The global COVID-19 pandemic has changed many things in the world. The dangerous virus has stopped economies, ruined jobs, and confined us to a life in isolation. Naturally, many people suffer from anxiety and depression in these conditions. And this is where dogs and pets, in general, come to help us keep our sanity. Demand for puppies has skyrocketed in the last twelve months, and it can be hard to find an available puppy to buy. As the demand for puppies rose over the last year, so did the number of Golden Retriever puppy scams.
Many people have lost their savings trying to buy a Golden Retriever puppy, only to be scammed by online sellers. This was a particularly frequent outcome around Christmas and New year as most Americans were buying puppies as a present for family members and friends.
In this article, we will explain how to recognize online Golden Retriever puppy scams. But also how to find a legit and safe way to buy a Golden puppy.
Golden Retriever Puppy Scams: Red Flags & Warning Signs
Scammers are really good at their job. They will steal photos of puppies from legit breeders, certificates, identification numbers, and all other details they need to present themselves as the real deal. They will even create websites, Facebook pages, and social media accounts to lull you into a false sense of security.
However, with a healthy dose of skepticism and a bit of research, you will be able to recognize red flags that give away a scammer. These are some of the most common red flags and warning signs you are dealing with a scammer.
Communication only through email, no phone calls
Communication is one of the first things where you can see something doesn’t add up. Usually, if you are communicating with a reputable, legit breeder, he will want to meet you, talk with you and see what kind of person you are. Reputable breeders don’t sell their puppies to anyone they want to know their puppies will have proper care and treatment. On the other hand, scammers are not interested in a puppy’s wellbeing. Online scammers are often located outside the USA. They are residents of other countries, and they will try to hide their location and phone number from you.
Stock or copied photos
Fraudulent sellers will also send you photos of “their” puppies. Oftentimes these photos will be stock or copycat, and you can find them on multiple websites. So when you receive a photo of the puppy, try to search for the text in the listing to see if it was copied from some other website.
Non-secure payment methods
You need to understand the mindset and main goal of an online scammer. He doesn’t care that you saved this money for a long time, doesn’t care you want to make your daughter happy. He only cares about your money! Once you pay him money, that’s it you will never hear from him again. That’s why a scammer will try to convince you to pay him using non-secure, sketchy payment methods. Why? Because you can not get your money back in those cases. Don’t get scammed into paying a stranger by gift cards or by using apps like Venmo. If you have decided to make a payment, at least use the safer options like PayPal.
Asking for money to cover additional costs
Most of the time, the online scammer doesn’t even have a puppy he is selling to you, but sometimes they will actually send you a puppy. However, they will still try to scam you to pay additional fees and costs due to “shipping complications.”
Most people are worried about what will happen to the puppy if they don’t pay. So, they decide to pay even more money without making a fuss about it. However, some will ask questions, but scammers will threaten them with the possibility of returning the puppy and forbidding them further purchase.
This is too good to be true
Yes, this applies to buying puppies too. If the price and offer seem too good to be true, it is probably a scam. Do the research, check for usual prices of Golden Retriever puppies, and see if the difference in pricing is too big. Trust me, you won’t find a purebred Golden puppy on a discount, it is a scam. Also, if your seller claims he has registered his dogs with organizations like AKC, CKC, etc, call those organizations to confirm this info.
So, How Can I Find Legit Breeder Or Seller Online?
Most of the time, people will include emotions when buying a puppy, and this is where fraudulent sellers see their chance. You want to buy a puppy as a gift for your family member, and you will go to any length to do it. This is why so many people fall victim to Golden Retriever Puppy Scams.
If you don’t want to be scammed, you need to be patient and diligent. Do the proper research before deciding to buy a puppy. You should demand to meet with the breeder in person or at least talk over the phone or video chat. Ask questions about the puppy, about its parents, about registration, testing. Demand documentation and proof that the puppy is registered. If the seller is not providing you with papers, that is probably a scam.
Create a puppy contract with the breeder. This is one of the most effective ways you can ensure you will not get scammed. A reputable breeder will have no problem with a puppy contract as it is beneficial to all the sides involved. However, a potential scammer will hesitate or refuse to create a puppy contract.