Beware of new puppy buying scam

Beware of new puppy buying scam”

Most online listings for puppies are fraudulent ads from scammers, according to a report released Tuesday by the Better Business Bureau. "This is a highly organized, worldwide scheme focused on one thing - stealing people's money".

According to a new report by the Better Business Bureau, at least 80 percent of the results from a Google search for puppy sales are part of a scheme originating in West Africa that is drawing in US consumers with photos of cute puppies.

McConnell said another red flag is when the bogus puppy sellers continue to ask for more and more money, blaming it on shipping and insurance costs, or flight delays.

Michael Wilborn of suburban Chicago said his daughter almost paid $650 for a cuddly English bulldog puppy until she did a reverse image search on Google and realized the puppy's photo was a copy of a Pinterest picture from 2008.

A consumer from Oakland, California, said she lost almost $1,000 - and could have lost much more - after agreeing to pay to have a teacup Yorkie shipped from Baltimore to her home.

He said scams can be avoided by contacting the BBB before paying, or by searching the company's details with the word "scam" and running reverse Google image searches of any photos of the promised puppy.

Similar stories have come from consumers across the United States and in numerous other countries.

ABC News tried to reach the DeltaPetTransit website operators for comment; the phone number was not functioning and messages left by email and via their website were not returned.

If you have been a victim of such a scam, file a report with the BBB and local law enforcement.

While victims can be of any age, reports show that those most susceptible to the scheme are in their late teens or early 20s.

Doing an internet search of the advertised picture may help identify fraudulent offers.

If possible, try to pick up the puppy in person. Instead pay by credit card in case you need to challenge the purchase later. Such pets are vaccinated and in good health before adoption. You learn something about them and get to know their personality.

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