Most pet parents want the best for their furballs. However, some transport scammers take advantage of this by making up false information about the delivery of a pet. This usually is accompanied by a puppy scam to make it a double scam. Keep these signs in mind if you believe something is not right before you give away payment information.
How is the Company Asking you to Pay for Pet Transport?
A verified company will usually ask for payment via a credit card. Do not proceed if the company uses any of these methods:
- Forcing you to use PayPal but requesting that you click on family and friends when transferring money
- Asking you to pay in any form of gift cards
- Using Western Union, Xoom, or any other international money transfer service
If they use any of these methods, and you are not allowed to use a credit card, it is a direct red flag.
How Are They Preparing for the Transport of Your Pet?
Additionally, all legitimate companies will ask you extensive questions to find out if they can ship your pet and how much it will cost. If a transport company is eager to take your money without asking important questions, it is another sign of a scam.
To be sure of a pet’s safe transport, ask these questions:
- How did I prepare my pet for transport?
- What can my pet travel with during transport?
- What services do you offer to go along with transport?
- Will my pet be walked and given food?
- How will you assure that my pet will be safe during ground or air transport?
Read our blog on choosing the best transportation service for your pet to learn more about what a company needs to have before you trust them with your adorable friend.
Research the Transport Company Before Taking a Breeder’s Recommendation
Some false breeders may even use a real transport company’s logo to convince you that their service is real. Animal Transportation Worldwide has seen time and time again how scammers use our logo on receipts to reassure the victim that their puppy will be shipped.
If they claim they will be using us as their transport method, please call the office to see if we know the breeder. Along with this, it’s better to verify if we ship to the location the breeder is in.
At Animal Transportation Worldwide, we only export pets to other countries from the United States. For example, we will never ship a pet from Mexico to Uruguay. If the scammer is promising you this, it’s not real.
We urge you to please verify that all the information is correct before you let yourself proceed with payment. Call the transportation company and see if they have received any request from the “breeder.” It’s better to take weeks to research before deciding to give away your money. You work hard for your money, and it’s not fair for a criminal to get away with it.
What Sob Stories are the Scammers Offering?
If you are not willing to comply with a pet transport scam, or they want more money from you, they may appeal to your kind heart to get more money. Some excuses scammers may use are:
- I’m a poor college student, and I really need the extra money to study
- I know you believe in kindness because you are a believer in (whatever religion you adhere to)
- I’ll mark the price down if you buy the puppy or kitten from me
- I need additional money for the kennel, insurance, boarding, etc…
All real transport companies let you know the immediate cost. They will never call you to ask for more money after the payment. Don’t be fooled by sob stories or additional requests for money.
Look for the Transport Company in IPATA
IPATA (International Pet and Animal Transportation Association) is a nonprofit that works to conglomerate all transport companies on one website. All real transport companies are on IPATA.
It’s important to go to the IPATA website and search for the transport company that the breeder gave you. If you are unable to find it, that is another suspicious sign.
Animal Transportation Worldwide is part of IPATA and the ATA (Animal Transportation Association). We are also part of the Better Business Bureau with an A+ rating. If a company is not willing to pull out their credentials, it is not a great idea to trust them with the transportation of your pet.
Don’t be Fooled!
Because of the pandemic, more people are looking to buy pets online. Even though buying an adorable dog or cat is a great idea, it’s better to be safe than sorry when using an online payment method.
Usually, transport and puppy scammers work hand in hand, so it’s best to use critical thinking when approaching either one. If you want to learn more about puppy scammers, read this blog on our friend’s site.
Other than that, stay safe when shopping online!