– The Daily Dog is back for 2015, with lots of news, views and goings-on from around the canine world!
In today’s Post we show you how to spot the ever increasing number of fake dog breeder websites that are being setup on the internet.
As many of our readers will know, we regularly publish the Australian Puppy Scams Hall of Shame, exposing classified websites in Australia that allow fake puppy classified ads to be placed on their pages. However the type of scam we feature today is altogether different. In this case, the scammer creates their own site on one of the many free web-hosting servers, with the focus on a particular breed – or sometimes several breeds. The scammer pretends to be a well established breeder of the breed/s in question, sometimes going to extraordinary lengths to pretend to be someone they’re not.
In this case the scammer has focused on the Japanese Spitz breed, hosting with the well known “Weebly” free web-host service.
We were alerted to this particular scam by a lady who was looking for a Japanese Spitz and had come across the site in question. Impressed enough to correspond with the operator of the scam (whom she thought was a legitimate breeder), the enquirer was still cautious enough to keep researching nonetheless. Fortunately, before the potential victim had handed over any money, she found our advice on the internet and contacted us directly for confirmation. One look at the site in question and we immediately smelled a rat – as we describe in the video. We contacted Weebly right away to alert them to this particular scam site on their server, and to their credit their security team had the site taken down within hours. Indeed the majority of the free web hosting companies we have encountered are very quick to act when alerted to criminal enterprises who are taking advantage of their service (which of course happens all the time).
The scammers who create fake breeder sites (such as the one pictured here), are at the more professional end of the criminal spectrum, with those less skilled generally concentrating on running simple fake ads on classified sites. The professional crim spends a lot of time and effort not only stealing photographs, creating fake testimonials and so on, but also in many cases stealing the full profile of a legitimate breeder of a given breed. As you will see in the video accompanying this Post (which is also published on our YouTube Channel and Facebook Page), this scam artist is trying very hard to create an aura of trust around their site, so that potential buyers who might otherwise be suspicious are instead lulled into a (deadly) false sense of security.
So do watch the video and take note of how such scams are run, including (but not limited to) such features as:
. Always being hosted on a free web hosting service such as Weebly, Wix, etc.
. No legitimate telephone number for you to contact them on.
. Email responses to you that contain spelling and/or grammatical errors.
If in doubt, always feel free to contact us at pups4sale with the URL of the page or site you as suspicious about, and we will gladly go “rat hunting” for you. 😉