Scammers offering dogs for adoption and posing as rescue charities

Bliss and Shiver Cavaliers on a road trip
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Facebook scam page

Wherever there is money to be made, there are usually scammers. Sadly, for the dog world, many of these scammers use our love of dogs against us to peddle their crimes.

Many of you will already know that some of the dogs we have rescued at Bliss, are the product or bi-product of puppy farms. Dogs that have either been used for breeding until they’re no longer required, or dogs that have been bred with no concern for their health or welfare, who are sold to unsuspecting buyers.

We’re always trying to raise awareness of these unscrupulous sellers and how to spot the tell-tale signs, and sadly, we now need to let you know of another scam that preys on the good nature of dog lovers.

Scammers posing a ‘Dog Rescue Charities’

In the last few months, we have spotted and also been made aware of a number of scams which involve both individuals and fake dog rescue/rehoming pages on Facebook, claiming to have dogs and puppies needing loving homes as soon as possible. Some of these Facebook pages have been under the name of Rehoming Cavalier King Charles Puppies and Dogs or Cavalier Rescue UK.

As well as fake Facebook pages, they have also tried scamming people by posing as individuals claiming to have a dog that needs re-homing. They often use two first names and have in the past used the alias’ Kristina Becky and Amelia Brenda.

How do these scams work?

Let’s start with the individuals. There’s been several instances where someone has posted on the Bliss Facebook pages and other genuine rescue pages, that they, or a close family member, have a dog that needs to be re-homed as soon as possible. Once they know people are interested, they then ask for either a deposit or full adoption donation to be sent via PayPal. Once they have your money, they’ve gone!

It is a similar story with the fake charity Facebook pages. They wait for you to message or email, and then reply with photos of what they claim are dogs available for adoption. Some of the emails they have used are [email protected] and [email protected]

They will ask several generic questions about your home life and experience with dogs and often say they don’t need to home check as they already know you will be a perfect match. The current Covid restrictions have also played right into their hands giving them the perfect excuse not to home check, due to ‘Government restrictions’.

They have also gone as far as providing the charity registration number and address of another Cavalier Rescue in the UK alongside the Chair’s name, to impersonate a genuine dog rescue organisation.

Next, they will ask for a reservation deposit to be paid via Paypal. They say this is fully refundable (it is NOT) and claim you can visit and collect the dogs from the address they gave of the other genuine charity. Once you have sent your fees via PayPal, they’re gone – with your money!

What is even more sad and shocking, is that they have also used a Paypal address very similar to Bliss Cavalier Rescue, in order to trick people into thinking they’re adopting a dog from us.

The ONLY PayPal address we use is BLISS CAVALIER RESCUE LTD with the email [email protected]

How to spot a scammer

Firstly, no reputable charity will ever ask for deposit or allow you to adopt a dog without going through the correct procedures. An adoption form will need to be completed, followed by a phone call, then a full and thorough home check will be done to ensure you’re the right hooman for the dog and the dog is right for you.

Even with the current Covid restrictions, that is no excuse to allow adoptions without home checks. All our adoptions are currently on hold in order to confirm with Government restrictions. This means an increasing number of dogs coming into rescue, requiring veterinary care and needing foster homes, without us being able to receive any adoption fees to contribute to these costs. However:

  • No reputable rescue would ever allow you to adopt a dog without a full and thorough check.
  • Bliss and any other reputable rehoming organisation will never ask for an adoption fee until a home check has been completed
  • If anyone is asking for money up front to reserve or adopt a dog, it should ring alarm bells!

Secondly, the photos on the Facebook pages often look like stock photos or photos lifted from google. Often, they are pictures of other people’s pets and there are very few likes, comments or followers. If you look at the date the pages were created, they are often only a few weeks old and if you check the page history, you can sometimes see that it has been renamed before.

The PayPal addresses given are another tell-tale sign this is scam. They are often random names and emails. Again, this should ring alarm bells as a genuine rescue would use their own PayPal account to receive money. If in doubt, leave it.

If you ever see a PayPal address similar to Bliss or any other genuine charity, double check it against the correct information on the charity’s website.

If anyone is offering a Cavalier for adoption, please direct them to surrender their dog via Bliss Cavalier Rescue. That way, we can ensure all dogs have thorough medical checks, receive the appropriate veterinary care and can be matched to the most suitable home. If you suspect a scam or have been scammed, please report to the appropriate authorities. We’ll do all we can to stop these scammers!