Avoiding Pet Scams

 
Adding a new pet to the family can be a very exciting time. Here are a few things to keep in mind when looking for animals on our site that will help to make the experience safer and more enjoyable;
 
If it looks too good to be true - it probably is. 
 
  • First of all, and most importantly - always buy the animal in person. This will give you the opportunity to inspect the health of the pet, the cleanliness and safety of the location, and best of all, you’ll see if you have a good rapport with the pet.  While a picture may be worth a thousand words, a real live pet will tell the story.  
 
  • No matter how good the deal seems or how cute the animal is, always pay once you’ve inspected the pet and asked the breeder all of your questions. Only then should you pay. You can consider choosing your preferred third party cashless payment method as an alternate to carrying cash (at your own discretion). Secure cashless payment methods include electronic money transfers (Interac e-transfers). Never mail a cheque or wire money to sellers. Services like Western Union or MoneyGram should be avoided. Typically, scammers will use these services and will even falsify documents from a legitimate company. It’s best to avoid them entirely and keep things local!
 
Do your homework.
 
  • Be aware of the laws in Canada and in your province specifically. Selling or buying exotic animals like monkeys, turtles or tiger cubs is illegal and can get you in a lot of trouble. 
  • Take a look at the pictures in the ad. Do they look like they might be generic photos downloaded off the internet? Do not be afraid to ask for more information or pictures of the animal.
 
It’s in the details.
 
  • When picking up or viewing the animal, always ask to check out their living conditions. If there are more than 3 dog breeds being raised in that location, be wary as it may be a puppy mill and you may end up with an animal that is not in the best of health. 
  • The majority of scams in the Pets section come in reply to a "Want Ad". These often start via SMS/Text message. Be wary of any non-local numbers and requests for you to reply to their text via email. 
  • Is the address posted local? They may have posted on a particular site but live in another province so shipping will be necessary. This will open up many possibilities for scams. 
 
A few extra notes worth considering: 
 
  • Dog scams are most common with English Bulldogs, Yorkies, Maltese, Chihuahua's and Huskies. 
  • Cat scams are most common with Bengals and Sphynx as they are very costly and hard to find. 
  • Bird scams are most common with African Greys, Cockatoos, and Macaws.
Trading during COVID-19
 
In order to help ensure the health and safety of our Kijiji Community, it is important to observe and apply protocols outlined by Health Canada when trading with other users of Kijiji. Your well-being remains our top priority. Please seriously consider whether in-person meetings are necessary.
 
If the transaction you’re making is necessary, please consider the following options:
 
  • Cashless Payment: Please consider choosing your preferred third party, secure cashless payment method.
  • Curbside pickup / Drop-off / Delivery: This can be a great alternative to shipping and allows both buyer and seller to inspect the item and make an exchange, all while observing social-distancing protocols.
Other things to consider:
 
  • Remote Inspections / Video Chat(s) / Virtual Tour(s) (Long Terms Rentals): Remote inspections via your preferred video conferencing call service, enables Community Members to discuss the transaction, while observing social-distancing protocols; Community Members can also send additional images, to show features/condition.
  • Online Applications in Long Term Rentals: Online applications for rental agreements enable the landlord and applicant to interact while observing social-distancing protocols. Be careful of applications that request information such as Age, Occupation, Income, Gender and more sensitive information such as bank or SIN card numbers. These can often be attempts to steal information. Please note that Kijiji does not facilitate online applications and we are not involved in any agreements made between the landlord and applicant.
  • Clean / Disinfect Items: We recommend cleaning items before and after a transaction as per the Health Canada page on Coronavirus (COVID-19) prevention. Please visit Health Canada to learn more about precautions to take at this time.