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Scammers take advantage of people’s love of puppies to rip them off

Posted at 8:15 AM, Jan 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-15 08:15:24-05

RICHMOND, Va -- Scammers are now preying on their victims' love of puppies to con them out of their money.

According to the Better Business Bureau, scammers create a fake website, posing as a breeder. The website appears to offer puppies for sale, or even for free. They say the puppies are up-to-date on their vaccines.

When you email the "breeder," they say the puppy is available. All you need to do is wire the money to them, then they'll "ship" the puppy to you.

The whole thing is a lie: there is no puppy, and once you wire the money, it's gone.

The Better Business Bureau says the scam artists built the website using pictures and information from the websites of actual breeders. The testimonials you also see on the websites are also fake.

Protect yourself from the puppy scam

There are several ways to protect yourself against the 'puppy scam:'

  • Visit the breeder in person
  • Pick up the puppy directly from the kennel
  • Pay with a check or credit card
  • Check the website: copy text from the website and paste it into a search engine to see if other websites come up with the exact same text
  • Talk to other customers who have done business with the breeder