The Ohio Attorney General wants to warn people to avoid puppy scams as several consumers have reported losings hundreds of dollars trying to buy a puppy online.
They have received about 40 puppy scam complaints in 2017, with an average reported loss of about $600.
In a typical puppy scam, a consumer finds an ad for a puppy online. The consumer communicates with the seller, agrees to buy the puppy, and wires a few hundred dollars to have the puppy delivered.
“Con artists are very good at what they do,” Attorney General DeWine said in a news release. “They lure people in and then demand more and more money. Someone might pay $400 for a puppy, but then the con artist comes back and says there’s also an $800 crate fee. The person is already invested in the puppy and is more likely to pay. That’s why education and prevention are so important.”
The ads often are found on websites offering a specific type of dog, such as a Teacup Maltese, Shih Tzu, or Pocket Beagle, and the site’s name may include words like “adorable pups,” “cutest puppies,” or the name of the supposed breeder. Phony ads also may be posted on Craigslist or social media sites.
According to the Attorney General office, in some cases, if consumers refuse to pay, the con artist threatens to turn them in for animal abuse or neglect.
Signs of a puppy scam include:
The Attorney General office said it goes beyond advertising puppies as con artists also may pretend to offer kittens, parrots, or other pets.
To avoid scams:
Copyright 2017 WXIX. All rights reserved.