Buying a new pet is a big decision but with the ease of making purchases online becoming more commonplace for all of us, it brings with it a rise in scams and people conning us out of our money on fake promises of goods, in this case, a pet. Here we look at some scams to be wary of when you make the decision to purchase your new feathery friend online.
It’s a general rule of thumb that if someone is selling parrots online for a price that makes you double-take due to how cheap it is, it is very likely a scam and it is advised you avoid these at all costs. One of the things that people seem to agree on with these scams, is they usually start off with someone who lets you know that the bird(s) are no longer in the place they were when the advert was originally listed and they have now been ‘moved’, so you’ll need to pay a small ‘shipping fee’ for them. If alarm bells aren’t ringing for you at this point, they should be!
How does the advert read? We’re not talking a few spelling mistakes or typos, if the advert reads as though it has been through Google translate, then it is possible it is a scam. Also, if the advert doesn’t seem to be very knowledgeable of parrots or seems as though it’s been compiled using a mix of sources online then the likelihood it’s a scam is high. People selling parrots online will know about the birds they are selling and won’t have adverts that read like a patchwork of parrot facts.
Parrots are not cheap, so the idea of someone giving away one of these birds for free is low. Be wary when you see an ad claiming they will give away their parrot to the right person. That’s not to say no genuine person will ever give away their parrot, but it is rare, so steer clear of these ads as a precaution. Also, if they are asking for a deposit before you have even seen the bird, to be paid via bank transfer then stay clear of these as well. Once you’ve parted with your money, they will continue to ask for more – travel cages, vet fees, the list of things you need to pay for will keep climbing.
A lot of these scam sellers will try to find ways to get money out of you without you seeing the parrot, meeting the seller or talking to them on the phone. Often these are sob stories fabricated to get you to part with your money quickly. Make sure you ask to at least talk with the seller on the phone, meet them and remember you are within your right to ask them for ID. If they refuse any or all of these, stop communicating with them as they are likely trying to scam you out of your money, leaving you with no cash and no parrot.
There are many registered breeders and legitimate parrot sellers out there, don’t be fooled and lured in by cheap prices and sob stories. There are also many parrots looking for new homes, we sponsor Birdline and give all their members 10% off their insurance with us, quote 10BLM.