Better Business Bureau of Southern Arizona is alerting consumers to a business identity theft scam that is victimizing a Tucson business. Happy Tails Travel, Inc., which specializes in “personalized pet transportation services” for adopted pets, began getting phone calls in February from consumers who claimed they had wired money to Happy Tails with the promise of having a pet delivered to them.
Happy Tails learned through these phone calls that scammers had copied their Web site, and were soliciting business from prospective customers, using the business’ name. The scammers are operating under several fictitious names, including: Flint Pet Shippers, Skilled Pet Shippers, Blink Pet Shippers, and Stratos Pet, Inc.
The callers told the business that the scammers posing as Happy Tails requested that their victims wire the money to them- making it almost impossible for law enforcement to track where the money went.
Copycats not only design similar-looking websites, but will create fraudulent advertisements and solicitations featuring real business names, logos and contact information to cheat consumers under false guises and potentially ruin other businesses’ reputations.
Stolen identity clues include: unusual product or service requests; unfamiliar advertisements posted in directories or online; and unwarranted complaint reports filed by unknown customers.
BBB urges any consumers who are solicited by these companies, or a company who claims to be Happy Tails Travel and requests you wire them money, to report the website to the FBI’s Internet crimes division by visiting www.ic3.gov.