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  • Geebo 9:00 am on November 20, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , puppy scam, ,   

    The puppy scam that’s even more cruel 

    The puppy scam that's even more cruel

    By Greg Collier

    The majority of time we discuss puppy scams, we elaborate on the one where the puppy doesn’t even exist. That’s the scam where a puppy will be advertised for sale online, and once the scammers get their initial payment, they’ll try to get additional payments from their victims for things like special shipping crates, insurance, and other fees they can dream up. At least in that scam, there are no actual animals being harmed. We wish we could say the same for the other puppy scam.

    The other puppy scam is perpetrated by what’s called backyard breeders. These are people who will breed a popular breed of puppy regardless of the health and welfare of any animal in their care. Their goal is to crank out as many puppies as they can to get as much money as they can. Too often, the animals used and produced are kept in substandard living conditions, and are often sold after contracting a terminal disease.

    A family in Southern California were recently ordered to pay restitution after they were found to be selling sick puppies on Craigslist. One of their victims paid the family $1100 for a goldendoodle puppy. After getting the puppy home, the puppy began to get severely ill. After taking the puppy to a vet, it was discovered the puppy had the deadly parvovirus. The new owners spent $10,000 to treat the puppy, who thankfully survived. But that wasn’t the end of the scam. About a month later, the puppy’s hair started turning white. The puppy wasn’t a goldendoodle at all and had its hair dyed to pass it off as one.

    To make sure you’re buying a healthy puppy from a reputable breeder, avoid places like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace. That’s where the backyard breeders mostly post their advertisements, and it’s why Geebo.com doesn’t allow listings for pets. Legitimate breeders will almost always allow you to visit their facility and check their health certifications.

    And as always, we would prefer if you adopted a pet from your local shelter instead. Many wonderful dogs are in need of homes, and adoption is a responsible and humane choice.

    Responsible breeders prioritize the health and well-being of their dogs and will be transparent about their practices. By taking the time to research and ask questions, you can make an informed decision and provide a loving home for a healthy puppy.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on November 1, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , puppy scam,   

    Veteran taken advantage of in puppy scam 

    Veteran taken advantage of in puppy scam

    By Greg Collier

    A couple from Columbus, Ohio, wanted to get a puppy as an emotional support animal. The husband is a legally blind veteran, who wanted a Siberian Husky to keep him company and provide emotional support when his wife wasn’t home.

    The couple shopped for a puppy online and thought they found the perfect one for sale from an Oklahoma breeder. The breeder’s asking price was $850. Husky puppies typically vary in price from $800 to $2500. Then the couple was directed to a shipping company to arrange delivery of the puppy.

    The delivery company asked for an additional $750 that would be refundable when the couple picked up the puppy at the airport. Then the delivery company started asking the couple for more money. The news report we saw didn’t say what the additional money was for. However, in most puppy scams like this, the scammers will tell their victims more money is needed for things like vaccines, a special travel crate, insurance, and other fictitious fees.

    When the couple could no longer afford to pay any more money, the delivery company would call them and pressure them to borrow money from friends and family. Once scammers find a victim who is willing to pay them, it’s not unheard of for the scammers to attempt to get more money out of their victims.

    By the time it was all over, the couple had sent the scammers $3000, which has had a serious negative impact on their mental health. That’s a detail that is often overlooked in stories like these.

    If you’re looking to add a puppy to your family, you might want to avoid shopping for one online. Scammers often set up legitimate looking websites with images stolen from other places on the internet. If you insist on shopping online, do a reverse image search to make sure pictures of the puppies weren’t taken from somewhere else. Also do a WHOIS search on the website’s domain name. If it was recently registered, that could be a good indicator of a scammer.

    We recommend only using a breeder who is within a day’s driving distance round-trip. But before leaving, check with the Better Business Bureau to see if the breeder has had any complaints.

    However, our true wish is that you consider adopting from your local shelter. Typically, puppies can be obtained from shelters at little to no expense.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on August 30, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , puppy scam,   

    Puppy stolen during scam 

    By Greg Collier

    Previously, we’ve discussed many reasons why you shouldn’t buy a puppy online. In summary, there are two main scams that happen when trying to buy a puppy online. There’s the scam where the puppy doesn’t even exist, but the scammers keep asking victims for additional funds for things like a special shipping crate, traveling insurance for the puppy, etc.

    Then there are the backyard breeders, who are essentially a homegrown puppy mill. They’re the people who just keep breeding puppies in dismal conditions and don’t care about the welfare of the puppies. Often they’ll sell puppies with infectious and sometimes terminal disease.

    But, did you know there’s also a scam that targets people who are selling puppies online? A seller in Cerritos, California, was selling American Bully puppies through Craigslist for $2000. The seller met a woman who wanted to buy one of the puppies in the parking lot of a local mall. The woman asked to pay through Zelle and asked to hold the puppy while the transfer went through. By the time the Zelle transfer was denied, the woman had walked away with the puppy into the mall and fled the scene.

    If we had to hazard a guess, we’d say the scammer will probably try to sell the puppy themselves. If not on Craigslist, then on some other online marketplace. Due to the myriad of animal welfare issues with buying and selling pets online, Geebo.com stopped allowing animals to be listed for sale years ago. Craigslist technically does not allow animal sales, but they have a ‘rehoming fee’ loophole, which users take advantage of.

    Just like with any item, if you’re going to sell a puppy through an online marketplace, the best way to try to prevent a scam is to meet the buyer at a local police station. While not perfect, this will go a long way in discouraging scam artists and thieves from showing up.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on July 19, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , puppy scam,   

    Grandmother falls prey to puppy scam while gifting grandson 

    Grandmother falls prey to puppy scam while gifting grandson

    By Greg Collier

    A grandmother in North Carolina took in her grandson after the boy’s mother passed away. To give him a better sense of belonging, she decided to buy him a puppy. The grandmother found someone on Facebook who claimed to be selling Yorkshire Terrier puppies. These puppies were even said to be registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC).

    The puppies were being sold for $525, which should have been the first red flag. Purebred Yorkies that are registered with the AKC tend to go for anywhere between $1000 and $3000. The next red flag came in the form of payment the seller requested. She was asked to make the payment in gift cards. The seller instructed her to take pictures of the front and back of the gift cards along with the receipts.

    Then, like in most scams, once the victim makes an initial payment, the scammers try to get more money out of them. In this case, the scammers told the grandmother she needed to pay for a special shipping crate for the puppy, along with insurance and other fees. Before it was all over, she had sent the scammers $5000.

    She received an email that contained information on when the puppy would arrive, but no puppy was ever delivered.

    If you’re thinking about buying a puppy online, this statistic may make you reconsider that. According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), more than 80% of social media posts that list puppies for sale are scams.

    When seeking a specific breed, opt for reputable breeders conveniently located within driving distance for an in-person visit. Prioritize meeting the puppy before finalizing the purchase. Before dealing with any local breeder, conduct thorough research to avoid potential risks. Steer clear of puppy mills or backyard breeders, as they often house sick animals with severe health issues.

    But as always, we urge our readers to consider adopting a puppy from your local shelter. Typically, puppies can be obtained from shelters at little to no expense.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on April 26, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bulldog, , , puppy scam, ,   

    Puppies don’t need a COVID vaccine 

    Puppies don't need a COVID vaccine

    By Greg Collier

    The puppy scam is a type of online scam where scammers pose as legitimate breeders or sellers of puppies, and offer to sell or adopt out puppies to unsuspecting victims. They often use online platforms such as classified ads or social media to advertise their puppies and attract potential buyers.

    Once a victim expresses interest in a puppy, the scammer will ask for payment for the puppy and related expenses such as shipping or insurance. However, after the payment is made, the scammer will disappear without providing the puppy.

    A woman from Georgia recently fell victim to this scam, and the scammers made an unusual request. The woman thought she found a breeder of bulldogs on Puppies.com. The scammers claimed to sell bulldogs at thousands of dollars below typical market value. After the woman paid the initial $650 for a puppy, the scammers kept asking for more money. She then paid a $200, shipping fee, close to $1000 for a shipping crate, and $1800 for COVID vaccinations.

    The COVID vaccinations should have been a dead giveaway that this was a scam. For one, puppies don’t need COVID vaccinations. If the vaccines were supposedly for any workers, $1800 would be enough for 450 to 900 employees.

    The victim realized that she was being scammed after being asked to pay an additional $2600 for an airport fee. In total, she lost close to $4000 to the scammers, which is the current going price for purebred bulldog puppies.

    To avoid falling victim to the puppy scam, it is important to research the breeder or seller thoroughly, ask for references or recommendations from others who have purchased puppies from them, and never send money without receiving proof of the puppy’s existence and health.

    As always, we recommend adopting a puppy or even an adult dog from your local shelter. When you adopt a puppy from a shelter, you are providing a second chance for a dog that may have otherwise been euthanized. Shelters are often overcrowded and underfunded, and adopting a puppy from a shelter can help free up space and resources for other dogs in need.

  • Geebo 9:00 am on February 10, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , puppy scam,   

    Victim threatened with animal abuse charges in puppy scam 

    By Greg Collier

    A woman from Oklahoma recently fell victim to an online puppy scam. The victim lost $5,800 to the scammers, which is one of the higher amounts we’ve seen lost to this scam.

    If you’ve never heard of a puppy scam, there are actually a few different scams called puppy scams. The one we’re discussing today is the one where, typically, no puppy actually exists. The scammers set up phony websites where they claim to be breeders. They tend to advertise one specific breed in the scam. The pictures on the scammers’ websites are usually stolen from other place on the internet, but used as if they were selling the pictured puppies.

    Once the scammers have found a victim, they’ll string the victim along while trying to extract multiple payments from the victim. No puppy is ever sent to the victim.

    The victim was shopping online for a Maltipoo puppy for her husband for Christmas, after they lost their family pet. After placing the order with the website, she was asked for a down payment to be made by American Express gift card. She was told that payment didn’t go through and needed to make the deposit again. Then she was asked for money for shipping, then for puppy daycare, until the amount lost to the scammers was $5,800.

    When she told the scammers, she wasn’t paying them any more money, they threatened her by saying that she would be facing ‘puppy abandonment’ charges if she didn’t pay.

    While shopping for most things online is convenient, a pet shouldn’t be shopped for online. If you’re looking to buy a specific breed, look for legitimate breeders that are within driving distance from your location. It’s best that you see the puppy in person before buying one. But even if you’re going to a local breeder, research them first before making any kind of purchase. Make sure you’re not buying from a puppy mill or backyard breeder, where the animals are often sick with terminal illnesses.

    Lastly, we always hope that if our readers are in the market for a puppy that they consider adopting from their local shelter. You can usually adopt for little to no cost, and you’re giving a lonely puppy a home.

  • Geebo 9:01 am on January 23, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , puppy scam, ,   

    Inactive Facebook account leads to puppy scam 

    By Greg Collier

    A woman from Long Island recently had people showing up at her home looking to pick up the puppies they had bought online. The only problem was, the Long Island woman wasn’t selling any puppies. The people showing up at her door were victims of a puppy scam. In this instance, puppy scammers were advertising puppies for sale that didn’t exist. The scammers would ask for hundreds of dollars in deposits from victims and had them pay through the much maligned payment app Zelle. Undoubtedly, the woman started to be concerned for her safety. In the past, we have seen reports of puppy scam victims becoming belligerent when they’ve been sent to a random address.

    However, the woman’s address wasn’t exactly random. She had a Facebook account, which she hadn’t used in years. Scammers were able to hijack her Facebook account, and used it to advertise the fictitious puppies. Since they were using the woman’s Facebook account, the scammers decided to send their victims to the woman’s address. When the woman discovered her Facebook account was being used, she tried to reclaim the account, but the scammers had changed the email address and password. She even contacted Facebook, who allegedly said they couldn’t take the account down because it didn’t violate their terms of service.

    So, we have two scams at work here, the aforementioned puppy scam and a type of identity theft. If you have an old social media account you haven’t used in years, it’s a good idea to just delete the account. This will prevent the account from being hijacked by scammers and other bad actors. However, if you want to keep the account around just in case, make sure you’re not using the same password for multiple online accounts. This is one of the leading ways social media accounts get stolen. You should also routinely change the passwords on your accounts. And definitely enable two-factor authentication on your accounts. These aren’t guarantees that your accounts will be 100% secure, but they will go a long way in discouraging con artists from hijacking your accounts.

    As far as the puppy scam goes, you should never buy a puppy or any other animal without seeing it in person first. Many puppy scammers just steal pictures of puppies off the internet to use in their advertisements. Even if you’re shown a puppy on Zoom or FaceTime, it doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t be scammed. Shop for a puppy within driving distance and never order from out of state, and never make any payment over apps like Zelle, Venmo, or Cash App, since they’re preferred by scammers. Instead of trying to buy a puppy online, think about adopting one from your local shelter.

  • Geebo 9:00 am on December 12, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , puppy scam, , , , US Attorney's Office,   

    Scam Round Up: Taylor Swift ticket scam and more 

    By Greg Collier

    This week in the Round Up, we’re going over some familiar scams with a slight twist to each of them.


    As we keep saying, the most common scam out there is probably the arrest warrant scam. Not a day goes by where we don’t see this scam in the headlines from somewhere in the country. Typically, scammers will pose as your local police department when they call a victim. The scammers will then demand money over an arrest warrant that doesn’t actually exist. More often than not, the scammers will tell the victim they’ve missed jury duty. In many jurisdictions, missing jury duty is no longer an arrestable offense, although you can be fined. However, you would receive a notice in the mail and not an officer calling you on the phone.

    Anyway, some scammers have turned up the pressure on their victims by claiming to be from a much higher law enforcement office than your local police department. Some scammers are claiming to be calling from the US Attorney’s Office, demanding their victims pay ‘legal fees’. The caller ID On these calls is spoofed to make it appear like the calls are coming from the US Attorney’s Office.

    Always keep in mind, no law enforcement office will ever call you demanding money. That goes for the smallest police departments in the most rural towns, up to and including the higher echelons of law enforcement like the FBI.


    There’s actually some good news on the puppy scam front. According to a recent report from the Better Business Bureau, puppy scams are actually on the decline. We’re specifically talking about the scam where victims pay for a puppy they find online, only to find out the puppy doesn’t exist. In many instances of this scam, once the scammer receives the initial payment, they’ll try to get more money from the victim by asking for more money for things like delivery insurance or special transport crates.

    And that’s where the bad news comes in. The reason puppy scams are on the decline is that scammers are taking more money from victims than before.

    If you’re in the market for a puppy, do not send any money to anyone without seeing the puppy in person first. Try to stick to local breeders or your local shelter.


    There’s no bigger star in today’s music industry than Taylor Swift. Tickets for her latest concert tour went on sale back in November, and quickly sold out. If you’re still looking to snag some tickets to this premium event, be careful where you try to get them from.

    A New Jersey woman thought she was buying tickets from another member of a Facebook group she belonged to. The woman sent $1500 through Zelle, for the tickets. She never received the tickets, and the scammer kept asking her for more money. If scammers can fool someone once, they’ll often try to get more money out of their victims.

    If you’re trying to buy tickets to any event that is in high demand, stick to reputable retailers. Also, never send money through Zelle to someone you don’t know personally.

  • Geebo 9:00 am on December 2, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , puppy scam, ,   

    Buying a puppy for Christmas? Watch out for these scams. 

    Buying a puppy for Christmas? Watch out for these scams.

    By Greg Collier

    Before we get started, we’d like to say that if anyone is thinking about adding a puppy to your family this holiday season, please keep in mind that doing so is a long-time commitment. Pets like this are not meant to be impulse buys and can live up to 20 years. Pet owners should always make sure they’re ready for that kind of dedication.

    Once that kind of decision is made, there are a number of pitfalls a prospective pet owner needs to be aware of before making their purchase, as the online world is full of puppy scams.

    For one, pet buyers should be wary of websites that claim to have puppies at below-market prices. A family in Richmond, Virginia, thought they were paying $700 to a website for a Yorkie puppy. They paid the supposed breeder with Walmart gift cards. When someone asks for payment in gift cards, that’s a major red flag that this could be a scam, as once the money is gone from the gift cards it can rarely ever be reclaimed.

    After the family paid the $700, the scammers came back and asked for more money. Typically, scammers will claim they need additional payment for things like shipping insurance or a specialty crate for transfer.

    Anybody can create a website claiming to be selling puppies using pictures stolen off the internet. To prevent yourself from being scammed by websites like this, you can do a whois search on the domain name to see how long the website has been around. If it’s only been around for a short amount of time, that’s a pretty good indication of a scam. You can also do a reverse image search to see if the pictures used on the website can be found anywhere else.

    A family from Greensboro, North Carolina befell a similar fate recently. A friend of theirs on social media said they were giving away puppies for a rehoming fee of $100. The family sent the fee through Venmo, but the friend claimed the payment didn’t go through and kept asking for the fee. It turns out that the friend’s Facebook page had been hijacked by scammers. It’s recommended, in this instance, to talk to the friend on the phone before sending any money. Like gift cards, once you send money through apps like Venmo, it’s gone.

    As always, when it comes to adding a new puppy to the family, we recommend only shopping locally and through reputable breeders. Contain your search to a reasonable driving distance, and do your due diligence when researching the breeder themselves. Check with the Better Business Bureau for complaints about the breeder.

    However, even more so than that, we ask that you consider adopting a puppy or even an adult dog from your local shelter. Shelter dogs are only there through no fault of their own and can be obtained at little to no cost.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on November 4, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , puppy scam,   

    Family terrorized because of puppy scam 

    Family terrorized because of puppy scam

    By Greg Collier

    A family in Virginia has found out the hard way that scammers don’t care who their scams affect. The scammers are using the address of an elderly woman who lives with her daughter in a puppy scam. Ads are being posted online, promising Yorkie puppies for $200. Yorkie puppies typically range in price from $800 to $1500 from reputable breeders. If you want one that came from champion stock, you could be looking at a $10,000 price tag.

    The scammers would collect the $200 from their victims using Cash App, and would then send them the address of this poor woman in Virginia for them to pick up a puppy. To make the scam seem more legitimate, the scammers even had a copy of the woman’s driver’s license that they would show their victims.

    This is not new in the puppy scam world. Typically, when a victim shows up to a home and finds out they’ve been scammed, they’re heartbroken, but they leave realizing the homeowner is a victim in this too. Unfortunately, in this instance, the family has had some people become belligerent, and have threatened the woman when they find out there are no puppies there.

    It seems that the reason the scammers have a copy of the woman’s driver’s license is because she fell for a scam previously. She was asked to upload her driver’s license to verify her identity in a Cash App giveaway scam.

    Every time the fake Facebook account advertising the puppies gets taken down, a new one pops up, resulting in more people going to the woman’s home.

    Unfortunately, there’s not much the family can do at this point outside of posting a sign in front of their home that there are no puppies there.

    However, you can avoid falling victim to a scam like this by being protective of your personal information. Your identity could be easily stolen if you were to upload it online. If a stranger asks you to upload your license for whatever reason, there is a good chance that you’re being scammed.

    As far as buying puppies go, avoid places like Marketplace and craigslist. This is where puppy scammers flourish. Here at Geebo.com, we stopped accepting pet listings to not only help our users avoid scams like this, but to help cut down on abuses like puppy mills.

    If you’re looking to add a puppy to your family, do your research and don’t act on impulse. Always use a local breeder, so you can visit the puppies before making a purchase. And as always, we strongly recommend adopting a puppy from your local shelter. Shelter dogs are only there through no fault of their own and can be obtained at little to no cost.

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