HomeCat NewscrimeFraudsters Selling F1 Savannah Cats


Fraudsters Selling F1 Savannah Cats — 10 Comments

    • Great. Thanks Sarah because some people are being conned and this may help to put the brakes on this particular one.

      • It’s also gone out to Savannah breeders via my Facebook contacts. We’re trying to track down where the other photos come from.

  1. This also reminds me of an attempt in 1999 which I tackled at http://messybeast.com/mysterycat.htm

    An individual attempted to cash in on the American mystery cat myth by breeding or picking up black domestic cats and advertising them as American “mystery cats”. These were advertised on websites and Messybeast was approached. I never add information about a breed without following it up, especially when so many things do not add up. I referred a number of breeders and myth-busters to the “breeder” website for scrutiny. The consensus was that the “story” did not add up and the photos were a mix of retouched black leopard pictures and large domestic black cats. Some of the photos were traced to other websites.

    The self-styled breeder claimed the Mystery Cats were derived from a hybrid between a black mystery cat and a domestic and that he took the kittens from the dead mother (whose body later conveniently vanished). The female kittens allegedly bred, but were all killed or vanished, leaving only their 8 week old F2 offspring. This individual was advertising these as the progeny of “mystery cats”. More to the point, he refused to work with a registry or with established breeders and refused to be put in contact with other cat breeders claiming that they “don’t have a clue about genetics”.

    That indicates a backyard breeder with something to hide, or a pure scam with non-existent cats. A novice breeder genuinely interested in the cats will always try to get in touch with other breeders for advice. It was obvious that experienced breeders would quickly have seen through the Mystery Cat breeder’s claims.

    His story was evidently fiction aimed at parting people from their money in return for what turn out to be ordinary black mongrel cats of a type that can be found at any cat shelter.

    His website contained photos of supposed American mystery cats. One photo was a known image of a pseudomelanistic puma (he claimed it was a shot mystery cat). Another was a photo of a captive melanistic Geoffroy’s cat called “Nico” from a rescue foundation which he claimed was a mystery cat photographed in the wild (I alerted the person whose photo was being used). The current version of the website has photos claimed to be 1999 copyright of the individual, but which have been taken from other websites. He also used photos of black leopard cubs with cats’ eyes crudely drawn on.

    If all of his cats were descended from the offspring of the 3 female “foundation cats” (which had been “lost”) then he didn’t have 4 lines as he claimed, he just had a single line of very closely related cats. So it’s probably lucky that the cats only existed in his imagination

    • This sounds like an elaborate scam, more elaborate than the one tried against me. The people who tried to con me must have been successful elsewhere. And that success is somewhat born out of the modern tendency to buy cats over the Internet without seeing them in person. It really is foolhardy to buy a cat over the Internet and part with $3000 or whatever the the cat costs. Nobody in their right mind should send any money to somebody that they don’t know (even sometimes to someone they know!). It was rather surprising that I recognised one of the kittens as one that I had met and photographed. This shows how careless these con people were.

      • No it was really primitive – a few photos, some back-story and a single webpage. It looked like something a 14 year old might do. It took me all of 60 minutes to investigate it and report the use of certain photos to other webmasters.

  2. I will add this to Messybeast this evening as a Buyer Beware article. Is Hilary the new ID of Brodie by any chance?

    • I suspect that the name used is change all the time by the fraudster. There were two of them as I said. But I think they are the same person just pinging off different emails willy-nilly to a variety of people who they think might be interested in buying an expensive domestic cat. As you state in your comment these people simply trawl the Internet for nice pictures of what they think or what have been described as F1 Savannah cats. The photographs in this instance were very small by the way. I suppose they kept them small to make it harder to read the photographs. The photograph that I had taken was actually embossed as being a photograph taken by me and the website was referred to as I recall. Careless con people.

  3. They are obviously cheats. It’s a great idea to play it cool to get enough info on them if possible, in order to report them to the authorities. They don’t sound very bright, or they are playing it coy and innocent too. They must be stopped, but will probably rack up a number of convictions before that happens, if it ever does. Thanks for warning us.

    • Thanks Albert. I’d bet a small percentage of recipients bite the bait and end up losing one and a half grand.

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