Don’t ignore red flags in puppy scam

Don't ignore red flags in puppy scam

As has been previously stated, puppy scams are on the rise due to the number of people looking for new companions during the current pandemic. Online puppy scammers will create legitimate-looking websites while posing as puppy breeders. The scammers will offer purebred puppies at well below market prices. After the victim pays the initial fee, the scammers will start asking for more money for things like shipping fees and specialized travel crates. Even if the victim pays for all of these supposed services, they never receive a puppy because the puppy never existed in the first place. While these may seem like reasonable charges on the surface, they are red flags indicating the scam. However, sometimes even the most obvious red flags can be ignored.

Recently, in Louisiana, a woman was looking for a new Yorkie puppy. She found an online listing for Yorkies and was asked to send in payment for the puppy. She was asked to send the payment to somewhere in Africa. With all due respect to the countries of Africa, there are two African countries that are synonymous with scams. The most infamous one is Nigeria where a multitude of overseas scams take place. This is where the legendary Nigerian Prince scam or 419 scam comes from. The second and somewhat lesser-known country is Cameroon. In earlier days of the internet, the puppy scam was known as the Cameroon puppy scam due to the number of puppy scams originating from the country.

Sending money overseas for a puppy is a huge red flag that you’re being scammed. If you want to avoid being scammed when looking for a new pet avoid using non-local breeders. Even if you find a local breeder online, do a reverse image search of their animals to make sure the images weren’t stolen from other websites. If you have your heart set on a purebred, you can’t cheap out. Pets listed at below market value online are usually either non-existent or it’s a ‘backyard breeder’ that is potentially selling dying animals.

As always, we recommend adopting a pet from your local animal shelter. Some shelters even have waiting lists if you’re looking for a particular breed. If you’re not looking for a particular breed we still recommend visiting your local shelter. You never know which animal there will capture your heart.