PUPPY BUYERS BARK UP THE WRONG TREE
January 19, 2012
Legitimate-looking websites and classified ads entice pet shoppers with cute puppy pictures, detailed descriptions, and below-average prices. When shoppers contact sellers and attempt to make purchases, they are directed to wire money—typically overseas—to complete paperwork and secure shipping. Buyers then receive emails that contain shipping receipts, animal crate numbers, flight numbers and times, and other seemingly genuine information.
Unfortunately, there are no puppies; and flight information and courier names are rarely verifiable. BBB reports indicate that these scammers will go so far as to claim that animals have arrived locally, but cannot be released until further processing fees are paid—by wire transfer.
One Virginia-based consumer wired $300 to Cameroon for two English Bulldogs that were to be delivered to his home via an Alaska-based moving company, but became suspicious after receiving a second invoice. He then called the moving company, which had no knowledge of the transaction.
When purchasing puppies online, there are several things to consider:
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