May is National Pet Month. Puppy scams are on the rise, so Luke Frey of the Connecticut Better Business Bureau is making sure you do not fall victim.
Since January 2019, Connecticut consumers claim to have lost nearly $6,000 in online puppy scams via BBB Scam Tracker.
How to avoid a potential scam:
· Don’t buy a pet without seeing it in person. Do an internet search of the picture of the pet you are looking to purchase. If the same picture appears on multiple websites, you may be dealing with a scam.
· Never pay a stranger through a money order, Western Union or Moneygram. Always use a credit card in case you need to dispute the charges. If the seller demands payment through other methods that you don’t feel comfortable with, you may want to find another seller.
· Make sure prices make sense. Research prices for the breed you are interested in adopting. If someone is advertising a purebred dog for free or at a deep discount, it could be a scam.
· Research the seller and obtain references. Visit bbb.org to check the reputation of an online seller or breeder. Ask the breeder for references and contact people who have bought puppies from them in the past.
· Consider adopting or buying locally. Visit your local shelter and see if rescuing a dog may be right for you. When you purchase an animal from out-of-state without seeing it first, there is no way to know how healthy or young it is, or even if the pet exists at all.