Online bird scam ends with local resident losing thousands

Police say don't pay for a pet without seeing it first

A warning from police after a would-be pet owner was fleeced out of thousands.

The South Simcoe Police Service says a local resident was defrauded out of several thousand dollars after attempting to buy pet birds from the United States. Police say everyone should be cautious when purchasing pets online and offer the following advice:

  • Never pay for a pet without seeing it first
  • Try to see the pet in person but if not, request a video call
  • Never pay with Bitcoin, a wire transfer or gift cards because once that money is gone, it’s nearly impossible to get back
  • Adopt pets from your local shelter or reputable pet store

“Unfortunately, frauds are an ongoing issue everywhere and are constantly changing in order to dupe more people,” reads a statement from police. “Be alert and trust your gut. If it feels wrong, it probably is a scam.”

For more information on this and similar scams, visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre website.

Feature image: J.J. Harrison via Wikipedia