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People's shopping behaviour is changing as the coronavirus infections rates have risen; also, the number of online purchase scams continue to rise. Many buyers have been duped online by the internet-based horse trade sites where the buyer is offered low rate horses depicted online with attractive pictures and descriptions.
They share beautiful videos, professional testimonials, and reviews of previous customers who claim they are happy to own the horse. The website has a professional presentation of content.
It gives assurance to the new buyers of their legal standing and a long-standing reputed market stand. They state that they own many quality horses but had to offer a one-time discount due to personal or professional reasons.
Many young adults blinded by animal love invest online into such horse sale scams in the UK. The buyers agree to pay for purchasing the horse online and transfer funds to the seller's account.
Then, of course, the buyer will be asked to pay for a commercial shipper, and sometimes, the horse arrives, but in most cases, these are fraud sale sites offering non-saleable horses. Mostly the seller has no intention to sell high-quality horses to the buyer for a discount. Instead, they may advertise quality ones and send the inferior ones.
Alternatively, in some cases, they may not send any horse and remain unavailable to the client.
The site owners use tactics to attract inexperienced buyers who have a modest budget. They want to own everyday horses, which are not the expensive specialised ones registered for some training. Most such horses are sold on reputable equestrian sites where the victim gets an option to purchase a horse.
Usually, when the buyer receives an older low-quality horse, they contact the seller, but they may ignore them and may not answer the phone calls or email messages. If the buyer dares to harm their online image, they may, sometimes, offer to buy back or resell it to other buyers, but the client tends to lose the shipping costs in the process.
If you carefully see the contract terms, they mention the sale "as is" where they do not hold any representations regarding the animal, so the buyer may not be in a position to file any legal case against the seller.
Also, if you file a case after losing your money, it can only be heard in the small claims courts, which has limited power, and there are many other legal complexities involved in the procedure. Hence, it is best advised to avoid any such transaction online.
The fraudulent sellers of the horse claim they own the horse, they show the ownership documents, pictures and videos of the horse, but often these farms are owned by negligent and unavailable HNW owners.
The operators in the equine trade are associated with horse farms where the employee or passionate caretaker of the horses handles the accounts of a high net worth owner of the farm. Such businesses lack transparency regarding expenses as the expense can be billed differently by the employee and the management, who design the formal policies and procedures.
If the victim agrees to buy the horse, they are contacted by someone who claims to be an agent of a transport firm who can arrange to transport the animal.
The victims are contacted by those who claim they are located in the UK but later claim they are based in some other place in Europe. They may ask the client to pay for the horse's delivery, special insurance, vaccinations, veterinary feeds and other charges.
Finally, they ask the client to fund the purchase and shipping costs through direct money transfer into a nominated bank account.
To buy such options, you should check the details of the website offering the deal and make sure to get professional advice from a reputed organisation.
The UK regulatory bodies issued a warning against fake adverts regarding horse sales. Search engine like Google has been asked to get a two-step verification from the advertisers on the site.
First, all the financial providers will have to show their legal status and be authorised by the FCA to advertise their services or goods. Second, they need to mention the name, contact information, domains, and FCA registration number in the details.
The verification process may also require the firm to provide the certificate of incorporation and VAT registration details or other legal details if the business works toward charity.
There are some exceptions where all financial services ads are not allowed to get permission, like a third party that is not FCA authorised or the services that are given exemptions for some compelling reasons.
Further, the firms' that deal with gambling or credit repair is not considered financial services, although they may be asked to provide details and comply with the ads policies.
Never agree to buy horse offered for quick sales. Most such options are too good to be true.
The adverts suggest the horse is traded in the UK, but when you contact to see the horse or visit the location, they inform that it is in another country in Europe.
One should always be cautious of buying a horse where the seller offers a vet check and does not allow the buyer to make individual arrangements for such medical checks.
One should never make a payment through an online bank transfer for such items because it cannot be reversed once the fund transfer is allowed.
Always check the country code of the seller's phone to make sure if they are calling from the place they claim to be in.
In case of suspected fraud, report the matter to the regulatory agencies.
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