Unfortunately, online pet scams and fraud have increased in the past several years. Although most parties that post their pets online are legitimate, there are those that will try to take advantage of you.
PetCurious helps you identify scams and frauds with this guide.
Prepay, or downpayment, for Pets
Often times scammers will ask for a down payment to hold a pet. They will ask to be paid through services like CashApp, Venmo, PayPal, etc. NEVER do this. Never pay for a pet until you have it in your hands and are taking it home and you are 100% confident this is a legitimate transaction. Anytime someone asks for a prepayment, this is a RED FLAG
Ask for references from others who have acquired pets through this group or person before. If they are legitimate they should have no problem giving out numerous references from past transactions. If they don't have any, refuse or do not respond, this is a RED FLAG
Ask to do a live video call to see the pet. This day most people have access to Zoom, or some other form of live video conferencing. This will save you time from having to drive somewhere far, and it will also allow you to check out the state of the facility the animal is housed in. Ask for a tour of the facility while you're on the call. If someone is a scam, they will refuse to do this. This is a RED FLAG
Ask to visit the facility and the pet. This will allow you to see the state of the facility and the animal. Sometimes even if you are not that physically close to the animal/facility, you can say you have a friend/family-member that can stop by. This can test just to see what the pet-owner will say. If you can not stop by for a visit, this a RED FLAG
If you contact a pet owner and they say the pet is actually in a different location than advertised, this is HIGHLY SUSPICIOUS
. Usually if this scam happens, they will ask for a down payment so that they can secure the pet for you for some kind of transport to your location. If all this happens, this is a RED FLAG
Mismatched or Different Animals
If you view a listing, and then scroll down to see the other listings for this organization, and they all look different, or do not belong together. For example if they have multiple breeds, or multiple animal types, this is HIGHLY SUSPICIOUS
. Please proceed with caution, and follow the above guidelines to protect yourself.
If you feel ANY
of these situations, or any other scam/fraud, is happening here on PetCurious, DO NOT hesitate
to get in contact with us immediately so we can investigate and remove the fraudulent party from our system.
Here are a few things that can help us to investigate quickly:
- Screenshots - text messages, emails, payment receipts, etc.
- Pet Listing URL or ID
- Email addresses of involved parties
You can contact us by submitting a form here
, or by emailing us at: email@example.com