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Beware of pet scams says Office of Fair Trading

Manx news

Manx news

Consumer watchdogs are warning the Manx public to beware of two more scams.

The Office of Fair Trading says that, in spite of previous warnings, some pepple are still being caught by scammers advertising pets online.

A local resident responded to an advert on Facebook for a free, English bulldog pup.

The owner told her he lived in Wales but would transport the animal via a pet courier service which would cost £190.

The funds were paid via Western Union.

The seller then made contact again to advise that an insurance deposit of £500 was required and that the puppy was ready to go.

The person who wanted to buy it was unable to afford this but the seller persisted, offering alternatives to obtain further funds. The purchaser has contacted Western Union and the original funds had been collected.

An OFT spokesman said: ‘If you are interested in an animal advertised in this way please check carefully what is being offered.

‘Visit the seller and view the animal yourself. Do not pay any money up front – if you cannot collect the animal yourself arrange and pay for transport costs directly with a carrier.

Andrea Tabb, advice centre manager, added: ‘Scammers are preying on our soft-heartedness and sometimes these animals are advertised as being homeless because the owner can no longer look after them.

‘It is understandable that pet lovers want to give them a good home but this makes them vulnerable to being scammed.’

Another scam involves driving licences.

Some people have received text messages or emails regarding driving licences which are due for renewal.

The messages claim to be from the DVLA in the UK but this is not the case nor are they affiliated to the Isle of Man Department of Infrastructure’s vehicle licensing office.

A local resident was asked to give his passport details and also bank details so an alleged refund could be made to him.

An OFT spokesman said: ‘Consumers are reminded that if they have any queries about driving licences they should contact the vehicle licensing office on 686687.

‘There are things you can do to protect yourself. The Office has produced a leaflet giving tips on how not to become a victim of a scam and the its consumer advisers are happy to advise consumers who receive what they think is a scam contact. Copies of the leaflet can be obtained from the Office in Lord Street, Douglas, from its website click here or by telephoning 686500.’

 

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