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Thread: Online Pet Scams Soar

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    3

    Online Pet Scams Soar

    We all know the Internet can be a great place to buy anything from books to DVDs and rare gifts, but it's not where you should go to buy a new pet.

    In addition to disreputable dealers and puppy mills, Internet scammers have crept into the realm of online pet sales, stealing money from unsuspecting people who think their new dog or cat is on the way to his or her new home, when in fact there was never really an animal at all.

    The only party harmed in these scams is the person who is out hundreds or thousands of dollars.

    In the real world of online pet sales, families often lose significant money when the pet they ordered falls ill soon after arrival, but the real victims are the breeding animals stuck in factory-style operations, churning out babies to be sold off for a quick profit.

    Over the Net, Overseas

    Tens of thousands of dogs are shipped into the U.S. from puppy mills in foreign countries, purchased by people over Internet sites. Many people who have purchased puppies and kittens online find that their new pets are sick and often die from their health problems.

    Some never even knew they were dealing with someone outside of the U.S. or that their puppy was born overseas before being sold to a U.S. broker. A good rule of thumb is to not deal with anyone who claims to be a distant buyer, seller or adopter.

    "Buying an animal online is always a bad idea," said Stephanie Shain, director of The HSUS's Stop Puppy Mills campaign. "Animal peddlers have a big bag of tricks they use to fool buyers into thinking they are dealing with a great breeder.

    The first rule whenever someone thinks of buying a pet is to visit where that animal was born and see how the parents are living."

    Many thousands of puppies are sold over the Internet each year. Approximately 20 percent of the sick puppy complaints that The HSUS received last year involved Internet transactions. In these cases, people either ordered their puppy over the Internet or dealt with a seller whose ad they found on the Internet.

    Of all the sick puppy complaints The HSUS receives (Internet, pet store and otherwise), about 20 percent involved pups who died.

    Where's My Puppy?

    That cute puppy in the photo on the legitimate-looking website is almost too cute to be real. Often, he isn't.

    One scam promises you a free puppy—as long as you pay the shipping. Once the scammers get your "shipping" costs, the scammer says your puppy is stuck at the airport due to customs complications, and you are asked to send more money.

    Finally, the scammer (and the puppy who never existed in the first place) disappear. In many cases, victims think their dog is at the airport waiting for them after they've sent two or three money orders.

    The HSUS has received many e-mails and phone calls regarding Internet pet scams in recent months. While the total dollars or numbers of victims involved in the scams remain unclear, the scams are working on some. One woman recently contacted The HSUS for help in saving a puppy who didn't exist.

    She believed she was adopting the puppy from a person she had met on the Internet who was stationed abroad. After taking some money from the woman for "shipping" costs, the scammer requested more money to help transport the dog from a European airport, where she said the dog was being held because of problems with the crate.

    After receiving e-mails that appeared to be from airport officials, the woman was convinced that "her" puppy was really at the airport and in need of her help. But it was all a hoax.

    Pet Buying Tips

    Never buy a pet from anyone whose operation you have not personally visited.


    Check references for any breeder that you deal with.

    Find your local shelter and visit.

    If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

    Check out our Puppy Buyers Guide.

    Want to adopt? Visit Proud 2 Adopt.

    Bulldog Bamboozlement

    Some fraudulent email scammers prey upon the kindheartedness of dog lovers who want to offer homes to puppies and their parents.

    One e-mail scam tells the story of a woman whose mother unexpectedly died, leaving behind "adorable bulldog puppies" who—along with their parents—are in need of a home because the daughter and her husband moved to an apartment where pets are not allowed.

    Respondents are duped out of "shipping" or "adoption" fees for these non-existent puppies.

    English bulldogs and Yorkshire terriers are two of the breeds most often mentioned in puppy money order scams, perhaps because they are such popular and expensive breeds.

    Warning Signs

    Internet pet-selling scams often include a long-distance seller—claiming to be in another country doing missionary work—who cannot keep the dog because the climate is too hot.

    In other cases, the seller claims to represent an animal shelter or a good Samaritan, offering the breeds for "adoption." In these cases, it's important to remember that reputable shelters do not place puppies by sending out mass e-mails and then shipping animals to people.

    Internet scammers can deceive would-be buyers by using readily available online photos or by using stolen photos of other people's pets to represent the non-existent animal.

    They will often copy the claims of legitimate rescue groups and attempt to sound reputable by saying that they will only adopt the pet to someone who has a fenced yard, for example.

    They will also copy the text from breeder ads and claim to have registration certificates, vet records and health guarantees.

    Be a Hero: Rescue a Pet

    So where can you go to find a legitimate source of a dog or cat? Your first stop should be your local shelter. Today's animal shelters have dogs and cats of all ages but also offer rescue to other animals like rabbits and birds.

    Even if you are looking for a specific breed, the shelter is a great first option, with one out of every four dogs in U.S. shelters being a purebred. Check out breed rescue groups for a larger selection of animals of a certain type.

    The HSUS has many resources on adoption through the Proud 2 Adopt program, or visit Pets911.com or Petfinder.org to find your nearest animal shelter. To learn more about reputable breeders, visit our Puppy Buyers Guide.

    Victoria Fisher is Outreach Communications Coordinator for the Companion Animals section of The HSUS.





    ________________________

  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    1

    Re: Online Pet Scams Soar

    I am also agreed with it that the internet is the best to purchase anything online in a very short interval of time from books to Dvd and many other things of the need.

  3. #3

    Re: Online Pet Scams Soar

    Excellent write-up Kemchua. Thank you for your contribution.


    [QUOTE=kemchua;287]We all know the Internet can be a great place to buy anything from books to DVDs and rare gifts, but it's not where you should go to buy a new pet.

    In addition to disreputable dealers and puppy mills, Internet scammers have crept into the realm of online pet sales, stealing money from unsuspecting people who think their new dog or cat is on the way to his or her new home, when in fact there was never really an animal at all.

    The only party harmed in these scams is the person who is out hundreds or thousands of dollars.

    In the real world of online pet sales, families often lose significant money when the pet they ordered falls ill soon after arrival, but the real victims are the breeding animals stuck in factory-style operations, churning out babies to be sold off for a quick profit.

    Over the Net, Overseas

    Tens of thousands of dogs are shipped into the U.S. from puppy mills in foreign countries, purchased by people over Internet sites. Many people who have purchased puppies and kittens online find that their new pets are sick and often die from their health problems.

    Some never even knew they were dealing with someone outside of the U.S. or that their puppy was born overseas before being sold to a U.S. broker. A good rule of thumb is to not deal with anyone who claims to be a distant buyer, seller or adopter.

    "Buying an animal online is always a bad idea," said Stephanie Shain, director of The HSUS's Stop Puppy Mills campaign. "Animal peddlers have a big bag of tricks they use to fool buyers into thinking they are dealing with a great breeder.

    The first rule whenever someone thinks of buying a pet is to visit where that animal was born and see how the parents are living."

    Many thousands of puppies are sold over the Internet each year. Approximately 20 percent of the sick puppy complaints that The HSUS received last year involved Internet transactions. In these cases, people either ordered their puppy over the Internet or dealt with a seller whose ad they found on the Internet.

    Of all the sick puppy complaints The HSUS receives (Internet, pet store and otherwise), about 20 percent involved pups who died.

    Where's My Puppy?

    That cute puppy in the photo on the legitimate-looking website is almost too cute to be real. Often, he isn't.

    One scam promises you a free puppy—as long as you pay the shipping. Once the scammers get your "shipping" costs, the scammer says your puppy is stuck at the airport due to customs complications, and you are asked to send more money.

    Finally, the scammer (and the puppy who never existed in the first place) disappear. In many cases, victims think their dog is at the airport waiting for them after they've sent two or three money orders.

    The HSUS has received many e-mails and phone calls regarding Internet pet scams in recent months. While the total dollars or numbers of victims involved in the scams remain unclear, the scams are working on some. One woman recently contacted The HSUS for help in saving a puppy who didn't exist.

    She believed she was adopting the puppy from a person she had met on the Internet who was stationed abroad. After taking some money from the woman for "shipping" costs, the scammer requested more money to help transport the dog from a European airport, where she said the dog was being held because of problems with the crate.

    After receiving e-mails that appeared to be from airport officials, the woman was convinced that "her" puppy was really at the airport and in need of her help. But it was all a hoax.

    Pet Buying Tips

    Never buy a pet from anyone whose operation you have not personally visited.


    Check references for any breeder that you deal with.

    Find your local shelter and visit.

    If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

    Check out our Puppy Buyers Guide.

    Want to adopt? Visit Proud 2 Adopt.

    Bulldog Bamboozlement

    Some fraudulent email scammers prey upon the kindheartedness of dog lovers who want to offer homes to puppies and their parents.

    One e-mail scam tells the story of a woman whose mother unexpectedly died, leaving behind "adorable bulldog puppies" who—along with their parents—are in need of a home because the daughter and her husband moved to an apartment where pets are not allowed.

    Respondents are duped out of "shipping" or "adoption" fees for these non-existent puppies.

    English bulldogs and Yorkshire terriers are two of the breeds most often mentioned in puppy money order scams, perhaps because they are such popular and expensive breeds.

    Warning Signs

    Internet pet-selling scams often include a long-distance seller—claiming to be in another country doing missionary work—who cannot keep the dog because the climate is too hot.

    In other cases, the seller claims to represent an animal shelter or a good Samaritan, offering the breeds for "adoption." In these cases, it's important to remember that reputable shelters do not place puppies by sending out mass e-mails and then shipping animals to people.

    Internet scammers can deceive would-be buyers by using readily available online photos or by using stolen photos of other people's pets to represent the non-existent animal.

    They will often copy the claims of legitimate rescue groups and attempt to sound reputable by saying that they will only adopt the pet to someone who has a fenced yard, for example.

    They will also copy the text from breeder ads and claim to have registration certificates, vet records and health guarantees.

    Be a Hero: Rescue a Pet

    So where can you go to find a legitimate source of a dog or cat? Your first stop should be your local shelter. Today's animal shelters have dogs and cats of all ages but also offer rescue to other animals like rabbits and birds.

    Even if you are looking for a specific breed, the shelter is a great first option, with one out of every four dogs in U.S. shelters being a purebred. Check out breed rescue groups for a larger selection of animals of a certain type.

    The HSUS has many resources on adoption through the Proud 2 Adopt program, or visit Pets911.com or Petfinder.org to find your nearest animal shelter. To learn more about reputable breeders, visit our Puppy Buyers Guide.

    Victoria Fisher is Outreach Communications Coordinator for the Companion Animals section of The HSUS.





    ________________________

  4. #4

    Re: Online Pet Scams Soar

    Realistically I feel that the internet is good for research, gaining knowledge of what you are wanting to purchase but if you are not sure or have not consistently dealt with an online source then there is always the risk of loosing money or getting scammed. We have to ensure that we thoroughly research and understand what it is that we are going to be getting ourselves into. I got my first cat from a friends sister who had two mommy cats that each had a litter, my second cat was found on the streets at 3 mos. someone just dumped him on the highway in Florida, I stopped by a citrus stand where he was there crying, I couldn't leave him and now my girl has a friend to play with.

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