||Monkey scam warning
**NEVER use Western Union or Money Gram to purchase a pet. Most scammers use Western Union to steal hundreds and even thousands of dollars from innocent people just trying to find that perfect primate to bring home to their family. Yes it is sad! Do NOT trust a seller stating they are from Africa, Lagos, Nigeria or Cameroon.**
How can I be assured that I am not being scammed?
Please read the Common Internet Scam techniques below and consider using an online escrow service. Escrow services, (used at the buyers expense), guarantee that you will receive the primate and give you time to bring the primate to the vet for a health checkup. An online escrow service essentially holds the money in a secured account until you receive the primate and verify that it is healthy. Both the buyer and seller must agree to the terms of the contract and the time period in which you have as the buyer to take the primate to the vet for a health checkup. If the primate you receive is not healthy then you may return the primate to the breeder and receive a refund.
Bringing a primate into your family can bring many happy years and great companionship.
Common Internet Scams
Most internet transactions are perfectly legitimate yet there are occasional reports of fraud or scams. There isn't a single, surefire way to identify fraudulent sellers or buyers. However, we've listed some of the warning signs of fraud below. Please note that none of these signs is a definitive indicator of a fraudulent seller. They are factors to help you identify high-risk transactions. Likewise, there is no guarantee that if a seller does not meet any of these criteria, it's a legitimate seller. If you are suspicious, it's a good idea to do some research. It is very important to remember that if something doesn't seem right, it probably isn't.
Buyers who claim to be traveling abroad and offer to have their "agent", "business associate", "friend", or "shipper" complete the transaction. They may offer to pay by Cashiers Check for over the amount. This 'buyer' will claim to be trusting you to return the overage of funds. Banks will often cash these checks then hold you accountable for the funds once the check fails to clear.
Sellers who insist that you use Western Union or other money transfer services.
Sellers who reside in distant countries. Sellers that request money to be wired to Romania, Ukraine, Macedonia, Belarus, Pakistan, Russia, Lithuania, Egypt, Lagos, Nigeria, Colombia, Malaysia, Indonesia or Cameroon, tend to have a very high incidence of fraud. Unless you have a lot experience with international orders, you may want to decline to send money to these countries.
Sellers offering a primate significantly below market value. This is often a scam to engage many people to send money for this non-existent primate. You will never receive the primate.
Sellers who request that a "shipper" be paid directly or sellers that state the primate will be delivered directly to your door or destination. All primates shipped via an airplane must be picked up at the airport. Primates can no longer be imported into the U.S.; and, if they are imported, there is a quarantine period they must go through, before going-on to the end-user.
Sellers who state that you must send additional funds to get the primate through customs.
Seller insists that you use an online escrow service of their choosing. Before using any escrow service, verify the company with the Better Business Bureau to insure the business has a satisfactory record.
Who should I notify if I suspect fraud?
**BEWARE of SCAMMERS! You can identify these individuals because they will ask you to pay by money order or wire transfer. The majority of the scammers are international, and do not know much about primates; but, how to make the transaction itself. You must be USDA Licensed to sell, transfer, or give away exotic animals in the USA. Other Countries have their own laws, as well. Importation of most exotic species is not so easy that anyone can just have an animal shipped to them without obtaining permits and going through quarantine. Be realistic, no one is really giving away free primates they can offer for sale for thousands of dollars. If you, the Buyer, cannot verify the Sellers information beyond a shadow of a doubt, don't send money, as it is irretrievable.
Checking USDA Licensed Facilities
Before you take the chance of being Scammed:
- Confirm the Seller's location:
- Make sure the Seller's address and phone number (land line) corresponds with the area in which the pet is being sold.
- Do not fall for the common scammer tricks that they recently moved to some foreign country and must now sell their pets stranded in the US.
- Request references:
- The references normally should have phone numbers which are listed in the Seller's local area's phone book or directory assistance.
- Ideally the seller should be a member of a local or national club related to the particular pet. You may obtain references from the club about the seller.
- Check Seller's website:
- Some Sellers will have websites that may have references you can contact.
- Beware of Sellers:
- Who want money sent overseas when they have a US address.
- With pets priced to low to be true, including shipping.
- Who do not want you to pick up the pet, but instead want to ship it.
- Who keep asking for additional money after you have paid the asking price.
- Hopefully, it hasn't gotten that far.
- Report Scammers:
- Internet Providers do not have much tolerance for a customer who abuses the internet.
- You may want to use this handy website for looking up IP addresses and ISP providers of scammers: www.analysespider.com
- Please report any suspicious activity to:
FTC toll free hotline: 877-FTC-HELP (877-382-4357)
FTC online complaint form (http://www.ftc.gov)
Internet Fraud Complaint Center (http://www.ifccfbi.gov)
Internet Crime Complaint Center (http://www.ic3.gov)
- We make it our business to stop and report scammers to the proper authorities.