How to Avoid an Online Puppy Scam

How to Avoid an Online Puppy Scam

We are all eager to bring a four-legged friend into our family, but sometimes that eagerness can cost us. Puppy scams abound on the internet, luring people in with fake photos and listings in order to rob them of their money. It has always been a serious problem, but it has become even worse in recent months. According to the Better Business Bureau, puppy scams have skyrocketed in the wake of the coronavirus, and consumers need to be on the lookout for questionable listings. 

What is a puppy scam? 

A puppy scam is when someone posts a fake listing online of a new litter that is up for adoption. The litter, of course, doesn’t exist, and the individual often uses fake photos in order to convince people that the puppies are real. People will then send the individual their money, but they will never receive a puppy in return. Many puppy scams, especially for dachshunds, are found on Craigslist, but just as many try to pose as reputable breeders with Facebook pages and websites. 

How to avoid one 

It is easy for someone to fall for a puppy scam. However, by doing your homework and keeping an eye out for these tell-tale signs, you can avoid falling into the trap: 

  • Stock photos or copycat photos are one of the first signs of a fake listing. Do a Google Image Search to see if a photo is from a stock image site or if it has been used for different listings. 
  • If the price is too good to be true, then it likely is. A purebred dog sold at a discounted price will almost always be a fraud. 
  • Poor communication or no phone calls is a serious red flag. If a seller only wants to communicate by email, then they’re likely trying to hide something. Always talk to your breeder on the phone or by video chat before buying a puppy. 
  • If the seller asks you to wire payment or pay through a gift card, then it is unlikely you will ever see the puppy that you are paying for. Only use credible payment methods like credit cards or PayPal when buying a puppy.

If you spot a puppy scam, report it to the Federal Trade Commission either online or by phone at 877-382-4357. You can also report it to your local State Attorney General’s office or to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).

At the end of the day, you want to get your puppy from a reputable breeder, not from someone claiming to be one on CraigsList. At Patti’s Dachshund Farm, we are a full-service breeder of Miniature Dachshunds that is known nation-wide. To learn more about us and our puppies, contact us today!