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  • Geebo 8:58 am on August 4, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Little Rock, , puppy scam,   

    Airports do not have pet departments 

    Airports do not have pet departments

    The Better Business Bureau is saying that they’ve seen a dramatic increase in the amount of puppy scams that have been happening since the start of the global pandemic.

    If you’re unfamiliar with the puppy scam, it’s when scammers will advertise puppies for sale online but the puppies don’t exist. A good way to tell if an online ad for a puppy is a scam is if the supposed breeder is advertising the puppy for much less than what the breed normally costs.

    Once you’ve paid for the puppy, the scammers will start adding on extra charges. Often they’ll claim it will be for things like special shipping crates or customs fees.

    Recently, the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport in Little Rock, Arkansas has been reporting a number of people calling to speak to the airport’s pet department. Commercial airports like this don’t have pet departments. Often, the scammers will pose as an airport’s non-existent pet department to try to claim additional payment from the scam’s victims.

    This scam starts with the official-looking websites scammers have that make it look like they’re legitimate dog breeders. A great way to see if a breeder’s website is a fake is to do a reverse image search to see if the pictures of the puppies appear anywhere else on the internet. Scammers will take pictures from off of Google Image Search since they don’t have any actual puppies.

    As we always suggest when shopping for a new pet, the best way to protect yourself is to adopt from your local shelter. Many shelters have lists you can sign up for if you’re looking for a specific breed. Not only is this more cost-effective but you’re also helping the shelters continue to in assisting their efforts.

    But if you have your heart set on a certain breed, buy from local dog breeders. Even then, do your research on the breeder to make sure they’re raising their animals humanely. Unfortunately, there are too many ‘backyard breeders’ who are looking to make money quick by selling sick pets.

    Adding a pet to your life is a life-changing event and you should be properly prepared for such a momentous occasion.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on May 29, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , puppy scam,   

    Scammers target man whose dog passed 

    Puppy scammers still finding victims during pandemic

    Adopting a pet into your home is a great way to deal with not only loneliness but also anxiety and depression during the current crisis. That’s exactly what one Los Angeles-area man wanted to do especially after losing his beloved canine friend of 16 years.

    The man was looking to adopt a Rottweiler puppy but found the prices from breeders to be too high at $3,000 to $4,000. Unfortunately, the man turned to one of the worst places you can go to adopt a pet, Craigslist.

    The man found a listing for Rottweiler puppies but the people giving them away were supposedly in Montana. The person claiming to give the puppies away said they had to because their son was a breeder who died from cancer. All the man had to do was pay $280 to an alleged shipping company called Blessing Air Movers. When the payment through an online app didn’t go through, the movers asked for payment in Walmart gift cards. Then the shipper asked for more money for a special crate to ship the puppy in. Of course, the puppy never came and probably never existed.

    While our hearts break for this man, the number of red flags in this scam may have set some type of record.

    For example, when adopting a pet, you should try to only deal with local breeders. Fraudulent out of state shipping costs are a hallmark of this scam. The scammers also had a sob story for why the puppies were being given away at such a discounted rate. These stories are used in several scams and often involve a relative dying or a military member shipping out among others. Then there’s the shipping company that uses a vaguely religious name. Many scammers use religious subtext in their scams either to gain the trust of someone of that religion or just to appeal more trustworthy in general. Both payment options of a cash app or gift cards should have also been red flags as these are often used by scammers to receive untraceable or unrecoverable payments. And lastly, if you find yourself having made a payment to a potential scammer and they keep asking for more money to rectify the situation, it’s more than likely a scam.

    As always, we recommend adopting a pet from one of your local shelters. As even mentioned by the SPCA of LA in the article, shelters will often have purebreds in their population. Some even have reservation lists if you’re looking for a particular breed. Not to mention that the cost will probably be minimal or even free.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on April 24, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , puppy scam,   

    Of course there’s a coronavirus puppy scam 

    Of course there's a coronavirus puppy scam

    With the current stay at home orders, many people are turning to pet adoption to combat the inherent loneliness associated with the quarantine. Pets have been shown as a way to help combat the depression and anxiety that many people are experiencing for the first time. However, before we get to the heart of the matter, we’d be remiss if we didn’t advise our readers that pets are a commitment. You should only get a pet if your current financial situation allows it and you plan on keeping your new friend once the quarantine is over. It doesn’t help anyone if you have to give up your pet.

    Online puppy scams are nothing new. The way they normally work is a scammer posts an ad online for a popular breed of puppy at a heavily discounted price. Once you pay the scammer they’ll either just take off with your money or try to bleed more money out of you with fake charges like insurance or shipping costs. Many scammers will say that something went wrong during the shipping process and more money is needed to correct the issue. In the end, you’ll end up out of a lot of money and have no puppy to show for it. Now, scammers are saying that you have to pay extra to have the non-existent puppy shipped because of coronavirus safeguards. Most scammers will also try to have you pay through untraceable means like wire transfer and gift cards.

    If you’re thinking of adding a new furry friend to your life, try to shop for your pet locally. We always advise adopting from your local animal shelter as they have many healthy and friendly pets available for adoption. Some shelters even have notification lists where you can be informed if you’re looking for a certain breed. If you’re going to deal with a breeder, please make sure they’re a licensed breeder as there are too many backyard breeders selling sick pets just for the money.

    Just like any other transaction, you’ll make the best choice once you’ve done your research before making a big life decision like getting a puppy.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on December 20, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , puppy scam,   

    Puppy mill dyes dog to disguise breed 

    Puppy mill dyes dog to disguise breed

    This seems to be the season where scammers will go to extreme lengths to fleece you. Just recently, we posted about a rental scammer who went to great lengths to disguise his identity. Apparently, these extreme scams aren’t just limited to real estate. Several families in Southern California are suing an alleged puppy mill for selling terminally ill puppies. However, it’s not just the fact that the backyard breeders were selling sick animals but it was also the way in which they tried to disguise the breed of the dog that left at least one family feeling heartbroken.

    One family involved in the lawsuit have an 11-year-old son who wanted a Goldendoodle puppy. He worked hard helping out at his father’s business to earn the money to buy the puppy. He found the perfect puppy through an online ad. Sadly, a few days after the family got the puppy home, the puppy started getting sick. When they took the puppy to the vet it was diagnosed with the deadly parvovirus. The puppy had to be put down. It turned out that the puppy wasn’t even a Goldendoodle. When the family washed the puppy, red dye washed off of the puppy. They were even told the puppy was a female and it turned out to be male.

    This story should serve as an example of how many online ads for puppies are scams and how little these so-called breeders care about the animals they’re selling. As always, we recommend adopting a puppy or even an older dog from your local shelter. If there’s a specific breed you’re looking for, only deal with licensed breeders. Look into what needs and behavioral patterns the dogs have and research the breeder as well to make sure they are ethically raising their animals. If a living creature such as a puppy is being sold at a discounted rate, there’s usually a reason why the animal is being sold for so cheap and it’s never good.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on November 22, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , puppy scam,   

    Don’t buy a sick pet for Christmas 

    Don't buy a sick pet for Christmas

    With the holiday shopping season upon us, many people are probably thinking about purchasing a pet for their family for Christmas. This decision should not be taken lightly. Pets should only be bought for immediate family members after a long discussion about pet ownership. Buying a pet for someone who might not want one could saddle someone with a decades-long burden they may not want. For example, you may not want to buy a rambunctious puppy for your elderly grandmother. That could result in disaster. Sadly, there’s an even more heartbreaking reason you may want to reconsider buying a pet for Christmas.

    We can’t stress this enough but never buy a pet online. Usually, there are two types of scams that involve buying pets online. The first one is where the scammer takes your money and the pet doesn’t really exist. The second is the even more heartbreaking one where backyard breeders or puppy mills sell you a terminally ill puppy. A quite disturbing report recently surfaced out of Southern California where a pair of people were selling puppies on various online marketplaces. Many of the puppies they ended up selling allegedly had already contracted the deadly parvovirus. This left many families devastated and in debt after having to pay for expensive emergency veterinarian services.

    As always, when it comes to buying a new pet, we always recommend going to your local shelter first. Not only will you be bringing your family a new member but you’ll also be giving an abandoned pet a new and loving home. If you have your heart set on a purebred dog there are shelters that do have them. However, if you’re going to the professional breeder route try sticking to licensed and local breeders. Anyone claiming to be a breeder and offering you a purebred pet at a too good to be true rate probably doesn’t have the pet’s best interest at heart.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on September 10, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , puppy scam   

    Majority of puppy listings are fake 

    Majority of puppy listings are fake

    We’ve discussed the puppy scam in great detail many times before. For those of you who may not be familiar with it, it’s when scammers advertise puppies for sale online but the puppy doesn’t exist. Instead, the scammers get you to pay for the puppy up front before disappearing with your money. They usually have you wire the money to them so they can’t be traced. So just how common is this scam? The Better Business Bureau estimates that 80% of online sponsored ads about pets could be bogus.

    That’s not even taking into account the number of backyard breeders or puppy mills who are selling sick pets to unsuspecting customers. Often people will breed popular breeds of dogs just to cash in on their popularity. Too many times these unlicensed breeders will have little regard for the animals’ health. There have been many instances where a dog was sold online only for the new owners get the puppy home and discover that the new addition to their family had the deadly parvovirus.

    As always, if a deal seems too good to be true, especially for a living creature, then it probably is. If you are going to purchase a pet, we always recommend avoiding online and the pet store as they tend to be avenues for frauds and puppy mills. Instead, we recommend either dealing with a licensed breeder or your local animal shelter. Even then, consumers should still do their research into these facilities to make sure the animals are being treated ethically.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on May 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , puppy scam   

    Sick puppies still being sold online 

    Sick puppies still being sold online

    As we have stated in the past, Geebo does not accept any listing that’s selling or giving away pets. One of the reasons we do this is to try to prevent puppy mills and illegal backyard breeders from continuing their abusive practices. Sadly, some of our competitors do not share our stance and allow these practices to flourish. In turn, consumers are still using these platforms to purchase purebred dogs only to find out that the puppies are sick or dying.

    In Albuquerque, a family bought a miniature schnauzer off of craigslist for a steal. After they took the puppy home it turned out that the puppy’s health records had been faked and the puppy died from the deadly parvovirus. In Lehigh Acres, Florida a couple bought a husky puppy from someone claiming to be a professional breeder on craigslist. When the couple took the puppy to the vet it was reportedly sold at too early of an age and was infested with hookworm. That puppy shortly died soon after as well.

    This has become an all too common occurrence. When purchasing a living creature as a pet you shouldn’t look for bargains to be had as that usually means there’s a reason why the animal is being sold for so cheap. The same caveat applies to puppies as it does with most things being sold online; if it sounds too good to be true it probably is. If there’s a specific breed of puppy that you have your heart set on, do your research. Look into what needs and behavioral patterns the dogs have and research the breeder as well to make sure they are ethically raising their animals. We also always recommend adopting a puppy or even an adult dog from your local shelter. Adopting a new member of your family is not something that should be done rashly. Carefully think it out before adding an addition like this to your home.

     
  • Geebo 9:05 am on March 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , puppy scam, Quad Cities   

    Pet flipping seen at shelters 

    Pet flipping seen at shelters and NY to crackdown on pet stores

    Previously, we’ve discussed many times why Geebo does not accept ads for pets. Not only does it discourage pet scams but mainly the policy in place is to discourage puppy mills from proliferating and causing further abuses against the animals they produce with little regard for the animals’ health and safety. As an alternative option, we almost always recommend adopting a pet from your local shelter and we still do. However, now at least one shelter and possibly more are encountering some of the same problems we do.

    For example, there is an animal shelter in the Quad Cities area of Iowa and Illinois that’s been noticing a disturbing trend. They say that they’ve been finding some of the animals they thought they had found homes for turning up on Facebook and Craigslist as being either back up for adoption or up for sale. In some cases, the animals are being flipped like you would flip a house. In that case, the shelter is banning those people from adopting any more animals from the shelter.

    In other cases, people just don’t feel that the animal they adopted is a good fit and try to find a different home for it online. In turn that animal could be taken in by someone who doesn’t have the animal’s best interest at heart and could potentially be an abuser. The shelter states that they would rather see people who aren’t happy with their pet adoption to bring the animal back to the shelter as they are better equipped to find the animal a more suitable home.

     
  • Geebo 10:00 am on March 6, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , puppy scam, , ,   

    Tax collection, Homeland Security, and yet another puppy scam 

    Tax collection, Homeland Security, and yet another puppy scam

    It’s time again to bring you some more scams that are happening around the country that could ultimately impact your area and possibly someone you know.

    First up is a twist on the typical IRS scam. In the typical IRS scam, someone will call a victim on the phone pretending to be from the IRS trying to pressure the victim into making an immediate payment on a tax bill that doesn’t actually exist. The flaw in this scam is that the IRS rarely calls a taxpayer to settle any taxes owed. Instead, the IRS is known for mailing out any delinquent tax notices. That’s where this new scam being reported out of Sullivan County, Tennessee takes it up a notch. The scammers are mailing out letters claiming to be from a “Tax Enforcement Department” which then directs potential victims to call a phone number to make a payment. If you receive a letter like this and you feel like you may owe the IRS some money always call the IRS directly at (800) 829-1040.

    Speaking of government agencies, our next scam involves possible the most fear-inducing branch of the government and that’s the Department of Homeland Security. The DHS recently released a warning stating that scammers were calling people posing as the DHS by spoofing official DHS phone numbers. That way when someone receives the call it appears to be from DHS itself when in reality it’s just a scammer. The scammers are said to be claiming that the people they call have been victims of identity theft and ask the victims for personal information or threatening people with immigration offenses if they don’t make a payment right then and there. Some of these scammers are even sending out emails using an uscis.org email address. That is similar to but not the web address of DHS which is actually uscis.gov If you receive one of these phone calls or emails, the DHS requests that you call them at 1-800-323-8603.

    Lastly, we have an online puppy scam that has an added level of cruelty added to it. Luckily, no puppies actually exist in this scam if you can call that lucky. An online puppy scammer is said to be taking money from victims over PayPal as a deposit for a purebred puppy. The phony breeder then directs all of their victims to an address in Atlanta, Georgia to pick up the fictitious puppy. According to FOX 5 Atlanta, people have driven from as far away as Detroit. The man who lives at the Atlanta address has had to tell all the people who showed up on his doorstep that they’ve been scammed. Buying puppies online is always a risky venture as there are a plethora of scams involving puppies, some of which end up with puppies being bred in backyard puppy mills. When searching for a new pet for your family you should always deal with a locally licensed breeder or your local shelter. You’re less likely to run into scammers this way.

     
  • Geebo 10:00 am on February 11, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , puppy scam   

    FBI warns of proliferation of puppy scam 

    FBI warns of proliferation of puppy scams

    This past week the Portland, Oregon office of the FBI issued a warning about online puppy scams. There are many online scams that involve pets but the specific one the FBI is referring to is where the scammers will promise you a puppy for a certain price and will then try to get you to pay additional ‘fees’.

    According to reports, in many, cases, the puppy doesn’t even exist. Signs to be on the lookout for that your purchase of a puppy may be a scam is if the seller asks you to pay by wire transfer, gift card, or pre-paid debit card. These payment methods are surefire signs of a scam. If you do end up making an additional payment for a puppy the scammers will try to get you to make additional payments for such things as shipping fees, special shipping containers, or some form of insurance. A great number of these scams can be found on craigslist even though craigslist specifically bans the sale of animals except for re-homing animals with a small adoption fee. You couldn’t tell by looking at craigslist as puppy ads are abundant in their listings but then again, craigslist hardly does any moderation of their own site.

    The FBI also offers tips to avoid scams like this such as…

    • Meet the pet in person if at all possible.
    • Don’t pay to ship a pet if you can’t verify the seller is a reputable breeder.
    • Do your homework on the seller before sending any form of payment. Look for contact information, check credentials, and confirm reviews from previous clients.
    • If you virtually chat with the seller, watch for odd phrasing or typos.
    • If the seller asks you to pay via wire transfer or gift card, don’t. There’s a huge chance it’s a scam.

    Another resource you can use is the International Pet and Animal Transportation Association’s list of known pet scammers. While the list is not comprehensive as new scammers are constantly popping up it’s a great place to start to make sure you’re not dealing with a scammer. If you’ve been the victim of a puppy scam you can report it to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center.

    For this and many other reasons, Geebo does not accept ads for pets. Instead, we always recommend that if you’re making a pet a new addition to your family either use a local reputable breeder or adopt a pet from your local shelter.

     
    • lisa Cuddy 10:54 am on December 5, 2019 Permalink

      I’ve been scammed to the tune of $3300. Now what? can I get the FBI involved?

    • Geebo 11:06 am on December 5, 2019 Permalink

      We would recommend contacting your local law enforcement first. However, you may also register a complaint with the FBI at https://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx

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