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How to avoid being scammed when buying a puppy


Now 8 months old, our pup Rosie is busy tearing up the house and melting our hearts with her sweetness. We vette breeders, check and double check for background and legitimacy.

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I was lucky to have done my homework and dodged the obvious scams we encountered early in the puppy buying process from unscrupulous pet scammers that abound online.

The Better Business Bureau warns that 80% of online sponsored pet ads may be false. With countless online scams popping up every day, it’s a shocking statistic for pet lovers to hear that 35% of recent online scams involve our furry loved ones.

If you’re looking to bring a new pet, especially a dog, into your home, be sure to keep an eye out for these warning signs so you don’t get ripped off.

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Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson showing off his puppy for the camera.
(FoxNews)

Whether you’re adopting or buying, scammers prey on the many families looking to bring home a new dog. While they typically strike during popular holidays, these scams are on the rise thanks to the increased popularity of pandemic puppies. The BBB now recommends how you can avoid getting scammed when it comes to buying pets.

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Person enjoying the day with puppies.

Person enjoying the day with puppies.
(FoxNews)

Steps to follow to avoid being scammed

1. Research the breed

Before you buy a dog, especially if it’s a more expensive or rarer breed, be sure to do your research. Get a general idea of ​​the prices these dogs typically go for. If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is. A puppy that is sold in blockbusters is probably not a real puppy, or the puppy was born in horrible conditions.

2. Reverse search of the image of your dog.

If you’ve been sent a picture of the puppy you’ve been told might be yours, do a quick image search online. Look up the breed of your dog, and even the description. Scammers often reuse the same photos.

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A computer screenshot of a Google search for dogs.

A computer screenshot of a Google search for dogs.
(FoxNews)

3. See the pet in person

Before you pay money to an owner or breeder, make sure you meet the dog in person. If for some reason you can’t meet in person, try setting up a video call. The scammers won’t even respond to these requests, so you’ll have a better chance of weeding out anyone who doesn’t actually have a pup.

4. Check PetScams.com

PetScams.com offers a list from known pet scam websites. Always check here to make sure you haven’t fallen for a common puppy scam website. New websites are added daily.

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halloween dog

halloween dog
(Nick La Monica)

What to do if you are scammed when buying or adopting a pet

Scammers are finding new ways and creating new websites every day to try to take advantage of hopeful pet owners. If you think you are the victim of a pet scam, be sure to follow these steps.

1. Contact your bank

If you provided personal information or sent money, be sure to contact your bank or credit card company to report possible fraud.

2. Report to PetScams.com

You can submit reports here if you have been scammed by a pet websiteand if you have money transferred when buying or adopting a pet that turned out to be fake.

3. Report to BBB

The Better Business Bureau has a scam trackerwhere you can search and report pet scams.

4. Report to the FTC

The Federal Trade Commission collects information on all kinds of scams, including pet scams.

While pets can be a happy addition to families that choose them, make sure you don’t fall for any tricks while being distracted by a cute, furry face.

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Here's where to go for more information on cyber scams.

Here’s where to go for more information on cyber scams.
(FoxNews)

For more scam stories you should know about, visit CyberGuy.com/Scams.

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