Sadly, this world is full of dis-honest people who find it ok to sit behind their computer to search for cute photo's of baby sphynx to steal hoping they will "sell" and convince you to send them money. These people will steal from anyone and we find our pictures and those of our reputable breeder friends stolen and being advertised by scammers ALL THE TIME. Be aware and ask questions!
Be careful of scammers
Luckily, if you can see all the red flags which will protect you will be able to avoid scammers who only want your money. This information will also allow you to be confident in your final decision. I am going to do my best to out-line the red flags to help reveal scammers.
1) THE SCAMMERS MIND: A scammer wants your money and that is it. They want it short, simple, and to the point (the money). They will not talk to you on the phone instead they will ask you to "text only" or resort to just emails. They will not provide a website URL and will usually provide only a P.O. box address if it goes that far. They often do not bother answering lengthy emails or a series of questions-they are too busy running other more, "promising" ads and responses to easier targets. Scammers also won’t give out a phone number nor will they offer to FaceTime or video call so you can see parents or kittens, legitimate breeders want me to call and talk to them about their cats to make sure that they are going to the best home possible.
EXAMPLE OF REAL SCAMMER AD: Ultimate sphynx kitten, Please kindly text your email address to me at 980-xxx-xxxx for more details and pictures of my kittens Thanks.Text your Email Address to xxxxxxxxxxx PLEASE. Text to me Just Your Email Address Please.
2) A scammer has only what pictures they can steal. If you are in any doubt that the kitten you are considering is part of a scam ask the person to take a "random" picture that could only be done if the person actually has the kitten. For example, "Could you please send me a picture of this kitten standing on a white piece of paper" or, "Could you please take a picture with this kitten by a banana". Have them send you a picture within a certain time frame and be reasonable to allow for work schedules :), with the kitten and your name on a piece of paper. If it's a scam you will either never hear back from them as they realize you are onto them or they will find excuses as to why they haven't done it but assure you they will.
3) SCAMMERS OFFER FANTASTIC DEALS!: Most scam ads I see are "offering" the kitten for a fraction of what a healthy, normal sphynx kitten would cost. For example $350.00-$600 when the average cost of a sphynx is well over $1000, generally $1500-2500. They are relying on the potential buyer to be un-aware of the normal cost for a healthy sphynx so when they see the $400 and darling photo's they get very excited and are ready to place that deposit or send full payment. Scammers don't expect to make a ton of money each scam they win.... they rely on all the small amounts to add up as these sick people advertise everywhere and will often be scamming puppies and all sorts of other pets.
4) SCAMMERS PRESSURE YOU: Sometimes to urge you to pay sooner a scammer will tell you, "If you pay now I will give you 50% off the total" or "if you can pay now I will ship for free" (ie: shipping is usually a minimum of $400 by air within the US as of 2017). This rarely happens in the real world-it can but is rare and is always a red flag.
5) Scammers ads won't match what they are selling... they will offer a bicolored male "sphinx" and the picture will be a solid sphinx. Or look carefully and the picture will be a bi-colored elf (curled ears). And look for miss spelled words and grammatical errors (see above) the scammers are sometimes coming outside the U.S.