Warning - Fake Horses for Sale!
The internet has changed just about every aspect of our lives and has offered a raft of benefits. We wouldn’t want to be without our online resources. But unfortunately, the internet helps fraudsters and scammers to prosper and so we must always be on our guard.
Equestrianism certainly isn’t immune to fraud and whilst fake tack or equipment which never arrives can be upsetting and a major inconvenience, this type of scam won’t change your life. Expensive horses which don’t really exist are another matter.
Dawn Janciauskas is a highly regarded horse breeder who was recently shocked to find out that the videos she had produced to showcase her impressive horses were being used to sell horses which almost certainly didn’t exist.
Dawn runs Sports Horse Continental and has been doing so since 2003. She prefers to sell the horses herself rather than use agents. It is always best to view a horse in person before making an investment but this isn’t always possible for overseas buyers. Dawn produces videos of her horses to enable those who cannot travel to her premises to assess the animals.
Recently, Dawn was shocked to find that scammers were using her videos to sell horses which probably didn’t exist. She only found out when a client contacted her after recognising her husband in one of the videos.
The client concerned had seen an advertisement for a horse that was allegedly for sale in Hungary. When he saw Dawn’s husband in the video, he called her rather than the contact in the advert. What Dawn told him left him very disappointed; she had sold the horse many years ago and it was definitely not in Hungary.
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Dawn realised how serious the situation was when another client contacted her the same week having seen a similar advertisement. This lady had already requested a DNA test on the horse but Dawn had to break the news to her that the horse did not exist. There were further ads, all placed on Facebook. They featured on three different pages but these could have all belonged to the same scammer.
Whoever the fraudster was, they had been clever enough not to put Dawn’s videos on the posts but to share them privately when they received enquiries. The posts included pictures of a different but very similar horse. Private sharing minimised the chances of the people noticing the deception.
Dawn is concerned that the scams could have been going on for a long time before she became aware of them. The fake horses had price tags of around £16K and so fraudsters could have duped unwitting riders out of huge amounts of money.
Dawn now intends to feature branding in her videos to prevent fraudster from hijacking them. She is upset that her hard work has been stolen and used for unscrupulous means. If you are considering investing in a horse, visit the breeder and meet the animal in person before making a decision. It always pays to know who and what you are dealing with!