The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) and Action Fraud have recently noticed a rise in the reporting of pets, and in particular puppies and kittens, being advertised for sale via popular online auction websites by fraudsters.
They will often claim that the pet is currently held somewhere remote or overseas.
Upon agreement of a sale, an advance payment by money transfer or bank transfer will usually be requested, followed by further requests for advanced payments for courier charges, shipping fees and additional transportation costs. Delivery of the pet will, inevitably, not be forthcoming.
A request for an advance payment by money transfer or bank transfer should immediately set alarm bells ringing, but it is always wise to stick to the following simple guidelines when buying a pet.
• Agree a suitable time to meet the vendor face-to-face to agree the purchase and to collect the pet. If the seller is reluctant to meet, then it could be an indication that the pet does not exist.
• A reputable vendor should be keen to ensure that the pet is going to a caring and loving new home. If the seller does not express any interest in your home and its suitability, be wary.
• If you think the purchase price is “too good to be true” then it probably is, especially if the pet is advertised as pure-bred.
• Insist on seeing puppies or kittens with their mother and receiving copies of their inoculation history, breed paperwork and certification prior to agreeing a sale.
• Remember that commercial dog breeders must be registered with their local authority under the Breeding of Dogs Act 1973 (as amended by Breeding and Sale of Dogs (Welfare) Act 1999) and undergo regular inspections to ensure that puppies are bred responsibly.
• The Selden Neighbourhood Panel meets on Tuesday, July 18, at the East Worthing Community Centre, Pages Lane, at 6.30pm.
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