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All the red flags: How to spot a puppy scam online

All the red flags: How to spot a puppy scam online

Golden retrievers’ popularity among people is at an all-time high, and a lot of people are buying Golen puppies. However as puppy buying rises, unfortunately so do puppy scams.

According to BBB data, nearly 10,000 scam reports and complaints have come in just during the last three years! However, it’s estimated that only about 10 percent of victims actually report these crimes, so this number could be much, much higher.

In sixty percent of cases the people never received the pets they purchased, and others received pets that had health or genetic problems.

But don’t worry, we have tips on how to spot puppy scams online.

How do scammers work?

First of all, puppy scammers post fake litters online or pretend to be someone they’re not (usually an existing breeder). So if you aren’t careful, you could find the perfect puppy, send the ‘breeder’ your money, and never receive a puppy or any follow-up communication in return.

To protect yourself from scammers you need to know what to look for:

What are the Red Flags?

The breeder posted stock photos

Photos of the dog or ad text can be found on multiple websites.

The price is too good to be true

If the price is too good to be true, it probably is a scam. Research the prices for the breed you are considering ahead of time.

Absolutely no phone calls

Does the seller prefer to handle communication by email and not the phone? Red flag! A reputable breeder will always communicate with you via phone or video chat (if not in person) before selling you a puppy. Fraudulent sellers are oftentimes outside of the U.S. and might be hiding their phone number by only communicating by email.

Sketchy payment 

The seller asks for wiring of money or payment by gift cards. Be smart, choose a secure method of payment like Card or PayPal. Avoid paying a stranger using apps such as Venmo, as it is harder to get your money back if you don’t get what you paid for.