There have been a few posts recently which are scams involving parrots for sale or adoption. Most of the threads end with "this is a scam, and here's why" so I thought it would be good to have a fresh thread explaining how you can tell.
A scammer doesn't have the parrot in question, so they have to scoop a photo and text from somewhere. Usually they just go on Google to find a picture, and sometimes they go to actual breeders/owners sites to scoop the text, so the description sounds right. When you see one of these posts, whether on Gumtree, Petlink or some other site, just do this:
1. Right click on the picture of the bird. From the pop-up box, select "search Google for this image". You'll get a page of similar photos. You can click one to see where it came from originally. If you don't see a match, it doesn't mean the add is legit - they could be using an old saved photo that isn't online any more.
2. Copy a chunk of the text and paste it into a search box. You might find the original post it was stolen from.
3. If you don't find any other examples of the photo or text, read the ad carefully. Look for spelling or grammar mistakes which could be a tip-off that the ad was written by a non-native speaker of English. Look for ads that don't give much detail - they don't say where the bird is located, or the price is either unusually low or free, or they don't even say what kind of parrot it is! Things like "tame green parrot", for example.
4. If you have any doubt at all, don't contact the person. If they aren't able to scam you into buying a parrot that doesn't exist, or into paying shipping charges for a parrot that doesn't exist, they might send you some malware in an email to infect your computer. Or they may save your contact information for a future scam. It's better to ask here if you have any difficulty figuring out a suspicious ad.
5. Some of these scammers are very sophisticated with fake drivers licenses, forged or others DNA certification
6. I'm a big fan of visiting the breeder with money in your pocket and checking out the breeder and the parrots in person.
Here is a trusted breeders list that was put together from others that have proven to be reputable
Macaws & Amazon Parrots
Owner: Paul Brugman
Casuarina Parrot Gardens
Owner: Noddy Connors
Grampians 'Feathers n Things"
Owner: Tim Wethers
Macaws and More
Owner: Linda Plumstead
Owners: Joanne & Tony Johnson