How to avoid getting scammed while buying a puppy

How to avoid getting scammed while buying a puppy

Pet scams make up 35% of reported online scams according to the BBB - here's how to avoid being the next victim

by Kurt Knutsson

Before we got our puppy Rosie, we researched breeders, and checked and double-checked the background and legitimacy.   We were lucky to have done our homework and dodged obvious scams we encountered early on in the puppy shopping process from unscrupulous pet scam artists who are abundant online.

The Better Business Bureau warns that 80% of sponsored pet advertisements online may be fake. With the countless online scams popping up each day, it’s a shocking statistic for pet lovers to hear that 35% of recent online scams have to do with our furry loved ones. If you’re looking to bring a new pet, especially a dog, into your home – be sure to watch out for these warning signs so you don’t get scammed.

Kurt CyberGuy Knutsson with puppy Rosie

 

Whether you are adopting or buying, scammers are taking advantage of the many families looking to bring a new dog home. Scammers typically strike during popular holidays and the BBB is recommending how you can avoid being scammed when it comes to buying pets.

 

MORE: BEST PET TECH GIFT GUIDE

Best pet tech gift guide

 

 

Steps to follow to avoid being scammed

1. Research the breed

Before purchasing a dog, especially if it’s more expensive or rarer breed, be sure to do your research. Get a general sense of the prices these dogs usually go for. If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is. A puppy being sold for super sale is probably not a real puppy, or the puppy has been born into horrible conditions.

2. Reverse search the image of your dog

If you’ve been sent an image of the puppy you’re being told could be yours, do a quick image search online. Search the breed of your dog, and even the description. Scammers often reuse the same photos.

 

Google Reverse Image Search - Vizslas

 

3. See the pet in person

Before ever paying any money to an owner or breeder, be sure to meet the dog in person. If for some reason you can’t meet in person, try scheduling a video call. Scammers won’t even respond to these requests, so you’ll have a better chance of weeding out anyone who doesn’t really have a puppy.

 

4. Check PetScams.com

This website offers a list of known pet scammer websites. Always check here to make sure you haven’t fallen for a common scamming website for puppies. New websites are added daily.

 

What to do if you get scammed while buying or adopting a pet

Scammers are finding new ways and creating new websites every day to try and prey on hopeful pet owners. If you believe you’re a victim of a pet scam, be sure to follow these steps.

1. Contact your bank

If you gave any personal information or sent any money, be sure to contact your bank or credit card company to report the potential fraud.

 

2. Report to PetScams.com

You can submit reports here whether you’ve been scammed by a pet website, and if you’ve transferred money while buying or adopting a pet that turned out to be fake.

 

3. Report to BBB

The Better Business Bureau has a Scam Tracker where you can search and report pet scams.

 

4. Report to the FTC

The Federal Trade Commission collects information about all types of scams, including pet scams.

 

While pets may be a happy addition to families who choose them, be sure you aren’t falling for any tricks while distracted by a cute, furry face.

Check out more stories about scams you should know about here

 

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