STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAW) – The Stevens Point Police says they’ve handled several complaints regarding scams targeting people trying to buy pets.
According to a post on the department’s Facebook page, the pets included various breeds of dogs, cats, and birds and at times the pet sellers claimed to be located at an address on Minnesota Avenue in Stevens Point.
Investigators said local airports were mentioned by the scammers as if the pet’s transportation was being suspended at the airport which required additional payments.
Police say these are scam characteristics:
• Overpayments – Overpayments almost always are done using a fraudulent or stolen account and ask that you send the excess funds to the buyer in some way.
• Wire Transfers – Don’t wire money to someone you never met, or someone asking you to keep it a secret, or someone refusing other forms of payment.
• Gift Cards – Payments requiring the buyer to purchase gift cards or prepaid credit cards and giving the card access codes to the buyer.
• Bitcoin – Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies is commonly used since it is difficult or impossible to trace this payment method.
• Mobile Payments – Mobile payment apps like CashApp, Venmo, or Zelle should only be used with those you truly know/trust.
• Prizes – Unexpected notices of lottery or contest winnings. These tend to ask for fees that need to be paid to collect your winnings.
• Romance – Online love interests that profess love and asks for money.
• Emergency – Demands for quick payments from someone claiming to be acting on behalf of your relative.
• Rental Scams – If you can’t meet in person, see the apartment, or sign a lease before you pay, keep looking for a place to rent.
• Bad Grammar – Scammers from overseas typically have grammatical errors, misspellings, or phrases/terms not typically used in the U.S.
The best advice to avoid scams is to only send funds to those you truly know. If you’ve never met the person before and need to send a payment, use a much more secure method like a cashier’s check.
The scams have been on-going since July.
Copyright 2020 WSAW. All rights reserved.