Police report that a Russian pensioner was recently conned out of $3,900 (114,000 rubles) by an ad stating he could receive a military macaw parrot, free of charge.
The 62-year-old man lives in Korolyov, outside of Moscow. In February he replied to an online message offering a free military macaw (Ara militaris) parrot.
A report on Ria Novoski says that the only condition for receiving the "free" parrot was a fee of 12,000 rubles to cover the shipment of the bird from Poland. The bird's natural habitat is South or Central America.
The unnamed pensioner then paid the delivery fee, even though the information specified “some other country than Poland” as the recipient’s residence, the police said.
Unfortunately, rather than receiving the parrot, the pensioner was bombarded with a stream of excuses. He was also told to pay further charges including insurance, veterinarian services, a cage for transporting the parrot, and even for eggs that the parrot had apparently laid in the meantime!
All in all, the man never did receive his parrot and the police have launched an investigation to try and identify the con artists.
There are apparently many scams on the internet with people offering parrots for sale or adoption. Unfortunately the pensioner was just the latest victim.