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Parrot Scams: 8 Things To Watch Out For To Keep Your Money Safe | African Grey Parrot Centre ™ Blog

Parrot Blog > Parrot Scams: 8 Things To Watch Out For To Keep Your Money Safe | African Grey Parrot Centre ™ Blog | You are here

Parrot Scams: 8 Things To Watch Out For To Keep Your Money Safe | African Grey Parrot Centre ™ Blog

Parrot Scams: 8 Things To Watch Out For To Keep Your Money Safe

March 3rd, 2009

If you’ve been scammed please read this post “Calling All People That Have Been Scammed

Running a parrot site with a parrots for sale section we’ve seen a fair few scammers post ads up, we’ve had to be clever and change the way the whole section works to try and prevent these scammers ads from even appearing on the site because we feel partly responsible when people contact us and tell us how they part with their hard earned money for nothing.

It’s a never ending battle that while we do everything we can to stop them it’s impossible to completely irradicate so I thought I’d put together a blog post to firstly warn people that “it happens” and it “could be you” and some safeguard points to watch out for to help keep your money safe.

So without further do here is the top ten things you have to watch out for when considering purchasing an African grey parrot online:

1. Price – This is probably the single most obvious things that I think helps weed out the scams from the genuine adverts. when I say price I mean low price, when the price seems to be amazingly low and too good to be true, there you have it “too good to be true” … like with most things in life, you get what you pay for.

Generally if you see an African grey parrot advertised for sale for much less then £400 without a genuine explanation, alarm bells should start ringing. Scammers count on the fact that most people see the price of a parrot and think they can’t afford to pay so much money so they offer you a bargain that you can’t afford to miss, WRONG!!

So when looking through parrot adverts you are going to be looking at £450-900 to buy an african grey so anything lower than this put a black mark down.

2. Advert Language – Usually you will find that scammers are not English people therefore the written language is not lets say “perfect English”. Now you don’t need to be a perfect A grade student in English language, but if the English doesn’t sound … English then there’s a fair bet that the person writing the advert isn’t English.

Now that’s not to say that all foreigners are scammers and it’s perfectly feasible that a non English first language person is not a legitimate seller, it’s one thing to watch out for. Here’s an example of poor English in one advert submitted to us:

“looking very good and well arrange that can comfort your lovely parrot in as long as you will like it to be there.”

3. Adoption Ads – Come on, do you think people are going to give away birds that cost £450-900 for free or next to nothing for the goodness of their heart, generally it doesn’t happen, I’m sure it does occassionally but not very often, adoption in the title or description of the ad is usually a sure fire give away, sterr clear of these ads.

4. Deposit Required – All scams require you to send a deposit or money at some stage, once they have a deposit they ask for more money for insurance or a travel cage or something like that, then I can guarantee you that once they have all your money you won’t see that bird or any sign of your money ever again.

A lot of scams involve Cameroon, Nigeria or some other African country, but we’ve found more and more often particularly on this site that the birds/sellers are in Ireland.

5. Welfare Enthusiasm – Scammers are often well over the top with the birds well being rather than money, this is to lull you into a false sense of security to make you think it’s not about the money it’s all about the bird.

If you think about it, it’s reverse phsycology they make you feel like you have to prove to them that you will be a worthwhile owner and you do everything you can to convince them that you will be and by the time you have finished convincing you are right where they want you which is desperate to own the parrot they are going to sell you “if you’re good enough”.

So lets get it straight from the start, you ARE good enough, you don’t need to prove to anyone otherwise!!

6. Phone Number – You should ALWAYS speak to the seller on the phone before you even consider parting with your hard earned cash, in this day and age we’ve become to used to paying for things online without seeing or speaking to the person/company we’re buying goods online from, it’s just too easy!!!

So when you request a number and they will not give one walk away … simple as that, would you buy a £1,000 from “Ricks Really Good Deals Ltd” probably not so why hand over your cash to someone else you’ve never heard of before?

Most breeders or sellers would prefer to speak by phone to arrange a sale.

7. Western Union – They will not accept anything other than western union. Some cheeky scammers even send you a list of your local shops where this can be paid, big question marks there!

8. Pictures – Pictures can tell you a thousand words, it’s true!! Scammers tend to use the same old pictures everytime, scour around the internet even the other ads on the site, if you see the same picture over and over used on completely different ads then you have a scammers advert in front of you.

Another thing is the pictures scammers use tend to be proffessional ones knicked from parrot sites rather than home taken ones, you should be able to tell the difference quite easily, if you have any doubts mark it down as another black mark and check all the other points.

Hopefully these eight points will help you to spot the scammers when looking to purchase an African grey or any other parrot online, the most important thing to do is don’t EVER hand over any money to anyone till you have spoken to and met the bird you wish to purchase, that way you can be 100% sure you are not just another scammer statistic.

Update: 11th January 2010

Thanks to the kind comment made by Greg Glendell of Greg’s Parrots pointing out one of Google’s advertisers being a scam, we have since blocked the said ad from appearing on our site, but for those of you that haven’t seen it I took a screen capture of the ad before blocking it, so if you see this advert click on it as much as you like because it will cost them money but do not under any circumstances give up your hard earned cash to this site as you will likely never see it again!!

Parrotsecrets.com Scam

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