Ramsgate dog rescue boss issues warning over ‘craft fair’ scam

Ros (left) from Mika's Mutts (with fellow volunteer) is urging people to be wary of event scams

The boss of a Thanet animal rescue organisation is warning people to be aware of scammers taking money for markets and fairs that are fake events.

Ros Bane, from Ramsgate, runs the Mika’s Mutts dog rescue and regularly takes a stall at events to share information about what the rescue does and raise funds for vet and kennel fees, food and toys and any other extras that the dogs need.

The 67-year-old is currently overseeing care for five dogs in kennels and two in foster care with another arriving this Friday.

She is issuing the warning after being taken in by a scammer who was advertising a craft fair at Minster Village Hall. Ros parted with £20 for a pitch – with a £10 ‘discount’ for being a charity – and was unaware that no such event had been booked at the hall.

She said: “My friend sent me the post on messenger as she knew we are raising money (for the dogs) and then I saw it on a Minster (facebook) page.

“I got in touch with the lady advertising it and she said there was one stall left.

“I filled in a vendor’s application form with my name and email and she gave me her email address to pay by PayPal.

“I did that and then didn’t hear anything. Another friend said they hadn’t seen any posters for the event in the village so I rang the village hall and they said they had no events that weekend and nothing with anybody of that name.

“I went back to messenger and she had blocked me.”

The scammer had been posting with a woman’s profile but when Ros checked PayPal the payment had gone to a man with a completely different name.

Mika’s Mutts stall at a recent event

Ros said: “I was sent a message showing the same fake profile advertising a craft fair in Folkestone but someone who worked at that village hall had said it was a scam.

“Yesterday one of the ladies interested in one of the dogs and said she was messaged by this ‘Sara Jones’ saying she was admin for Mika’s Mutts and she needed to pay £150 for the application but we do not charge for an application form.”

Ros has alerted Pay Pal in the hopes of recouping her money and says she is trying to report it to Action Fraud. She is urging people to check with the advertised venue if they have doubts before parting with cash

She added: “I just want to warn people as there have been posts =for various venues. Scamming anyone out of money is disgusting, let alone a rescue.”

Ros has been running Mika’s Mutts for four years in February and raises funds for bills, such as the current £700 per fortnight kennelling fees, to make sure the dogs are looked after while they are being rehomed.

Find Mika’s Mutts Dog Rescue on facebook here

1 Comment

  1. What a horrible thing to happen to anyone. Scammers are on the rise making doing anything online a risky procedure, especially when money is involved. You need your wits about you all the time and I wouldn’t risky any sort of purchase on Facebook where you are paying before you receive the product. Cash is always best.

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