First of all, it is important to understand how a classified website works. A classified website like Dog Minders, connects buyers to sellers and sellers to buyers. It is designed as a marketplace where sellers can list items they have for sale and then potential buyers can find items for sale by location or category. Here, we offer niche classifieds where dogs, puppies, dog food and accessories can be listed and sold.
How the scammers operate.
For buyers, the scammers will pose as genuine sellers and post fake ads on the classified website; often, the cost of the item will be at a ridiculously low price, much lower than comparable items advertised on the same website. If you show interest in the item, they may then claim that they are travelling and request payment before delivery. Once you make payment, you won’t receive the goods, and will not be able to contact the seller. Generally, the cost of transporting an animal is expensive and may sometimes, be perceived as cruel. It is therefore advisable to always contact sellers that are in your location to ensure a physical inspection of the animal before any payment is made.
For sellers, you have to be mindful of scammers posing as genuine buyers. The scammer may issue a cheque for more money than the agreed sale price and make up some excuse for the over payment. They will then ask you to refund the excess amount – usually through an online banking transfer, before you have discovered that the cheque has bounced. If you transfer the sum, you will lose the money you gave the scammer; and if you have already shipped the item you were selling, you will lose it as well.
What to be wary of…
If the ad promotes a product at an extremely low price compared to other comparable item. For example: if you see puppy or dog ads at prices that seem too good to be true, then it probably is. Sometimes it may be that the dog or puppy listed for sale has some health issues and the owner or breeder is looking to get rid of the dog. In any case, you should physically inspect the dog and ask all the questions you need. if you still have doubts, then don’t go ahead with the sale.
The seller claims to be unavailable and insist on payment in advance of physical inspection of the dog.
The seller insist that you pay through direct bank transfers before arranging any meeting
The potential buyer is willing to purchase the dog or item before a physical inspection.
The buyer sends you a cheque for more than the agreed amount and then asks you to refund the overpaid amount. Ensure the cheque has cleared before making any refunds or delivering the item.
We encourage you to report any suspicious behavior on our platform. This will help us warn people and as much as possible disrupt scams. Please include details of the scam contact you received, for example: profile name, screenshot of email conversations and text messages.
It is important to also give candid reviews of your experience with genuine sellers on our platform if you have closed a sale.