Avoiding Common Pitfalls and Risks


Phishing Scams

Please see our page on phishing scams to learn what they are and how to avoid them.

Photo Collecting

Some users may contact you seeming interested in creating a sale, but really only want photos of your paperwork to steal and use for themselves. For this reason, we recommend never digitally sending another user:

  • Photos of your ID
  • Photos of your KC, GCCF, TICA, or other pedigree registration paperwork
  • Photos of your vaccination cards
  • Photos of your microchip documents
  • Photos of your council licence

If you are asked for this information by another user, we recommend sharing this information only over a live video call and/or in-person for closer inspection.

General Advice

Dodgy users will use seemingly credible reasons to part a buyer from their money or to scam a credible breeder. Fraud is becoming increasingly complicated, and can appear very genuine. Be on the lookout for anything suspicious and remember that the most important tool you have in avoiding pitfalls when buying a pet is your own instinct. If it doesn't feel right, walk away!

  1. Never send or accept money unless through Pets4Homes Pet Payments, and avoid moving your conversation away from the Pets4Homes chat.

    Except for a video call, we do not recommend moving your conversation outside of the Pets4Homes chat to ensure full transparency in case of any issues on either side of the sale. Never use services such as Paypal or Western Union to make a payment for a pet. Even if you send money via bank transfer, the majority of banks will be unable to return the money to you.
  2. Never send money for an animal that you haven’t seen in-person or over a video-call, and be sure to collect the appropriate paperwork with a written contract if possible before bringing home your pet.

    Don’t accept excuses for why this can’t be arranged! The vast majority of scams relating to buying a pet or anything else over the internet involve various methods parting the potential buyer from their money without ever seeing the pet supposedly offered for sale.

    Make sure to receive all documentation when paying for the pet and before taking it home, for example microchip documentation, KC documentation, vaccination records, etc. Many unscrupulous sellers will make excuses as to why they don't have the documentation to hand and will offer to post this documentation to you after the sale. You may even sign a contract which arranges for paperwork to be sent in a timely manner.

    It is illegal to sell an unmicrochipped dog in the UK, so they should be able to provide evidence of this. If you intend to buy a younger pet, be sure to see the mother together with her litter and never collect a pet below the minimum age required for rehoming.

  3. Always verify who you are speaking with.

    Sellers using Pet Payments have gone through KYC verification, so when using Pet Payments you can feel safe that this step has been done. Even if you get as far as viewing an animal for sale and establish that the animal exists, how can you be sure that the person selling it is the genuine owner, or that the buyer is really who they say they are? Ask for a quick video call before completing a Pet Payment, and ask to see I.D. when meeting in-person.

  4. Do not accept common excuses!

    • Asking to meet at a gas station, pub, or parking lot for convenience

    • The pet's mother was taken out for a walk / isn't available right now

    • They don't want to use Pet Payments because the website is slow or complicated

    • They promise they'll send you the paperwork later

Pet Advice (Buying and Rehoming) 

Please read our advice page for tips on buying, selling and taking care of pets!

Reporting Fraud or Scams

Please see our fraud and scams page if you wish to report suspicious activity.

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