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Friday, 26 February 2021
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Wednesday, 20 January 2021
How to avoid scammers
Recently there have been several scams regarding the sale of Maine Coon kittens. This is heartbreaking and completely infuriating. Many of these scams are on Facebook, even more on Pets4Homes, Gumtree and other free ads websites.
First and foremost if breeder doesn’t provide registration documents for kittens it’s a SCAM. There is no such thing as Maine Coon without papers. Kittens MUST have pedigree, registration papers and completed vaccinations. If they don’t have it something is definitely not right.
Here are some of the warning signs that you may be getting scammed: using texting only, not answering basic level questions regarding parentage, health, and general knowledge of how to care for a Maine Coon. If the owners are not able or willing to specifically tell you what cattery their breeding cats have come from and not willing to show pictures of them, that is a big red flag. There are also demands for high deposits and they are known for not communicating. They will rarely tell you where they are located and on Facebook, will likely respond to inquiries with "PM you".
Scammers will not let potential kitten owners come to their homes at any time and will not offer video calls. Often, they will only send you one picture of your kitten and no more, regardless of how many times they are asked for it (as they just plain do not have the kitten to take pictures of anyway.) In addition, similar, duplicate or repetitive photos from site to site is a very big indicator that you may be looking at a scam. It is wise to look for a copyright watermark of some type on their photos.
If a site has no general contact information, such as email, phone number, and address, it is very likely a scam site. Legitimate catteries do want to be in contact with families and therefore make it possible to be contacted, as well as making themselves available. Some scam sites will only have a general form for you to fill out and submit, from which they then contact you. It is very common for scams to ask for more and more money, above and beyond the initial agreed upon financial commitment. Legitimate catteries will be upfront regarding their fees and would rarely, if ever, randomly ask for more money from their client.
Be very aware of “Order Now” or “Free Shipping” advertising. It’s ridiculous to “order” a kitten, especially instantly, and anyone that offers it is either a scam or not a very reputable cattery. Free or highly discounted shipping is a joke. Again, quality breeders that care about their cats and kittens are diligent to transport them safely and securely, which is not cheap.
Another huge red flag is a cattery not being registered with an official feline registration organization. If they do not include that in the information on their website or can’t provide proof that they are registered, then they most likely are not. Also, it is standard among professional catteries to include names of the catteries that they came from in front of their breeding cats names, as to indicate where the lines came from. Any cattery that does not include this most likely is not legitimate. You should be able to research the originating catteries and verify that their offspring is reproducing in their new cattery.
Please use a common sense and do your homework when you plan to purchase a pedigree kitten. Be patient and think. Unfortunately as long as there is demand and support from buyers scammers would exist. Only potential buyers can stop them.