Tuesday, November 7, 2017

This Is How Internet Pet Scam Break Your Heart and How You Can Avoid it

Pet scams are all over the place, and pet scammers have moved onto the Internet as well. Current generation of pet scammers create fake "adoption" websites, then hand you off to associates with fake pet shipping services with an excuse for additional fees.

A woman in Milwaukee was duped by a fake kitten adoption website. The man claimed to be in Virginia and will ship her a kitten for $170... Except he demanded payment via a reloadable gift card, not regular methods. Then later, when a separate scammer called her, claimed they need to "recrate" the kitten at the airport for additional $840 that's "refundable" she knew she'd been had. They even used the name of a real pet transport service.

A Delaware woman was duped into sending money via Western Union to a scammer for deposit on a toy poodle, and even told the woman to go to Baltimore, MD to pick it up, except the address was bogus... The man living at that address had no pets, much less a toy poodle.

Delta Airlines discovered that someone had created a fake pet transport service using Delta's name called DeltaPetTransit.com, complete with Delta's logo and pictures of its planes, used by pet scammers to trick people out of even more money.

The common elements are:

* Fake pet adoption / sales website with cute pictures and flowery prose but no history
* The pets are in a different state, often Delaware, often with fake addresses
* Demand payment via non-traceable methods, like Western Union, gift cards, green dot cards, etc.
* (Optional) Handoff to a fake transport service, demand "mandatory fees" for insurance, vaccines, permits, etc.
* Again, demand payment via non-traceable methods

Modern pet scammers are in usually in West Africa, with accomplices in the US to pick up the payments. The websites are created from a template, with stolen pictures. Phone numbers are connected to burner phones, and addresses are fake (but real enough to pass cursory inspection).

Don't fall for such scams.





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