Puppy Scam

June 12, 2017

News Release

Tom Gallagher, President & CEO-804-648-0030

                                                                     Puppy Scams Continue to Plague Consumers

Richmond, VA- According to BBB serving Central Virginia thousands of dollars have been lost so far in 2017 to Puppy Scams. “There is nothing new about these Puppy Scams,” says Tom Gallagher, BBB CEO. “Not only are they costly and humiliating, they are emotionally draining. Lots of dollars are lost annually.”

Gallagher says puppy hunting consumers are led to a particular website with pretty pictures of dogs. They believe they have found the perfect pet and the site claims a 100% satisfaction guarantee. The owner or breeder claims to have an agreement with a professional travel company to transport the puppy to its new home.

Consumers report after they pay for the pet in question they are contacted for hundreds of dollars’ worth of additional fees. These fees can range between $300 to over $1,000 and are for anything from unexpected airport costs or travel insurance for the puppy’s safety. Consumers are told until the fees are paid the puppy is stranded and cannot be sent any further. Regardless if the fees are paid the puppy is never received.

 While these scammer’s website might be enticing there are a few red flags to watch for:

  • Does the website have completed contact information?
  • Can the owner provide verifiable medical records for the puppy, as well as the parents?
  • Are you able to research the seller and obtain references?
  • Does the price make sense?
  • How are you being asked to pay for this puppy?

If you believe the website you have found may be a scam you can report the situation to BBB Scam Tracker, search for similar scams, or research a company at bbb.org.


About BBB: BBB serving Central Virginia serves Richmond, the Tri-Cities, Charlottesville, and Fredericksburg, as well as 42 surrounding counties from Fauquier to Mecklenburg and Northumberland to Amherst. The nonprofit organization was established in 1954 to advance responsible, honest, and ethical business practices and to promote customer confidence through self-regulation of business. Core services of BBB include business profiles, dispute resolution, truth-in advertising, consumer and business education, and charity review.