Tax Refund Alert: Don’t Buy a Monkey Online
You can always tell when tax refunds start rolling in. Sure there's a lot of responsible purchases of tires and dental work, but to be fair - there's also a lot big wheels and pinball machine purchases as well. Don't get me wrong, you totally deserve to treat your self - but be careful when you do. Especially if you are thinking about getting a monkey.
According to FOX 17, Michigan resident Don Abrego has first hand experience on how a primate transaction can go south, but his story is really a cautionary tale that applies to any purchase. Don desperately wanted a Capuchin monkey. They are commonly known as "organ grinder" monkeys and usually found in Central America and South America as far south as northern Argentina.
After searching online, Don found one in Hawaii, and hurriedly sent off his first $400 payment. That's when the whole thing got very shady, and very expensive. According to Abrego, the sellers started having all kinds of issues with shipping, paperwork, and everything else under the sun. They started asking Don to send more and more money using (red flag) Amazon Gift cards.
Abrego estimates that he sent "about 20 Amazon gift cards ranging from a hundred to $400 and $500," and received exactly 0 monkeys. Even the employees at the stores where he would purchase the gift cards voiced there concern, but Don had a purpose. All in all, he figures he sent somewhere in the neighborhood of $5,000 to the scammers. Since the original payment of $400 was sent through PayPal he was able to recover that - the rest, not so much.
Experts suggest you do your research when buying online, and at least pay with a credit card so that you my have better luck than Mr. Abrego when trying to recover your funds if you get scammed.