Police in the Western Isles are warning the public to be aware of an online scam involving the false sale of pets from a ghost address on the Isle of Harris.
The scam involves an individual(s), purporting to be a Mr R Miah or a Hans Gorteng (German accent), who posts adverts for dogs and/or parrots for sale on various pet websites, including one called Bird Trader.
The person then asks the purchaser for £185 as a deposit, which will be deducted from the final sale and contribute towards a Pet Courier service to send the animal to their address. Of course as soon as the money is paid the advert is removed and the animals are never sent.
The scammer is using a ghost address in the adverts, which is an address belonging to a family in Tarbert, Harris. They were quite clearly unaware their address was being used as part of this scam.
The crimes themselves have not been committed in the Northern Constabulary force area, however, due to the fact the address being used is in Harris, Police in the Western Isles have decided to issue this warning.
It’s understood this scam has used addresses all over the UK and may originate in Nigeria.
We would urge people to be aware of such scams and never hand over any money unless you are confident in the origin of the seller and never give out bank details over the phone.