Updated: 5 days ago
I get too many people each month calling and telling me the stories of the monkey they bought online and how they were just scammed out of hundreds of dollars because it never was delivered. They are crying because they sent the scammers money once, twice, or sometimes more in hopes they will get their little sweet baby only to be disastrously disappointed.
Scammers are people who use the power of the internet and people's love for animals to steal money. They are thieves who live online and set trap advertisements with cute pictures of baby animals “for sale”. Most of the time they do not have any of these animals at their home or even in their possession.
Follow these rules and don't get scammed!
how to avoid monkey scammers
1. If the animals are significantly cheaper than normal, then run away. Scammers make the prices very low to lure excited buyers into urgency thinking it will be sold to someone else at any minute, so you will send them money now.
2. The following storylines are commonly used by scammers "I am moving out of the country, and I can't take them with me" "I am already out of the country and the animal is with someone else".
3. Try to avoid airlines and shipping altogether. Actual breeders will encourage you to come pick your new animal up at their facility in person.
4. If they mention that a monkey is AKC registered, this is an instant scammer red flag. Any person dealing or selling monkeys is USDA certified with a license, by law they must provide it to you. No monkey is "AKC" registered this doesn't exist.
5. The best and easiest way to 100% ensure you do not get scammed is first to ask for a current picture of the animal with a paper and your name written on it. Do not go any further if they cannot produce this, it is simple and easy enough to do with any cell phone.
6. Do not send any deposit money by wire transfer, only secure and reversible ways like PayPal or with a major credit card. Send the smallest deposit and pay the balance at pick up only, don't send any more money. Never send gift cards as a form of payment!
7. Malls and Flea Markets – They will often sell underage and sometimes even sick animals that will not thrive be very careful.
8. Craigslist and Facebook - Avoid anyone asking for payment upfront without a professional website and past customer reviews. Facebook is a hotbed for animal scammers! Individuals on Craigslist can sell you an animal in any condition and immediately cut ties.
9. Do a reverse image search on the pictures of the animal they are selling you. If you can trace them back to a different website, you are probably dealing with a scammer.
10. Avoid anyone using terms for animals that are not accurate. Many scammers will use names like “sugar bear” instead of sugar glider, “sugar baby” instead of bushbaby, or "marmie" instead of marmoset.
11. Visit the breeder before you buy!
Common Monkey Scam Red Flags to Avoid
Marmoset Registration fees
There is no such this as registration fees for any kind of paperwork transfer. There is NO registration for monkeys that you pay to breeders... PERIOD. Ask your breeder how much the registration fees are, if they say anything other than "what are you talking about" its a scam, 100%
USDA forms are provided by your breeder at pickup that you sign in front of them, and they are FREE and required by law.
AKC or CKC registration for monkeys
Marmosets or any other monkey are not under AKC or CKC registration, or any other registration for that matter. If your breeder mentions this at all in any of your communication, it is a 100% scam.
Shipping baby monkies
Do not allow your monkey to be shipped or transported, insist on picking them up in person. Any actual breeder will allow this, if your breeder is only offering to ship it is a scam. If you cannot pick the baby up, then you have no way to ensure you are getting what you are paying for and your risk of scamming is very high.
How to avoid monkey scammers