Possible online Maine Coon seller scams

It is risky to buy a Maine Coon cat online without more. I stress: if you buy a Maine Coon cat online without any other information you are taking a risk. I would never do it. In other words, all you see of that cat is a photograph online or perhaps a video. And you know nothing of the cat breeder even if they are a cat breeder. You might not know their address because it is not provided on the website if they have a website. You are buying blind really because you have no in-depth information about the cat that you are buying which might not even be a Maine Coon cat.

Online Maine Coon seller scams
Online Maine Coon seller scams. Image: MikeB.

And of course, there are scammers out there and there are a lot of scammers who operate online. So, you might be tempted to make an impulse purchase and the seller might encourage you to do that. And if you ask questions, they might object to those questions and will not answer them. Put the phone down, stop asking questions and abandon the purchase.

And they'll demand an upfront deposit so you pay money to somebody you've never seen before for a cat you've also never seen before which they might not ship to you. The deposit might be $500, a not unsubstantial sum of money. You may never see it again. When you try and contact the seller they've disappeared. If they ask for the entire purchase price upfront, run.

They might introduce an extra charge after you have paid a deposit such as the airline that they going to ship the cat on demanding extra charges such as climate control carriers. You pay the extra fee and then either don't receive the cat or when you receive the cat you have paid extra. They may apply this extra fee after you have paid a deposit which might be nonreturnable. Therefore, you are placed under pressure to carry through on the purchase. Knowing this, scammers can demand more money from you with a high success rate.

A similar trick along the same lines is to ask you to pay an extra veterinary fee before the cat or kitten can be released and shipped.

Or you select a Maine Coon kitten online through a photograph and then they tell you that the kitten is sick, but they have another cat for you but the kitten they have for you is not a purebred Maine Coon cat although they don't tell you. So, you see a photograph of a purebred Maine Coon cat and receive something quite different. This would be a total breach of contract and a misrepresentation but who is going to sue them for misrepresentation? And even if you want to sue them you probably can't find them because they disappear. And you have no address anyway which you need if you are going to sue somebody.

If the seller is demanding payment to a country outside of the country in which you live you should not enter into negotiations with them or buy from them unless they are a known breeder with references and known to ship internationally. Do due diligence.

Perhaps a crude form of attempted scam is to try and sell you a Maine Coon kitten without photographs. If they say that they can't produce photographs you should run.

I mentioned the nonreturnable or non-refundable deposit. You should never pay money upfront in any case especially a non-refundable deposit because they will take the money off you and disappear and these deposits, as mentioned, are quite substantial.

Sometimes you can tell that a scammer is presenting stock photographs of kittens or cats. They are clearly not cats or kittens bred by a bona fide breeder which should be a warning sign to any purchaser.

When looking at photographs you should look for an image which provides information about the home in which they have been raised. They should look natural. You should demand photographs of the kittens with their mothers, and I would also demand a photograph of the breeder with the kitten that you wish to purchase and their mother. If they refuse to do this, then you should run a mile.

It is said that if a seller of a Maine Coon cat or other purebred cat only communicates through text messages then it indicates a dodgy person, and you should avoid them.

Along the same lines, if their spelling and grammar is very poor then it is likely that they are scammers.

If they fail to provide proper and full contact details such as phone numbers but only an email address, this is indicative of a scam.

Along the same lines, if they don't provide a proper physical address and a PO Box number then I would avoid them.

And if the seller refuses to do a video call, once again I wouldn't trust him.

If the seller does not have a proper website this is a fairly strong indication that you are dealing with a scammer. All the breeders that I investigate have decent websites on which they show off their kittens.

If a seller is selling Maine Coon cats at a very big discount in price, I wouldn't trust them. They're probably not purebred Maine Coon cats and if you don't buy a purebred Maine Coon cat you are buying a moggy.

When a scamming seller tries to push you into buying a Maine Coon cat as a matter of urgency, I would back off and not proceed.

And buying a Maine Coon casually on social media should be a No No.

And don't buy a Maine Coon mix. They are moggies. You want a proper, pedigree Maine Coon with papers evidencing their pedigree, vaccination and health certificates. The breeder should be registered with the major cat associations.

Ask a pile of questions. Poor or no answer - RUN 😎😃✔️👍.

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