Saturday, February 2, 2008

Pet shipping and International adoption update

Unfortunately the puppy adoption scam seems to be gaining strength. In the past two weeks I have taken more requests than I can keep track of, for puppy adoptions from Africa, Cameroon, and Nigeria. These criminals now have broadened the variety of the breeds they are using as bait. New breeds I am seeing offered by these crooks include, but are not limited to, Yorkie's, Maltese and Chihuahua's, I have also heard of baby monkey's being used as well. The reason why this seems to be working so well, is the locations that the scam artists are advertising, including, major news papers, and reputable pet adoption web sites, even on Yahoo pets. No matter how legit the ad looks, it is so important to confirm the location, and identity of the person who you are dealing with, send them nothing if you are even the slightest bit unsure. In the U.S there are so many pets available for adoption, I am still baffled by the thought of adopting a pet from out side of the country, it just doesn't make sense. Please if ever you are going to adopt a pet, please get in touch with a professional pet shipper before sending anyone any amount of money. It is not cheap to send a pet internationally, although the scam seems to almost always ask for only a couple of hundred dollars for shipping. A good way to identify a scam is to take the name of the company that they claim will be handling the shipment and enter it into Google search if you find that they do not have a web site, than it is safe to say in the year two thousand and eight, that they are not legit, and you should not deal with them.

1 comment:

Megan said...

Note to everyone:

Please do your part to help put a stop to internet fraud and con artistry. Many animal lovers are aware of the problems out there and many have fallen victim. AND it has expanded from the internet into our local newspapers!

If it’s too good to be true---it probably is!

People who offer to ‘adopt’ out their pet for ‘free’ and ask that you only pay shipping have no animal and are only after your money. I started noticing this a few years ago with dogs when I was breeding boxers. They are now using birds and ‘fertile‘ bird eggs. The big one right now is the Hyacinth Macaw. This bird ranges in price between (on a very low end) $4,000.00 to $10,000.00 or more (on the normal to higher end). Most of these people don’t even know what a Hyacinth is. If they did would they really think someone who does know about hyacinths would believe they were “giving” it away??? It’s not just the Hyacinth though, I’m seeing other high end birds and high end ‘fertile’ bird eggs as well. I’ve seen shipping fees range from $250-$1400.

The best sob stories I’ve heard:
-They belonged to my daughter who got killed last week and I can‘t keep them anymore b/c they remind me of her. (that one gets a 5 star for a new low!)
-I moved to Cameroon to work and now I don’t have the time for the birds-gotta get them out of here quick!
-The environment here isn’t good for them they have to go.
-The weather is too harsh for them.
-One of my favorites was from someone claiming to be a reverend. I’m soooo sure a reverend would, in an e-mail that is THAT important, use cuz instead of because!
Blah blah blah

Most of these people claim to have moved over there from the states to work. And unfortunately, not only are they scamming people but they are doing so from the comfort of their own homes---In the US!

Don’t forget we live in a country where fraud is illegal and something that they CAN very well end up in prison for. Most of us who have internet have the other amenities as well. Cell phones, caller ids, digital cameras, web cams, more than one mailing address and land line, etc… if you get creative enough you can catch these guys and put an end to their game. I’m not saying we will be able to stop them all but a few is better than none.

*Get as much information from them as possible. Phone numbers, addresses, names-whatever they will give up to you. Keep an exact log w/ dates and times of everything.

*Do not delete caller id and take photographs of the name, time and date. Burn the photos to disk right after and go ahead and print them out too.

*Contact your phone company and tell them you need a trace ran on that number. If they ask why, tell them you are a victim of fraud and you think they are trying to steal your identity as well. And if you think they can’t from the information they ‘need’ from you, your wrong. We live in a day and age where all it takes is nothing for someone to take over your life.

*Google the number to get addresses and trace it yourself. Then collect all the information you can about them off the internet.---a world of resources right at your fingertips---

*Record the phone calls and print the online exchanges. You can get something called a dispatch buster for around $20 and it records everything both parties are saying on the phone, quietly and they’ll never know---until it gets played for them, that is. Or you can pick something up at Radio Shack for a little more if you can’t find a dispatch buster. The difference: you have to surrender the dispatch buster to the police if you want them to use your recordings, something from R.S. you can just give them the recorded tape and keep your device to use the next time around. If you can get them in video conference online, burn it to a disk and give that to the police-a face to go with the name and voice.

*Make them get detailed about the airline and/or shipping method they want to use. Times, dates, everything. (I offer to arrange everything which puts me HAVING to have all of THEIR information, otherwise, they can’t cash in and they know it.)

*When you have the information you need on them; first notify your local sheriff’s department to let them know people in your area are being targeted by X person and here is all their X information you have on them, second and very important-notify their local police department, if possible speak to the sheriff about the situation in detail and let them know you would like charges pressed.

Do I seem a little obsessed? Probably. BUT here’s the thing: I love my animals like they are my children. I wouldn’t let anyone mess with my children like that, not for any reason. People who are serious about owning an animal don’t deserve to go through this, no matter how naive they are. The sad fact is that it happens all the time to unsuspecting people and I find that heartbreaking. How would you feel when you realized you just spent between a few hundred to a few thousand dollars on a pet that was supposed to be shipped to you, only to find out it never existed. AND no one can do anything about it because you don’t have the ‘proof’ you need? Now, you’ve lost your money and the pet you had your heart set on.

You’ll know when you get so fed up with it that your ready to start ‘helping’ them get caught. I knew my breaking point. It was when I offered to park a plane in their rear end when they asked me what the closest airport to me was.

Some of you might think I’m a bit (or all the way) off my rocker and are asking ’why would you do all this’? Well, I go through the ’trouble’ for three loves of my life: Riley, my 7 month old harlequin macaw, Riggs, 3 yrs & Daphne, 2 yrs, my brindle boxers. The are my heart, soul, joy and many days they are my sanity. We are four peas in a pod with enough love for more. I know God will lead us to the rest of our peas, until then? Well, were just the good guys helping to look out for those who don’t deserve to get burned.