The Daily Dog is the official blog of pups4sale.com.au. Posts include articles on dog breeds, breed information, safely buying and selling puppies online, rescue & shelter dog info, news, views and controversies across the canine world!
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– At pups4sale, we are always on the alert for new tricks being used by puppy scammers to steal money from unsuspecting Australian puppy buyers. Thanks to an enquiry from a suspicious buyer, who was using the atrocious site known …...
– At pups4sale, we are always on the alert for new tricks being used by puppy scammers to steal money from unsuspecting Australian puppy buyers. Thanks to an enquiry from a suspicious buyer, who was using the atrocious site known as Cracker, we have come across the latest evolution in the scammer’s toolbox – fake driver licences.
Here’s how it works: The unsuspecting buyer is unwise or unaware enough to visit a site either run by the scammers themselves, or one that is totally compromised by them. As we have repeatedly warned on the Australian Puppy Scams Hall of Shame, most classified sites in Australia that run puppy ads fall into one of the above two categories, with a comprehensive list detailed here.
The buyer then starts corresponding with the scammer, as did the buyer who contacted us regarding the ad featured in this Post. She asked us to check it out, which we were only too glad to do. To us, it was immediately obvious the ad was fake, but what was hugely disturbing was the scammer had supplied a fake NSW Driver’s Licence in order to convince the buyer she/he/it was for real. We’ll get to that part in a moment, but as a refresher, here are some of the most obvious signs that this ad is a fake:
Now to the fake ID issue. We’ve included a copy of the Driver Licence the scammer is using in this particular scam, and as you will see it’s quality is not too bad. To the amateur eye it looks quite legitimate, but professionals can easily spot it is fake.
One of the first things we noticed was the ethnicity of the woman in the photo did not match that of the name used. That is not enough in itself to say it is a fake Licence, but it does raise legitimate suspicions.
Secondly, the “Licence” is issued in NSW. Given the scammer states in their puppy ad they are located in Perth, this raises even more suspicions.
Put the above two points together with the obvious fake aspects of the ad itself provides ample evidence that here we have a scammer hard at work, trying to steal money from Australian puppy buyers. Luckily for the lady who contacted us and asked us to check the ad out, she took our advice and moved on instead of sending her money to the scammer for a puppy that doesn’t exist.
But why would the scammer go to the trouble of creating a fake Driver Licence in the first place? The answer lies in their never-ending quest to make their prey think they are legitimate. The days of using titles such as Dr, Barrister, Pastor, Reverend and so on are pretty much over, so they need a new angle. Using one of the many commonly available photograph and document editing programs such as Adobe Photoshop, scammers can easily create an electronic version of a Licence (such as the above), then supply it to the buyer to convince them the transaction is legitimate and not a scam.
So please be aware that fake IDs – such as, but not limited to Driver Licences – are going to be used more and more by scammers as part of their efforts to convince prospective victims that they are legitimate breeders.
If you have seen this latest tactic already in use, please feel free to comment below, as the more intelligence we have to supply our readers with, the less people will fall victim to the puppy scammers.
– In this month’s contribution to the Australian Puppy Scams Hall of Shame, we showcase Global-Free-Classified-Ads .com, which is yet another MFA (Made For Adsense) site that exists to enable thieves to steal your money. If the above sounds like …...
– In this month’s contribution to the Australian Puppy Scams Hall of Shame, we showcase Global-Free-Classified-Ads .com, which is yet another MFA (Made For Adsense) site that exists to enable thieves to steal your money.
If the above sounds like a big call, then click here to check out the attached video and you’ll see what we mean. Needless to say, we are never in fear of law suits alleging defamation over such videos (although we sure have been threatened!), because the crooks behind such sites want to stay well underneath their rocks of anonymity as they facilitate the criminal acts of their mates.
At pups4sale, we were alerted to this site by a grateful member of the public who had seen one of our regular videos on the topic of puppy scams, and then twigged that Global-free-classified-ads was also a scam site. Fortunately this member of the public had not lost his money before contacting us, unlike others who have lost hundreds – if not thousands – prior to seeing our videos and emailing us.
It is relatively easy to expose a scammer for what they are, if you know how. Many people who get caught by them however don’t know how prevalent puppy scams are, or ignore the warning signs because they are so heart-set on a particular puppy.
So here is a simple tip you (or those you know) can use to stop the scammers dead in their tracks, should you be looking through the various classified sites that host puppy ads: If you can’t ring an advertiser on an Australian mobile phone number via their ad, or if you make email contact with them and they refuse to supply a mobile phone number to contact them on, then it is almost 100% guaranteed the ad you are looking at is a scam. Don’t take any excuses as to why you can’t ring them – and remember, these criminals steal money for a living, so they are very resourceful. If you can’t ring them and talk to them about the proposed pup, then run, run as fast as you can away from the ad and site in question.
More safety tips and the full list of sites we have exposed in the Australian marketplace for allowing puppy scam ads to be run on their pages, can be found here.
Feel free to comment below, or on our YouTube Channel where the video on today’s site is hosted, Alternatively, if you have any questions about a site or ad you are not sure of, feel free to contact us and we’ll be glad to check it out for you.
– Readers of the Daily Dog may recall we have twice previously warned about fake puppy ads on the Trading Post, and how that organisation had the cheek to publicly say they were doing something about it. Well folks, the … Continued
– Readers of the Daily Dog may recall we have twice previously warned about fake puppy ads on the Trading Post, and how that organisation had the cheek to publicly say they were doing something about it. Well folks, the time has come to remind you once again that the Trading Post is still allowing puppy scams to be run on their site in 2016, despite their public protestations.
As we show in detail in the accompanying video, the puppy scams being run on the Trading Post (TP) are obvious to any site administrator who is actually checking the site advertisers and their ads. The fact the ad we highlight in the attached video was placed some days ago and still has not been pulled down, shows how the TP is either lying or incompetent when they state:
Trading Post has implemented new and updated fraud tools early February (2014). Every single (edited) ad on the website is now reviewed by a person from our fraud team. No exceptions. And if we are unsure of the legitimacy of the ad placed, we call the seller to make sure.(source)
To use the vernacular, the statement they make above is quite frankly a load of bull. It was when they made it, and it still is today.
The particular scammers highlighted are based in Russia (as we mention in the video), and whatever telephone number they supplied when they registered with the TP would either have been fake or belonged to an innocent third party. A simple call from the euphemistically named “Fraud team” at the TP would have revealed that fact right away.
So what does all this mean for you, the person wishing to buy a puppy or older dog online in Australia? It means you cannot be sure of the legitimacy of any ad placed on the TP – it is as simple as that.
As we discuss in the video, we were alerted to this particular ad by a Siberian Husky breeder who was thinking about advertising on the TP. She checked out their existing ads, smelled a rat when she saw the one in question, started corresponding with them – and as we show, it quickly become evident that they were scammers. The legitimate breeder then contacted us to check out the ad and correspondence, and it took about two seconds to see that the ad was a fake.
Shortly we will update the Australian Puppy Scams Hall of Shame with a link to this blog Post. If you go to that list of websites that we have exposed, you will see just how many classified sites in Australia basically couldn’t care less if you are scammed when shopping online. Therefore the only way to ensure you are not scammed is to not go to those websites. Feel free to comment below or on the video on our YouTube Channel or Facebook Page.
Update 15/02/16 8.03PM AEST:
The Daily Dog has been provided with the transcript of a conversation between a senior member of the TP’s so-called “fraud team” (remember them?!) and a member of the public who alerted them to this particular scam. The TP representative stated (only after the TP was alerted to the obvious scam ad by a member of the public, days after it was published, mind you):
“The person and number registered as the seller was contacted. The person who picked up the phone said that he did not know that someone is using his phone number, address, etc to post an ads. It is a stolen identity.”
To which we say, “Gee whiz – who would have thunk it, genius?!”
The TP Rep goes on to state:
“Obviously, the person who was in charge did not follow procedure”
Their statements above regarding the blindingly obvious just beggar belief. It just further confirms everything we have warned the Australian public about in this and previous articles; the Trading Post’s ads are trusted at your own risk.
– The latest trend in puppy scams is one we have been expecting for quite some time, and has now arrived in the Australian marketplace; fake cross-breed ads. In this update to the Australian Puppy Scams Hall of Shame, and … Continued
– The latest trend in puppy scams is one we have been expecting for quite some time, and has now arrived in the Australian marketplace; fake cross-breed ads.
In this update to the Australian Puppy Scams Hall of Shame, and as we show in the accompanying video, we don’t expose a new site for allowing scams to be run on their pages. What we do is use an existing pirate’s lair that we have already exposed (in this case Cracker .com.au) and show how cross breed puppy ads are all of a sudden starting to pop up.
Thanks to the pressure pups4sale and others have been placing on the “business model” of the overseas criminal gangs behind most puppy scams in Australia, they have been forced to change tack. A lot of the pressure we have been able to bring to bear is due to the education process we have been heavily involved in via the Daily Dog, it’s distribution on Social Media, and our Scam Stopper page, which is a permanent feature on our site.
So, in order to keep their profit levels up in the increasingly aware marketplace that Australia has become, scammers have begun to test the waters with fake cross breed ads as well as fake pure breed ads. One of the people who recently enquired with us re a suspect cross bred ad on Cracker, generously shared with us the text of an email she received from the scammer behind the ad when she contacted them about it. The scammer said:
Hello , thanks for contacting me concerning my puppies, i still have both male and female available , i have one male and one female puppy , i am not selling my puppies, i am just looking for a home for them, so before i give you my puppies, i will like to ask some few question before i decided ok, so i will like to know if you will take very good care of the puppies?
i will also like to know if you have any pets at home?
do you have kid’s at home ?
are you interested in both or just one ? male or female ?
where are you located ?
do you have space where the puppies can play ?
do you work ?
are you married ?
if you have any pet at home can i see pics of them ?
i will be glad if you answer all this question so that i can be sure
that the puppies at going into a good home, thanks and waiting to hear
from you soon
Of course we were able to tell the enquirer that the boilerplate text above was typical of an amateur scammer, but what piqued our interest particularly was the fact it related to a cross breed ad. Following up the ad itself on Cracker, we were not surprised to find more duplicates of this ad on the site, given it is completely infested with fakes and the site administrators do nothing about it.
As we show in the video, the scammers are not changing their tactics in any other dimension; only towards cross breed ads where the breeds concerned are quite popular. Clearly they are trying to target those people who are focussed on cross breed puppies and therefore may not be as aware as those people looking to buy a pure bred puppy. That is our take on it at pups4sale, but if any of our readers has further thoughts on why the scammers are showing a sudden interest in cross breed ads, we’d love to hear your comments below.
Of course if you see a suspect puppy ad on any site in Australia, feel free to contact us in admin and we’ll take a good hard look at it for you.
– In the next instalment on how to put together a great ad for your litter of puppies, we focus on the ad title. It is only a small element of the overall ad, certainly, but the right title can … Continued
– In the next instalment on how to put together a great ad for your litter of puppies, we focus on the ad title. It is only a small element of the overall ad, certainly, but the right title can have a huge impact in terms of grabbing potential buyers’ attention in the first place.
Pictured in this Post is an example of just one of the many clever, catchy, eye drawing and attention grabbing ad titles we regularly see from our advertisers at pups4sale. In fact the screenshot shown is taken from our Facebook Page, and with so many people now using Social Media as a first point of contact, the ad title takes on even more significance.
We’ve blogged previously about the importance of good quality images to a successful puppy ad, and how it is equally important to regularly update those images as the pups in a litter grow. However the title you put with those photos (as can bee seen here) is just as important.
You can see for yourself how the title “Best little guard dogs in the world” is eye-catching all by itself. When combined with the clever photo of four mischievous Australian Cattle Dog pups poking out of an esky, the attention grabbing effect of the title is magnified even further. It inspires people to look at the ad in more detail than they otherwise might, and of course the more eyeballs are on an ad, the more potential buyers the ad is exposed to.
Now we come to the further magnifying effect of Social Media, and in particular the all important Facebook. At the time of writing (January 2016), pups4sale has over 36,700 Likes on our Facebook Page. A big percentage of those Likes come from mobile devices. When people Like our Page on their mobile device, our Posts are added to their Feed. So that means each ad placed on pups4sale is displayed on that person’s device. For those who use Facebook regularly, you would know that scrolling through your Feed is at least a daily habit – if not more frequently engaged in than that! And what makes you click on a particular Post more than others; something that has an eye-catching photo and accompanying title of course!
The title and photo areas of an ad compliment each other so much that even if you have great photos of your litter, it is better to spend some time thinking about the title you are going to use with your ad, before you place it. As the saying goes, “You only get one first impression”. Just as you wouldn’t publish your ad without decent photos, so too you would be doing yourself a disservice to publish without a quality title. That does not mean you have to write to the standard of a published author, but at the very least make sure your title has:
. No spelling or grammatical errors.
. References to your breed or breeds.
. No more than 90 characters.
From that starting point you can then get creative, as the people behind the ad example used above have done. As mentioned above though, even if writing is not your strong suit, you can still create a workable title that will draw attention. Using the three guidelines above, here’s some examples of how you can incorporate those recommendations into an ad title that works:
. “Hard working Australian Kelpies are ready for your farm!”
. “Sweet natured Bichon Frise puppies available for homes with daily cuddles!”
. “Oodles of Mini-Poodles for your home!”
So the next time you have a litter approaching or newly arrived, have a good think about some of the different ad titles you might use, and try them out on friends or family first. You’ll be surprised how creative you can be with a little application, and in our experience at pups4sale, the time taken to write a good title and get feedback on it prior to publishing, is something that is never wasted.
– As part of our never ending site upgrade, several months ago (in November 2015) we quietly introduced the image rotation feature for all pups4sale members. As pictured in this post and demonstrated in the accompanying video, each click of …...
As pictured in this post and demonstrated in the accompanying video, each click of the little pink “Rotate Image” tab will turn the relevant image ninety degrees clockwise. Click the tab again and the image turns another ninety degrees clockwise – and so on. This handy little feature is something many of our members have requested, and which we’re glad to deliver!
As we all know, taking photos of wriggling, squirming and/or playing puppies is difficult enough, without later finding our device has stored the images upside down or sideways! The image rotation feature takes all the frustration out of fixing this problem, should you encounter it, with the click of a button. No more uploading your images to third-party sites such as picresize .com, rotating them, saving them to your computer, then uploading them to your ad.
As anybody selling puppies can attest, having good quality photos of your pups is very important to the success of your ad. Equally important however is having them displayed the right way up. Having images displayed sideways or upside down is not a good look – hence the reason we are very pleased at pups4sale to be able to deliver this tool to our members.
An important point to remember, however, when using this tool: If you go through the process of rotating images, save your changes and any other edits you make to your ad, and then find your images don’t look rotated correctly to you, don’t panic, keep calm and carry on. It is simply the browser you are using has “cached” the image as it was previously loaded (upside down / on its side, etc). This will only apply to your device for a short period (usually an hour or so) until the browser “clears its cache”. This problem most often occurs with Internet Explorer, but can happen with any browser if you have set your own cache period.
Virtually all browsers have a pre-set “cache” time period in operation – which can be an hour/day/week, etc, but is most commonly an hour. What that means is, each time you view a page on the internet, if you’ve viewed that page within the last hour (or “cached” time period that is set on that particular browser) and you then view that same page again within the hour (such as when you’re editing), you may not see the changed page. (There are ways to “clear your cache” with each browser, but we won’t go into that here.) Suffice it to say, once you have saved your edits to your ad, just look at your ad in a different browser (e.g. if editing using Firefox, look at the ad page in Google Chrome) and you will see the updated page correctly displayed.
Of course if you have any questions regarding using this feature, always feel free to contact the friendly team at pups4sale and we’ll gladly assist. We made sure the image rotation tool was available to us in admin as well as to our members, so we can rotate your images for you should you get stuck.
Or if you prefer use one of our linkware images? Click here
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