Pet Scams with Jack Whittaker
Once someone is emotionally invested in purchasing a new pet, it’s easier to be manipulated and defrauded. We want to share ways that you can be sure not to get scammed. Today’s guest is Jack Whittaker. Jack is a PhD candidate in Criminology with published works in the field of online fraud. He has presented at several fraud conferences as well as has done expert interviews for both national and international news outlets. Jack also helps run a voluntary counter fraud initiative called PetScams.com and occasionally teaches cybercrime awareness to school children.
- [1:04 ] - Jack shares how he became involved with PetScams.com.
- [2:00 ] - Pet scams are very unique to certain countries including the United States.
- [3:25 ] - Pet scams originally come from Cameroon.
- [4:46 ] - An offender will create a website and set up Google ads. They spend tons of money to start this sometimes with stolen cards and reinvestment.
- [6:56 ] - There are fake sites listed on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest to generate more traffic.
- [7:59 ] - Victims of these scams tend to be people who are very vulnerable.
- [9:32 ] - After the victim pays a deposit, the offender then contacts them as a fake shipping company to charge them more.
- [10:44 ] - These scams are social engineering at its finest.
- [12:04 ] - If the person building the website is skilled, legitimate websites can be copied as a fake.
- [13:02 ] - For now, the best advice is to video chat with the breeder to see the pet. And even better than that, visit the breeder in person.
- [14:20 ] - Chris shares the story of almost being scammed when purchasing a pet.
- [15:30 ] - Scammers use an address they find of a property that is for sale somewhere. It has caused problems for the buyers of that home later.
- [17:50 ] - International scams make things very tricky.
- [19:54 ] - Jack explains the different kinds of money mules.
- [23:32 ] - Once things are figured out, scammers have adapted. Offenders are always two steps ahead.
- [25:10 ] - There is a minimum threshold for crimes to be looked into.
- [26:12 ] - Non-refundable payment methods are a huge red flag.
- [27:49 ] - Pet scammers often run other types of scams simultaneously and typically follow trends.
- [30:01 ] - There are scams that target victims who are in a place where they will not report the crime for fear of their own arrest.
- [32:14 ] - Jack describes the hierarchy of scams.
- [34:08 ] - Some scammers also torment their targets.
- [35:43 ] - Once someone is scammed, their information is shared to other scammers.
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