Scams, Hoaxes, and Lies - A reminder to stay safe!

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Scams, Hoaxes, and Lies - A reminder to stay safe!

Post by Crystal » Wed Oct 31, 2012 3:49 am

Hello fellow finch fanatics!

Our moderator team would like to help all of our fantastic members stay as safe and informed as possible, because we do not want any of you to fall victim to a scam, hoax, or lie! This may seem like a lofty goal to achieve on the internet, where deceit is easy to employ. However, we have a couple of tips that may be helpful to keep in mind:
  • If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • If something makes you uncomfortable or seems "fishy," do not proceed (Trust your gut!).
  • Exercise caution, especially in dealing with complete strangers over the internet.
  • Do not give money or your personal identifying information to any individual whose business/product(s)/service(s)/intent(s) you cannot verify, or with whom you do not have a prior relationship.
  • If a person is claiming to operate a legitimate business, ask for their business license information and research it.
  • Ask for references. Better yet, ask someone you do know and trust for a referral.
  • Beware of claims which contain a lot of hype and exaggerations, but few specific details.
  • Ask questions. Fact check. If appropriate, seek the advice of a professional.
  • Unless you are purchasing through a trusted vendor, avoid purchasing "sight unseen." Visit the birds/item for sale in person if that is an option. If it's not, ask to see photographs. Check the EXIF data of the photographs to ensure they are recent. Don't accept stock photographs.
  • Don't count your chickens before they hatch: as tempting as it may be to "pay a deposit" to "reserve" a valuable item or bird before it is available, it is usually wiser to wait until the bird/item is actually available to make the purchase. This is especially true of a live animal which could become ill or possibly die during the waiting period. Don't let someone play on your fears of a missed opportunity!
  • Never send money to someone who is pressuring you to "act fast."
  • Never trust someone that tells you they need a partner "where you live" to help facilitate any transaction from overseas.
If you can think of any additional tips, please share them!

Please also help us continue to keep this forum as safe as possible by reporting any suspicious activity you may see by using the anonymous [!] Report Post feature (PMs can also be reported).

Just want to help you stay safe with a friendly reminder :0)

wellingtoncdm

Re: Scams, Hoaxes, and Lies - A reminder to stay safe!

Post by wellingtoncdm » Tue Nov 20, 2012 8:47 pm

The only other thing I can add is never let strangers come to your house! I have heard many horror stories!
I meet at a well lit and very populated convenience store (7-11) to exchange, buy or sell birds.

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Re: Scams, Hoaxes, and Lies - A reminder to stay safe!

Post by TheWhiteFinchAviary » Wed Nov 21, 2012 2:03 am

This subject is a bit tricky for me, since I cannot bring myself to buy any bird without seeing the aviary from whence they came.

I always bring a big guy (or friend) with me and plan the trip down to a 'T' - including all rest stops and backup routes. I make sure that if I'm going to an area that I am unfamiliar with, I allow enough time to arrive early and get my bearings by going to lunch or a coffee shop nearby. It's also a lot easier to move around on the East Coast than it is on the West Coast!

Luckily every time I've had to meet a stranger to buy new birds or take in others I've had a pleasant &/or seamless experience. I have the a couple of the breeders that I've used (that actually have websites) on my links page.
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Re: Scams, Hoaxes, and Lies - A reminder to stay safe!

Post by DanteD716 » Thu Nov 22, 2012 3:12 pm

wellingtoncdm wrote: The only other thing I can add is never let strangers come to your house! I have heard many horror stories!
I meet at a well lit and very populated convenience store (7-11) to exchange, buy or sell birds.
Is it possible to tell some! I love stories!!!

But I have broken this rule before, once.... I let Sandy (angeldov222) come to see my birds and buy some.. Thank God she was such a nice lady.
Crystal wrote: Hello fellow finch fanatics!

Our moderator team would like to help all of our fantastic members stay as safe and informed as possible, because we do not want any of you to fall victim to a scam, hoax, or lie! This may seem like a lofty goal to achieve on the internet, where deceit is easy to employ. However, we have a couple of tips that may be helpful to keep in mind:
  • If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • If something makes you uncomfortable or seems "fishy," do not proceed (Trust your gut!).
  • Exercise caution, especially in dealing with complete strangers over the internet.
  • Do not give money or your personal identifying information to any individual whose business/product(s)/service(s)/intent(s) you cannot verify, or with whom you do not have a prior relationship.
  • If a person is claiming to operate a legitimate business, ask for their business license information and research it.
  • Ask for references. Better yet, ask someone you do know and trust for a referral.
  • Beware of claims which contain a lot of hype and exaggerations, but few specific details.
  • Ask questions. Fact check. If appropriate, seek the advice of a professional.
  • Unless you are purchasing through a trusted vendor, avoid purchasing "sight unseen." Visit the birds/item for sale in person if that is an option. If it's not, ask to see photographs. Check the EXIF data of the photographs to ensure they are recent. Don't accept stock photographs.
  • Don't count your chickens before they hatch: as tempting as it may be to "pay a deposit" to "reserve" a valuable item or bird before it is available, it is usually wiser to wait until the bird/item is actually available to make the purchase. This is especially true of a live animal which could become ill or possibly die during the waiting period. Don't let someone play on your fears of a missed opportunity!
  • Never send money to someone who is pressuring you to "act fast."
  • Never trust someone that tells you they need a partner "where you live" to help facilitate any transaction from overseas.
If you can think of any additional tips, please share them!

Please also help us continue to keep this forum as safe as possible by reporting any suspicious activity you may see by using the anonymous [!] Report Post feature (PMs can also be reported).

Just want to help you stay safe with a friendly reminder :0)
Crystal, very well written and very good reminders, especially for new breeders who wouldn't suspect something.
Dante

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Re: Scams, Hoaxes, and Lies - A reminder to stay safe!

Post by love4finches » Tue Dec 11, 2012 11:39 pm

For me, NOT ONE gets into my aviary. It's been sterilized and you don't know what the buyer is bringing into the house.

I have a cage in another room of the birds for sale. If they want to see my breeding room I have pictures in plain site.

We have to be very careful. People lie. I had a very bad experience years ago where the buyer swore that they had no birds. They bought 1 finch and with two weeks the rest were dead. They brought in a disease from the birds they said they don't have. (Liars I learned later. This is just a fact). Wish I had checked out the buyer first. He never would have gotten through the front door.

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Re: Scams, Hoaxes, and Lies - A reminder to stay safe!

Post by nicolino » Fri Jun 07, 2013 7:50 pm

Be aware of strawberries breeder scammer !!!

Received a text message from someone claiming to be a strawberry finch breeder . I got suspicious when the guy did not answered questions he should have know the answer to. So I asked him for pics and price list for his birds. Later , he claimed he email it but I did not get anything . I text him again and again with questions and he did not responded. I did little bit of research of his phone number and sure enough it turn out to be a scammer , tried to scam someone with some african grey parrots. So I text him a bait , if he can maybe offer african greys . Sure enough he responded immediately.Sure he has two african greys available. He asked for my location I responded by texting him his location R-F Iowa. I remainded him strawberries photos and price list but no response. He did however asked if I only want one african grey ? My response was , No Thanks , but nice try !!! He did not text me back. Here is the scammers phone number : 319-450-7463

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Re: Scams, Hoaxes, and Lies - A reminder to stay safe!

Post by Sally » Fri Jun 07, 2013 8:33 pm

Good for you for being suspicious, nicolino. It is unfortunate that the scammers are out there, and we all have to be vigilant. Through the years, there have been various scams perpetrated, these crooks collect their money and then disappear, leaving the buyers waiting for birds that never arrive. There was the infamous Victoria a few years back who scammed quite a few breeders--may she rot in bird poop!!
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Re: Scams, Hoaxes, and Lies - A reminder to stay safe!

Post by Sally » Sat Jun 15, 2013 5:19 pm

So it seems that the scammers are becoming active again. Everyone should be alert and very careful with whom they deal. If you don't know the seller, be aware that you are the vulnerable one. Virtually every seller will ask for the money up front, and then they will ship the birds to you. This is how it works, and most of the time, there is no problem.

It is the scammers who benefit from this system. They can promise the moon, promise to get you those birds you have been wanting for months, but once they have your money, you will never hear another thing from them. Just because they send you a photo does not guarantee anything, there are thousands of photos floating around the internet--easy to pass them off as their own.

When you see an ad that interests you, it is always good to check with others. You can post here, or on other forums, asking if anyone knows this seller. If they have a bad reputation, you can often find out about it this way. Ask lots of questions. If the person doesn't know the answers, this would be a red flag.

I had a recent experience with someone contacting me about 2 Purple Grenadier hens they had for sale. The photo they sent was of a Purple Grenadier male and some kind of CB (couldn't see the whole bird). This same person recently contacted another member about BCCBs. If you get an email from besnaku@gmail.com (Mary in Elkhart, IN), chances are excellent that this is a scam. I also recently got an email about a Purple Grenadier hen from nabuinyonga@yahoo.com.

Always be suspicious if you get an unsolicited email. It may be an honest seller responding to an ad or post you have made, but it also could be a scammer looking to make your dreams come true--NOT!
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Re: Scams, Hoaxes, and Lies - A reminder to stay safe!

Post by Sally » Sat Jun 15, 2013 5:23 pm

Here is a posting from another forum--someone was contacted after posting about wanting Strawberries:

Careful scammers out there!
I got the following message following an ad I posted for looking for strawberries. I would not fall for it.

"Hello,
thanks for the mail regarding my lovely birds ready for
their new homes .They are still available and needs a good home to
take them in now and for ever.They would come either separately or
both depending on you .DNA registered with all shots,vaccines and vet
records updated, Current vaccinations, Veterinarian examination,
Health guarantee, DNA registration papers,Raised with children and are
well socialized. Below are some important information you will need to
know About the birds:

Gender: One Male And One Female
Pet name: Rose And Rocky
Age: 1 year 7 days
Potential: Perfect Pet
Temperament & Personality: Perfect temperament and great with kids and
other pets.
I am giving these birds away because I am working as a nurse in the
Peace Keeping Force with the U.N as my new job and when I arrived the
new area two weeks ago, I noticed that my working hours are not O.K.
for me to continue to keeping them with me, I am always very busy at work and
have less time to spend with the birds. Can you imagine I can't spend
more than three hours with them a day?. so I cannot keep them with me
as its highly restricted in my apartment here in Thunder Bay,ON, so i
can arrange for the birds to be delivered over to your home and you are require to pay just $270 for
each bird including transportation fees to your home with crate if needed and $475 will be for the both birds including transportation fees over to your home with crate.They
would be Coming with:

# Health guarantee
# Vaccine record
# DNA registration papers
# Cage
# Microchip Registration
# Pedigree
# Nutrition supplement
# Traveling Crate

Getting a good home for Them is the most essential thing I have ever
wanted for them. So i have some few questions for you which I hope you
get back to me with the answers sincerely. I just want to make sure
they are getting into the right home. Hope you don't mind ?

Where about are you located?
Why do you need a bird ?
How soon do you need them ?
What sex are you interested in taking?
Male or Female Or Both?
Do you have any experience in raising a birds (or pets in general)?
Do you presently have kids and other pets?
Are you morally and financially prepared for a bird ?
Who will look after the bird when you are not around?
A name and contact number? Would be appreciated.Hope you don't mind
getting back to me with the possible.Feel free to ask any questions
regarding the birds of any.

My regards and waiting for your kind response."
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Re: Scams, Hoaxes, and Lies - A reminder to stay safe!

Post by Sally » Sat Jun 15, 2013 10:23 pm

I love the fact that the previous scammer is promising a vaccine record and a microchip registration! :lol: I guess these Strawberries have been vaccinated against parvo and distemper. Wonder where they put the microchip? And how wonderful, these birds get along with other pets--my birds don't like my cats! And for our Canadian friends, since when has the U.N. kept a peace-keeping force in Thunder Bay, Ontario? Guess they have to guard against an invasion from Sault Ste. Marie!!

=)) =))
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Re: Scams, Hoaxes, and Lies - A reminder to stay safe!

Post by Sally » Sat Nov 09, 2013 4:16 pm

I think it is time once again for a reminder to our membership to be careful in buying birds. We have a lot of newbies, and that is the group that is most vulnerable to scammers, because they are often the most trusting. Previous posts in this topic have dealt with safety in buying/selling birds in your local area.

When dealing with a breeder/broker/seller on the internet, ask LOTS of questions. If the person doesn't know the species he/she is selling, this is someone I would stay away from. Some brokers offer both airline shipping and USPS shipping. Though USPS shipping goes on all the time, it is still not legal, be aware of the risks and consequences involved. If a seller ships airline, there are certain guarantees; if a seller ships USPS, there are no guarantees as to live arrival or on-time arrival.

If someone asks for a deposit to reserve a bird, this tells me that he/she does not have the bird. Most of the time, this is a broker that needs your deposit money to try to buy a bird to sell to you. If this broker cannot acquire the birds you have ordered, you often will not get back your deposit. Brokers normally never ask for deposits, even on rare species. Instead, they maintain a wait list.

The nature of ordering birds makes it easy for scammers. Almost every breeder/broker/seller will ask for you to pay in advance, and then they will ship the birds to you. This is the easiest way for scammers to get your money, because this is the normal way of buying/selling birds. Because of this, be very careful when dealing over the internet. Just because someone has a website does not mean they are honest. Just because someone posts photographs does not mean they are photos of the birds being sold--photos are available for the taking all over the internet.

One of the best ways to sort out the bad from the good is to ask for recommendations. You can do this here or on other bird forums. And the best way is by Private Messaging, so it doesn't turn into a public bashing of someone. By learning about the experiences of others, you can determine if you want to do business with that person.
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Re: Scams, Hoaxes, and Lies - A reminder to stay safe!

Post by Ginene » Sat Nov 09, 2013 4:38 pm

Great thread!!! Thanks for bringing it back to the active topics link. :)

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Re: Scams, Hoaxes, and Lies - A reminder to stay safe!

Post by cindy » Sat Nov 09, 2013 5:25 pm

Often the pictures on the web are not even their birds but often another very well respected breeder's pictures or one the broker grabbed off the internet.

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Re: Scams, Hoaxes, and Lies - A reminder to stay safe!

Post by CHIRP » Tue Jul 29, 2014 2:06 pm

In this new world we live in with phones, cameras and the like we all 99% of us at some stage of our lives will be approached by some sneaky person, long ago I was taught by a person while growing up, he said " if you are in doubt, their is doubt so walk away" and this has taken me away from a few risky ventures in life, and I always go with that, it is because of the modern world that we or most of us have grown to not trust most people..... and it is a shame, BUT it keeps us on alert.

Anyway, that's life. " This is a great car, but I have a few interested buyers also interested" ........... tell him to keep it. Last week I went to see a car on sale, listed as VERY GOOD CONDITION at a dealer, the dash was faded and worn, tyres just about finished, shocks and breaks finished, windscreen pitted, doors don't align and all outside panels had work done.

I told him I was not interested because of this in a mail, and he replied to me by saying " keep your comments to yourself" so...... I can be glad I never had dealings with this person...

Yes, we must all be safe and on gaurd all day every day!

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Re: Scams, Hoaxes, and Lies - A reminder to stay safe!

Post by afinch » Tue Sep 16, 2014 3:55 pm

Might be good to have a reputation system of sorts for sellers, particularly those who ship. This way, anyone who deals with them can rate them on several parameters, and others can benefit from other people's experience (like ebay seller reps). I would much rather deal with someone who is known to be honest and patient than with a rude eager-to-sell person, let alone a scammer.

By the way, the cautionary statement about photos being ripped off the web is a very viable one. I have contacted so many zebra finch breeders who have sent me pics that they've grabbed from online sources. I often caught it because I've googled zebra finch mutations so profusely that I recognize almost all pics that are already on the web lol. One time I cornered a guy about it and he came back with "oh I just do that because I have the same mutations and it's just easier". So I went to see those "exactly similar" birds, and yeah... not even close.

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