Bogus Dayton Puppy Breeder Tries To Scam Consumers
DAYTON, OHIO, December 20, 2011 – Many families are in the market for a new pet during the holidays. If you’re among this group, your Better Business Bureau warns you to be careful. Con artists tug at your heartstrings to scam animal lovers out of their money. In fact, your Better Business Bureau got a phone call last week from a gentleman in West Virginia about an elaborate puppy scam.
The caller said he was searching the Internet for a bulldog puppy to get for his family for Christmas. He came across a professional-looking Web site, www.provincialpuppyclub.com, and began contacting them via e-mail and phone about purchasing a puppy. The breeder representative spoke with a foreign accent and preferred not to talk on the phone. The alleged breeder e-mailed photos of puppies to the buyer, as well as, information on how the puppy would be shipped. As the deal was nearing completion, the breeder instructed the buyer to wire payment for various amounts, ranging from $450 to $1296 via Western Union, which made the buyer uncomfortable and he turned to your BBB.
Your BBB investigated the offer and found several red flags. The breeder’s address (3659 Springboro Rd., Dayton) appears to be in a wooded lot according to Google Map. And, the US Postal Service doesn’t recognize the address. The phone number used by the breeder begins with a Cleveland area code. And, all correspondence from the scammers has grammatical errors and poor English. In addition, the breeder told the buyer the puppy would be shipped by a company called Sky Rock Ship, which has a Web site address of www.skyrockship.com. This is a Vietnamese company and to use the company’s services you have to wire money to Vietnam.
As the negotiations continued between the buyer and breeder, the scammer started telling the buyer the puppy he wanted was no longer available, but another breeder had dogs available and he was given contact information for people in North Dakota and Rhode Island. When the buyer called those breeders, he believes he was talking to the same person as before who was posing as different individuals.
Your BBB advises you to use caution when purchasing pets online. Once arrangements are made for the purchase, the bogus sellers generally ask for money in advance and generally demand buyers wire money because they don’t accept personal checks. Some scammers go back to the sellers and ask for more money claiming it’s for additional travel expenses, fees or paperwork. Once the money’s wired, the animals are never delivered and the buyers don’t hear from the sellers or see their money again.
Your Better Business Bureau offers more tips to help protect you from bogus dog breeders:
· Be wary of breeders offering high-priced dogs at extremely low prices.
· Avoid sellers who won’t provide you with contact information, such as an address and phone number.
· Have breeders provide you with references from other buyers and check them out.
· Be cautious if sellers demand you wire money, especially out of the country.
· Pay by credit card or escrow service, which allows you to dispute charges if you don’t get what was promised.
· Don’t be enticed by sellers’ offers to send cash or checks to open accounts or help with travel expenses.
· Think twice if correspondences are full of misspellings or you must deal with someone out of the country.
· Never give your personal information to anyone you don’t know.
The Better Business Bureau reminds you if an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Before you do business with a stranger, check with the BBB. Visit www.bbb.org or call (937) 222-5825 or (800) 776-5301.
About Your BBB Serving Dayton and the Miami Valley
Your BBB, the leader in advancing marketplace trust, is an unbiased nonprofit organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Businesses that earn BBB Accreditation contractually agree and adhere to the organization’s high standards of ethical business behavior. Your BBB provides objective advice, free business BBB Reliability ReportsTM and charity BBB Wise Giving ReportsTM, and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust. To further promote trust, your BBB also offers complaint and dispute resolution support for consumers and businesses when there is difference in viewpoints. The first BBB was founded in 1912. Today, 125 BBBs serve communities across the U.S. and Canada, evaluating and monitoring more than four million local and national businesses and charities. Please visit www.bbb.org for more information about your BBB.