FRAUD ALERT: CAT FANCIERS ARE BEING FLEECED
If you are trying to purchase a rare and expensive breed of cat, and you are offered an opportunity to do so by someone who is not personally known to you or isn’t a recognized breeder of that particular breed of cat….BE WARNED. There are scammers out there who are feeding off people like you who want a particular breed of cat, and want a kitten to raise rather than an adult cat.
Here are some of the danger signs:
A. Being told that it is a seller’s market and that the breed of kitten you want is in short supply. (This is probably true, but the statement is designed to raise anxiety and promote impulse purchases.)
B. Being asked to pay part or all of the purchase price up front rather than at the point of sale. Reputable breeders will often ask for deposits on cats from upcoming litters but those are refundable good faith deposits. (I wouldn’t pay anything up front for any kitten. I would never purchase a kitten that I haven’t interviewed in advance.)
C. Being asked to use a third party conveyor such as Western Union or Walmart. Western Union is diligent about warning customers about scams. Walmart, not so much.
D. Being asked to pay in bitcoin. (Walk away. This is definitely a scammer.)
E. Not being given a verifiable home or business address to send correspondence to.
THE NUMBER ONE TIP-OFF THAT YOU ARE DEALING WITH A SCAMMER IS THAT THEY DON’T WANT YOUR CREDIT CARD OR PERSONAL CHECK BECAUSE CREDIT CARD AND CHECK PAYMENTS CAN BE STOPPED AND BECAUSE THEY ARE EASIER TO TRACE THAN WESTERN UNION OR WALMART PAYMENTS.
IF THIS HAS HAPPENED TO YOU, PLEASE CONTACT ME BY PRIVATE MESSAGE AND I WILL GET BACK TO YOU. HERE ARE THE QUESTIONS I WILL ASK:
- What breed of cat were you trying to purchase?
- How did you first find out about the kitten that was for sale?
- If you saw it advertised, where did you see it advertised?
- If someone contacted you by email, do you still have the email?
- Did you conduct the entire transaction by email or did you have telephone conversations with the seller?
- If you had telephone conversations, did you call them or did they call you?
- Did you post inquiries about the cat you were trying to find on social media?
- If so, where did you post the inquiries?
- Pictures of the kitten must have been provided in one way or another.
- If you have copies of those pictures in your system, they can be traced back to their original source very easily
- Did you put your name on a waiting list and, if so, where?
- How much did you pay?
- How were you convinced to pay up front rather than at the point of sale?
- Do you know anyone else who recently obtained a kitten of the same breed?
- How has this affected you and your family?
If this has happened to you, please let us know.
PLEASE SPREAD THIS STORY AROUND TO YOUR PERSONAL NETWORKS.