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How to Detect fraud sphynx cat adoption ads

VBrown

Lairian
Joined
Feb 20, 2013
Messages
15
Points
17
I am sorry you feel that way. I got my baby from a breeder in Florida and I live in Tacoma WA. My baby came to me safe, warm from an airplane. She still had food and water in her carrier and was warm as could be. And we have had her 4 days now and she fits in this family awesome. She was not scared of us at all. Lots of kisses and loves and she is our angle. Thank God we found such a great breeder that sent us an angle.
I definitely know that it's possible that I'm just beating myself out of a baby at this point but I think that I'd rather take a long time and find someone local than risk a bad episode. I talked to a breeder in Florida today and I'm actually considering driving down there.

I'm not sure if I'm just paranoid or completely crazy at this point so maybe you guys can help. I contacted the breeder (not sure if it was a search or a kitty adoption site). I always include my name, email and phone. He text me today saying that they have 2 kittens (1 male and 1 female). I was like ok. Then we texted a bit and it was discovered that the they were in Fl. Now I purposely didn't contact anyone in FL so red flag, but still could have just been my mistake. I'm like did you advertise as being in a different area? So then it turns out they have great, reliable, licensed shipping people. Kitten with shipping included is $450... I kow the economy is a bit down in Fl but really? I'm of the opinion that if it seems to good to be true....When I text back a couple hours later to ask for a web site, no answer. Now my sketch meter is in overdrive.

Hmmmmm.

I've given myself a radius of 6 hours from DC which covers from NY to North carolia and east to Ohio. I belong to a car club and don't mind driving so I'll even go 8 hours and make it an overnight, but this seems to be the most I'll do.

I've also considered breeders in places I have friends where I can get someone to go eyeball the situation. My other issue besides fraud is I don't want a mill kitty. They say it's raised as family and the I find out it's been abused in a tiny cage...I would flip out.
 

PoesMommy

Lairian
Joined
Feb 22, 2013
Messages
71
Points
0
I havent read every reply so sorry if this has been said already.

You can also save the images from the ad and drag and drop them into google after hitting the image tab and it will show you where other places those images were used. This can be extremely telling.
 

Ailsaliv

Lairian
Joined
May 7, 2011
Messages
6
Points
29
I've noticed with a lot of obvious scam ads that they will have poor spelling and grammar - as if English is not their first language. A lot will come out with sob stories about how these kittens where their mothers and she is very ill - things like that. There is also sometimes a lot of garbled "breeder speak" as if they have copied and pasted it to look more professional.
I think a good rule of thumb is to avoid ad sites in general and just contact a good breeder. A good breeder shouldn't have to advertise like that.
 

Pookerville

Lairian
Joined
Feb 3, 2013
Messages
32
Points
29
I guess I lucked out and found my Gretta on Craigslist. I drove from northern nj to Brooklyn with all three kids and picked her up from a grooming store. There were other sphynx there that had also been taken in from a hoarding situation. I had spoken with the woman at least a dozen times before going.
 

RevCampbell

Lairian
Joined
Nov 15, 2011
Messages
18
Points
14
I have been trying to rehome a kitty that I rescued from growing up as a feral and put her on Craigslist and what do I get but a bunch of those replies from non-native English speakers mentioned by another poster. They asked questions like what breed and how much, but not one addressed the issues that I had put in my ad. Very clear to me they were spamming, but one even had the gall to ask me to provide a bunch of personal info like my home address, as if. I no longer feel I can use Craigslist, at least not for pets.:Angry:
 

Subliminal Lou

Lairian
Joined
May 12, 2012
Messages
40
Points
34
In my opinion, price doesn't say much. They range greatly. Some breeders (although legit) are in it strictly for the money. While other breeders simply understand the love of/for the Sphynx and they just want to share that. I got both of my nakeds for a hell of a good price (not that you could put a price on their love).

While some people are comfortable having their babies shipped, I could never go through with a transaction unless I can personally meet the kitten, the mother, and the seller. Even then without a clear line of communication throughout the process, i would back out. I'm not into the heartbreak or financial games. Maybe that's just me.
 

Annie

Lairian
Joined
Oct 28, 2013
Messages
17
Points
14
I came across SO many scams while looking for my Sphynx. Almost all of them, like one comment already said, had bad English and only provided email addresses. I found one that had a phone number and I texted it, the response was quick and they asked me to please email. I told them they hadn't provided an email on the ad and he simply responded with "we cannot do business unless you email me." I didn't reply as that was all the red flag I needed. I would say if they won't give you a phone number, or want you to send money over the internet, and send it fast- then it's probably a scam. I did find my breeder online and she was not local, but she texted & called, sent me pictures of the parents, siblings, and tons of pictures of my kitten- all of which I could tell was the same cat - so getting plenty of pictures is another good way to determine. Also I felt reassured by the fact that she would not ship the kitten-I had to drive 500 miles to get him.
 

poppycat22

Lairian
Joined
Dec 7, 2014
Messages
9
Points
4
I was unfortunately scammed when first looking into getting a sphynx cat such an embarrassing story but if it can help anyone else avoid it in the future.

The women or whoever I came across was on a Canadian cat adoption website, reading all your tips now I could of saved myself the misery. The women said she had recently moved from Ontario to Florida (1st red flag I should of seen) and was looking to rehome her two hairless cats as she had a new job and didn't have the time for them anymore. We exchanged many emails and she even had lots of pictures of these two cats together and separate so again I didn't think anything was amiss. We agreed that as long as I paid for their flight $500 that would cover the adoption fee and they would be flown to the nearest airport for me to pick them up. We made the arrangements through Western Union and once everything was all set up (money in their hands) it all fell apart.

The shipping company which she had claimed to of used in the past with her kittens (I don't think this was a real company in the end either) started harassing me via phone calls from unusable numbers asking for now 1500$ (which I would get back 1300$ upon delivery) for a heated shipping container as they would have to go below and it was too cold for the kitties. This was the final straw for me and when I knew I was being scammed even though it broke my heart to figure this out. The women I had arranged this with assured me a person would take the cats in the cabin of the plane and there would be no need for this heated shipping container. So the big part of this scam would be you paid 500$ and then you think these poor little babies are waiting for you at the airport and if you don't pay the 1500 dollars what will happen to them and who will take them. That was also what was going through my mind and believe me I was torn as to what to do. But after not being able to contact the women to make other arrangements I was convinced none of it cats included was real. I was honestly distraught, I had picked out the names for both cats and had gotten everything ready for their arrival. The money didn't matter to me it was a bigger disappointment knowing I would not be receiving these little cuties into my life I was crushed.

As a animal lover I truly believe in finding a good home for your pet if you aren't able to keep them for whatever reason and believed this lady was genuine when saying she wanted to do the same. But after all the scammy bits came to light I never heard back from this "lady" or the shipping company. Also my registered hairless cat was $800 from a breeder so again prices vary anywhere from $800 to I've seen $2000. My advice would be use your brain not your heart when first looking for a sphynx as they will all pull at your heart strings. research, research, research and good communication with the person prior to any arrangements being made this way you can get a better read on them and if anything doesn't feel right don't go through with it and keep looking.
 

Sheldon13

V.I.P Lairian
V.I.P Lairian
Joined
Sep 2, 2014
Messages
1,992
Points
328
It is extremely disappointing how much of this actually goes on too. The internet is flooded with this crap. It is all too easy (and pretty much free) for scumbags to post a ton of these offers. I'm glad you saw through the second facade. Was there anyone you were able to report her to?
 

poppycat22

Lairian
Joined
Dec 7, 2014
Messages
9
Points
4
I did report it to my local police, Western Union as well as Visa all said nothing could be done which I assumed already but just wanted to stop it from happening to anyone else if I could in any way. Yes very sick people out there and it happens far too often, and lots of times there is no way to prevent them from doing it over and over :(
 

OnyxSphynx

Lairian
Joined
Jun 30, 2014
Messages
87
Points
44
I also just almost purchased a Sphynx kitten from someone advertising they lived in California but now moved to Arizona. I backed out when he said I need to send a money gram, no way, no recourse. He said the cat was 11 weeks old in the registration but had stated 13 weeks old in the ad. Then he said the shipping company would call me and I told them I needed a link so the papers had a shipping link of a reputable company. The letter came from a madeup name using the link to a reputable shipping company. I told the guy I only want to use the reputable shipping company. I told him if he sends a video tape in the next 15 minutes of the two kittens and the parents of the cats with him in it I might believe him. I never heard from him again.
 

OnyxSphynx

Lairian
Joined
Jun 30, 2014
Messages
87
Points
44
I also just almost purchased a Sphynx kitten from someone advertising they lived in California but now moved to Arizona. I backed out when he said I need to send a money gram, no way, no recourse. He said the cat was 11 weeks old in the registration but had stated 13 weeks old in the ad. Then he said the shipping company would call me and I told them I needed a link so the papers had a shipping link of a reputable company. The letter came from a madeup name using the link to a reputable shipping company. I told the guy I only want to use the reputable shipping company. I told him if he sends a video tape in the next 15 minutes of the two kittens and the parents of the cats with him in it I might believe him. I never heard from him again.
I reported him and the shipping company with his #s and emails to the Federal Trade Commission, the ad site, and the reputable shipper.
 

nettie1221

Lairian
Joined
Apr 25, 2012
Messages
21
Points
24
When my first sphynx Potter was still alive, I briefly looked for a second sphynx. I was working with a guy for a few weeks that was going to send me a black Sphynx he had pictures of that cat online. I was so excited. He was selling the cat for 450. But the first red flag was that he wanted me to send the money via western union. The next was that every time I asked if I could call him he would say not right now. Then he told me I needed to give him a 650 dollar deposit to ship the cat and that it would be returned to me when I signed for that cat. he lived only a few hours away and I asked if I could come and get the cat instead of shipping. He said he wouldn't let me pick up the cat. Just to send the money and I would get the refund. Total scam!
 

ammelton00

Lairian
Joined
Aug 31, 2015
Messages
12
Points
14
The most recent scam i have seen has been where someone will introduce themselves and win you over because they sound very believable. The story is that someone in their family has died who was taking care of the cat(s) and now they can not take care of them anymore, they say they will only charge you the price of shipping, and you must ship through a pet shipping service of their choice. DO NOT use anything like western union! and ask for a weird picture, like listed above maybe him or her sitting next to a bottle to see the size.
 

RevCampbell

Lairian
Joined
Nov 15, 2011
Messages
18
Points
14
I got hit by an Oodle ad - my computer software caught a response email that it didn't like so I didn't even open the message. Been looking for what seems a really long time, thought I found my new kid in Vegas [on this site] but the poster quit answering me, suppose someone closer got him. one thing I noticed is that if an ad is written badly, like a non-native speaker wrote it, it is likely a scammer. I don't go to Craigslist like I used to because it has been poisoned by so many creeps. forget oodle - only went there cuz a google search pulled up an ad there - never used it before, won't use it. good luck - I know I am still looking, with little luck.
 

Heather Gautier

Lairian
Joined
Oct 8, 2015
Messages
7
Points
14
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I believe someone just tried to scam me. The emails look fishy, and her reason first for rehoming was that her mother, the cats caretaker died. Then it was they were bday presents to her and her husband and they just want a good home for them. The JPG images she sent also had weird file names and the cats had names in the first email, then they didn't in the second. I'll upload the conversation from this person for reference.
 

Catzzzmeow

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 16, 2011
Messages
25,375
Points
673
Trust your gut. If things are not adding up you are probably right. You can ask if you can set up the transportation yourself and that should give you an even better feel.
 

Yoda mom

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Apr 23, 2012
Messages
12,509
Points
653
@Heather Gautier , please please Go with your gut- and ask them to take a now picture date time stamped with an odd object likea water bottle or soda can etc and see what you response you get along with what catzzmeow suggested you arrange transportation

Keep us posted - if you feel it is a scam... Go with your gut-
Ask too of they can vet check these kitties and fax you a copy

Ps- there have been many successful sphynx stars aligning right here on the lair family adoption link - I got two brothers here from a member -so please keep this in mind too
 

ambi121488

Lairian
Joined
Aug 13, 2015
Messages
37
Points
19
We had issues about eight scams and a big chunk of money (just first time) it is utterly heartbreaking.
 

Lady Matriarch

Lairian
Joined
Jun 15, 2015
Messages
33
Points
19
From personal experience, if they advertise in Kansas city and are in Miami. It's a scam through and through. If they ask for money through western union, scam. If they have a story of well we just moved so they are listed there blah blah, scam. Finally there is one that comes up every month on craigslist where a man is selling his female Sphynx kitten with papers and hes a retired VA or police officer and it was his wife's but she got sick and can't care for her anymore... Scam. Good luck!
 

HappyLilSphynx

Lairian
Joined
Mar 8, 2014
Messages
63
Points
29
Remember that things can change, too! My little princess came from a breeder who said she's never had issues (and, by the info I could find, was reputable in the sphynx community); the kittens came with a health guarantee. I was promised me a refund when I told her that congenital health issues were discovered. I've learned that a lot of her more recent litters likely resulted in sick kittens. She's since declared she won't refund me anything, and I'm working w an attorney for next steps.

You may want to post here, say that you're looking for reputable breeders in a certain region/state/country, and ask others to PM you with their info (good and bad). My girl was my world, but she should have had a lot more time to be spoiled - and I'd hate for someone else to go through the same thing unnecessarily!
 

HappyLilSphynx

Lairian
Joined
Mar 8, 2014
Messages
63
Points
29
I have one to add! Well - the never-ending parade of red flags!

There was a posting to text/call about rehoming 2 sphynx kittens; it was posted several days ago (made me a little suspicious since sphynx tend to be adopted fairly quickly).

Next was the text that there was no rehoming fee (most breeders have in their contract that a cat needs to be returned to them if the owner can't keep it) and the kitten would come w toys, etc. Major red flags ...

Using an old email I don't use any more, I asked for vet/health/known pedigree info. I was instead sent a link - the link used to post the ad. It showed a different type of kitten, in a different city and state (they had asked where i live in the text, and i made sure to be broad and gave them the general area and that I would be willing to drive to pick up , so perhaps they thought I was elsewhere). There is no way I would click that link!

Even one of these things would make most people suspicious - so be careful!
 

Nadja

Lairian
Joined
Jun 22, 2016
Messages
3
Points
14
a legit cattery? They say they are moving out of state and have their kittens 40 percent off. They want western union transfer to ship. With this info
Names:
Address:
City: Baltimore
State: Maryland (MD)
Zip-code: 21218
 
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Yoda mom

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Apr 23, 2012
Messages
12,509
Points
653
Nadja, red flags are often western union, moving , sale % off, etc
I would personally pass and wait for a referral thru a member

(We can't mention specific cattery names in posts but feel free to PM message one of us
With the name )

Soo glad you are reaching out to us specifically looking for red flags
Google
Search their name - I see their website is expired too-
Another red flag imho

Go with your gut
 
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