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  • Writer's pictureGray Bunny Grower

10 Ways To Avoid Rabbit Scams on Social Media

Getting a new rabbit can be a stressful journey - especially with how many scams are out there. People steal pictures from legitimate breeders, create fake rabbitry pages, and even fake profiles just to make a quick buck. By the time you realize you've been scammed it's too late, you've been blocked by the scammer, and there's nothing you can do. Please share this to anyone you know who is thinking about adding rabbits to their life.

10 ways to avoid being scammed when looking for rabbits:

1. Don't give your location until they have given theirs.

Often, scammers will ask for your location before asking for anything else. Then when you ask where they are they'll say they're near you. If you found them from another post they may say they're located there, and when you say you're in a different place they will say they can transport the rabbit to you.

2. NEVER send money to anyone you haven't personally spoken to:

Scammers will often claim they can transport a rabbit through their "shipper". They'll assure you the shipper is amazing and does a fantastic job. They'll also say (usually) that they will do all the setup because they're the breeder and the transporter doesn't give out info until payment is made. This SHOULD be a red flag, but some scammers are extremely good at making you feel like they're trying to protect THEMSELVES from scammers, so they can make you feel like you're the one being suspicious - this way you'll try hard to prove you're not a scammer. It's a psychological game - don't play.

3. NEVER take a screenshot of payment made:

This almost always occurs (yes, I play with scammers for fun and so that I can report them). When they ask for payment to go to a paypal, zelle, etc. account, they will almost always ask you to send them a screenshot after you say you've made payment "To verify". This isn't appropriate at all, and they're simply fishing for more info. No one should EVER ask you for a screenshot for proof. If you had actually sent money, and they had given the correct info - they would get the notification. They don't need a screenshot, and if they ask for one and you did actually send it (please don't) - you've already been had.

4. Check their profile:

Click on "view main profile" and then check their likes. Most (but not all) scammers will have a bunch of likes that simply don't make sense. You'll have to use your own judgement, but just check them out and you'll see what I mean. You can also click on the three dots on their profile page and check their profile link. You will often find that it is all numbers or doesn't match their profile name. While there are reasons for legitimate people to not match, this is a red flag.

5. Ask for new pictures:

12 day old F1 Flemish Giant / Giant Chinchilla kit
Twelve Day Old F1 Flemish Giant / Giant Chinchilla kit

Specific pictures, particularly if the rabbit you want will actually require transport, are always a good idea. Pictures such as the rabbit on a scale with a piece of paper with your name on it. Maybe a picture of the rabbit on a scale with some odd knick knack in front of it that you saw in the original picture. This may sound ridiculous or like overkill, but I promise you - any legitimate breeder who is too far away for you to see the rabbit before pickup will not have ANY problem doing this for you, and we know for a fact how often pictures are stolen from legitimate breeders to scam the masses. We truly hate scammers as much as you do.

6. If you are using transport - research the transporter:

Most breeders have a certain transporter they prefer, but will usually allow you to pick a different one if you choose and they can make the meet up happen. That said, most breeders have at least one transporter they refuse to work with and if asked - they will refuse. No breeder does this lightly, so if they refuse, please listen. Keep in mind that breeders can not be responsible for a rabbit once it is out of their hands, so you want to find the best transporter you can.

7. A legitimate breeder will answer your questions:

They want their rabbits to do well and they will help you if they can. While some breeders just want the money and don't care at all - I would avoid those personally. You want rabbits who are well cared for and if all they care about is the money I would question that.

8. Check all info they give you:

If they give you a rabbitry or personal address - verify that it's a real address. Often they will use an office building or town address instead of a residential one, Or the residential address will be an apartment. Not that a rabbitry can't exist in an apartment, but it is less likely. Check to see if the pictures of the rabbits (particularly outdoor pictures) match what you see for the address. Also check pictures for watermarks that do not match the rabbitry they've claimed. Contact the owner of the watermark if possible. *NOTE: Many rabbitries do not list an address, particularly closed rabbitries, but they also will explain why there is no address and where you will be meeting. You'll be able to tell the difference.

9. Don't allow yourself to be pushed:

Scammers want everything done RIGHT NOW. They will tell you there are people in line for this rabbit so if you want it you must send the deposit IMMEDIATELY (which if you think about it - if there are 10 people in line and they're encouraging you to buy it out from under those people - this isn't a breeder you probably want to deal with anyway). They'll say if you don't send right now you must not be serious. They will become (rapidly) impatient with your questions and say things like "why would I lie?", "I'm just telling you what is" and "I don't have time for this", etc. Even if they are a legit breeder, I wouldn't deal with someone like this (see number 7 above).

10. Verify information about the lines:

Unfortunately, things like pedigrees are easily faked and people will claim (even people with real rabbits) that their lines originated somewhere (another breeder) that is sought after. Contact that breeder and verify that they know this person. Most breeders keep detailed records and know where their lines are. If the person is telling the truth the breeder will be happy to confirm. This recently happened to us and someone was very nearly scammed out of $450 dollars. While the rabbits did exist, and the person would have received actual rabbits - they were NOT the rabbits they thought they were getting. For further information on lines please see the posts Does My Rabbit Need A Pedigree

Do you have any tips I missed? I'd love to hear them! Stay safe out there!


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