Beware of Pet Travel Scams

pet scams

If you are looking to buy a pet online or book transport for your pets abroad, it is highly important to stay vigilant against fraudsters who will go out of their way to target, scout and scam victims online.

Under the guise of legitimate companies, and using trusted IPATA logos, member logos and false testimonial accounts, these scammers promise to sell and deliver pure-bred or exotic animals to victims, stealing their personal information and scamming them out of their money.

Airpets is the UK’s leading pet travel agent, and this is our only site. Any other organisations using variations of our name are not associated with us.

IPATA Logo - beware of pet scams online
Fraudulent sites may often dishonestly use the trusted IPATA logo to try and legitimize their services.

The International Pet and Animal Transportation Association holds a published record of known scammers who have been reported to them, however a number of unreported scammers may still be operating online.

To keep yourself and others safe against fraudulent activity, it’s important to know the difference between legitimate and illegitimate companies. There are often a few tell-tale signs which can give away fraudulent services and websites:

Key Indicators

Using the names of legitimate companies

Scamming sites will often use the same name(s) as trusted companies with minor alterations

Typos and spelling mistakes

Incorrect grammar and typos can oftentimes be a red flag in regards to the legitimacy of a website, especially one supposedly concerned with international travel and operations

Untraceable payment methods

Such frauds often use money transfer methods such as Money Gram or Western Union which are untraceable and usually non refundable

How these scammers operate

Taking on the fraudulent site, Air-Pets, the approach they often follow is similar to other means of scam operations:

  1. These scammers falsify their accreditation by using IPATA logos and links on their websites, alluding visitors to believing they are trustworthy and authorised.
  2. They seek out vulnerable people using Facebook advertising who are linked to animal adoption charities or have an interest in adopting / buying specific breeds.
  3. These people are then contacted through private message by a person on Facebook who offers their pet for adoption and a few details are exchanged including the victims email address and possible dates for delivery. 
  4. The victim is then sent an email containing details of the made up consignment and details of the scammer’s bank account to make payment which also incorrectly contains the IPATA logo.

An example of the pet scam email victims might receive from this website:

What you should do

If you are contacted by the aforementioned site, or a site you suspect to have fraudulent activity, follow the below steps:

  1. Do not give them any of your personal information
  2. Do not transfer any sum of deposit or down-payments before ensuring the legitimacy of the company
  3. Check if the website is registered on the IPATA list of partners, and if not:
  4. Report the site to petscams@ipata.org

Useful Links:

The IPATA’s list of partners holds the names of the trusted companies registered for pet transport with the IPATA.

Petscams@ipata.org : If you are unsure about a company, email and double check before proceeding with any payments or exchange of information.

info@airpets.com If you come into contact with companies disguising as ours or using similar names to carry out scams, please inform us in order to report it to the IPATA.

Stay up to date on our social media platforms:

*Note that these are our only social media accounts associated with Airpets.

As a trusted IPATA member and an expert in pet travel for over 50 years, we never cold call or harvest contact information from social media platforms. Instead, someone would only engage with our services through one of the following methods:

  • acting on the direct instruction of the pets owner / consignee
  • the instruction of a trusted IPATA registered pet travel agent who is acting on your behalf
  • a U.K. border inspection authority such as City of London or APHA.