Fraudsters Selling F1 Savannah Cats

Beware of fraudsters selling F1 Savannah cats online and being approached by email. Being naturally wary I quickly became suspicious of two people who approached me by email to offer me F1 Savannah kittens at $3,000 each.

The sellers called themselves: Hilary Jones and Liana Brogass. I played along with them and told them that I was interested in buying one of the kittens and asked what happens next. Hilary Jones responded by asking for $1500 upfront. Never send money to anyone upfront unless you are absolutely certain about the person and the contract. For me this was one of several clear signs that ‘Hilary Jones’ was a fraudster and conman.


These are the F1 Savannah kittens that the conman wanted to sell me. He does not own the kittens in my view and was simply trying to con me.


Previously I had asked for details of the breeding cattery. He said there was no website but that it was called ‘Hilary Pets House’ (sounds made up to me). There is no record of this on the internet. All breeders have or should have an internet presence of some sort.

The clincher was that one of the photos he attached to his emails was taken by me! It was of an F1 Savannah cat, Focus, who was bred by A1 Savannahs some years ago. I photographed this super cat in the home of Kathrin and Martin Stucki when I visited them. Clearly ‘Hilary’ had got together some photos of cats from the internet that looked like high filial Savannahs and emailed a lot of people that he thought might be interested in buying one.

Also, Hilary would not let me see the kittens in person, in real life, to verify their existence. A clear sign of an attempted fraud.

The idea behind the fraud is to ask for a large sum upfront, receive it and then disappear.

The other F1 Savannah cat seller, Liana Brogass, is probably the same person and both are aliases.

It may be that Jim Stevenson, aka Woodsman001, the notorious cat hater and troller is behind this because he hates me as much as he hates cats and he wants to undermine me and the website. If that is true then he has failed miserably.

The wider story though is to be vigilant and never be tempted into sending money upfront before receiving the goods to anyone that you don’t know or have not met. Even if you know the person don’t do it unless you are completely satisfied that you can trust the person and even then resist the temptation. Really that is true. You never know when someone will pop up and bite you.


Here is a transcript of the email correspondence between me and Hilary:

HILARY

Hello,

We are proud to announce to you that we currently have 4 Stunning F1 Savannah Kittens. They are all ready for reservation and adoption now. These babies are full of joy and character, love to play and full of energy.

These F1 Savannah kittens are 11 Weeks old and we have 2 Males and 2 Females available. They are TICA Registered–Select Exotics lineage, excellent dark spots and friendly, playful personalities! They are well trained and very friendly and playful with good temperament with kids and other pets and animals.

We are offering 1 Kitten for an Adoption fee of $3,000. We accept payment plan. They will come along with all paperwork and all necessary accessories.

Find attached in this email, updated pictures of both the males and females F1 Savannah Kittens for your review and get back to us with your choice.

Warm regards.


MICHAEL BROAD

Hilary, one of the photos was taken by me! I took it at A1 Savannahs and the cat is Focus. Could you explain this?

Hillary please tell me the name of your cattery. Are you well-known? F1 Savannahs are pretty rare. Do you breed servals?


HILARY

hello good day am sorry am writing to you but now but its because i have been very very busy with the commands from people all over the world who are buying my F1 Savannah kittens.as of the picture please i dont know what you are talking about since am a breeder and my cattery name is HILARY PETS HOUSE.if you are interested in having one of my kittens then please kindly tell me thank you.

my mobilenumber is 0013219990169 you can give me a call or text me if you wish.


MICHAEL BROAD

Hilary, you have not explained why one of the kittens is of a cat bred by A1 Savannahs in Oklahoma, USA, some years ago. I visited A1 savannahs and photographed the cat. Therefore this cat cannot have been bred by you. And therefore I’m afraid you are not telling me the truth. And therefore I cannot proceed with publishing anything about your cattery unless you can clarify the position with some certainty.


HILARY

Micheal what more do you expect from me i have explained all i can to you but you seem not see reasons with me and such i don’t know what more to say


MICHAEL BROAD

Hilary, if I wanted to buy one of the kittens what happens next


HILARY

Micheal, if you intend to buy one of the kittens you would have to give me your complete address then make a 50% upfront payment so that i can do all paper work changing ownership from my names to yours and equally pay for delivery as well and when you receive the kitten you then complete the payment.This is the procedure all of my clients do follow in having their kittens.

Thanks,
Hilary.


MICHAEL

I need to see the kittens first hand before purchasing. Where can I see them?


HILARY

Micheal the way you sound its like you are doubting me so if you are not interested in having one of the kittens as you earlier mentioned then please stop taking my time because i have important things to do as well as i have serious people who are buying my kittens and they are satisfied with my terms.so if you know you are not ready please leave me alone.

Thanks,
Hilary.


MICHAEL

You are a liar, con artist and a fraudster and I will write about you tomorrow on my website:

https://pictures-of-cats.org/


HILARY

okay, thank you very much and do as you wish.





10 thoughts on “Fraudsters Selling F1 Savannah Cats”

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

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

        Reply
  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

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
      • 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.

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

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  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.

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

      Reply

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