Exotic pets scam exposed

2012-12-11 09:41
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Pretoria - An exotic pet scam has been exposed by reporters who followed up on ads listed in the classified section of their newspaper.

The Pretoria News responded to ads advertising a lion cub for sale at $1 000 (about R8 658) and the two monkeys listed for sale at R8 500.

The advertisements had the same telephone number but different email addresses. Reporters tried to buy the animals and were told to provide payment first.

The pictures provided of the animals for sale turned out to be photographs of zoo animals or animals for sale elsewhere on the internet.

Onderstepoort vet Dr Dorianne Eliott said it was illegal to own indigenous exotic animals without a permit.

“In this case, it is most likely a scam,” she said. “These scams are very common. Often there are no animals involved, just people looking for money,” she said.

NSPCA communications officer Christine Kuch said scam ads took many forms, from wildlife to puppies for sale.

She said the matter had been taken to Interpol in 2008, but the scammers changed their details too frequently.

Acting editor of the Pretoria News, Val Bojé, warned readers not to respond to the advertisement as it was clearly a fraud and said a number of other “exotic pet” advertisements had been blocked.

- News24
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