As an avid animal lover I believe there’s a special place in hell for pet scammers. No, not people that scam your pets, people that are scammer prospective pet buyers.
I will refrain from getting on my soap box about the benefits of adopting animals and the advantages of being a rescue parent (like myself!) but instead will bring to you news recently published by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) warning about pet purchasing scams.
Alaskan, Oregonian and Western Washingtonian BBBs have recently received reports of scams targeting consumers that are looking to purchase puppies online.
I would like for you to know that I am working really hard on not also soap boxing about buying pets online and shipping them.
The BBB has reported that:
Legitimate-looking websites and classified ads entice pet shoppers with cute puppy pictures, detailed descriptions, and below-average prices. When shoppers contact sellers and attempt to make purchases, they are directed to wire money – typically overseas – to complete paperwork and secure shipping. Buyers then receive emails that contain shipping receipts, animal crate numbers, flight numbers and times, and other seemingly genuine information.
Unfortunately, there are no puppies; and flight information and courier names are rarely verifiable. BBB reports indicate that these scammers will go so far as to claim that animals have arrived locally, but cannot be released until further processing fees are paid by wire transfer.
One Virginia-based consumer wired $300 to Cameroon for two English Bulldogs that were to be delivered to his home via an Alaska-based moving company, but became suspicious after receiving a second invoice. He then called the moving company, which had no knowledge of the transaction.
When purchasing puppies online, there are several things to consider:
- Beware of unreasonably low prices; check the American Kennel Club website for appropriate rates.
- Be cautious of sellers that only accept wire transfer payments.
- Look for spelling and grammatical errors on websites and in emails; this is a common red flag in overseas scams.
- Always seek complete contact information and avoid sellers that are unable or unwilling to provide it.
- Good breeders should be more concerned with placing animals in good homes than getting paid; walk away from transactions that seem suspicious – Source.
Another way to avoid getting scammed by phony puppy purchases is to, you know, adopt from a local shelter or breeder? Just an idea.
If you have been scammed and would like to file a scam report, please click here.