Petscams.com data reveals most popular pet scams and victim losses in criminology publication

September 17, 2020
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In 2020 a study was undertaken by two UK academics to help criminologists better understand Non-delivery fraud in the context of cyber crime. The results of this research have published in the Australian & New Zealand Journal of Criminology. See: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0004865820957077

Our comment archives (2016-2020) were utilized under the agreement of anonymity to crucially identify which species and breeds victims of fraud were most susceptible to lose their money on when attempting to purchase online. The results identified that victims have been complaining not only about the non-delivery of puppies, but also pedigree kittens and exotic birds.

Table A: Victim Complaints on Pet Deposit Payments

BreedNumber of VictimsTotal Loss Per Breed (USD)Average Loss per Victim (USD)
Puppies   
Akita2$2,599.00$1,299.50
Australian Shepherd4$2,050.00$512.50
Beagle5$2,647.00$529.40
Bernedoodle5$6,950.00$1,390.00
Bichon Frise4$3,400.00$850.00
Border Collie1$1,550.00$1,550.00
Boston Terrier2$3,100.00$1,550.00
Boxer4$1,750.00$437.50
Bulldog72$61,877.43$859.41
Cane Corso6$7,050.00$1,175.00
Cavoodle2$2,300.00$1,150.00
Chihuahua11$7,470.00$679.09
Chow Chow6$3,387.00$564.50
Cockapoo2$2,250.00$1,125.00
Corgi17$18,700.00$1,100.00
Dachsund12$8,197.50$683.12
Doberman4$6,135.00$1,533.75
German Shepherd2$1,270.00$635.00
Golden Doodle4$3,400.00$850.00
Golden Retriever1$550.00$550.00
Great Dane7$6,850.00$978.57
Havanese1$500.00$500.00
Husky6$9,800.00$1,633.33
Jack Russell3$2,035.00$678.33
Labradoodle3$3,660.00$1,220.00
Labrador6$5,225.40$870.90
Maltese13$11,071.50$851.65
Papillon1$800.00$800.00
Pinscher2$1,400.00$700.00
Pitbull14$8,649.00$617.79
Pomeranian40$35,239.41$880.99
Pomsky4$2,060.00$515.00
Poodle18$16,150.00$897.22
Pug17$13,310.00$782.94
Retriever4$2,132.76$533.19
Samoyed4$2500.00$625.00
Schnauzer8$4,835.00$604.38
Shihtzu15$9,000.00$600.00
Spaniel3$1,950.00$650.00
Yorkshire Terrier15$10,296.99$686.47
Kittens   
Bengal7$6,822.00$974.57
British Shorthair4$2,450.00$612.50
Maine Coon14$12,939.00$924.21
Persian5$3,050.00$610.00
Russian Blue3$2,030.00$676.67
Savannah1$5,920.00$5,920.00
Siamese1$499.00$499.00
Exotic Birds   
Macaw2$1,500.00$750.00
Parrot6$6,022.50$1,003.75

The authors also identified from our data that pet scammers from Cameroon are primarily targeting the USA with loss amounts also being recorded in Australia and South Africa. It’s worth noting that the result shown in Table B do not represent all of our complaints (we have over 8,000!) but they were instead recorded when a monetary loss amount was specified.

Table B: Recorded Complaints Per Country (2016-2020)

CountryNumber of ComplainantsLoss RangeAverage Loss Per VictimTotal Acc. Losses
Australia4AUD 750.00 – AUD 2,000AUD 1,287.50 AUD  5,150.00
USA466USD 55.00 – USD 10,300.00USD 952.21USD 443,730.48
South Africa11ZAR 1,500 – 40,000ZAR 8,045.45ZAR 88,500.00

What to do next?

As well as reporting this to the Registrar it is very important to report this crime to your local Law Enforcment. We have compiled a list of Law Enforcement agencies worldwide.You can find a link (here) as well as reporting wire fraud using money transfer agencies (here).

If you live in the US it is important to report this scam to the BBB. Click here to see why. As well as the Better Business Bureau you should report this crime to the Federal Trade Commission. See Here

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