I have three customers came to me this year. One lady paid $875 to a lady in PA and then that seller lady disappeared. The Second guy paid $300 deposit to someone who claimed to sell him ragdoll for $700. He lost that money too. The third guy was even more miserable that he paid $3,500 for the cat and shipping. The cat has never arrived.
I feel deeply sorry for them. As far as I know those people who can run away with money don't have a cat at all. They stole pictures from somewhere. They faked the website. Those people don't accept visit. Most of them don't have an address.
I don't want to hear such stories again. Here is my advice:
1. Let the seller video his /her cattery in real time;
2. Using Paypal for everything. Don't be stingy on the fee. Paypal can protect you better than any banks;
3. Stop payment should the seller does not accept Paypal;
4. Go to TICA.org website to find local area breeder. Majority breeders have membership with TICA. Without any breeding program, TICA has no list of that business.
Please, I don't want to hear such ripped off story again. Protect yourself. Something can be too good to be true.