How to Spot & Avoid Online Parrot Selling Scams

How to Spot & Avoid Online Parrot Selling Scams

 December 23rd, 2009
Posted By:
Jamieleigh

Avoid getting scammed by people selling parrots on the internet, one lady’s story and how you can learn from it.

For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Jamieleigh and I have a lot of parrots. The picture below, is me. I’m blonde, about 5’4″ and work and train parrots for a living.

Now that you know what I look like, I can tell you more about how to save yourself upwards of $300 and a ton of heartbreak by not buying birds from people who are scamming you out of your money – and using my photos with my own birds to do so. If you see me and my birds in an ad saying the birds are for sale – run the other direction, it’s a scam. And scammers LOVE using my pictures.

Blue throated macaw

First of all, scammers are getting darn good and they’re making tons of fake websites to help them get your money fast. For example, the International Animal Transport Agency website (http://petmover.webs.com/contactus.htm)? It doesn’t really exist. It’s fake. You can’t contact the customer service, they have tons of typos and none of the information given is legit… scammers created it to make you feel like you can actually track your non-existent new pet they didn’t ship.

HOW SCAMMERS FIND YOU:

  1. You put out an ad on the internet saying you want to buy a parrot.
  2. Someone else (scammer) puts out a fake ad about selling/giving away a parrot which you respond to.

WEBSITES WE’VE FOUND PARROT SCAMS ON USING OUR PICTURES:

  • http://www.hoobly.com/
  • http://www.kijiji.com/
  • http://www.oodle.com/

Now this doesn’t mean these are bad websites, but it does mean to shop carefully and be able to recognize when people are using our photos for their ads. If you see it, REPORT IT. It’s fraud and it’s illegal. Only buy from verified and trustworthy sellers, those that are will have icons saying so next to their user names.

The latest victim to a parrot selling scam involving my pictures was a nice lady from Canada named Wendy. She put an ad out looking for a cockatiel, and she got a reply from Ann Lewis saying she was out of cockatiels but had some other parrots that might interest Wendy. These parrots happened to be… mine. And Ann? Well she happened to be… me. Or at least she claimed she was me in the photos she sent out to Wendy.

Ann sent Wendy tons of pictures of me with my birds that she stole from this very blog, as well as our Flickr account. I suggest you become VERY familiar with our photos from flickr so that you can help spot new ad scams out there.

After falling in love with our parrot pictures and the hopes of getting one of our birds, Wendy quickly sent Ann the $110 she asked for simply for shipping and nothing else. Ann just wanted to make sure the birds went to a really good home… yeah, right.

Straight from scammer Ann to Wendy:

these birds came with all necessary papers needed,but as the Canadian veterinarian must conduct another test to be sure of their health status,It was done ,all was fine and Medication Papers were accurate ,The test Results shows that this birds are free from such diseases that may attack other Animals like (dogs, Monkeys and Cats E.T.C).So these birds are now ready for shipping and delivery ……………. But it should be noted that this processes cannot be carried out unless the sum of ($110) is paid for the flight ticket .for these birds will come alongside with two of our pet carriers.

FYI, all money transactions were done through Western Union.

But then when it came time to “ship the birds” Ann needed $350 for insurance on the flight. Wendy didn’t have it and let Ann know it. But Ann had an idea – she would pay $200 if Wendy paid $150 and then the birds would get there the NEXT DAY! Wendy was excited, and quickly paid the next $150 to Ann.

DEAR CLIENT,
ACCEPT GREETINGS FROM THE ENTIRE STAFF OF THE PET TIME OF PET MOVERS CARGO BRANCH BANFF / CANMORE. WE HAVE INFORMATION TO DELIVER TWO HYACINTH MACAW PARROTS AT YOUR HOME TODAY. WE ARE SORRY FOR THE WHAT WE ARE TO TELL YOU BUT YOU HAVE TO KNOW THAT VACCINES OF YOUR BIRDS HAVE EXPIATE JUST SOME FEW HOURS A GO AND WE WANT TO LET YOU KNOW THAT THE ANIMAL DOCTORS OF THE CANADIAN KENNEL CLUB SAID THAT THIS BIRDS CAN NOT CONTINUE THE FLIGHT TO YOUR HOME . THIS VACCINES COST $150. THIS VACCINES IS OF YOUR OWN GOOD AS THESE BIRDS CAN BE AFFECTED BY DISEASES THAT CONTAMINATE PETS IN A FLIGHT. SO PLEASE GET BACK TO US AS SOON AS POSSIBLE AND SEE THAT YOU PAY THIS MONEY SO THAT THESE BIRDS CAN GET THEIR VACCINES WRIGHT AWAY AND BE DELIVERED OK.

SORRY FOR THE THIS BUT WE CAN NOT DO UNDER WISE

Still… no birds. Nothing… and this was $260 later…

Then another email from Ann. This time she needed MORE MONEY for vet checks and bills because she couldn’t send them without getting them checked out. This is when Wendy drew the line and started doing her own research online. That’s when she found MY photos with the birds (who were renamed Vinny and Minny by Ann for ultimate scamming purposes) and contacted me via my email. I told her where she could find our videos, authentic websites and a link to our Flickr… all of which she had found on her own and knew Ann was not legit and she had lost her money for good.

Her new goal? To let ALL OF YOU know about her loss so you don’t face the same.

BEWARE OF THESE SCAMMER EMAIL ADDRESSES:

  • interpetdelivers@in.com
  • lewisann2009@live.com

TIPS FOR AVOIDING BEING SCAMMED:

When people just want a good home for their bird and will only charge you shipping, BE CAUTIOUS. Demand photos with DATE STAMPS, demand phone calls with the people you’re in contact with, demand to talk to the vet who checks the birds before shipping them. And when it’s international, you HAVE to complete paperwork so don’t believe the sender has it “all taken care of” because they can’t! It’s literally impossible, both parties HAVE to complete paperwork such as import/export permits and go through designated ports of entry. Vets have to check the animals at take off and landing destinations… it’s very in depth so don’t let anyone fool you.

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23 Comments on “How to Spot & Avoid Online Parrot Selling Scams”

Miguel Zagal  12/26/2009 4:33 am

Hello Jamieleigh, I’m Miguel from Mexico. Just to let you know that your pictures are fraudulently used here in my country too. I’m a faithful follower of your posts as well as Dave’s and since the beginning I knew those pictures where not yours. These guys have stolen money from a lot of people here in Mexico. Here’s the link of on of them. Take Care. Happy Holidays.

http://www.segundamano.com.mx/distrito-federal/animales/aves/2657007anuncio-azul-oro-guacamayo-jacinto.aspx


Elly Gilmore  12/26/2009 10:16 pm

Why not make it REALLY simple?? DON’T BUY— ADOPT!!! Lord knows there are enough of these poor ‘dumped’ birds out there ( We have nine of them)
Let’s stop contributing to the “chain”


Jamieleigh  12/27/2009 8:54 am

Sadly, that is the route these scams are taking. They claim they are moving out of the country and can’t care for the birds anymore, and just simply want a good home for them. So even those people looking to adopt can get scammed too.

Hopefully people start looking at reputable parrot adoptions first before running into these scams that seem to be everywhere online.


Amanda G  02/09/2010 6:30 pm

Just saw that you’re selling cash in Winnipeg, Manitoba! It’s surprising how many people use your pictures for scams.

http://winnipeg.kijiji.ca/c-pets-birds-for-sale-Friendly-Military-Macaw-W0QQAdIdZ184777885


Eva  03/13/2010 12:11 pm

Hey I want to ask you something do you think this could be a scam? i was looking for macaws and they asked me all these questions and then i asked them some and they responded here is what theys aid but I only said i was interested and they think im actually going to buy them???? thankfully i havent given them any personal info they are only asking 700 for both macaws including cage toys ect. soo what do you think should i forget them?this is the email:
Thanks for your soonest respond and sorry for the late reply due to work conditions ok .i am Doris the wife of Carlos i must say that we are so excited to let Velma and Linzy to your loving home.We trust you so much now that you have assured us a loving home.We have choose you as the new parent of Velma and Linzy .Velma and Linzy would get along well with your family.

To tell you a bit about my self,i am 37 and i am expecting my first baby .I got married 4 years back and we are so happily married.I have been with Birds all my life as my Grand Father was a breeder.i usually go there on holidays and would spend much time with the Birds and house pets there.I got Sadie as a result of my wedding..Velma and Linzy mother was given to me as a wedding gift.their mom put them to birth and then pass out….so we have been with Velma and Linzy
We traveled to Cameroon on research base .we are out to carry out biological research on the bark of tress in Cameroon..they country is good in wood and some of the trees serve as medicines.we would be in Cameroon for 2 years six months before coming back .
So Velma and Linzy would be shipped to you from Cameroon where we relocated to and it shall take just about 7 to 8 hours to get to the state .

They would be shipped to you through DLA Airlines..They would be shipped along side other Parrots an would be well taken care of.The shippers offer door step delivery and also they ship to your nearest airport.this Babies would be coming with all their papers,toys,clothings and Cage ..They will would also be coming with a hand book for their up bringing.All we are interested in is a loving and caring home for the parrots and you have promised us that,and that is the reason why we want you to accept this babies into your lovely home and take them as your new family member’s..i really count on you if you can be there for them ok .

We shall also need some information from you so as to get the change of ownership papers of the parrots made in your names as the new owner as well the flight of the parrots booked under your names ok so the information needed form you so as to have this transaction done is as follows below

Full Names::::::::::::::::
Contact Phone Number::::::::::::::
City/State:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
Postal Code:::::::::::::::::::::::::
Street Address:::::::::::::::::::
House Address:::::::::::::::::::
Nearest Airport Around your location ::::::::::::::::

With the above information’s provided on to us we shall have the change of ownership papers of Velma and Linzy made in your names which would show you are the new owner of Velma and Linzy , We shall also use the information to get a flight booked for Velma and Linzy In your names as well ok,So get back to us with the information , so we can proceed with all arrangement in your names so you know when to welcome Velma and Linzy in to your loving home ok

it really hurts to let them go but we have to for their own good.
Thanks and email back asap.
God Bless.
M. Doris & C.Gabriel

“”The Lord directs the steps of the Godly .” Psalm 37:23

So i thought it was a bit unusual heres the link for thier add:

http://www.hoobly.com/0/0/972689.html Thankyou for your time


Jamieleigh  03/14/2010 11:18 am

Yes, that is a scam. Those are pictures of our birds.


Eva Knoche  03/17/2010 10:14 pm

okay thanks its sad that people would do that isnt it?


Kendra  05/13/2010 1:14 am

I also had an experience with a Canadian seller of two maltese puppies that would be given to me for free but i would have to pay the international flight which would be $300. Everthing was false and they wanted me to pay via western union. Thanks to this website I discovered everything was false! The ad was posted in pennysaver.


Erica  08/13/2010 6:28 pm

After a “seller” attempted to scam me by using BirdTrick’s photos, I now ask that sellers (not just birds, but anything I buy from a private seller online) send me a photo of the item I’m buying with a handwritten sign in the picture reading “Erica’s new ______(whatever the item is)” This has helped me avoid all scams, if they are not willing to take and send the picture, I’m not buying. I hope this advice can help any other anxious buyers out there!


[…] huge vet bills. Have you looked into the hundreds of homless birds from the bird rescue org? How to Spot & Avoid Online Parrot Selling Scams __________________ "No matter what you're going through, it pays to be patient, […]


[…] Re: Free bird? no they will say free then they will tell u shipping is like 200 dollars then they will say it needs a vet check up cost another 100 dollars they will do that until they get alot of money from u i know people who got scammed like that a person was giving a pair of hyacinth macaw for free and she got scammed look at this this will show lots of way of people getting scammed How to Spot & Avoid Online Parrot Selling Scams […]


Halie Vice  09/05/2012 6:23 pm

can someone please help me i was suppost to adopt two macaw blue and gold pair. well i talked to the woman sandy lillly seemed nice as could be and only wanted the best for them. I asked if i could fly out to get them and no reply about that. Only wanted the money to be sent to western union well i went to send it and they said when it gets sent like that 98% of the time is a scam. here is what they sent me can some one tell me if this is real or a scam. And the woman sandy wont call me she said she has to work all the time. it seems real but idk…
Here is her email the last one today. i asked for her address so i could send the money to her…

when i get home i will sent to you my address so that you western union the money i go there and pay okay

— On Wed, 9/5/12, Halie Vice wrote:

From: Halie Vice
Subject: Re: URGENT NOTIFICATION AND PAYMENT DIRECTIVES FOR THE SHIPPING FEE OF YOUR PARROTS!!!
To: “Sandy Lily”
Date: Wednesday, September 5, 2012, 2:54 PM

the problem is they want to send the money to cameroon and its in someones name that i have never herd of and i looked the name up and he is in prison for fruad. I am just wondering why i need to send the money to cameroon can i western union it to you and you can pay them. Western Union said anytime money gets sent to that country like this 98% of the time its a fraud. cause i sent my fiance to do it early the other morning when i said i was and that is what they said so i need to either send the money to you or i can get on plane tonight and come get them myself. I cant believe this i mean its ubserd! I cant imagine how you feel im sorry.

From: Sandy Lily
To: Halie Vice
Sent: Wednesday, September 5, 2012 3:22 PM
Subject: Re: URGENT NOTIFICATION AND PAYMENT DIRECTIVES FOR THE SHIPPING FEE OF YOUR PARROTS!!!

Hello my dear right now i am at work and i will come back from work very late okay so i will have to use a paid call to call you if i can okay.did you try to use the Money Gram and my dear the agency told me that they are very angry about what you said about them that they will have to keep the babies and if each day passes they will charger us for the babies so try and go to any money gram store and make the payment okay i will be very happy to hear that you have made the payment.just do it for the babies okay.
God bless you

— On Wed, 9/5/12, Halie Vice wrote:

From: Halie Vice
Subject: Re: URGENT NOTIFICATION AND PAYMENT DIRECTIVES FOR THE SHIPPING FEE OF YOUR PARROTS!!!
To: “Sandy Lily”
Date: Wednesday, September 5, 2012, 11:23 AM

No the western union said it was a scam theat they would not send the money for us. Is there anyway else i could send the money? or If i could come get the birds i can do that too I am freaking out now. If you could call me my fiance would feel better about it please call me I am so so so sorry.

From: Sandy Lily
To: Halie Vice
Sent: Wednesday, September 5, 2012 3:43 AM
Subject: Re: URGENT NOTIFICATION AND PAYMENT DIRECTIVES FOR THE SHIPPING FEE OF YOUR PARROTS!!!

hello dear what is happening?have you made the payment becuase the agency told me that you have not why.They told me that you said it is a scam oh my God.So what do you want me to do know just let me know okay.

— On Tue, 9/4/12, Halie Vice wrote:

From: Halie Vice
Subject: Re: URGENT NOTIFICATION AND PAYMENT DIRECTIVES FOR THE SHIPPING FEE OF YOUR PARROTS!!!
To: “Sandy Lily”
Date: Tuesday, September 4, 2012, 6:50 PM

ok i went myself and they said it was a scam so if you dont care i can leave out tomorow to come get them. My fiance and i would like that and feel alot more confterable and we will reemburse your 110$

From: Sandy Lily
To: Halie Vice
Sent: Tuesday, September 4, 2012 2:18 PM
Subject: Re: URGENT NOTIFICATION AND PAYMENT DIRECTIVES FOR THE SHIPPING FEE OF YOUR PARROTS!!!

okay you go right now to the Money Gram and make the payment okay.just tell the person at the walmart that you want to sent the money to your friend in Cameroon so that the chargers will below and as soon as you are done with the payment just email me the MTCN number and the sender’s name okay do not let them know that you want to pay for a bird just tell them you want to sent the money to a friend okay.make the payment to their address below okay

BANK:………….WESTERN UNION OR MONEY GRAM (WALMAT)

AMOUNT:………………….$390USD

NAME’S:………TANGU JOSEPH

CITY:………….DOUALA

STATE:…………..LIMBE

COUNTRY:………………CAMEROON

ZIP CODE:…………..00237

TEST QUESTION:………….GOOD?

TEST ANSWER:……………DAYS
make the payment as soon as possible so that they can put your babies on the next available fight to your location okay

— On Tue, 9/4/12, Halie Vice wrote:

From: Halie Vice
Subject: Re: URGENT NOTIFICATION AND PAYMENT DIRECTIVES FOR THE SHIPPING FEE OF YOUR PARROTS!!!
To: “Sandy Lily”
Date: Tuesday, September 4, 2012, 11:07 AM

i dont know what he is saying i said if i go now and get a money gram at walmart and our closest one is twenty miles but i want to go now so they can be on the very next fflight and he said email you.

Also would i be able to fax the numbers on the money order or money gram to you idk what to do this is confusing but i defently want the babies still! Im sorry for all the inconvenience that i have cause you.

From: Sandy Lily
To: Halie Vice
Sent: Tuesday, September 4, 2012 12:23 PM
Subject: Re: URGENT NOTIFICATION AND PAYMENT DIRECTIVES FOR THE SHIPPING FEE OF YOUR PARROTS!!!

Hello dear just tell them that you want to sent the money to the address the agency sent to you okay to their cashier in their financial head quarter in Cameroon.

— On Tue, 9/4/12, Halie Vice wrote:

From: Halie Vice
Subject: Re: URGENT NOTIFICATION AND PAYMENT DIRECTIVES FOR THE SHIPPING FEE OF YOUR PARROTS!!!
To: “Sandy Lily”
Date: Tuesday, September 4, 2012, 9:15 AM

he said the woman said they couldnt send it outta country then i talked to the shippers and they told me to tell them i want to send it toa friend in the UK so western Union thinks someone is trying to get our money i know what is happening so know he is n his way back up there to send it out no matter what they say so hopefully we can get it done quick enough.

From: Sandy Lily
To: Halie Vice
Sent: Tuesday, September 4, 2012 11:00 AM
Subject: Re: URGENT NOTIFICATION AND PAYMENT DIRECTIVES FOR THE SHIPPING FEE OF YOUR PARROTS!!!

okay that good as soon as he is done with the payment just let me know okay

— On Tue, 9/4/12, Halie Vice wrote:

From: Halie Vice
Subject: Re: URGENT NOTIFICATION AND PAYMENT DIRECTIVES FOR THE SHIPPING FEE OF YOUR PARROTS!!!
To: “Sandy Lily”
Date: Tuesday, September 4, 2012, 7:31 AM

yes they contacted us this morning they were calling private. And he said to have the money order number in thirty min. So david is on his way with it hope hes not late im so sorry all i can do is wait…

From: Sandy Lily
To: Halie Vice
Sent: Tuesday, September 4, 2012 2:48 AM
Subject: Re: URGENT NOTIFICATION AND PAYMENT DIRECTIVES FOR THE SHIPPING FEE OF YOUR PARROTS!!!

Hello my dear okay you will have to sent the $390 first to the address they gave you okay please do sent the money as soon as possible and the agency told me that they have been contacting you on phone and you are not picking you calls.i will be waiting to hear from you okay.

— On Mon, 9/3/12, Halie Vice wrote:

From: Halie Vice
Subject: Re: URGENT NOTIFICATION AND PAYMENT DIRECTIVES FOR THE SHIPPING FEE OF YOUR PARROTS!!!
To: “Sandy Lily”
Date: Monday, September 3, 2012, 6:27 PM

Hey sorry to bother you but on that paper is says pay 150 and you have paid 110 and then 390 do i get a money order and give it to them when they get here and pay the rest of the 150 tomorow. or what that confused me. I know to get a money order but do i send the one out for the 390 first. i will get it done first thing tommorow i would of done it today but i opened my email to late. thnk you again

From: Sandy Lily
To: halievice@yahoo.com
Sent: Monday, September 3, 2012 4:45 PM
Subject: Fw: URGENT NOTIFICATION AND PAYMENT DIRECTIVES FOR THE SHIPPING FEE OF YOUR PARROTS!!!

hello ,
The shipping agency has just sent me an email in regards to the shipping and payment directives of the parrots so i decided to forward the mail to you below is the mail i forwarded to you

— On Mon, 9/3/12, Pet Travelers wrote:

From: Pet Travelers
Subject: URGENT NOTIFICATION AND PAYMENT DIRECTIVES FOR THE SHIPPING FEE OF YOUR PARROTS!!!
To: sandy_lily@ymail.com
Date: Monday, September 3, 2012, 1:42 PM

PET TRAVELERS INTERNATIONAL


Heather C  10/17/2012 8:01 am

Hey maybe you should shadow all your images with your web address. It might be too late for the images they have but it will stop future images being taken. It might be a big job but well worth a good name.


[…] notifying their subscribers about new scams and many times they are even using their bird pics. How to Spot & Avoid Online Parrot Selling Scams __________________ Regards, Tracy […]


Ellen  07/28/2013 6:19 pm

OMG!!! That lady is on the picture they seller emailed me! So beware!!! Found him on Facebook!
Email: Anthonyjuel@gmail.com

He will send you pics of Hyacinth Macaw one with the lady on this site training the bird

Was so happy I thought I found a cheap macaw for my fiancé pressie on our anniv
Grrrrr!

He said its up for adoption! $150 each shipping and cage toys etc included.

I knew it it sounded too good to be true.


Royse  01/12/2014 10:02 pm

Facebook is the scammers new hunting grounds. No one questions FB.


Name (required)  02/04/2014 5:34 pm

There is one going one with 2 greys . she is sick . van chelsea . I wish I knew how to post the pics . all four of the pics were kinda awkward


Moryan Pires  02/09/2014 9:50 pm

There is one person from Honolulu giving a way a pair of birds that cost about $2,000 each. She is not asking any money and says she is moving out the country for medical reasons.
Because she asked me to go to Honolulu and is not asking for any money do you think it is a scam?


Jamieleigh  02/15/2014 9:01 pm

Yes, definitely.


Salih durmisi  04/18/2014 8:10 am

Well, I just got scammed by a woman called Sussanna Sanchez. She put an add where she wanted to give away 2 african greys that were 7 months old because she moved into a new apartment and her land lord would’nt allow her to have them over there and that she got a job as healthcarevolunteer and did’nt have time for them. These scammers are extremely good and can fool anyone with ease. She sent pictures that looked legit and trust worthy. And required 250 euros to pay for the shipping. Which I did sadly through western union to Cameroon, then a guy from the ”world wide animal courier agency” called me and told me the parrot is going to ship right now, 2 hours later he said it did’nt ship because the vet found some eggs in her, like WTH, the African Grey was only 7 months old.. He told me he was going to get it shipped the next day and would call me at 9 a.m. And here i am, 6 hours later and no call.

May these people burn in eternal hell and get punished to death when found. These scumbags must be found and terminated for good.

I WARN YOU FOR PEOPLE LIKE THIS. NEVER EVER ACCEPT PAYMENTS THROUGH WESTERN UNION.


sabrina  07/12/2014 5:53 am

Is this a scam. ?? Their is a person from cameroon. He is selling baby macaw in $100 which is about 6000 indian rupees each and shipping from macaw to India is $125 each..
Please help is it a scam.
Let me know on my email id
Sabby.lazrus@gmail.com


Jamieleigh  07/14/2014 2:22 pm

Yes, most definitely!


malz  07/18/2014 6:16 pm

Hi … I wanted to buy a bird online, and I was wondering if it was a scam or not, please help me in this email I got from the seller if it was a scam or real :

We are ready to serve you as we check today and there will be flights
this week end to the UAE. We will prove to you we are ready and
registered seller by sending to you copy of our export permit as well
as will request you make a deposit of 50% of the total now and when
you get the delivery you send in 50%.

We will send by Emirate Air or Fly Emirate. They will get the delivery
directly to your house address . Please send in your order
specification as :

Specie?
Sex?
Age?
Number of birds needed?

We will then make the selection of the birds you will need and take
pictures and send to you soon. Also do well to s end us the delivery
address so we send you the delivery time.

Send the address as :

State
City
Zip-code
Street
Block #
House #
Full names
Contact #

We will update you with all details you need as soon as we get your
reply with all these details.

Waiting and thanks for the cooperation on this.

Regards.

Pleeaasseeee heellpppp :”( I want to know if it was a scam or not