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Pet Transport scams and pets for sale scams

Common scams found on Facebook and Craigslist

The pet for sale scam

Pets for sale scams are big business, and people get taken advantage of everyday.
We have arrived at addresses that turned out to be empty lots to pick up for a customer, and that’s a horrible phone call to make to deliver that news.
These scammers generally start on Craigslist or Facebook, advertising a too good to be true price for a dog.
There’s generally some sort of heartbreaking story like they rescued it from a puppy mill, a relative died or they’re moving and can’t take their beloved pet with them.
Once you’re emotionally invested they’ll ask you to add money to a prepaid credit / debit card, send a money order, or even PayPal friends and family (for which there is no recourse).

Once the first money is sent, they’ll ask for more for medicine, vet bills or something else the dog needs to be ready.
If you fail to send more money, all communication stops.

When dealing with an unknown seller, here’s what we suggest you insist on.

  • Phone call (listen for broken English, and see if they block their number).
    If you can see the number, Google it and verify it’s not from a temporary number service.
    Call it back. If they answer, ask them to share their location with you. 
  • Live Video Chat with the animal and the seller.
  • Only send money via reputable and commonly trusted commercial methods.
    For PayPal..(goods and services) only. This way you can be refunded via dispute.

The Pet Transporter Scam

There seems to be A LOT of options out there when it comes to have pets shipped across the country.
And among them are legitimate professionals like yours truly, with a reputation and verifiable credentials.
Unfortunately, there are also many scammers and con artists looking to take advantage of well meaning people.
This has resulted in many pets being lost, stolen to be resold elsewhere, or simply never picked up.

  • Phone Number ( a real verifiable phone number that is dedicated to that company name ).
  • Company email ( free emails such as @yahoo, @gmail etc. are often used by scammers and part timers testing the waters ).
    A company email is the very minimum of investments for a legitimate, responsible business.
  • Website ( another example of the bare minimum a legitimate business would invest in. )

The "budget" transporter scam

There are some people that do actually get your pet from point A to B, packing pets in like livestock.
You CAN NOT transport a pet cross country for $300, without stacking them like cord wood.
Add up the cost of fuel, food, insurance and labor for a legitimate company, and $300 barely gets you 300 miles.

These are what we call “mills on wheels”, they cram as many pets as possible into a vehicle, and it’s just a numbers game.
The more they cram in, the more money they make.

They rarely stop for potty breaks or exercise, and pets ride in their own waste for days at a time.
Once you see “and smell” one, you’ll never forget it. It is truly heart breaking.
They quickly clean the pets up before hand off.

If a price sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

Pawpaws Express - how to spot pet scams
PawPaws Express
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