Junk Mail is glad that Carte Blanche has highlighted this issue in their Consumer Watch program. Junk Mail believes that knowledge is the key in the fight against scammers. Our motto is “Be Smart! Be Savvy! Be Safe!”. This post contains useful information about the Parrot Scam. You can use the following post as a guideline to check if you are dealing with a parrot scam.
The advert you are responding to might be a scam if:
- The deal sounds too good to be true (eg “Hyacinth macaw with 16 eggs R10000” or “Macaw for adoption”).
- The advertiser wants you to pay for parrots you have not seen.
- The cell number on the advert does not work or if you call the number you reach someone who did not advertise parrots (Scammers do this to lure advertisers into responding via e-mail).
- The e-mail reply that you receive from the advertiser is from a web-based e-mail address that can be created in 5 five minutes online (eg @yahoo.com / @yahoo.co.uk / @googlemail.com / @gmail.com / @hotmail.com / @hotmail.co.uk / @live.com / @live.co.za / @msn.com).
- An online search for the person’s e-mail address and reports of scams on websites like Fraudwatchers appear in the search results.
- The response you receive from the advertiser contains broken English and it sounds like a person who knows nothing about parrots when you ask them specific details.
- You receive photos of the parrots from the advertiser and they are available on other websites on the internet.
- The advertiser claims to be in a foreign African country and that they are not able to care for the parrot (in some cases they claim to be missionaries).
- The advertiser is not using a valid Pet Transport Agency. (You can check this with IPATA – An International Trade Association of animal handlers, pet moving providers, kennel operators, veterinarians).
Junk Mail works closely with the SAPS in this regard. We follow up on all scams that are reported to us.
We’ve covered the ‘Pet Scams’ topic previously on the Junk Mail blog. You can read our post about this topic at this link.