Pet scam is one of the most common forms of fraud. However, unlike other methods of fishing out money, this type of fraud is devastating not only to victims’ wallets, but also to their souls.
The main forms of online fraud:
1. Raising money for a nonexistent animal, or an animal not under guardianship of a money collector. How to avoid fraud?
- Check Google search engine for a unique image. If the animal photo has already been used on other sites, the probability of fraud is high.
- Set contacts, names and offered accounts for money transfer in the searcher, analyze the information received.
- Offer to help with food, medicines, and above all, the personal involvement (a walk with the dog, cleaning up after it, and so on), to begin with.
2. Reality TV “soap opera”. They choose an animal with a disability, place the theme on the thematic forums, or create a group on the social networks. To do this, a “curator” must have a name and a reputation among animal rights activists. They raise money for this animal.
Professional psychologists wind off the crowd for fundraising, actively discussing details about the animal. There are detailed reports – how the animal eats, what his intestinal habits are, but there are no financial statements, or they do not stand up to scrutiny. Often fundraising continues after the death of the animals.
How to avoid fraud?
- Watch carefully for the presence of financial reports with a copy of documents, pay attention to the dates, diagnoses, etc.
- Offer physical help — yours or that of your friends who live in the city where the animal is, offer to visit the pet .
- Look for information on the group admin on the Internet.
3. Sale of animals online, without the possibility of a personal meeting. Scammers place the photo of a kitten or puppy on one of the shopping sites. There is only one problem – there is no possibility of a personal meeting to pick up the animal. Instead, scammers ask to pay for the shipment or transportation. The victim is asked to transfer a “symbolic” amount to the bank account or transfer money through a system of international transfers.
Naturally, after the money is transferred, the contact number of scams will be disabled, and the victim will be left without money and the animal.