KANSAS CITY, Mo. — She was devastated after losing her cat, but then she lost hundreds, almost thousands, of dollars, thanks to a convincing website claiming to sell exotic kittens.
Now, the Kansas City woman has a warning: Don’t buy cats online if you don’t know the seller, especially when you’re going to be tempted by adorable pictures of kittens.
“I can probably plead grief gullibility because, I mean, it’s kittens,” Susan Porter said. “It’s kittens and the pictures!”
Grief-stricken and surfing the internet, it’s a combo Porter does not suggest. On the night her cat was killed, she turned to the internet to find another one.
“I’ve always wanted a Bengal kitten,” Porter said, scrolling through the website AngelicKittens4Homes.com.
They offered exotic $2,000 kittens for only $499, which is a good deal — if it were true.
“They had pictures of the kittens, descriptions of the kittens and the website looked very professional,” Porter said.
After emailing the seller about the Bengal kitten’s history and health she sent the seller $500 via the app Venmo. Porter later found out through LinkedIn that he’s located in Africa.
“By the time you realize you’ve been scammed and you try to look into it, they’ve already shutdown shop and moved on,” KCPD Capt. Tim Hernandez said.
The night before arrival day, Porter got another email. This time the pet delivery service needed $1,500 to transfer the Bengal kitten in bad weather conditions.
“And then they wanted another $2,500, which was what really set me off,” Porter said. “I was like no this is a scam. This is clearly a scam.”
FOX4 called the number listed on the website, but we didn’t get an answer.
“Do your research and take your time,” Hernandez said. “Do not rush your purchase. You can prevent these.”
Police said if you’re going to make a payment online, it’s smart to use a credit card and leave a paper trail.
After dealing with these ferocious scammers, Porter suggests you steer clear all together
“Don’t buy pets on the internet,” Porter said, “unless you know who you’re buying from.”
Ultimately, Porter’s bank stopped payment on the $1,500 transfer fee. But she’s still out $500.
Porter said she’s still wants a purebred cat because she lives near a busy street, and those cats are less likely to wonder outside. Only now, she’s going to look at local catteries.