During the last week, 4 individuals have knocked on a door in Calgary’s Mount Royal neighbourhood, seeking to decide up a Shih Tzu pet, solely to go dwelling empty handed.
A girl has been promoting the canine on-line, chatting with patrons over e mail and textual content earlier than convincing them to provide her a deposit to order the canine within the purchaser’s title. Then, the victims are despatched to an deal with to choose up the canine — solely to search out the canine does not exist, and their cash’s gone.
Scott and Shannon McGregor mentioned the knocks on their door began on Tuesday. Their lengthy driveway does not often have many guests, however somebody had pushed up the steep slope and parked.
“It was form of unusual,” Scott mentioned. “So, I got here out to see what was occurring and so they mentioned, ‘we’re right here for the pet.’ I used to be like, ‘properly, I feel you have acquired the flawed deal with.'”
Rapidly the group found out that that they had been scammed. Scott mentioned he thought that may be the final of it.
Then, later the identical day, one other knock. Scott mentioned they began asking questions and getting extra details about how these individuals had been speaking with the vendor and the place the adverts had been positioned.
The adverts posted to calgary.global-free-classified-ads.com supply Shih Tzu puppies on the market, alongside an Edmonton cellphone quantity and deal with in Calgary’s Mount Royal neighbourhood. CBC Information has blurred the cellphone quantity and deal with. (Submitted)
On Thursday, one other automotive pulled up, ready for a pet.
Shannon referred to as the Calgary police non-emergency line and reported the rip-off.
“It is heartbreaking, ?” Scott mentioned. “Each individual that you simply meet who involves your door in search of a pet … the look on their faces because it dawns on them what’s occurred. It simply makes you’re feeling terrible.”
On Saturday, a person from Edmonton got here in search of the Shih Tzu. As a substitute, he was given a police case quantity and Shannon urged him to observe up.
“I feel the principle factor is I do not need individuals to be embarrassed,” Shannon mentioned. “They don’t seem to be those that did something flawed, however they do have to report this. In any other case it’ll preserve occurring.”
‘I used to be very excited. I used to be getting a pet.’
Lori Fehr informed her household she was enthusiastic about getting a pet for her birthday and her household provided to chip in. Her search began at native shelters. However, in the long run, Fehr wished a small breed and was inspired to take her search on-line to breeders.
She discovered an advert, and tried to name the vendor. However the cellphone went straight to voicemail, so she texted as an alternative. She and the vendor went backwards and forwards for a number of hours concerning the pet.
“It wasn’t till perhaps the final 20 minutes of texting that I agreed to ship her the deposit,” Fehr mentioned. “Usually, I would not do this with out truly seeing the pet first. However she replied that was the one approach that she may maintain the pet.”
Though a few of her relations had been hesitant, Fehr put her belief within the girl. The deposit was despatched — $180 for a $450 canine.
The vendor requested Fehr to return decide up the pup at a Calgary deal with, McGregor’s dwelling. Then 20 minutes later the vendor modified her thoughts, asking Fehr to fulfill her on the Airdrie Superstore car parking zone as an alternative. Fehr had an extended drive from Sylvan Lake, and it might be nearer.
“Evidently, I could not sleep the evening earlier than. I used to be very excited. I used to be getting a pet.”
She’d deliberate to name the canine Panda, due to its black-and-white markings.
Her son was free, and determined to make the drive.
After hours within the car parking zone, the vendor texted Fehr’s son to inform him she was driving and working late, however finally it was time to surrender.
“No pet, it was a really quiet journey dwelling,” Fehr mentioned. “All my son did say is: ‘sorry, mother, sorry this needed to occur.’ Nevertheless it’s not his fault, it is hers.”
Calgary police confirmed there’s an ongoing fraud investigation linked to this rip-off.
Final yr, police urged the general public to watch out as pet scams have been on the rise. In 2019, there have been 10 instances recorded — in 2020 that quantity went as much as greater than 33 cases.