Flayers on call: fake veterinarians bred under the guise of quarantine
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Flayers on call: fake veterinarians bred under the guise of quarantine

19 October , 11:44Society
The second wave of coronavirus, with a massive shift to self-isolation, made it impossible for many to visit veterinary clinics. But pets do not know about the pandemic and sometimes get sick. For many "pet parents", under quarantine conditions, there is only one way out: to call the veterinarian at home.

This has already begun to be used en masse by fraudulent veterinarians.

Irina Mishina

The veterinary clinic itself prescribed the manipulation at home for my cat. To rule out diabetes, it was necessary to measure blood glucose without the stress of going to the veterinary clinic. Of course, you could do it yourself using a glucometer. But none of the family members succeeded: the inscription "Little blood" stubbornly popped up on the screen of the device. Desperate, I called the veterinary clinic. A home visit cost 4,500 rubles where we are being treated. Blood for glucose was taken together with 12 other biochemical parameters, the cost of the procedure was 4,000 rubles. Total 8,500 rubles for "just measuring sugar" I considered an impermissible luxury for the family budget. Calling the nearest veterinary centers showed that a home visit costs at least 4 thousand rubles now, any manipulation comes with a 100% mark-up.

Уведомление о принятом вызове пришло мне с неизвестного номера, не указанного в контактах ветеринарного сервиса.

I started looking for a private veterinarian closest to the house, who could just come with his glucometer and show you how to correctly measure blood sugar in an animal. And now - bingo! - there were two veterinary centers at once that were ready to come and do this simple manipulation for just a thousand rubles. A veterinary center that advertised itself as both the "City Veterinary Service" and the Veterinary Service "True Friend" said that leaving them costs "zero rubles", it will be necessary "just to pay for the manipulation". I nevertheless decided to clarify the reasons for such a strange generosity. The call center employee, who introduced herself as Anastasia, explained:

" Because of the coronavirus and quarantine, a large live queue has formed to call veterinarians at home, and other clinics ask us as a city center to coordinate the departure of doctors ... Yes, we can assume that we are a centralized Internet service for the selection of doctors and at the same time a veterinary clinic".

В результате длительной переписки с "опытным ветеринаром", посетившим меня от имени "городской ветеринарной службы" , чек за оказанные "услуги" получить так и не удалось. Ветеринар скрылся.

I asked for the license number, but Anastasia somehow hesitated and after a pause said that the doctor who would come would certainly show all the documents. Then they gave me the order number and promised a visit by an experienced veterinarian "today." About which SMS notification came. They even told me the name of the doctor: Kushnereva Larisa Georgiyevna.

...The veterinarian reached us only by the middle of the next day. A resolute lady without a white robe immediately, without putting on shoe covers and without washing her hands, rushed into the apartment. I asked her if she was really Larisa Georgievna Kushnereva, if she had any documents confirming the status of a veterinarian. In response, the lady said that after her visit, the clinic would send a check and a copy of the license. Before measuring sugar in a cat with a glucometer, the woman asked for the last doctor's appointment. With a quick glance at him, she began pouring out recommendations.

“Wait”, - I stopped her. - We are being treated by another doctor, he knows the animal well, and you see a cat for the first time, how can you give recommendations? And I didn’t ask about it, we just need to measure sugar, and that’s all, ”I began to protest. But a lady without a white coat refused to measure sugar in a cat with a glucometer without a piece of paper with the last doctor's examination and his appointments. She did not hear me and continued to pour advice. As she left, she named the amount for her services. It was significantly different from the price list announced in the call center of the "city veterinary service". I was surprised: "The Moscow Veterinary Service, which sent you to me, negotiated a different one". But the representative of the "Moscow City Veterinary Service" insisted that she provided invaluable advice, and even, it turns out, at a discount! I asked for a receipt, but Larisa Kushnereva hastily disappeared. My contact with the veterinary service brought unexpected news: the name and picture of the site changed in one day. On the phone of the "clinic" I heard a baby crying. Trying to shout down the crying baby, the "operator of the call center of the city veterinary center" sharply declared: "I give you the veterinarian's phone, all the checks are with him". After that, the clinic changed its phone number...

Счет, выставленный хозяину кошек за вакцинацию, во много раз превышал сумму, озвученную ветеринарным центром перед выездом врача.

The check, of course, was never given. Larisa Georgievna Kushnereva, who visited us, sometimes spoke on the phone not quite politely, then wrote that she was at a lecture, and then completely disappeared.

Who exactly and from what organization came to my home remained a mystery. The scammers left no traces after themselves. Just in case, I leave the phone numbers that you can stumble upon on the Internet: 499 877 49 20, as well as 499 877 53 18.

There are more and more such stories, judging by the review of social networks. In the Ru-Cats community on LiveJournal, Alexander described one of the fraudulent schemes used by pseudo-veterinarians.

Once Alexander decided to vaccinate three cats. He did not want to take the animals to the clinic, and he decided to call a doctor at home. “I found a clinic on the Internet, specified the price - they promised 2000 rubles for one vaccination, this is the standard price in Moscow. The total price was supposed to be 6,000 rubles. Two veterinarians arrived at once. Before the procedure, only one cat out of three was examined, although, according to the rules, everyone was to be examined: only healthy animals can be vaccinated. They delivered vaccines and wrote out a bill - 14,500 rubles, ”says Alexander. The man paid 14,500 rubles, deciding that the doctors were not to blame: it was just that the clinic operator had confused something in the price list. And in general it is difficult to resist when two "doctors" are in front of you at once. The telephone conversation was not very productive. Alexander went to the veterinary clinic and found that one individual entrepreneur was registered for the mobile brigade, another for the stamps and documents, and a third for the book of complaints and suggestions. He wrote three complaints in the book of complaints: two for fraud with legal entities and field services and one about an incorrectly completed and unregistered review book. All records were photographed. The clinic refused to return the money. Alexander wrote a claim addressed to the management. The claim was accepted, but then thrown out without reading.

“If you paid for the fraudsters' services in cash and you were not given supporting documents, then you can return the money only through the court. If you do not want to contact the court, you can try to put pressure on the management of the unscrupulous clinic: go there, leave the claim in the complaints book, take a photo of it and send it to all supervisory authorities. For the clinic, this is fraught with checks and financial problems. If the clinic doesn’t make contact, you can immediately contact the supervisory authority”, - attorney Lyubov Goncharova explained to Novye Izvestia.

How to recognize a fake veterinary clinic? Lawyers provide some advice. “There are several obvious signs that you are not calling the veterinary clinic, but scammers. For example, a call center operator stubbornly insists on calling at home and cannot give the address of the clinic. This is explained by a dozen reasons: supposedly it’s cheaper, the clinic has repairs, quarantine, appointments only by appointment, and so on. If the operator does not say which clinic you called, this should also alert you. One call center can serve the sites of several fake veterinary clinics with different names. If you call a veterinary clinic, the services of which you have not used before and in which you are not sure, record the conversation with the operator. If you are intimidated, forced to make a quick decision, or given dubious information, you should not call a doctor", - advises lawyer Lyubov Goncharova.

You should also be alerted if there is no address on the website of the veterinary clinic, only a phone number is indicated, and a mobile one, or it is not at all; if there is no price list, or it is, but short and in the format "from 1000 Rub."; if you are encouraged to call a doctor at home in any situation, even if a complex surgery is required.

Social media user Ekaterina describes in one of the veterinary forums a completely terrible situation. One night, her cat became ill, there was profuse purulent discharge. In panic, Katya dialed the number of the first veterinarian she came across, described the situation and heard on the phone: "An operation is urgently needed, otherwise the cat will die".

Лечение зубного камня на дому обошлось владельцу животного в 30 тысяч рублей.

“I agreed to call a doctor at home to examine Vatrushka", - the woman says. - He came, diagnosed "pyometra", that is, inflammation of the uterus, took the animal to the clinic for an operation, saying that it would cost 40 thousand rubles. Under the pressure of circumstances and overwhelming experiences, I signed an agreement without looking, in which only the address of the clinic was indicated. After 2.5 hours, they called me and said that the operation was successful, but its cost, due to the complexity, increased to 64,800 rubles. At the same time, there was no price list on the site and the prices were clearly invented from the head. I quarreled with the clinic, threatened to sue, as a result, the amount was reduced by almost three times. Then a veterinarian friend said that even third-year students do such an operation, but it costs, including anesthesia and consumables, 8-10 thousand rubles".

The scheme of such "aibolites" is simple. Fraudsters set up points with veterinary clinics on Yandex Maps in different districts of Moscow. For each clinic, they make a cheap website with fake reviews (or none at all) and promote it in the search. The owner of the animal goes into the search and looks for the clinic closest to the house, finds scammers and calls. Of course, there is no clinic there - it's just a call center. Number - one for several such sites. The goal of the call center workers is to convince the owner not to go anywhere and call a doctor at home, because the clinic supposedly has repairs or appointments scheduled for a month in advance, or quarantine. At the same time, it always turns out that a free mobile team is working right in the required area near the clinic, which "will come to you in five minutes and for only 1000 rubles." The owner, of course, thinks he is lucky and agrees. After that, the visiting team really comes to him, but it is not known where and what these doctors studied and what they will do if something suddenly goes wrong with the animal. It's good if the scammers just supply the animals with vaccines and charge triple the price. But sometimes such "veterinarians" manage to convince the owners to perform abdominal surgery right on the kitchen table.

“If they ask for a lot of money for examinations and procedures, it is not at all necessary that the treatment will be of high quality. Private clinics “make money” on the psychology of the owners, who for some reason equate “expensive” and “good”. The responsibility of private traders is low: if after some manipulations the animal becomes worse, no one will be responsible for this, as well as re-examine and treat at their own expense. So it is better to pay according to the price list to a trusted doctor from a familiar clinic than to run to an "aibolit" ("doctor"), which will ask for a cosmic sum for a dubious service", - says Liliya Surgucheva, chairman of the Veterinary Security Association, Doctor of Biological Sciences.

In all the cases mentioned, the owners of the animals, one might say, got off quite easily: with fright, wasted money and spoiled nerves. The main thing is that the animals remained alive and did not suffer from the actions of pseudo-veterinarians. Actually, "black veterinarians" do not undertake any serious manipulations, since in most cases they do not have sufficient qualifications. Their goal is to "withdraw" more money from the client. There have been too many such cases lately. So much so that the Economic Crime Department and Rospotrebnadzor are just right to come to grips with the community of "black veterinarians" operating under the guise of quarantine.

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