Concerns have been raised with the Office relating to the offer for sale of small domestic animals such as puppies or kittens through local “classified” online advertisements.
The advertisements claim to be offering the animals free of charge – which is a way to draw the attention of those looking for a pet. However, it then goes on to say that the owner lives off Island and is ill and, whilst the animal itself is not being sold, money will need to be paid to arrange for the animal to be transported. The suspicion reported to us is that the animal advertised does not exist.
If you are interested in an animal advertised in this way please check carefully what is being offered. If the animal is off-Island you cannot visit to see whether it actually exists or whether it is compatible with you. If you do wish to proceed it may be best to offer to collect the animal yourself. If the animal does not exist the advertiser is less likely to go through with any scam. Do not pay any money up front – arrange and pay for transport costs directly with the carrier.
It is not always possible for the Office to say that something is definitely a scam, however, the simple truth is that if something seems too good to be true it probably is.
Consumers who would like further advice on scams should visit the OFT website http://www.gov.im/oft/consumers/scams.xml or you can contact the consumer advisers on 686500.