Cat Chat with Chris Stalker
Dementia in pets
Richard Macey, reported on an increase in pet dementia in the Sydney Morning Herlald, last month. The above cartoon, by Wilcox, accompanied the piece. Richard wrote, “Dementia is on the increase in Australia’s cats and dogs as pampered pets are living longer.”Matthew Miles, executive officer of the Australian Small Animal Veterinary Association, explained, “What we call cognitive dysfunction is remarkably similar to what happens in people”.
A study published in the Journal of Small Animal Practice reported “28 per cent of cats aged 11 to 14 develop at least one geriatric-onset behavioural problem. This increases to over 50 per cent for cats 15 years of age or older.”
Cats and the scriptures
Cat lover, Jason Goldtrap, has a website which lists quotations from scriptures, alongside photographs of cats. If you would like to subscribe (there is no charge) to Cat Scriptures just send an email to Jason@HappyTalk.org.
To see some examples, please see
Warning from the kittenlist
KittenList.co.uk recently issued a warning to cat breeders using the internet.
The KittenList co-ordinator kindly wrote the following article, for this Cat Chat column:
The ‘CRIMINAL CASHBACK’ scam...new twists by online fraudsters to relieve you of your money…
Q. Would you walk up to a complete stranger on the street and give them your full pedigree papers?
Q. If someone came into your shop and presented you with a cheque for £1500 pounds, for an item that only cost £30, and asked you to give them remaining £1470 would you? Not even if the ‘cheque’ appeared completely genuine and seemed to originate from the UK?
Wouldn’t you feel just a little suspicious? If you would, you have every right to be! So why would the average cat breeder willingly agree to do this via the internet? Is it the excitement of a sale perhaps? The incentive of the buyer agreeing to pay absolutely anything you ask? Is it the urgency with which the buyer wishes to send you their money? Whatever the reason take heed….
Recent reports suggest that fraudsters are using the ‘Criminal Cashback’ scam to obtain monies by deception, are attempting to hack into breeder bank accounts, and could be emailing viruses to obtain your secure computer information.
If anyone ever asks you to bank a cheque, that is excess of the asking price of your cat, you may be unwittingly involved in this very common scam. If an unknown person is pressurising you to send your pedigree papers, by email, beware!
How does the ‘Criminal Cashback’ scam work?
It is pretty simple really and easy to spot when you know how…
The person will contact you in the first instance and say they are interested in your cats. It is possible that they will spin all sorts of yarns too… ‘I need a kitten for my daughters birthday’…’my cousin just passed away and I need to buy a kitten.’ As the email conversations continue they may ask you to supply your pedigree papers and/or your name and address.
Later you learn that they want to pay you by cheque and, for whatever reason they give, it is for more than the value of your cat. They suggest that you should bank the cheque, deduct your monies, and send them the remainder. Their ‘representative’ or ‘shipping agent’ would arrange everything. It is highly likely that they will not want to see the cat first and, if you have given them your telephone number, it is possible that they will phone you. Ultimately the cheque arrives and seems quite genuine, it even has a UK business name on it, so you bank it and being the honest person you are, return the remainder by whatever method they requested.
Then one week later, or even one month later, you receive a communication from your bank…that cheque you put into your account has been found to be a forgery. YOU have put a fraudulent cheque through your bank, YOU have taken out the proceeds, to return to the scammers, and YOU are liable for those monies. Does it matter that the cheque cleared at your local bank and the funds were in your account? No! Cheques can be returned at a much later date.
If you sent them your full pedigree papers or your name and address there is a possibility that they may have attempted to hack into your bank account. Look out for email attachments too. We have been alerted to the fact that these fraudsters may send viruses, by email, to obtain secure information from your computer.
Please read these ‘real’ stories submitted to us by cat breeders in September 2007.
BREEDER REPORTS ACTUAL ATTEMPTED FRAUD
‘I had an e-mail asking if I had any kittens available and that they were a family of three’
‘I was told that the kitten would be picked up by a representative’
‘they would deal with all the exportation matters and import permit.’
‘I subsequently received a very large cheque’
‘While the cheque was clearing I received information to deduct monies for the purchase of the kitten, and some other costs, and the balance of the monies were to be paid to the ‘representative’ either by Moneygram or by Western Union.’
The ‘representative’ asked me to send the monies to enable them to proceed with applying for the export permit.
The post arrived and it was from the bank saying that the cheque had been returned back to the bank.’
I realised that if I had not delayed things, by keep asking questions and not opening e-mails quickly, then I would have checked the bank, confirmed the money was in the account and then sent our money. What a close escape!’
BREEDER REPORTS ATTEMPTED HACK OF ONLINE BANK ACCOUNT AFTER SENDING HER FULL PEDIGREE PAPERS, BY EMAIL, TO AN UNKNOWN RECIPIENT
‘I was a bit concerned because i had sent this person a copy of my pedigree papers’
‘all they had was my name, address, postcode and telephone number’
‘the person has now used this info to try and access my bank account.’
‘my bank account is now frozen’
‘I apparently have to do a complete virus check on my computer because they can send something through that enables them to read everything that goes on.’
Here are a few simple tips to help stop this from happening to you.
Familiarise yourself with scams and learn how to recognise them. The Metropolitan Police Fraud Alert website can be found here (With lots of useful information): http://www.met.police.uk/ fraudalert/
NEVER supply your pedigree papers to somebody you do not know! If you must send them do not include your full name, address, telephone and registration numbers. The same applies to all your personal information...Do not disclose it to persons you do not know! It goes without saying that you should never disclose your bank details – for any reason!
Do not be pressurised into giving your personal information away. This is a tactic often used by fraudsters to make you do things you wouldn’t usually do. DO NOT BE RUSHED!
Don’t be afraid to ask questions of any enquirer and don’t be afraid to turn them down.
Keep your virus protection up to date.
If you are worried about a cheque you have received, or feel that you may be unwittingly caught up in a scam, talk to your bank and/or local police straight away.
If you become aware of any fraudulent activity online report it to the website you advertise with and ask that they take appropriate action. It is impossible to eliminate this type of illegal activity altogether but many websites have anti scam facilities – including kittenlist.co.uk!
Fortunately, the vast majority of online enquiries are still genuine. Don’t be put off online sales. Once you know how these scams work they are fairly easy to recognise. Knowledge, as always, is our best defence. So please tell everybody you know about this scam, whatever they are selling online….and, if someone wants to send you a cheque for more than the value of your cats or kittens we now hope you will recognise what it is!
The KittenList Team
A Blooming Success!
Patricia Tegg contacted me, just as I was about to submit this month’s column to OUR CATS, in time for the deadline. Patricia was very excited as Bloomers Baroness Belchamp 27j aka ‘Poppy’, became her very first home-bred Champion at the recent ‘BOB Cats’ show! Not only did Poppy gain her new title but she was also Best of Breed, beating her mother to this accolade! However, Imp Gr Ch Minotosa Rhea 27h aka ‘Rhea’ had her own success at the show, being awarded the Imperial certificate. What a fabulous day for Pat – to say she was thrilled to bits is an understatement! Well, done and congratulations to the Tegg family!
Reminder… your letters
I look forward to hearing your news, views and interesting Cat Chat, before 15th October please. My next column will be 2nd November.