun negative reviews from those they’ve scammed. Check a resource such as whois.domaintools.com for a website’s age. If it has only been around for a few months, it may be a scam.

02.

Social media presence

Social media presence is a crucial element in today’s online landscape. Legitimate companies tend to have, at the very least, a presence on a major website such as Facebook or Twitter; their accounts also tend to have a fairly respectable number of followers. On the other hand, fraudulent websites may lack social media accounts or even link to profiles on popular social media platforms that are not their own.

03.

No reviews

With the abundance of review websites, it is easy for customers to post reviews about their experiences with companies. That is true whether those experiences have been positive or negative. If there is a lack of reviews or other mentions of the website, that should be considered suspicious. The presence or absence of online mentions regarding a company can easily be found with a quick search on a major search engine such as Google; include the business’ name along with the keyword “reviews” or “complaints.”

04.

Sponsored Search Results

Don’t assume that pet scams are buried deep into the Internet. According to a study done in 2020 by the Better Business Bureau, 80% of sponsored search results connected to links for fraudulent pet sales.

05.

How to recognize a pet scam?

Here are some of the common signs and symptoms of a Pet Scam:

  • The price for a dog or cat is far below the normal rate for a popular breed or is even offered free.
  • The person offering the animal insists on shipping and resists efforts to meet or to allow the victim to collect the pet in person.
  • Asking Correct Questions

    How Can Potential Buyers Verify a Breeder?

    There is one key ingredient that fraudsters place upon victims, a sense of urgency. They will want you to make a payment deposit immediately with no actual proof that the animal you intend to purchase exists.

    Remember, any reputable breeder will want to ensure that the animal that they have helped bring into this world is going to a good home!

    Depending on your situation, the following options are available to you:

    01.

    Contacting a law enforcement agency in your jurisdiction:

    Guidance for Preparing Domain Name Orders, Seizures & Takedowns: This “thought paper” offers guidance for anyone who prepares an order that seeks to seize or take down domain names: Click Here

    US: FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center: IC3.gov

    Europe: Europol

    02.

    Filing a complaint with a consumer protection entity

    Such as the International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network : icpen.org

    03.

    Reporting a phishing complaint

    Through the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) website's Report Phishing page

    04.

    Contacting the website's hosting company.

    This can be done by the hosting company of the website, which you can look up on this website: Hosting Checker

    05.

    Contacting the registrant or registrar of the domain name.

    Report a complaint to the registry of the domain extension (such as .COM) iana.org

    Contacting the registrant or registrar of the domain name. You may search registrar of the domain name from lookup.icann.org

    If you have a complaint due to the registrar failing to comply with the requirements of Registrar Accreditation Agreement, please submit the Abuse Complaint Form at: Report Domain

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