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Watch For Scams Newsletter. Parrot Scam
August 30, 2010
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Parrot ScamThis scam targets people who like parrots. Fake ads are usually placed on sites for pet owners, or parrot related classified ad sites and forums.
The scammers usually word the message claiming that they need to find a new home for their parrot, and will either sell it very cheaply, or it is an adoption request. The bird chosen is usually a popular/rare bird such as a Macaw.
The price for the bird is usually a fraction of its value or is being given away for free, as long as the new owner pays for the delivery fee. The message will contain photographs of the bird that is being sold/given away. The photographs will be stolen from another website without the owner's knowledge.
However, the promised cheap or free parrot does not exist. If you answer one of these fake ads, the scammers will respond with more information about the bird they claim to own. Typically, the scammers invent some sad tale to explain why they must sell or give away their much-loved parrot. However, the owner will insist that any payments must be made before the bird is delivered.
If you send money to buy the bird or pay transport costs, requests for more money will likely follow. If you send what you believe to be the full payment, the scammers may then reply with an "urgent" request for more money to cover "unexpected" expenses such as vet bills or permit fees.
If you then send still more money the scammers will probably ask for extra payments for higher than expected delivery charges, or some other fake expenses.
This will continue until you realize you have been scammed and are never going to receive your parrot.
When people just want a good home for their bird and will only charge you shipping, BE CAUTIOUS. Ask for photos with date stamps, ask for phone calls with the people youíre in contact with, and talk to the vet who checks the bird before shipping them.
If you are purchasing the bird from overseas, you will have to complete paperwork so donít believe the sender has it ďall taken care ofĒ because they canít!
Both parties are required to complete paperwork such as import/export permits and go through designated ports of entry. Vets have to check the animals at take off and landing destinations. In some cases, the scammers will also demand a lot of personal information from you during the course of the scam. They claim that they require such information to verify your identity and reputation, so that they can be confident that their much loved parrot will be in safe hands. In reality, the personal information submitted may subsequently be used to steal your identity.
Advance fee scammers also use the promise of other free or cheap pets as the bait in similar scams.
If you have been a victim of this type of scam or any other Cyber crime, you can report it to the IC3 website at: www.IC3.gov. The IC3 complaint database links complaints for potential referral to the appropriate law enforcement agency for case consideration. Complaint information is also used to identity emerging trends and patterns.
Remember - always watch for scams!
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