It's a popular time of year for consumers to search for a new four-legged friend to include in their summer adventures. However, your Better Better Business Bureau is urging prospective fur parents to beware of online puppy purchasing scams that can end with you being in the financial doghouse.
Since the beginning of this year, BBB Scam Tracker has processed over 280 scam reports pertaining to puppies. Many of these scams originate online through ads that claim a new litter of purebred puppies is available for adoption. To reserve your puppy, all you have to do is send money by an untraceable method, such as wire transfer or prepaid card. In many instances, requests for additional payment are made to cover fees pertaining to insurance, veterinary care and shipping. Some of these online ads even redirect to legitimate appearing websites with adorable pictures of supposedly available puppies for adoption.
In one such instance reported locally through BBB Scam Tracker, Turner Bosler claimed a non-existent Pittsburgh address and advertised Maltipoo and Bichon Frise puppies for sale online. The company required a $250 payment by wire transfer, but once payment was provided, could not be contacted and the puppy was never sent. Similarly, another local consumer reported sending $598 to Jamie Puppies Inc., which alleged a New Castle address, in exchange for a boxer puppy that never arrived.
"BBB advises puppy purchasers to do their due diligence and avoid making this particular purchase online, even if the cost seems significantly lower, as you'll likely pay more in the long run," says Warren King, president of the Better Business Bureau of Western PA. "It's a simple process for scammers to setup online ads, social media posts and free websites to promote a bogus business, so don't be fooled by pictures that could easily be pirated from legitimate breeders."
Avoid puppy scams with the following BBB tips:
For more helpful tips from your Better Business Bureau, visit bbb.org. If you are unable to resolve a marketplace dispute with a business, file a complaint through BBB and report scams and known instances of fraud to BBB Scam Tracker.