Beware of Free Pet Microchip Registry Scams
If you’re looking to register your pet’s microchip for free… don’t.
- 42% of pets with microchips go unregistered due to free pet microchip registry scams
- A microchip will only work if it’s registered with a legit pet recovery service that provides a database that is actively searched and a team of telephone support to ensure pets are brought back home
- It has never been expensive to register a microchip, but a nominal fee is required to cover the scope of services a legit pet recovery service provides
- Free pet registries exist for no other purpose than to sell your personal data off to online marketing firms that in turn spam your email with uneeded products all the while not providing any sort of actual pet recovery service
Free Pet Microchip Registries are Scams!
Caution: Beware of Free Registry Scams and Illegit Data Harvesting.
42% of ALL microchips go unregistered due to being enrolled wrongfully. A microchip can only work if it’s enrolled with a legit pet recovery service that is actively searched.
Numerous free pet microchip registries have been popping up in recent years now that most consumer purchases are made online. These are total scams that exist for no other purpose than the potential for short term financial gain. What they are doing in actuality is building up marketing lists in the form of free microchip registrations and selling the data off. As the volume of the data grows, so does its value and online marketing firms are willing to shell out large sums of money to obtain these marketing lists. Unfortunately, this comes at the expense to pet owners as they are blatantly being mislead into a false sense of security over their pets as no actual pet recovery services are ever provided. Instead, e-mail inboxes are spammed with unneeded pet related products and services.
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Nothing is Free!
Every time you voluntarily submit your email to any online form that is offering something for free, you’re opening your inbox to a floodgate of spam and that’s just for a verified email. Now add additional details about yourself such as the fact that you own a pet, the species of pet you have, let alone it’s breed and age, and the data you just voluntarily offered becomes all the more valuable as (spam) emails can now be much more targeted. Dog owners, for example, no longer receive emails for bird seed, but they can now receive emails for anything from flea and tick, or hip dysplasia medication to age appropriate dog food.
Free Registries are broadly recognized as scams throughout the pet care industry as they exist for no other purpose than to build up marketing lists in the form of free microchip registrations that are then sold off to data brokers that spam the emails with unneeded pet related products while falling short of providing any type of actual service.
It has never been expensive to register a microchip, but a nominal fee is required to cover the scope of services a legit pet recovery service provides.
A microchip will only work if it’s enrolled with a pet recovery service that provides a database that is actively searched. As the volume of the data grows, so does the cost of hosting it, systems engineers to maintain it, and around the clock telephone support representatives that are required to facilitate the prompt return of a found pet that is enrolled with their service. Therefore, if a microchip registry is free, even the most basic services that a legit pet recovery service provides to bring a pet back home cannot be met. This is simple economics.
A microchip is the only permanent form of ID your pet will ever have becuase it is implanted whereas anything else (including GPS) is attached to a collar which can fall off or be taken off. Microchips will last a pet’s entire lifetime and they work 100% of the time if they are read and registered to the pet owner directly in a database offered by a legit pet recovery service that is actively searched and employs a team of telephone support reps that are available at all times of the day (and night) to faciltate the prompt return of any animal found to be enrolled with their service. These are the very basic requirements of making a microchip work. Anything that falls short of that should should therefore be avoided.
Click here for everything you need to know about pet microchips?
With one third of all companion animals going missing and more than 80% never found, the missing pet problem is an epidemic and a microchip is your pet’s best line of defense in ensuring they will be brought back home.
Free Pet Microchip Registires are aiding and abetting pet theft. Anyone can obtain the microchip ID of another person’s pet and register it with a free registry as a way to claim potential ownership over another person’s pet. Fortunately, seasoned pet care professionals know to skip over them.
Free registries fail to authenticate those that register a microchip ID via credit card transaction.
Free registries have no system of checks and balances in place to verify the microchip ID is not registered anywhere else.
Free Registries do not retain the enrollment data definitively.
How to tell if a pet microchip registry is legit
If the registry does not have a telephone number listed that is a red flag. You should be able to contact the business in case your pet is lost. If there is a number listed, call it to see if anyone answers. Were you thrown through a doubtless loop of messaging directing you to the website to fill out an online form or were you able to speak with a real person? Was it a legit employee or a answering service? A telephone number is crucial as is an adequate team of telephone support reps that are available 24/7 to faciliate the prompt return of a found animal in their registry. This can be a matter of life or death depending on the shelter where a missing pet turns up.
Any legit business will have a physical address. If the website lacks an address, that’s a red flag. Is the website based in the US? This can help you to avoid scammers who work in other countries as they can be harder to follow up with the law. To determine the location of the website, use an IP-checker website like check-host.net or get-site-ip.com. The website’s country and, in some cases, specific location, will be shown. If the registry is legit it will be registered as a legal entity in a US state.
The Better Business Bureau gives reports on businesses based on reviews. It’s important to note that not all companies are listed with the BBB and the ones that are often listed on the BBB site as accredited are those that have paid for accreditation which is not normally a priority brought to any respective business’s attention unless an unsatisfied customer reports the organization to the BBB in the first place.
If a business is bad or even a scam, you should be able to find bad reviews about it. What’s worse are no reviews or only positive reviews as reviews can often be faked.
When on a website where you’re giving your personal info, look for the “s” after the “http.” The “s” refers to the secure socket layer and that communication between your browser and the website is encrypted. It should be “https://”s” means your personal information is more secure than on sites that don’t have it.
The website should have a statement about how the website is secured.
Legit Pet Recovery Services
A legit pet recovery service provider will never sell off your data or spam you with unsolicited emails. (Always read the Terms of Conditions pages with any website before voluntarily submitting your personal information to any online form offering something for free)*
Legit Pet Recovery Serivces 1. distribute microchips to various veterinary clinics, breeders, shelters, rescues, and animal welfare organzations, 2. provided a registry that is actively searched and 3. emply a team of telephone support reps that are available at all times of the day to facilitate the prompt return of any pet found to be enrolled with their service.
When enrolling your pet’s microchip a good rule of thumb is to do so with the company that distributed the chip that was implanted in your pet.
If you are unsure of which company your pet’s microchip ID belongs to, please click here to view our regularly updated microchip guide for a list of possbile distributors.
If you are not sure what your pet’s microchip ID is, please click here to learn how to figure that out
For a list of legit microchip companies/pet recovery service providers, please click here.
- 1-in-3 pets are lost in their lifetimes and more than 80% are NEVER found
- A microchip is the best way to ensure your pet will be returned to you as they are the only permanent ID your pet will ever have, but they will only work if they are enrolled with a pet recovery service that has a registry that is actively searched and provides 24/7/365 telephone support to ensure your pet is brought back to you quickly and safely.
- According to Avid ID, a recently published national study sampled 53 shelters in 23 states. These shelters agreed to keep monthly records of their intake. Only shelters that scanned pets during intake were eligible to participate. Here are some results from that study.
- 42% of microchipped pets were not registered in a pet recovery service
- 35% of registered pets were not recovered because of incorrect or missing contact information
- 17.2% of registered pets were not recovered because their owners registered them in a database different from the microchip manufacturer
Your pet’s microchip will not work unless its enrolled with a legit pet recovery service.