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  • Geebo 9:00 am on February 9, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , pets,   

    Should you give a stranger an authorization code to get your pet back? 

    Should you give a stranger an authorization code to get your pet back?

    By Greg Collier

    Proving that they’re completely heartless, scammers will even try to scam people whose pets have gone missing. The most common lost pet scam is when the scammers claim they have your dog before asking you for money, either as a reward or as a ransom. In most cases, the scammers never had your dog and are hoping to catch you at a vulnerable time. More recently, we’ve seen a report about a new type of lost pet scam that online sellers have been the target of.

    In Ohio, The Better Business Bureau is warning about this scam, which is currently targeting local residents. One resident stated that she put up a social media post about her lost dog with her phone number attached. Within minutes of posting, she received a phone call from a California number. The caller said they had found the dog. However, in order to verify the owner, the caller said they would be sending a six-digit code through a text message and that the dog’s owner should give that code number to the caller.

    If you’re a frequent online seller, you may recognize this as the Google Voice scam. Google Voice is a service that allows you to have a second phone number. The second number is not only ted to your Google account, but it’s tied to your primary phone number as well. The six-digit code is an authorization code for when you sign up for Google Voice. If you give that code to a scammer, they’ll get a phone number they can use in future scams that is tied to your phone number. While this scam may not cost you any money, it can cost you a lot of inconvenience if the number gets traced back to you.

    If you ever lose a pet and someone has claimed to have found them, ask the caller for a picture of the pet. This way, you can verify if they really have the pet. If they give you an excuse like their camera is broken, it’s more than likely a scam. To help prevent scams like this, we recommend getting your pets microchipped, even if they’re indoor pets. You can never plan for when your pet may make a run for it.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on July 1, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , pets, PTSD   

    Please be considerate with fireworks 

    Please be considerate with fireworks

    By Greg Collier

    Yes, it’s great that we get to reacquaint ourselves with our friends, family, and neighbors this 4th of July weekend. After the year we’ve all had, many of us have reason to celebrate this summer. And nothing says 4th of July like some celebratory fireworks. In municipalities where fireworks are legal this time of year, restrictions are being lifted so party goers can celebrate in style. Even in places where fireworks aren’t legal, there will still be a number of get-togethers that will include fireworks. However, if you care about your community, you may want to reconsider how you go about setting off your explosive party favors.

    As most pet owners can tell you, 4th of July can be very stressful for cats and dogs. This is the time of year when most pets escape due to the loud noises from fireworks. July 5th is the busiest day of the year for animal shelters since so many pet owners are looking for their lost dog or cat. If you’re a pet owner, you should get your pets inside before sundown. This should also include outdoor cats. Make sure your home is secure while your pets are inside as frightened pets can sometimes find an escape that you may not have thought of.

    It’s not just pets you should be considerate to, either. There’s also a number of people who are sensitive to fireworks as well. When we think of PTSD, we tend to think of military veterans. Yes, we should be taking combat veterans feelings into consideration, but civilians cat get PTSD as well. Loud noises at night are often a trigger for PTSD sufferers. If you must set off fireworks, please don’t make it a week-long event. Consider keeping it limited to only the 4th. You may also want to consider not letting the fireworks go deep into the night, either. Think about cutting them off at around 10:00 PM.

    We all want to have a safe and happy weekend. Please take the happiness and safety of your neighbors into consideration as well.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on April 19, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , monkey, parrot, , pets,   

    Why you should never buy a monkey or parrot online 

    By Greg Collier

    Whenever we talk about pet scams, we’re usually talking about the puppy scams that happen online. The puppy scam usually happens in one of two ways. Either you’re being charged for fees and expenses for a puppy that doesn’t exist, or you’re being sold a terminally ill animal from a backyard breeder. For these reasons and more, Geebo.com stopped accepting ‘pets for sale’ ads years ago. However, it’s not just puppies that can be part of these scams.

    Recently, the Better Business Bureau of Michigan warned consumers about a website that claimed to be selling small monkeys and parrots for $1,000 to $1,500. The website claimed that they had a physical address in Michigan which actually turned out to be a home belonging to someone who had no idea their address was being used in this way. The scammers were collecting money by Western Union, MoneyGram, and Bitcoin. Just like the puppy scam, the scammers kept asking victims for additional payments for things like insurance and shipping costs. The primates and parrots didn’t actually exist and victims have complained about losing thousands of dollars in the scam.

    There’s another more important reason why you shouldn’t be buying these animals online and that reason is cruelty. If someone is legitimately selling a monkey or parrot online, there’s a good chance that they’re part of the illegal exotic animal trade. Parrots are often smuggled into the country in cruel ways where more parrots are dying than ones that survive the trip. Baby monkeys that are put up for sale are often taken from their mothers and kept in squalid conditions before any sale.

    Pets like dogs and cats have been bred over the millennia to be domestic companions for humans. Parrots and monkeys are both wild animals that really shouldn’t be kept in a captivity as a pet. That’s not even taking into consideration that both animals require constant care and attention. If you’re thinking about purchasing one of these animals either online or in a store, please do some research on the drawbacks of owning such an animal.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on December 10, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , pets, ,   

    Puppy scams are wrecking the holidays 

    Puppy scams are wrecking the holidays

    Before we get to the heart of the matter, please don’t buy a pet for someone as a surprise gift. Any pet is a responsibility that should be taken seriously and not done as a whim.

    Now it seems between COVID and the upcoming holidays, puppy scams are becoming more and more common. The most typical puppy scam is when you buy a puppy online and the supposed breeder keeps hitting you with fees and expenses. Often the scammers will say they need extra money for insurance, shipping, or a special crate that the puppy needs. Other times, they’ll ask for extra money for supposed problems that have come up in shipping or supposed medical needs for the puppy. Then not only is the puppy never delivered, but it also doesn’t even exist. Recently, there seems to be a rash of these kinds of scams. We’ve seen reports from people who have lost $300 to someone who lost $9000.

    Just because someone has a website and claims to be a breeder, that doesn’t make them one. Scammers can have a website set up in minutes with pictures of dogs that they pulled off of Google Image Search.

    Your best bet is to always shop local from a reputable breeder. Do your research before purchasing a pet. Do a web search with the breeder’s name and the words ‘fraud’ or ‘scam’ to see if there have been any complaints against them. A reverse image search can often tell you if a fake breeder is pulling images off of other websites which is a definite indicator of a scam. Avoid any offers that are below the usual price for that particular breed. That’s how scammers often lure in their victims.

    As always, we recommend adopting a pet from your local shelter. Some shelters even have waiting lists if you’re looking for a particular breed. If you’re not looking for a particular breed we still recommend visiting your local shelter. Not only will you save a lot of money but you never know which animal there will capture your heart.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on November 22, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , pets, ,   

    Don’t buy a sick pet for Christmas 

    Don't buy a sick pet for Christmas

    With the holiday shopping season upon us, many people are probably thinking about purchasing a pet for their family for Christmas. This decision should not be taken lightly. Pets should only be bought for immediate family members after a long discussion about pet ownership. Buying a pet for someone who might not want one could saddle someone with a decades-long burden they may not want. For example, you may not want to buy a rambunctious puppy for your elderly grandmother. That could result in disaster. Sadly, there’s an even more heartbreaking reason you may want to reconsider buying a pet for Christmas.

    We can’t stress this enough but never buy a pet online. Usually, there are two types of scams that involve buying pets online. The first one is where the scammer takes your money and the pet doesn’t really exist. The second is the even more heartbreaking one where backyard breeders or puppy mills sell you a terminally ill puppy. A quite disturbing report recently surfaced out of Southern California where a pair of people were selling puppies on various online marketplaces. Many of the puppies they ended up selling allegedly had already contracted the deadly parvovirus. This left many families devastated and in debt after having to pay for expensive emergency veterinarian services.

    As always, when it comes to buying a new pet, we always recommend going to your local shelter first. Not only will you be bringing your family a new member but you’ll also be giving an abandoned pet a new and loving home. If you have your heart set on a purebred dog there are shelters that do have them. However, if you’re going to the professional breeder route try sticking to licensed and local breeders. Anyone claiming to be a breeder and offering you a purebred pet at a too good to be true rate probably doesn’t have the pet’s best interest at heart.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on July 5, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , pets   

    How to get your lost pet back! 

    How to get your lost dog back!

    Hopefully, you had a safe and happy Independence Day. We especially hope your pets were safe yesterday as the 4th of July fireworks are one of the leading causes of missing pets. If your pet happened to vanish during t=yesterday’s festivities you have our deepest sympathies, however, we will do what we can to help you get your fur baby back into your home.

    If your pet is tagged with your home address and phone number or have been microchipped, you’re already ahead of the game. Contact your local animal control, animal shelters, and police departments. You may even want to contact those in neighboring towns or cities just in case your pet was able to get that far. Ask your neighbors if they’ve seen your pet and also ask your mail carrier as they tend to be familiar with some of the pets on their route.

    Posting fliers around town never hurts either. Just make sure the posting is not too cluttered but be sure to include the important details. You may want to also add a note on the flier asking people to check their backyards as well. Put the fliers in mailboxes, on telephone poles and ask local businesses if you can post the fliers in their windows.

    Even the digital world can be of assistance too in helping to find your lost pet. You can post notices on classifieds sites, neighborhood sites and apps like Nextdoor, and sites and apps specifically designed for missing pets. However, this can open you up to missing pet scams where people claim to have your pets. These scammers will try to get you to send them money to deliver your pet back to you. If you take the digital route, make sure the person claiming to have found your pet sends you a picture of your pet. These scammers will try to get you to send them money to deliver your pet back to you.

    Even though the 4th of July may be over since it’s become a four day weekend this year the fireworks may continue well into Sunday night. Keep your pets inside as much as you can to better protect them from the loud noises and hopefully, you’ll be able to keep them at home.

    Below are more resources to better help assist you.

    What to do if you lose your pet
    More Tips for Finding a Lost Pet
    Clever Ways to Find Lost Pets

     
  • Geebo 10:00 am on February 11, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , pets, ,   

    FBI warns of proliferation of puppy scam 

    FBI warns of proliferation of puppy scams

    This past week the Portland, Oregon office of the FBI issued a warning about online puppy scams. There are many online scams that involve pets but the specific one the FBI is referring to is where the scammers will promise you a puppy for a certain price and will then try to get you to pay additional ‘fees’.

    According to reports, in many, cases, the puppy doesn’t even exist. Signs to be on the lookout for that your purchase of a puppy may be a scam is if the seller asks you to pay by wire transfer, gift card, or pre-paid debit card. These payment methods are surefire signs of a scam. If you do end up making an additional payment for a puppy the scammers will try to get you to make additional payments for such things as shipping fees, special shipping containers, or some form of insurance. A great number of these scams can be found on craigslist even though craigslist specifically bans the sale of animals except for re-homing animals with a small adoption fee. You couldn’t tell by looking at craigslist as puppy ads are abundant in their listings but then again, craigslist hardly does any moderation of their own site.

    The FBI also offers tips to avoid scams like this such as…

    • Meet the pet in person if at all possible.
    • Don’t pay to ship a pet if you can’t verify the seller is a reputable breeder.
    • Do your homework on the seller before sending any form of payment. Look for contact information, check credentials, and confirm reviews from previous clients.
    • If you virtually chat with the seller, watch for odd phrasing or typos.
    • If the seller asks you to pay via wire transfer or gift card, don’t. There’s a huge chance it’s a scam.

    Another resource you can use is the International Pet and Animal Transportation Association’s list of known pet scammers. While the list is not comprehensive as new scammers are constantly popping up it’s a great place to start to make sure you’re not dealing with a scammer. If you’ve been the victim of a puppy scam you can report it to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center.

    For this and many other reasons, Geebo does not accept ads for pets. Instead, we always recommend that if you’re making a pet a new addition to your family either use a local reputable breeder or adopt a pet from your local shelter.

     
    • lisa Cuddy 10:54 am on December 5, 2019 Permalink

      I’ve been scammed to the tune of $3300. Now what? can I get the FBI involved?

    • Geebo 11:06 am on December 5, 2019 Permalink

      We would recommend contacting your local law enforcement first. However, you may also register a complaint with the FBI at https://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx

  • Geebo 8:54 am on September 7, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , pets,   

    States looking to ban pet leasing 

    States looking to ban pet leasing

    I’ve posted about pet leasing before. It’s a predatory lending tactic used by some unscrupulous pet stores. It’s almost like leasing a car as in you don’t actually own your pet but more like you’re renting it and you have the option to buy at the end of the lease. In many cases, the pet stores getting people to sign up for these leases are not divulging the full details of the lease and new pet owners are often surprised by all the additional fees the lease entails. Many critics of pet leasing say that it unfairly targets low-income families and that many of the pets leased come from puppy mills. There have even been instances where pets have been repossessed and then euthanized.

    The states of Nevada and California already ban pet leasing and now legislators in both Pennsylvania and New York are looking to ban the practice as well. Sadly, the practice of pet leasing is considered legal by the Federal Trade Commission, however, the leases need to comply with the Consumer Leasing Act. If lease companies and pet stores are being cagey about the details of the payments then they are in violation of the law.

    As stated previously, Geebo does not accept pet ads since many of the animals advertised on classifieds can be sick and abused animals from puppy mills or disreputable backyard breeders. As always, as animal lovers, we recommend that if you’re looking to have a furry addition to your family that you either go to a licensed breeder or even better, adopting from your local shelter. We also encourage adopting older dogs from shelters as often, they have a harder time being adopted. Either way, if you adopt a pet in these manners you won’t have to worry about your pet being taken away for failure to make a payment.

     
  • Geebo 9:14 am on August 28, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , pets, ,   

    Another craigslist puppy ring results in sick animals 

    Another craigslist puppy ring results in sick animals

    Authorities in Prince William County, Virginia, have arrested three people on animal cruelty charges for allegedly selling very sick puppies on craigslist. Many of the puppies sold had parvovirus, or parvo as it’s more commonly known, and at least one had died after being sold. After receiving numerous complaints, animal control officers investigated the grounds where the puppies were being kept and calling it a puppy mill would be generous. According to reports, the living conditions for the puppies were deplorable, to say the least. Sadly, this is not an uncommon occurrence on craigslist.

    If you’re familiar with Geebo, you know that we haven’t accepted ads for pets in quite some time in order to help prevent animal cruelty on a scale such as this. However, did you know that pet sales are listed as prohibited on craigslist? According to craigslist’s own terms of service, pet sales are prohibited but re-homing with a small adoption fee is ok. You couldn’t tell by going to craigslist and doing a search for puppies. Since craigslist rarely does any kind of moderation on their platform, these types of puppy sales continue, mostly unabated.

    Buying a puppy should never be a heat of the moment decision and while buying a puppy off of craigslist may satisfy an urge of instant satisfaction, in the long run, it could also lead to heartbreak for you and your family. Don’t cheap out when it comes to adding a new member to your family. Always do your research first and only do business with legitimate and licensed breeders. Real breeders will never want to meet you in a parking lot or some other sketchy locale. Please also consider adopting from your local shelter. Too many shelters have to turn away animals because there’s not enough room in their kennels. Also, re-homing costs through shelters are usually very reasonable and in most cases, the animals have been well taken care of medically and emotionally by the shelter. Wouldn’t you rather be a hero in your dog’s eyes?

     
  • Geebo 9:43 am on July 31, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , pets,   

    Pet leasing is another reason to avoid the pet store 

    Pet leasing is another reason to avoid the pet store

    It should come as no surprise that we are animal lovers here at Geebo. In the past, CEO Greg Collier has discussed why Geebo does not accept ads for pets. In too many instances, online ads for pets can be an outright scam or they can be from abusive puppy mills. We also often recommend not going to a pet store as many of their pets can also come from these mills. Now, there’s a predatory lending practice being used by some pet stores that should give you another reason to avoid them when it comes to purchasing pets.

    CBS News reports that pet leasing is a new practice used by some pet stores that get consumers to pay way more for a pet than it may be worth. In the example shown in the CBS article, one woman ended up paying $5,000 for two dogs through a lease that she could have bought for $1500. The fact that some pet stores and leasing companies are engaging in this practice really shows how little they care for the animals in question. If they are charging such exorbitant leasing rates that means they’re expecting to repossess a number of these animals. What happens to the animal then? Are they trying to flip the animals like one would a house? What happens if the animal ages out of adoption as many people would rather adopt a puppy than a grown dog?

    As usual, we always recommend going to a licensed breeder if you have your heart set on a certain breed. However, we very much encourage going to your local pet shelter to adopt a pet as the fees are much more reasonable and affordable. You may also want to consider adopting a full-grown pet as sometimes it’s harder for them to find a home. If you choose to pursue a new pet through either of these avenues you won’t have to worry about someone coming to your home looking to take your family’s new member back.

     
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