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The infamous pet monkey phishing scam is still doing its rounds on the internet. What is it you may ask?
Well simply put, it is an individual or individuals offering for sale a pet monkey either in the United States of America or from any other part of the world (most commonly Central America, Africa, Asia or neighboring countries). The scammers will either use an online forum or marketplace to list the monkey well below the US market value for a primate or for free and will request payment before sending the monkey to the prospective buyer.
These ads are often found on Craigslist or KSL.com classifieds and can easily be noticed as frauds due to their utter nonsensical language which is often taken from puppy ads and spun into these monkey scams online. An example of an online ad is below :
Adorable White Face Baby Capuchin Monkeys…
salt lake, UT 84111
Sweet and lovely baby capuchin monkeys for sale to a loving home this X-mas for free adoption We are actually in need for a shelter to our baby Capuchin monkey.vet checked, potty, diapers trained darling baby shall be coming with her papers. Just provide a home and see for yourself how you have suddenly given birth to And angel on earth.send me a text at [Phone number removed by Examiner columnist] for more info and pictures
Seller Contact Info
Home [Phone number removed by Examiner columnist]”
The premise behind this scam is that the seller has no monkey at all for sale and the prospective buyer is conned out of relatively small amounts of money numerous times. For example the scammers will request money to send the monkey via a special freight company and/or later will request additional monies for insurance and vet bills. This will continue until the person that is being scammed realizes that he/she has spent hundreds of dollars without anything in return.
The best way to avoid such scams is to ask if you can travel and see the pet monkey for yourself. If they allow you, then do it and exchange money there and then in person. If they don’t allow you to see the pet monkey then you know it is more likely to be a scam and should be avoided at all costs.
Unfortunately we often receive stories about such scams from young and old people in our online community whom are vulnerable. Below are some of their stories.
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“I am ********, and I was robbed by ****** ******* and his friends. I was looking for monkeys to rehabilitate my health, and they were offering free monkeys to a good home. I contacted them because I was interested and they said they would send them to me, I asked them how I would get them here and they said they would send them on a plane from Alabama but they needed $480 to ship them. I told them I didn’t have $480 and they said that was okay, just send them $200 and they would take care of the rest. So I sent them the money after they kept bugging me and bugging me about it. Then the next day after I sent the money, they told me they had to have it shipped by a special crate, they said there would be fee included. I asked them how much, they started talking about damaged crates as the cause for the fee. I asked again how much, and they said $1,000. I told them I didn’t have that kind of money and they said don’t tell me that. And kept bugging me about the money, then told me that I was going to be in trouble for abandoning the monkeys because they already registered in my name. I still told them I didn’t have that kind of money, and they said okay and I’ll pay half and you pay half. I told them I don’t have $500. So they said that I could pay $250 and they would pay the rest. I sent them the $250, that I had to borrow from a friend. They messaged me the next day that the monkeys were on their way, but that they need another $250 because their credit card would only pay $500. I told them I didn’t have the money, they said they’d come up with $100 if I came up with $150, and asked if that was okay. And I told them no it wasn’t okay because I didn’t have the money and they were still trying to get me to go to money gram. So I told them the deal was off and that I wanted my money back. They kept trying to get more money from me and wasn’t taking no for an answer, and when I refused to send them any more money they kept bugging me. Until my mom texted them about how they were hurting my health with all the stress of trying to con money out of me for these free monkeys. The monkeys were to help my health by giving me something to focus on, but what they put me through just stressed me out. After mother’s text, I told them I wanted my money back and they’ve never texted me back. I don’t want them doing this to someone else. Thank you for your time, and I have learned my lesson of just because I’m a good person, doesn’t mean everyone is. “
“Hi! My name is ******** ******* ! I have a scammer story that I would like to tell. I am recently married to my high school sweetheart and we got a house with our 3 pound dog named ayden. I had cancer when I was 17 in my leg but after surgery and treatment it went away. I still have complications with my health and I currently am going through another round of cancer but thank God it is almost gone! I have always wanted a pet monkey so after a good year of research I decided a white faced capuchin primate was best for us. We can’t have kids but I was born to be a mother, so that seems pretty close to being a child. We started our search and a month later we got an email. They said that it would only be $350 for shipping and we met the qualifications to parent there baby. We got so excited and started getting everything together. I built my indoor cage and my dad was working on the outdoor cage, we thought that would be better so i could build things into it and just add a personal touch. We talked to the what we thought was the owner and he sent us so many pictures of Gabby (the primates name). So he sent me an email that stated that he registered Gabby and booked a flight and they gave him an inactivated ticked, he included a flight number and registration number. I told him that I was not comfortable sending him the money to let me directly pay the airport. He was very persistent and said Gabby was already at the airport and that I needed to hurry so she wouldn’t be stuck there so long. I tried to contact the airport but I could not get through, he said that he was sending Gabby through pet flyers. I soon sent the money to him and not too long after I received an email that said what airport and what time Gabby would arrive at my door and the email looked legit. So the next morning I got an email from what I thought was the second airport to switch flights strait to me. It read that I could not get Gabby sent to me without insurance and a vet check. They stated that it was $1563.00 US dollars and when Gabby arrived at my door 1500.00 was refundable. Right then I knew something wasn’t right. So I emailed back and asked for them to call me and talk things through. I stated that I would not send anymore money to anyone, that I would pay whatever fees may occur after Gabby is in my care. That made the man that called me mad and he started getting angry with me and threatening me. At this time the “owner” of Gabby asked where she was and whats wrong? he acted like he had no idea. So finally I got through to the airport and that’s when I found out it was a scam, they had no records of Gabby. Then I called the insurance company that they had linked onto the email I received and they said that they do not insure primates. Needless to say they took me for 374.00 US dollars. That could have helped pay for a treatment, for a lot of different things other than throwing it away. The “previous owner” of Gabby said “do what makes you happy, but I will make sure Gabby gets back to me because you want to be stupid. Thank you for posting my story, because there are a lot better things that 400 dollars could take care of. It really upset me, and my poor spouse just wanted to make me happy and feel better soon. We are still looking for an exotic animal.Thank you,”
Hi my name is ****** and I’ve doing a lot if searching on craiglist and their was two people that I feel that are scammers and I just don’t want to take a chance and end up being taken by a sucker but I’m curious about your site is it legit cause like I would love a baby capuchin but I’m not sure how to apply for a permit to have one or to adopt one so it’s difficult for but I am really interested in one that is hopefully potty trained or a guide to help me potty train one and if you like to speak on a phone I would be happy too”