Purchasing an animal online to be a pet is different from heading over to Onlinestore.com and picking out some curtains. Besides, how can you be sure that the animal even exists? Sadly, a common scam is to require the adoption payment upfront and then never send the animal. Instead, they only continue coming up with more reasons for the poor scammed individual to keep giving them more money.
One dead giveaway of pet adoption scams is when whoever you’re dealing with doesn’t let you physically see the pet before you pay for it. As the agency notes, the scammers Never accept credit cards and ask for direct bank wire transfers, or another form of payment via Mobile App (Cash App, Zelle etc.) or gift card, Western Union, or any other unsecured form of payment.
The economical options on the market most of the time are scams. If someone trying to sell you a purebred kitten for less than $2000 it is most likely a scam, usually scammers ask you to pay from $350 to $800. We have heard many sad stories from our customers. A lot of people are getting scammed every day and sending money for cats that don’t exist without even a chance of getting it back.
The middle price option $2000-$3500 could offer you a real purebred cat, but you can end up paying for it far more in the long run. A sick animal will not bring you any happiness, and emergency rooms will empty your pockets very fast. A thousand-dollar fee will soon jump to a few thousand. Purebred cats can be bred only when you know the origin of the cat (pedigree) for a REASON. They tend to have a lot of genetic diseases that you won’t be able to cure. HCM is a huge problem and the “purebred” animals for a middle fee were never tested for it. Most of the time their breeders can’t even show the pedigree of the kitten’s parents. Forget about HCM.
You can follow these rules to avoid being scammed:
- Always ask to see a kitten in real life
You must see the kitten in real life, some trusted online pet stores such as purebreedkitties.com offer you to schedule live video calls with the kitten, which is a great option that will save your time and money on travel and is a much safer option than face to face considering COVID-19.
- Pay only with a credit or debit card
Trusted online platforms support secure methods of payment, such as debit or credit cards. You should never transact with sellers requiring payment via insecure methods, such as wire transfers, money orders, bitcoin, prepaid gift cards, mobile apps, and so on. Even though these methods of payment as easy and effective, they lack meaningful recourse to get your money back in case of a scam. It is also important to note that any site which requires your personal information, such as your Social Security number, should be avoided entirely.
- Check contact information
A trusted website such as purebreedkitties.com provides visitors with Purebreed Kitties as the name of the company and additional contact information on the website, including phone numbers. On the other hand, scam websites usually provide only their email address along with a form for you to fill out on their page. The lack of contact information highlight that they don’t wish to be contacted, but only seek to obtain your personal information for their scam. You should also be cautious if the seller provides an international contact number by calling the number. Typically, scammers use disconnected numbers to avoid being tracked by authorities. Also, watch out for websites located differently from the company.
- Don’t Fall for Low Prices and Discounts
If you see a sphinx deal that seems too good to be true, it probably is. You can eradicate doubt by visiting other sites and comparing prices before you purchase. As we all know, sellers transact with the sole intention of making a profit. Any offer which is way lower than the others is suspicious and should be treated with caution. One of the tricks used by scammers to attract innocent buyers is discounts. Scammers understand that a majority of buyers will seek established sellers if they offer sphinxes at the average price. On the other hand, lower prices can be suspicious and turn away potential victims. To justify their lower prices, scanners will offer a big discount tricking buyers into believing it is a genuine deal.
- Review Fine Print for Sloppy English
Some online scammers are from countries where English is not the first language. Always read the fine print and look out for spelling and grammar mistakes and strange choice of words. Also, poor website design for sphinx sellers purporting to be established organizations should raise a red flag.
- Check domain name
Whenever you are searching for an established organization to buy your sphinx, watch out for suspicious domain names. In most cases, trusted organizations will use simple URLs, such as purebreedkitties.com, matching the name and trademark of the company. Any extra, enticing, or suggestive words in the URL, such as ‘super deals’ or ‘discount sales,’ it is highly likely that the website is a scam.
- Check when the site was created
One key characteristic of scam sites is they do not exist for long for fear of being caught. Most established and trusted sphinx websites have been in existence for years. Therefore, you should be cautious of any website which has been in existence for a few weeks or months. You can look up the history of websites and archived versions of the sites over time by checking the website’s Wayback Machine.
- Review refund policy
A trusted website provides potential customers with a clear refund policy. Make sure you review the refund policy before purchasing and avoid sites with vague or nonexistent refund policies.
- Check out customer reviews
One of the main indicators of a scam is customer reviews. Widespread connectivity offered by the Internet reduces the possibility of users falling for the same scam over and over again. Most buyers who have been scammed highlight the website as a scam in various sites on the web. All you have to do is type the name of the website, followed by the word 'scam,' and you will be able to view complaints or testimonials about the company.
One of the gifts we have is instinct. Never disregard your gut feeling because of enticing discounts or deals. Most importantly, you can always count on purebreedkitties.com when you want to buy kittens online.
I've been scammed. What should I do?
You may wish to file a report with the appropriate authorities and/or your regional fraud reporting center — such as the Internet Crime Complaint Center (www.ic3.gov)
You may also contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which handles complaints about deceptive or unfair business practices. To file a complaint, visit http://www.ftc.gov/ftc/contact.shtm, call 1-877-FTC-HELP, or write to the following address:
Federal Trade Commission
Washington, D.C. 20580
If your complaint is against a company in a country other than the United States, you can file it at http://www.econsumer.gov. You can also find information on where to report in locations outside the United States at econsumer.gov.