November 30

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Online Pet Scams & How AI Is Helping Put An End To It


Online pet scams are costing Americans millions of dollars each year. Records have reached $3.2 million in 2020 alone.

The online community, PetPress, has launched a new database to help stop the rising problem.

This article will discuss how this online community is using AI to end online pet scamming for good!

online pet scams how ai is helping put an end to it - Online Pet Scams & How AI Is Helping Put An End To It

A growing problem

Thanks to the internet, people may now interact with friends and colleagues, conduct research, view streaming media, and more.

It has also become an advantage for scammers seeking out people who will fall for their fraudulent offers.

The average loss of victims targeted by pet scams is $700, one of the most substantial among all categories of frauds, and 70% of the victims lose money.

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Since the pandemic’s start and with the Christmas holidays coming up, most people spend their time indoors and consider adopting puppies as a companion at home.

No solution can prevent future scams like these, although artificial intelligence (AI) has proven its potential so far.

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No method can prevent scams like these. However, artificial intelligence (AI) has shown potential so far.

AI is already having a significant impact in numerous sectors, from healthcare to marketing and certainly protects people from scams.

The technology aids in the disruption of online scammers by detecting patterns and trends that humans may overlook and handling enormous amounts of data at once.

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5 new ways to stop pet scams online

Online resources have started to grow over time and help potential pet buyers look for red flags with pet sales that appear to be too good true.

1. The Federal Trade Commission

The FTC is unable to handle individual fraud complaints, but it has suggestions on how to recoup your funds. With that, here are some of the organizations suggestions for spotting a scammer:

  • Start with a local rescue or animal shelter. 
  • Check out the rescue, shelter, or breeder. 
  • Check out the photos.
  • Have an in-person or video visit. 
  • Watch how you’re asked to pay. 
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2 . FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) if the scam occurred online

Complaints filed via this website are processed and may be referred to federal, state, local or international law enforcement or regulatory agencies for a possible investigation. 

3. The BBB Scam Tracker

The Better Business Bureau has been on track in spotting pet scams with the utilization of their Scam Tracker. Since potential buyers have been shopping online for a pet this holiday season, they advise to watch out as complaints continue to escalate into Better Business Bureau’s Scam Tracker as fake pet and puppy scams are on the increase, according to the 2020 BBB Risk Report.

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4. PetScams

The online community is basically like an online watchdog for pet scams. They investigate website domains and reports from Facebook, Craigslist or any other classified website. PetScams also have well-documented methods for reporting these web pages.

5.  The Humane Society and the American Kennel Club

Both organizations continue to give tips and advice on pet buying. The greatest places to get purebred puppies will have a lot of excellent reviews or recommendations from happy pet owners indicating that they are real and respectable. AKC registration is also mandatory for legitimate breeders.

So what is the recourse? 

PetPress, a prominent Online & Facebook Community, has many community members that have fallen for scams who do not get their money back. Numerous reports are part of the social media manager’s day. 

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Usually, credit card or interact payments can be reversed. But Bitcoin, Western Unions, and Wire Transfers are near impossible.  

If enough people make fraud complaints it may shut down a bank account. Not something any pet owner would want to happen.

They even had some community members with gift cards (yes people still do this) that are not reversible.

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The main thing to note is that over the last couple of years many people wanted a furry companion and there have been real shortages. 

Scammers preyed on their vulnerabilities during this time. People were ordering everything from their homes and this was used against them. 

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Long wait time, new bills, shipping, and veterinarian fees are just some examples scammers use to get even more money above the price of the puppy. 

The PetPress database lists as many pet scams as they can including pet breeders that are not real and money laundering pet adoption agencies that have been reported.

Stopping pet scams long term

The number one thing that can stop pet scams is your social media input!  

Have you ever been scammed or know someone who has?  The number one thing is not to stay quiet. Report the fraud and post on their Google review.

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The PetPress “Report A Scam” feature as well as technologies that scan websites for any signs of fraud or scams.

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Buying a puppy online can be exciting as it sounds with the thought of adding a new member to your family. You can find many sellers online, but you can find many fake ones too!

You must look for red flags before you do a transaction online since there has been a rise in puppy scams, especially with the pandemic.

You may want to do your research from breeders to local shelters because you become a victim of puppy scams.

It is safe to buy online if you are smart about it. There are precautions that you should take when buying a puppy online.

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