Will Rogers World Airport recently teamed up with Better Business Bureau and the Oklahoma City Police Department to shed some light on a sharp increase in pet scamming crimes. Read below to see some of the helpful tips that came from that collaborative effort. This information could help to prevent you, and others, from being the victim of a pet scam.
- The best way to avoid being scammed is to find your next Fur Baby locally. There are always risks with conducting transactions online or by phone. Turn to local resources first so you can lessen your chances that a scammer is feeding you false information. The OKC Animal Welfare Shelter is an excellent place to adopt your next pet! You can also check with the OK Humane Society. Buying online is not your only option. Talk with each of the previously mentioned organizations if you are looking for a specific breed of pet.
- Will Rogers World Airport does not have a central receiving area for any animals. Pets are primarily shipped through the major airlines or private charter companies. UPS and FedEx do not ship most animals including dogs and cats. WRWA does not: hold for pickup, quarantine, vaccinate, or provide any shipping/receiving services for any animals.
- Customer should verify shipping details. If a small animal is being shipped on a major airline, which is the most common method, the customer should be provided with an airway bill that provides specific information about the flight including the name of the airline, flight numbers, time of arrival/departure, and a confirmation number. The customer should not just receive a confirmation number without airline or flight information included. If the shipper is using a private charter or private airline, the customer should get specific information as to the name of the airport, the name of the company where the plane will land, at WRWA that is AAR Oklahoma and Atlantic Aviation, where the animal will be delivered, and times of departure/arrival. Animals shipped by a legitimate airline or charter company, will have a very specific location for pickup. For example, a pickup with a major airline would be at that airline’s baggage claim or cargo office.
- No company should ask for additional money after the pet is shipped. All shipping costs, including insurance, vaccinations, crates, quarantine, etc., should be included in the initial shipping fees.
Here is a list of things we are asking people to do when they are being scammed:
- Immediately make contact with the MoneyGram, Western Union, or the company you used to send money to the scammer, and stop the payment. Report to them that you believe you have been a victim of fraud. Also, get as many details as possible on the scammer from them.
- Do not supply any additional information to the scammer; gather information about them instead.
- File a report with your local law enforcement (if you are outside of Oklahoma City)
- File a report with OCPD (405) 231-2121
- File a report with the Internet Crime Complaint Center: https://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx
- Contact the publication or site where you found contact information for the scammer. Let them know that this advertiser is a scammer, give them the email address of the scammer and ask them to remove the ad(s)/blacklist the scammer.