Buying an animal on the internet: Don’t be fooled!

Buying an animal on the internet: Don’t be fooled!

On the web it’s important to be vigilant even when it’s time to find your perfect companion animal.

August 26, 2020

You can find a companion animal several ways, for instance, at a shelter, through people you know or on the web. This last option necessitates extra care if you want to avoid unpleasant surprises.

Fraud alert
A common online fraud goes like this: an ill-intentioned person posts an enticing photo of the animal they claim to need to get rid of. The pet won’t cost very much or may even be free. True animal lovers, fearing that this pet is about to be abandoned, contact the seller for more information. After a few exchanges, the fraudster asks for more than the original sum—to cover food, transport or whatever they think they can get away with. Their underlying goal, of course, is to extract as much money as possible.

Fraudsters generally work on well-known sites such as Marketplace (Facebook) and Kijiji.

3 tips for avoiding online fraud
To avoid falling into a trap, exercise caution and be alert to situations that seem improbable. 

Here are some suggestions:

1. Visit only well-established sites
Even though fraud can take place on established websites, lesser known, insecure sites are more likely to lend themselves to questionable practices.

2. Don’t accept unexpected price hikes
When you express interest, if a seller attempts to raise the price or add conditions that weren’t part of the original deal, take a step back.

3. Find out about the seller
Get some basic information: Where do they live? Why are they giving up their animal? Visit their profile to check if it’s active and seems legitimate.

It’s an unfortunate fact: There are all sorts of fraudsters out there and it’s essential to take care when navigating the web in search of a companion animal.

Be careful!

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