The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has released a new report which states that it’s almost impossible to search for a puppy online without coming across at least one scam. In fact, according to the report:
“Experts believe at least 80% of the sponsored advertising links that appear in an internet search for pets may be fraudulent.”
While anybody can fall into this scam, the people who are most likely to fall for it are those in their 20s and 30s. People in this age group are more likely to do much of their shopping online and think nothing of buying a puppy they haven’t seen in person. Any dog breed could be used in a scam, but the most common are French Bulldogs, Yorkies, Bulldogs, and Pomeranians.
So, how can you avoid being scammed?
-See the puppy you want to purchase in person before the sale is completed. (This also reduces the odds of getting your next furry friend from a puppy mill.)
-Never ever wire money to a stranger via Western Union, MoneyGram, or similar companies. Sellers who ask for payment of this type are almost all frauds, and since it’s essentially a cash transaction, it’s almost impossible to recover your money once you realize you’ve been scammed.
-Do an image search of the puppy’s picture. Google Images will allow you to paste a url or upload a photo and it will search the internet for matches. If the same exact picture pops up in multiple places across the internet, you’re probably dealing with a fraudulent company.
-If the price sounds too good to be true, it probably is.