Police at South Simcoe are warning residents to be extra cautious when purchasing a pet online after a local resident was scammed when they tried to purchase Maine Coon kittens online. – South Simcoe Police photo
South Simcoe Police are warning residents to be extra cautious when buying pets online after a recent fraud involving kittens.
According to police, a local resident was scammed out of some money after trying to buy Maine Coon kittens from a website advertising that it specialized in the breed.
Police say the scam usually works like this: a victim sends an initial payment, expecting their new pet. But the fraudster will often insist on extra fees for thing such as transport, customs or medical bills — and the animal never arrives.
“Heartbroken buyers end up out of pocket and without a pet,” police said.
Police have released some tips to help residents avoid becoming a victim when shopping for pets online:
• View the pet in person before buying;
• Research the seller and the website to see if they are the subject of complaints;
• If the URL differs from the actual website name, it’s probably fake;
• Think twice if the asking price is very low for the breed;
• If the sellers request money in US dollars, it’s probably a scam;
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• Do a reverse-image search on the animal image to see if it is linked to scams and other websites;
• Adopt locally instead of online.
Police advice nyone who has been scammed after trying to purchase a pet online to report these incidents to the police and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501.