Is your family considering a puppy? If so, you’re not alone. There are more than sixty-three million American families who have at least one fur-legged friend living with them. These numbers have surged over the last eight months as more and more families spend time inside their homes due to Covid-19 restrictions. Unfortunately, this incredible increase in people looking for puppies has opened the door for scams that are taking place across the US.
In November, The Better Business Bureau reported puppy sale scams have skyrocketed. Authorities say the scams are hard to spot and anyone could easily fall victim. This is why it is important to only buy a puppy from a licensed, reputable, and proven establishment.
Many of these scams take place online as what looks to be an innocent and legitimate puppy for sale. The person posting the puppy for sale will have adorable pictures of the dog posted, a well-written description, and even a phone number to call. And their price is very reasonable considering how tough it has become to buy a puppy due to the breeder supply chain running low in the US.
It has to be legitimate, right?
After the to-be victim speaks to the person selling the dog, a level of trust and comfortability are formed. The seller kindly explains that due to the current high demand and interest for this puppy, a deposit is required to hold it. It’s nothing personal, but we have many interested people and we can’t hold the puppy for someone without knowing for sure they are going to buy it. Fair enough the victim thinks.
The victim obliges with a deposit sent to the scammer electronically. These deposits can range from a few hundred dollars to well over a thousand dollars. The victim is told that once the deposit is received, a date and location to meet to exchange the puppy and collect the rest of the money will be coordinated.
Victims that the scammers believe are oblivious to this fake sale may even contact the victims after the deposit has been received and request additional money for licensing fees, vacsinations, being chipped, etc. The longer the scam goes on, the more money the scammer will reel in from the unsuspecting victim.
A week or so later, when the big day has come for the victim to claim their puppy, the Victim is left waiting and waiting as the scammer never shows and discontinues contact with the victim, who is now out a lot of money. Although some of these fraud scams are investigated by police, many go unsolved because the scammer is conducting business outside the US. Once the scammer receives your money, getting it back is near impossible.
Save yourself a lot of grief and time and only shop for puppies from an established and licensed puppy seller.