Scams involving deposits for animals advertised for sale online
In recent months concern has been growing around scams involving online sellers’ requests for payment of deposits to secure an animal which is being advertised for sale via an online advert when the animal does not exist.
PAAG strongly recommends deposits are not paid for any animal that has not been seen in person.
Recent data from Action Fraud[i] showed that reports of scams regarding deposits have increased, with many stating that an advertiser asks for a deposit for an animal being advertised for sale. However once paid, it transpires that the animal does not exist.
This concerning news has arisen in tandem with the increasing demand for pets during the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown. Scams regarding deposits have seemingly become more prevalent during this period as a result of restrictions on the movement of people as part of the lockdown, whereby the Government issued advice asking people to stay at home, away from others, and avoid all unnecessary travel. Those behind the scam adverts have used this as a reason why the prospective buyer is not able to see the animal or collect them.
PAAG strongly recommends deposits are not paid for any animal that has not been seen in person, so fulfilling the conditions we recommend, including seeing the animal interacting with their mother and littermates in the place they were bred.
If you are being asked to pay a deposit for an animal you are not able to visit in person first, we strongly encourage reporting the advert to the website the animal is advertised on.
Approved by: All PAAG Members
Date: Monday 3rd August 2020