10 signs of dog scams (and how to avoid getting caught)
Everyone agrees that adopting a dog in a shelter is more commendable. But if you’re determined to buy a puppy or a special breed, keep in mind that online pet scams have increased over the past two decades.
Better Business Bureau (BBB) a conducted research on animal scams on Craigslist (as well as other similar sites that sell dogs), and found that 12.5% of online shopping scams were reported specifically associated with the sale of dogs, with thousands of customer accounts reporting it.
The review includes a variety of stories:
- A man sent money to a Husky breeder, but never received the dog.
- The same happened to a breeder of British Bulldogs, but buyers recognized the fraud before sending any money.
- A woman discovered an ad on the internet to adopt a residential dog at no cost and she just had to cover the cost of transportation, which she did, but prices continued to rise (additional fee for faster shipping , animal health, etc.) and continued to pay until Delta Airlines informed him that he had been scammed. The culprits were sued by Delta.
Because animal sales are unregulated, most sales scams are predominantly found on the net. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) focused on fixing this issue through the pet rule, but it has not yet been passed.
There are 3 ways to pet pets online:
- Fake breeder sites that you find during an Internet search;
- The site ads like Craigslist or eBay;
- Dog scams on Facebook where scammers disguise themselves as real people selling a dog “they want to find a new home”.
What might a Facebook scam article look like:
Here’s an example of an email a scammer might send:
Scammers are looking for people who want a dog, but don’t want to pay the price of a breeder, which ranges from $ 2,000 to $ 10,000 or more. They offer puppies of the same breed as breeders.
The scammer will make up his story about why they are asking for another payment. After the victim pays and as long as they pay, the bullshit will last. This website describes the procedure in more detail.
Important facts on dog scam research:
- Scammers often target people coming out in their teens or twenties;
- At least 80% of ads and online pet sales sites are knockoffs;
- Western Union and MoneyGram are the main banks used by fraudsters;
- Most victims were in the United States, Canada and Australia;
- The U.S. states with the most scams are California, Texas, Florida, and New York;
- Most of the swindlers came from Cameroon, West Africa;
- The typical amount lost to victims is $ 300, but sometimes it can be as high as $ 5,000;
- Many well -known breeds are likely to be discovered in these bogus ads (e.g. Yorkshire Terriers or even French Bulldogs) because demand is high and they are harder / more expensive to buy;
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) it is also estimated that only 10% of victims will file a complaint. Therefore, even the number of complaints is almost 40,000 in 2017, there are probably many more dog scams every day.
Here’s how to identify them.
10 proof of dog scams
1. Amazing Price!
You can’t believe your eyes when you find the price and photos. Usually a dog of this breed costs you a lot of money, but the breeder’s site or advertisement provides the exact same dog for only $ 500.
2. Reduced Or Reduced Tariffs
Some reputable breeders actually sell dogs that they think should not be promoted. On the website or in the advertisement, if you notice that the price of the purebred dog is low, there is a very high possibility that it is a scam.
3. The Dog Is Free (But You Pay For Delivery)
This is a common technique. The seller says he wants to move the dog and you also need to spend money on shipping They will ask you to send them money via Western Union or MoneyGram (or use a prepaid debit card), to deliver the dog to you . Transactions cannot be tracked. They will also keep sending you emails about additional costs e.g. Faster / safer transportation etc.
4. No refund, return or warranty against health problems
Famous breeders trust and accept responsibility for their own puppies. They can help you with whatever you need or return the dog when there is a problem with him. A fraudster will not do this.
A reputable breeder can tell you that a dog’s pedigree is easy to track.
5. You cannot contact the seller by phone
Communication with scams is via text or e-mail, each of which can be used to hide a true identity. However, if someone agrees to talk on the phone, it does not mean that it is not a scam. The method goes through an interview.
6. The price will increase after the deposit
With the reputable breeder, you can be assured of the price you offer, all the ‘extras’ detailed before filing and clearly stated in writing. Along with scammers, they often include these ‘extras’, such as astronomical transport costs of more than € 800, travel insurance of € 1,000, higher transportation and delivery costs from the airport to door of your door.
Be aware that at airports to recover animals, you need appropriate documentation, and this is done on site.
7. Refund on receipt
Sometimes the “seller” will guarantee a partial refund of shipping or insurance charges on safe delivery of the animal. This is actually a hook, which will make you feel more protected and you agree to pay the fees. By saying that neglecting to pay the price for bringing the dog puts the dog at risk, they are threatening you to have to report.
8. Sad, sad, sad story
This is common with Facebook ads. The story of why an individual sells or seeks to move their puppy or adult dog is very complex and heartbreaking. And it only keeps changing with job loss, family death, or moving pets. Unless you have a way to prove it, be careful.
9. Images that seem to come from somewhere else
Among the counterfeit seller detection methods, it is common for them to use photos printed elsewhere. Scammers use dog images from Google Image Search.
10. Same seller with different breeds for sale
It can happen at any time, but you see it when people are looking to touch a family, emotionally. Breeders are committed to a single breed, but breeds can be sold by a scammer. This will definitely be the same ad / website, or different performance (but you can search their email address to see if they have submitted other ads of different races).
10 Ways To Avoid Craigslist Dog Scams
How can you protect yourself from scams when buying a dog or pet on the Internet? The two best ways are to adopt a dog from a shelter or buy from a reputable breeder (here is a list of American breeders). Here are some tips on avoiding puppy scams on Facebook or Craigslist.
Learn about other applicable regulations and your race. The dog seller will ask you because he cares about his own animals. For example, for Pit Bulls, the breeder should be aware that this variation is not allowed by some cities, and before you sell one, he or she wants to know more about you. Keep looking for lots of details about the breeder / seller on the internet and check out Better Business Bureau or additional testimonies.
Talk to pet owners. You can visit a vendor near you or go to a shelter. It is possible to collect advice from people who are passionate about dogs and willing to offer you references.
3. Trust the AKC
AKC brings together actions and testimonials of information from breeders across the country. For anyone looking to buy a different breed, this is definitely a great place to find a breeder.
4. Local phone vets
You’ll still need a vet, if you don’t have one. While asking for their advice on which dog sellers they recommend, you can talk to vets. They are a fantastic source of information as they work with the dogs offered in these areas.
5. Face to face
Don’t buy a dog until you find it and complete the paperwork with the breeder. Go there, to see if the place is up to standard.
6. They may ask you to go there
Some breeders do, but not all. As soon as they sell you a dog, they may want to see how the dog treats other pets, your neighborhood, and family members. This is a plus for you and it is also an indicator of a good salesperson.
7. Don’t buy online
Unless it is possible to travel to meet the dog on the internet, there are dozens of websites but after researching 80% of them are scams. Reputable breeders have many other forms of advertising and waiting lists.
8. Get referrals and use it
People believe that because references are given it is a great choice. Use these references and call them. Ask questions and wait for answers.
9. Buy a credit card
Avoid any bank transfers. Payment cards are useful if you’ve been scammed because you can stop a charge.
Please report it if you believe you are contacting a dog or pet purchase scam. Here are some places where you can help prevent scams and achieve this:
It is also possible to share this information with veterinarians, local animal associations, or other sites or Facebook. Word of mouth is a powerful tool. You can help your family or someone else to avoid losing money and experiencing extreme frustration.