Trade Safely

How to Avoid Internet Based Scams

We have compiled a list of resources to help our advertisers and users of Pet Classifieds identify and avoid Internet based scams.

Importing Pets, Monkeys or Parrot eggs?

Please do not respond to "adopt a pet" ads where you are asked to send money for shipping the pet from abroad or from a far away location, all these ads are scams and we will delete all ads and accounts when we find this type of ad. If you are buying a pet, please view the pet before parting with any money, never buy from overseas, never send money by Western Union, it is like sending cash and can not be traced. Please be aware that telephone numbers starting 0704 and 0703 can be used to direct calls to an international number, if you dial a 0704 type number please take extra care, listen if it is a UK ringing tone, if there is an echo on the line then there is a good chance that you could be ringing a scammer abroad.

Just Pay Shipping Scam

Do not respond to any ad that offers free goods or pets and asks for you to pay just the shipping, nearly always this is a scam.

Overseas export?

Please be aware of emails originating from overseas, wanting you to export your goods for sale. Nearly always, these are a scam of some kind. The majority of scams that are targeting UK Classified ad sites tend to be from criminals based in Nigeria or Cameroon, or are using Nigerian/Cameroon bank accounts. Remember: If it sounds to good to true, then it usually is!

What is West African "419" fraud?

Advance fee fraud or '419' fraud (named after the relevant section of the Nigerian Criminal Code) is a popular crime with the West African criminal element. There are a myriad of schemes and scams - mail, faxed and telephone promises designed to facilitate victims parting with money. All involve requests to help move large sums of money with the promise of a substantial share of the cash in return.

You receive an offer for more money than advertised?

Another popular scam is to be sent a cheque for more money than the goods are advertised for, you are then asked to forward the difference to the purchaser of your goods.

How the scam works is that the cheque you are sent is fraudulent, usually drawn on a foreign bank account, or is a stolen cheque. After you bank the cheque, the scammer/fraudster will ask you to send back the difference as soon as possible. A week or so later, your bank will inform you that the cheque is false and your bank account will be debited, therefore loosing your money.
Never release your goods until the bank has confirmed that the cheque or bankers draft has completely cleared.

Trade locally - use a credit card or PayPal

It is safer when you trade locally, you see the goods before paying. Avoid using payment / transfer methods such as Western Union, this is the same as sending cash to someone. If you do not trade locally use a service such as PayPal, this can offer you some protection, see for terms and further details. If it is a business that you are purchasing from, paying with a credit card can offer you some protection too. 

The Metropolitan Police web site:

A good web site that lists the latest scam / internet scams is at : .  You may view the main police web site at . You may also find further information on Internet fraud at the USA FBI site, The Internet Fraud Complaint Center (IFCC) at .

Use our feedback form to notify us if you receive a scam email, together with the user email address, or senders ID number and we will terminate their account.
If you do receive an email that is a scam, report it to their ISP by forwarding the offending email to the ISP's abuse department at abuse@(insert ISP domain name) for example or and they will close the scammers email account.
We do not want scammers/fraudsters using the Pet Classifieds web site, please report all fraudsters if you receive an email from them.

Do you have more questions? Contact us