Pet Scams

Tips to protect yourself from pet scammers

While we are excited to have so many people reach out to us and want to have one of our kittens as their new family member, we have had a lot of clients go through bad experiences before finding us and we wanted to help share and educate new and inexperienced kitten buyers while they navigate the web and start their journey of finding the right breeder. Unfortunately there are plenty of pet scammers online and especially on sites like Kijiji where a majority of them are. This in turn hurts us reputable breeders as we will end up having to see the struggle our clients went through and makes the process of finding a new kitten turned sour and stressful, but it doesn't need to be! So to help protect our futures clients and anyone looking to buy a kitten, whether it’s from us or another breeder, we have set a list of guidelines for you to follow in order to protect yourself from being pet scammed. You can share this with anyone that you know who is looking to get a pet!

  • Are they a registered breeder? Many scammers will claim to be registered when in fact they are not. You can verify this by going on the registrars website and search the cattery name, or obtaining their registration number and calling/emailing the registry to verify. And if you can google the cattery name and go to their website directly, that’s even better and contact them from the information that is listed on the website (some scammers might use the name of a real cattery as their own). In regards to Meow Genes, we are TICA registered, feel free to go on the site and find us, we are listed under the British shorthair breeders. https://tica.org/british-shorthair-breeders?view=article&id=2194:cattery-meowgenes&catid=102

  • The Ad claims the cats are purebred, but the cattery is not registered. Please note that anyone can claim their cats are purebred, but unless they have a registered pedigree, then they cannot claim the cat is purebred. In fact it is illegal in Canada and even Kijiji policy states that unless you have proof (TICA registered cattery) then it is prohibited to claim your pet is purebred. All our cats are registered pedigree with TICA, and you will receive a registered pedigree cat. This tip is related to tip #1. I’m sure when you are paying for a high quality pedigreed pet, you want to make sure it’s true and not false.

  • Scammers will post photos and videos on the ad, and even send you pictures or videos, please keep in mind, this is not proof that they have those pets. Anyone can send an old video or picture that is not theirs, and scammers will do so when you ask for proof. This is how you should approach it, LIVE call!! Live video chat the breeder, if they refuse to, then that’s a red flag!! At Meow Genes we will not take deposit or payment until we had a live video call and talked to each other, this is a big commitment and important decision you are making, of course we want to meet you! Unfortunately we can’t talk to everyone due to the large amount of enquires we get, but if you are chosen as a potential cat owner, we will talk and show you the kittens live first. A scammer will not want to show you his/her face and not have the kittens to even show them. Another alternative is to ask for a video while the breeder has your name and today’s date written on a paper next to the kitten.

  • Payment methods. This is very important, In Canada we have e-Transfers, which is a great and easy way to send money quick to friends and family using just an email address. However, e-Transfers are not a secured method, meaning it’s great for sending money to people you know, but if it ends up being a scammer, there is no recourse for you to get your money back at all since its not insured. Pet scammers in Canada will ONLY accept e-Transfers. It’s not to say that a real breeder doesn’t only accept e-Transfers, however be very careful to verify the legitimacy of the breeder because 9/10 times if they accept only e-Transfers, then it’s likely to be a scam. What to do in this situation, if you don’t know the breeder then look for one that accepts a secure method of payment like PayPal! At Meow Genes we accept payments through PayPal, e-Transfers, bank transfer or wire transfers, which ever is most convenient for you and makes you feel most comfortable. But for breeders you don’t know, PayPal transactions are insured against fraud. e-Transfers are not.

  • Their Kijiji account, or online listing account is new, a good way to spot Kijiji scammers as well is from their account age. If it’s a new account then be on the lookout. Kijiji let you see when an account has been created.

  • They make claims that are too good to be true or charge you a price that is way cheaper than the quality of the breed. There are fake websites that come up on google when you search for a British Shorthair, and they have the kittens listed for $500 for example, and will tell you its a special rate because they are getting a new litter now and need room in the house. All of this will be false, and is just a way of creating a sense of urgency for you to send the scammer money now before you miss out on this great deal. British Shorthairs always sell for thousands of dollars. 

  • Bonus points if the breeder has a social media presence, a good way to know that the breeder is legit and a good choice, is if they are present on social media and love showing and sharing their cats! Follow us on Instagram @meow.genes and watch our babies grow, we always post stories and new content, we love showing off our babies!

Guides

Here are some tips to make a smooth transition for your kitten to your family, and to help your kitten bond with you. Checkout the full list of guides on our website.

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