Have you heard a song by British grime artist Mike Skinner, aka The Streets, called ‘Can’t Con An Honest John’?
In the song, he talks about conning a barman with a fake dog through an elaborate plan that sells a normal dog from the park as a special breed of dog. By using the built-up lie amongst the protagonists, they play on the greed of the bar owner and convince him to buy the dog, thinking he is the one who is ripping them off.
It’s a great tune, but it all sounds a little implausible – until you see this story. When Shayla Bastarache and Shaniya Young of Alberta, Canada, decided to buy Sphynx kittens, they soon realised they had been conned. At least, unlike the song above, they weren’t trying to be the conning ones!
Buying them from an online breeder, they arrived with excitement to pick up their new friends – only to find out that they had been elaborately scammed. Well cloaked, the advertisement was produced in a way that left them unsure to tell if they were being duped until it was too wait.
Purchasing hairless Sphynx cats from Kijiji, they got them for half the going rate – immediately, their logic should have been asking them questions about “is it too good to be true?”
And sadly, it was. The transaction took place in a parking lot (warning A) and they noticed that the cats were rather, uh, bumpy (warning B). Two weeks in, though, they realised something major was amiss.
They noticed the cats were now growing hair as any normal cat would, and it was likely that the cats had literally just had fur removed using razors and hair removal creams. They had been scammed, sold two normal cats under the guise of them being these unique, special cats.
At $1,000 each usually, many people are more than happy to pay this – and if they can get them cheaper, go for it. Since people don’t mind meeting in car parks thinking the visibility gives them safety, too, it did not sound too illicit or underhand.
Despite the mix-up, the women are intent on keeping their new hairy friends as they are loving, friendly cats regardless. And, let’s face it, they need the love after going through a rather tough ordeal. So, when buying something online, always ask why the price you paid was so much lower than the price you would expect to pay elsewhere – usually, the reason is obvious.