Victim drives from Las Vegas to LA in puppy scam

Victim drives from Las Vegas to LA in puppy scam

By Greg Collier

A woman from Las Vegas was recently looking to add a Golden Retriever puppy to her home. Her 12-year-old Golden Retriever had recently passed away. She went to her local shelter but no Golden Retriever puppies were available for adoption. That’s when she decided to go online in search for a new addition to her home.

She came across the website of someone claiming to be a breeder from Los Angeles. The breeder told the woman that there’s only one puppy left from the litter and the cost was only $500. She paid the breeder in advance and drove to Los Angeles that day to pick up the puppy. Sadly, the LA address she was given was for a house that was up for sale that no one was living in.

Now, put yourself in this woman’s shoes for a moment. Imagine making the 4-hour+ drive from Las Vegas to Los Angeles anxiously thinking you’re about to add a new puppy to your life only to find out you’ve been scammed. Then you’d have to deal with that crushing disappointment all the way through the drive back to Las Vegas. Meanwhile, a scammer is off somewhere with your $500.

Anybody can put up a website with some pictures of puppies they’ve stolen off the internet and call themselves a dog breeder. This has become a common occurrence among people who have looked to purchase a puppy for their families.

To better protect yourself when buying a new pet, only deal with local breeders or shelters. Fake breeders who claim to be out of state will often try to milk their victims for as much money as possible for things specialized delivery crates and pet delivery insurance. In most cases, the puppy never existed to begin with. If you can’t see the puppy face to face in real time, there’s a good chance you’re being scammed.

Even though the victim was not able to find the breed of her choice at her local shelter, we still recommend going to your local shelter anyway. Many shelters have waiting lists for certain breeds in addition to being able to adopt the puppy for no or low cost. Maybe even consider adopting an adult dog instead as they need homes too.