On the DailyDog today we feature another type of puppies for sale scam that has been running for some time on the internet. As many of the member of pups4sale know, we keep a running tally of classified sites that allow and indeed facilitate scams to be run on their pages. (Click here for the latest update on that list.)
However, in addition to classified sites, scammers are now creating their very own dedicated sites for the purpose of facilitating their nefarious schemes. They go about it by utilising one of the many free templates available on the Net (such as WordPress), find a cheap hosting company in another Country, upload their stolen photos and fake information (with the text often copied to some degree from legitimate websites), and voila! – a ready made site for the scammers.
The site we feature today – cutiebulls.com – is a classic example of this scam. We’ve uploaded a video to our YouTube Channel about this type of scam, which you can view by clicking on the image in this Post. Many of the mistakes/omissions they make and red flags they raise about their legitimacy are featured on our Scam Stopper page, and are noted in our video, but a few in summary are:
. The contact details never include a legitimate landline or mobile phone number from the Country the site pretends to be based in. Instead you can only contact them via an email address, or occasionally a Skype handle.
. If you contact the scammers and ask for contact details for one or more of their listed testimonials (most such sites have testimonials to reinforce the veneer of being legitimate), they will never be able to supply them of course.
. Similarly if you ask for the contact details (that is phone numbers – not email addresses) of previous purchasers, they will not be able to supply you with the same. However they often create a fake testimonial profile, send emails from the (non-existent) previous purchaser, pretending to be happy with the purchase, etc and assure you the seller is legitimate. Often they will include photos (stolen of course) that pretend to be of a pup they have purchased. All you do then is ask them to buy a local newspaper published on the current date, hold that up beside the pup in question and take a photo – which of course they can’t do.
. Copy and paste the domain name into a Google search. If the website in question has been around for any length of time at all, it is very likely it will have been detected and reported on by one of the many sites that specialise in exposing internet scams. In the case of cutiebulls.com, the very first result returned from a Google search on the term “cutiebulls” was indeed from such a site.
The vast majority of these grubs are based in Africa (primarily Nigeria or Cameroon) and with the right tools you can find out exactly where they are. For security reasons we don’t divulge all the tools we use at pups4sale to detect scammers trying to place ads on our site (yes – the scammers research our Posts too!). However suffice it to say by following the tips we have outlined here, you will be well informed if considering buying a puppy through a website dedicated to a particular kennel (or fake kennel in this case!). Of course if you want to be sure the puppy you are looking to buy is from a legitimate seller, just stick to the verified sellers on pups4sale!