Scammed out of $200 and a Christmas Present

Reported by: Alisha Searl
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Updated: 12/11/2012 7:27 pm
William Burtt, a Cleveland resident, says, "This brilliant blue Hyacinth Macaw would be the perfect addition to our family.

William adds, "I've always wanted a large parrot."

So, his mother agreed to buy him Linzi the parrot for Christmas.

William says, "She was just trying to find them a new home because she had just gotten a divorce and was having problems with her son."

That's the story a woman gave when the Burtt's replied to an ad in the Tennessee Classifieds.

The woman said she's from Virginia, and would gladly sell her bird for $200.

That includes the cost of shipping and adoption fees.

William says, "I was debating whether it was a scam or not, but the way she was talking about caring for it, seemed legit about it."

So, with a money gram receipt and a flight number in hand, the Burtt's went to the Chattanooga Airport.

There they waited for two hours, but there was no bird in sight.

Margaret Burtt, William's Mother, says, "It was heartbreaking."

The woman then said she needed an additional $650 to insure the pet during shipping.

Maragret adds, "I said, lady, you got me for $200, I'm not giving you any more."

Now, looking back, the Burtt's say they noticed three red flags.

Number one, insurance is not nearly that expensive.

Number two, the air carrier they said they were using, Pan Am, hasn't existed since the early 90's, and number three came in the form of a text message.

William adds, "She says, do you want these puppies or not. I go what? I thought I was getting a bird."

The Burtt's continue to get text messages.

Margaret says, "Like 600 messages from this woman in one week."

Threatening harm even, all of which could have been avoided the Burtt's say, if they just researched everything.

The Burtt's reported the incident to the Better Business Bureau, and the money gram office, all of which experts say you should do.

Now, there is a happy ending to this story.

The Burtt's will be getting a similar parrot next week thanks to a family friend.
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Jennyhrts - 12/11/2012 9:21 PM
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Got scammed out of 700$ last year.. It was really sad, about the time we found out it had already left the US... so we couldn't do anything. Sucks, really need to be VERY picky when it comes to doing stuff online.
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