Dog owners looking to get a free sleeping bag for their pet should stay away from the free offer at Pet Maxi, a Web site that offers free pet product samples that turn into pop-up ads for healthcare and other things. In September I wrote a short story for WalletPop about an offer for a free sleeping bag for small dogs.
The offer is bogus, and Pet Maxi is misrepresenting itself on its "Contact Us" page as Walter's World of Pets in Lubbock, Texas. The phone number it lists is out of order and the address is an old address for the legitimate Walter's World of Pets in Lubbock.
"I'm not affiliated with them and I don't know who they are," pet store owner Ryan Blakley told me in a telephone interview.
Blakley said he has received a few complaints every few weeks from people wanting to know when their free dog sleeping bag would arrive. After three complaints on Nov. 5, he started trying to track down the Web site's owners and filed an Internet fraud complaint with the FBI.
"You try to run your business and do your business and somebody just pilfers your name," Blakley said.
His store doesn't even carry dog and cat items. He deals mostly in reptiles and birds.
"I was just in absolute shock after going there and seeing my name and my company's name on that Web site," he said.
Other free offers on the Pet Maxi site also lead to odd pop-ups. The latest free offer is for a sample of detangler for cats and dogs, although the offer expired Sept. 23. It's obviously not an updated site and has wrong information on it.
If you're still expecting a free dog sleeping bag, or anything else from Pet Maxi purporting to be Walter's World of Pets, it isn't coming. The free deal looked to good to be true, and it was.
"Ain't nothing in life free," Blakley said.
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