Puppy and Kitten Lockdown Scam Alert

Action Fraud have reported a surge of pet scams, some £282,000 lost in March and April alone. Fraudsters are taking advantage of lockdown as many decide to add a pet to their household. The most common scam is to advertise non-existent animals and to get a deposit from buyers to secure the purchase, normally most buyers would see an animal in person before paying anything but that is not possible during lockdown. Please follow the tips below if you are buying a puppy or a kitten and stay safe.

NEVER BUY A PET WITHOUT SEEING THE ANIMAL AND DOING SOME RESEARCH

Tips and Advice

  • You must see the pet – If lockdown is preventing that then ask for a Facetime/WhatsApp video call. If they refuse, then stay away
  • Find a good breeder – there are a lot of puppy farms and unscrupulous breeders out there. Do some research to protect yourselves. For puppies the Kennel Club Assured Breeder scheme is a great place to start. The Puppy Contract is another great site with lots of useful information. For kittens the Kitten Checklist is a very worthwhile read
  • Beware time threats – the “last cute puppy” etc. Please don’t be pressured into acting quickly, this is a ‘red flag’ and often a sign of a scam
  • Pay safe! – If you pay with a credit card, (over £100) or PayPal you receive some/a lot of fraud protection. If you use a bank transfer or a debit card you receive very little
  • Consider adopting – a pet, the RSPCA has loads of wonderful dogs and cats looking for a loving home
  • Still Unsure? – Join Reassura 0800 888 6400 and one of our fraud advisors will help you to stay safe
  • To report a fraud – and receive a police crime reference number call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use their online fraud reporting tool

 

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