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Warning as online pet scam goes global

A BOGUS website which uses ‘stolen’ pictures to advertise puppies is leaving unhappy purchasers with no dog and a lighter bank balance.

Fake company IPATA Pets Delivery Services has been advertising on internet marketplace sites all around the globe using pictures that are taken from breeders’ own websites and commercial websites where a breeder can display pictures of their puppies; some details of their dogs are also posted with the photos.

The scam has been known about by breeders for a while but it has now taken a new turn and is harder for pet purchasers to spot they are the victim of fraudsters before they have parted with their money. The scammers are now sending out emails to their victims featuring pictures and details of the carriers they are claiming will be responsible for the safe carriage of their purchase. OUR DOGS was contacted by Par Air, a well known UK shipping agent, who told us that they are angry that people are being duped and their business is being used in this way. They have received a number of calls and emails from IPATA Pet Delivery Services’ victims asking where their much longed-for puppy or other pet is as it has not arrived as promised.

One victim, Angelica Venema of the Netherlands, contacted IPATA Pet Delivery Services having seen an advert for a Pomeranian puppy. She received an email from the bogus company entitled ‘Agreement Between the Manager of IPATA Manchester Branch and Angelica Venema of Netherlands’.

The email - which was full of spelling mistakes - went on to say: ‘This is a declairation [sic] that I, Mr. Mark Cluster Manager of IPATA Manchester Branch, have agreed to the contract with Mrs. Angelica Venema of the Netherlands that the fees we are requesting her to pay is the last fee before she gets her puppy (Nala) delivered to her. That delivery will take place effectively immediately after payment is received. Incase of any other fees after the 125EUR she is requested to pay, the MANAGEMENT of IPATA Manchester will be held responsible.’

Unfortunately for Ms Venema, as English is not her first language, she did not pick up on this, paid the requested shipping fees and waited for her puppy to arrive in Amsterdam.

Instead of receiving a puppy Ms Venema only received another email claiming there was a hold up as the Netherlands customs were asking for a pet import license. The puppy, they said, was stuck at Charles De Gaulle Airport in Paris. Some of IPATA Pet Delivery Services’ victims were told their puppy would not be given any care, or food or water unless they paid more money immediately to save the puppy from suffering while waiting at the airport.

After waiting a little longer for her dog to arrive Ms Venema eventually contacted the company and was told that the Pomeranian was on its way but now via Lyon. In another email Ms Venema was told that her puppy’s flight had been rescheduled as ‘the flight that was suppose to carry the puppy from Lyon is not a Pet Cargo flight.’

The attached flight details had a way bill attached which all animals being shipped overseas should have. Obviously, the way bill number given was completely bogus, as Angelica was to find out. Rachel of Par Air told us that often the way bill in these scams is incorrect and anyone importing or exporting an animal can check out the airline codes on the internet.

Ms Venema eventually contacted Par Air after her puppy failed to arrive once again but Par Air clearly knew nothing about the shipment and had no records of any being put through for a Pomeranian puppy to go to Amsterdam. Ms Venema agreed to send Par Air Warning as online
pet scam goes global all the emails and any other details she had received or found out about IPATA Pet Delivery Services, in the hope that this might highlight the fraud and help Par Air and other reputable pet shipping companies alert the public to this fraud.

Ms Venema told OUR DOGS: ‘We have had a lot of telephone contact with them; after the last email, my boyfriend stayed the whole day waiting at the airport Schiphol in Amsterdam. After that day we had only telephone contact with Mark Cluster and the "Deliveryman". They told us that they would try to send her again on Friday, which of course did not happen. We were angry, so we called them and they said to us that we could pick her up ourselves tomorrow. We only needed to pay again for food, shelter, etc. of the puppy, which we did ... after that we would receive an email. Of course we did not receive an email and we can't reach them both anymore.’
Another family who fell victim to the con waited and waited for a Bulldog puppy to arrive in Texas after parting with half of their savings. The puppy never arrived.

OUR DOGS cannot find any record of the company which claims to be based in Manchester despite having a London postcode. We advise anyone to be on the lookout for any pet-based businesses using the following bogus address and contact details:

IPATA Pets Delivery Services, 420 Tower Bridge Rd, Manchester, SE1 2UP, England. Tel: +447024047297/+23733077104. Email:

Payment for the fictional animals is by Weston Union to the Cameroons. The website they give is the official website which all reputable animal shippers are members of, as it is the trade association and regulating body.

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