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RCMP warn of online pet adoption scam

There are some things residents can do to help reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim
(stock photo)

Halifax District RCMP is warning the public about online scams after a report in Cole Harbour.

On May 17, police were notified of an online fraud involving the adoption of a cat from a person outside Canada. The victim sent money to the seller and later determined that it was a scam.  

When considering a purchase from an online marketplace, there are some things residents can do to help reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim:

  • If you're looking for a pet, consider adopting one from a reputable rescue organization or contacting a registered breeder with the Canadian Kennel Club.
  • If the person is selling an animal, ask for the pet's veterinary clinic and call to confirm that the pet is a patient there.
  • If the person is claiming to be a breeder, ask for the breeder registration information. If they won't give it, this is likely a scam. If they do give it, verify the information.
  • If you are looking for a purebred animal, do some research to get a sense of what a fair price is for the breed. Think twice if someone is selling a purebred animal at a very low price.
  • Ask for the seller's phone number. Call and ask specific questions about what the person is selling. If they don't give a phone number, it could be a sign of a scam.
  • Ask for multiple photos of what the person is selling. Compare them to ensure the item is the same in all photos.

Anyone can be the victim of a scam, and it's important to view all potential purchases with a critical eye. If you believe you are the victim of a scam, contact your local police.

If you encounter a scam but you have not been victimized, contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at


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