Pet Adoption Scam
There are now two versions of this scam - be very careful!
Over the past year, we have had reported to us an increasing number of "scam" offers to adopt a pet. In almost every case the person offering the pet is in one of the African countries or Britain. Cameroon is often mentioned. The type of pet varies from dogs and cats to birds and monkeys.
The offer takes several forms but generally offers you a free happy healthy pet that the organization is selling at a discount. Pictures are sent and introduction emails as well. Your only obligation is to pay the cost of transporting the pet from its current location to you (door to door).
In one scam, they identify themselves as being in the EU and sometimes use the name France Airlines. In this case they will tell you the pet is ready to ship but unless you send them $500.00 (approximate) the pet will go into quarantine for 13 weeks.
To add credence to their proposal they have used Pet Travel's name, the name of Virgin Atlantic Airlines, IATA, IPATA, the FAA and others.
You will be asked to wire some money perhaps a couple of hundred dollars and sometimes more to pay for the animal's transportation. If you send this money you will then receive a second notice that the animal is being held by the customs authorities at the airport in that country and is being mistreated and will probably die from mal-nutrition. Oftentimes, you will be asked to buy a crate and insurance.
You will be asked to urgently forward additional funds to pay the customs officers so that they will release the animal.
There is no pet to be adopted. It is a scam.
In the other scenario, they will ask you for insurance monies, usually about $500.00 after the payment for the pet. Then there are customs fees and the cost of the crate. We have received calls from people who have purchased puppies as well as birds and have never received them despite wiring thousands of dollars.
Email addresses show firstname.lastname@example.org. We have no control over the first part of the email address. Pet Travel has NOTHING to do with these transactions, and we sincerely caution you against dealing with these people. They will keep asking you to wire money (no credit cards means no retribution), and your pet will not arrive. Ignore their emails and report them to www.ic3.gov.