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Sunday, January 18, 2009

A scam targeting potential pet owners.

 A new scam is targeting people looking for pets, and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) is warning the public that the hoax could end up costing them hundreds of dollars.

The scam was reported to the AVMA by Dr. Walter Woolf, owner of the pet moving service Air Animal Pet Movers, after his company was listed as a participant in an Internet pet-selling sham.

Online advertisements posted from Cameroon promise pets at below-market prices, says Woolf, but after buyers wire an initial payment, they are repeatedly asked for more money for unexpected transportation costs, veterinary services and other "problems." No pets are ever delivered, Woolf says.

Potential pet owners should be warned not to purchase a pet from someone they can't meet face-to-face, cautions Dr. Gail Golab, AVMA's Animal Welfare Division director.

"Many reputable breeders, who are concerned about making sure the pet receives a suitable home, will not sell animals unless they are able to meet and interview their potential owner or owners," Golab says. "If extenuating circumstances prevent you from meeting with a breeder face-to-face, you should check references and credentials first, and never send money without speaking to the breeder."

Pet owners who have been victimized by scams like this should contact the Better Business Bureau to file a complaint.


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