Warning issued over ‘pet scams’ as four people in Manchester fall victim to fraud | #datingscams | #lovescams | #facebookscams

Spot an adorable photo of a new puppy or kitten on social media and it’s easy to fall in love. But police are issuing a warning to animal lovers not to become victims of fraud following a wave of ‘pet scams’ over the past week.

Greater Manchester Police says four cases were recorded in the city, with scam puppy and kitten adverts on social media platforms on the rise. The force says people advertise on sites such as Facebook marketplace and Gumtree, which do not provide buyers with any protection on their purchases.

Unsuspecting victims are usually asked to pay a deposit for the animal without seeing it in person first, only through online images and videos. After the initial payment is made, more money is usually requested to cover additional buying costs such as insurance and vaccinations, and even sometimes a cost to cover the ‘delivery’ of the animal to your door.

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Yet the process turns out to be a scam, leaving the victim heartbroken and out of pocket. Detective Sergeant Stacey Shannon, of GMP’s Economic Crime Unit, said: “We are trying to provide the public with specific advice to stop you falling victim to this type of crime and we would always recommend that you view the animal in person before sending any money over.

“It is easy to be taken in by adverts of puppies and kittens online and rush into a decision to purchase a pet. But we encourage you to ‘take five’ and slow this process down and don’t be rushed into making any rash decisions, think about what steps you will take next, what do you need to do to ensure that this is a genuine purchase.”

GMP’s tips to avoid becoming a victim of pet scams:

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