A website that claims to offer pet microchip registration is scamming pet owners. The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) has issued a warning about the website, called UK Pet Chip Registry, which is advertised under Google search results for ‘pet microchipping’.
The service claims that for a charge of £15, it will add the pet's microchip details to the so-called ‘National Pet Microchip Registration Database’. However, that database does not meet UK Government standards and is not on the list of government-endorsed pet databases.
The scam has been branded opportunistic by the CTSI, who have warned put owners to look out for scams and always follow government advice.
CTSI Lead Officer for Animal Welfare, Steph Young, said: "It is vital that when purchasing a puppy, members of the public must register the chip on one of the 15 databases verified by the UK Government. If they do not, they risk a fine of up to £500.
"The database quoted by UK Pet Chip Registry does not conform to UK Government standards, and signing up to it alone puts the user at risk of a fine and the needless cost of the money used to pay for it. The public should always follow government guidance, not paid-for adverts on search engines."
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The bogus website has caught out lots of new pet owners who have welcomed a four-legged friend into their lives during lockdown.
Katherine Hart, a fellow Lead Officer at CTSI, added: "The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a great deal of opportunism and in many cases outright scams. Many people suffer from loneliness during the lockdown, and purchasing a furry companion is an increasingly popular option.
"We are all so much more vulnerable now. The public must be increasingly vigilant, sceptical and above all, check the law and UK Government advice when making these decisions. Ignorance of the law excuses no one - make sure you register your pet on a verified database."
Where can I check the list of authorised pet databases?
Click here to check the list of pet databases authorised by the UK Government. For consumer advice, please call the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 223 1133.
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