A few days ago, I almost fell for an online Bengal kitten scam. I am posting this here, even though it is a bit embarrassing, to report the website and their methods so that all of you animal lovers out there remain safe from these predators.
Our beautiful Bengal kitten sneaked out about a week age (he is safely back) and when I could not find him, I decided to look for available Bengal kittens online. After surfing the web and searching for the right kitten and an affordable price, I stumbled upon this site http://jonesbengalkittens.com.
[through an after the fact research, I have found out that this site also has a couple of sister sites (same kittens are listed on all the sites)
From the write up, it seemed that it was a family owned small cattery and they also had an affordable shipping rate. They also explained as to how shipping pets was not all that bad. So, without thinking about much I sent them an email. (I have saved all my correspondence with them, just in case).
I soon got a message telling me that the kitten “Larry” was still available. They then sent me a contract, which I read and signed. The main clause in the contract was that they will “wait on shipping” until the payment had cleared.
Then they sent me a link to a “fake” shipping website: http://www.homelandshipping.com/
There was Larry listed as the one being shipped to us:
Now this felt pretty legitimate. The shipping “reservation” included an itinerary according to which the kitten was to be delivered to our house by 9:00 AM, the next day.
But then we came to the payment part: They wanted me to send them a payment through a Walmart/ Walgreens money gram. Now that is suspicious!!
Let me admit that I almost fell for it, but somehow the gods were watching over me and I did not lose any money:)
It has been three days since this happened and the kitten, of course, has not arrived yet!
So, please keep this in mind if you are planning to purchase a pet online. There are several websites that list scammers, but, I have learned, if the deal is too good to be true it is probably a scam.
Furthermore, do an image search on google and see where else the same images of the cats are listed. In my case, I googled “Larry” the cute kitten and found him listed on three websites. Hence, I can safely conclude that all three of these sites are scamming sites.