Pet flippers: they’re everywhere you look on social media; people snatching up pets from others for free or cheap, only to resell them for a profit. Some call themselves rescues; others are just in it for a quick buck. Some deny what they do, while others broadcast it like it’s something to actually be proud of. The pets are just a commodity to these people and the animals they trade in go to the highest bidder without proper care, vetting, or the slightest concern for their wellbeing. It is gut wrenching to animal lovers and real pet rescues everywhere that see it happening and find themselves powerless to stop it. And for some, it’s happening right under their nose and they don’t even realize it.
Pet flipping has been around for as long as anyone can remember. Commonly referred to as animal trading or brokering, it’s been a practice since the dawn of time but usually deferred to describing the trading and selling of livestock. Pet flipping only became a well known term a handful of years ago when the animals being traded changed from typical livestock to average household pets like cats and dogs.
If it’s not bad enough that pet flippers are exploiting and capitalizing off of these pets, their ‘business’ is evolving. While pet flipping goes grossly unregulated in most states, some flippers are taking the scam to a whole new level; fraud.
In recent weeks, confessed pet flipper Jordan Hall, going by the screen name Alex Ruth, has added her own little twist to the business of pet flipping. At first she started posting animals for sale on Facebook and Craig’s List that other people were actually offering for sale or were giving away. She would screenshot the images posted by actual pet owners, advertise them herself in other groups, attempting to sell them as her own. By doing so, she wasn’t out the money to the original owners unless someone actually purchased the dog from her.
Somewhere along the line she took things a step further and began asking for deposits on dogs; animals she likely didn’t even have in her possession, beginning a sales process she would never complete. Once the deposits were made via Western Union or Money Gram, she would block the purchasing party on Facebook and from her telephone. People are reporting losing deposits of $100 or more, each.
Literally dozens of people have reported “Alex Ruth’s” scam on a Facebook page called Pet Flippers Exposed where Jordan Hall has her own personal gallery of screenshots showing her pet flipping activities. In more than one of those screenshots or on comments she readily admits that she is a pet flipper and comes off quite proud of herself.
Numerous people have reported in recent weeks that they’ve made deposits to Hall through Western Union and Money Gram. As instructed by Hall, deposits were sent to Hall’s boyfriend James Donelson, who claims the deposits at various locations, mainly a Lebanon, Mo. Wal-Mart store. After making their deposits buyers say that Hall cut off all contact with them by blocking them on Facebook and cell phones.
A Google search of Hall’s name and her aliases produces links to the Facebook page Pet Flippers Exposed, where anyone with a Facebook account can read the comments and screenshots in Hall’s album. There they’ll find hundreds of screenshots of her flipping animals, scamming dozens of people in the same deposit scheme, and in some cases, taking deposits from several people for the same dog. People have been commenting on the page daily about their own experience with “Alex Ruth.”
One woman caught up with Hall, using someone else’s phone after Hall had blocked her, and accused Hall of scamming her to which Hall replied, “Yes, scammed, scammed, scammed.”
Once administrators of most of Missouri’s pet trading and yard sale pages on Facebook became privy to Hall’s scam she was deleted and blocked from their pages. But this didn’t stop Hall from conducting business as usual; she simply branched out to pages for other states like Kansas, Iowa, Illinois, Ohio, Arkansas, Wisconsin, South Carolina, Georgia, and recently Alabama. She continues to attempt to sell animals and collect deposits on pets she doesn’t own or have possession of.
What Hall and her boyfriend are doing is fraud, pure and simple. They are advertising a product, collecting deposits, and no product is ever delivered.
Anyone who has been defrauded by Hall, or any of her aliases, should report their dealings with Hall to authorities; first by filing a police report with city or county law enforcement and then making a consumer complaint with the Missouri Attorney General’s office. Screenshots of texts and Facebook messages can be used as evidence in the case.
You can file your complaint with the Attorney General’s office online by clicking here or calling (800) 392-8222. You may also send an email to this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please be aware that when making your complaint with the Attorney General that a copy of the complaint you file will be provided to the person you are making the complaint against. Also, when you submit the complaint form you agree to testify in court to the facts stated in your complaint, if necessary.
Since Hall has repeatedly sold animals, complaints can also be filed with the Missouri Department of Agriculture as Missouri state law dictates that anyone repeatedly selling animals should have a license to trade and broker animals. You can submit your complaint to the MDA by emailing them at email@example.com or calling (573) 751-4211.
Complaints can also be made to the IRS for failure to pay taxes , Missouri Department of Revenue for failure to pay taxes, and the Secretary of State for having no business license.
Hall uses the following aliases to operate her pet flipping business and deposit scam on Facebook and other social media: Jordan Donelson; Alex Ruth; Taylor James; Violet Lopez; Gypsy Rose; Bernice Rose; Gypsy Girl; Felix Carter; Milo Smith.
If you have had bad dealings with Hall, you are encouraged to make your complaints immediately.