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Buying a Puppy? Beware of New Scam
An important warning for anyone looking to buy a puppy
The troubleshooter explains there's a scam that's sweeping the nation.

Joy Schick's Yorkshire Terrier "Lord Fredrick" was part of the family but at 17 years-old he got sick and had to be put to sleep. Eventually, Joy decided to get a new puppy, but nixed her neighborhood pet shop. "We just thought their prices were a little out of range. They wanted $3,000 for a Yorkie," Joy said.
Then one day while reading the newspaper classifieds, Joy stumbled upon an ad offering a purebred Yorkie for $400.

There was no phone number listed  only an e-mail address. Joy quickly started corresponding, making arrangements to buy the pup. She had no idea how close she was to falling prey to a growing scheme.

The scammer's post ads in newspapers or set up websites selling purebreds out-of-state at discounted prices. They generally only correspond through e-mail and ask buyers to wire money.

The funds are sent, but the puppy is never delivered. The money is gone for good.

Legitimate breeders like Sharon Pearson says they're even victims of this scam as one legit breeder discovered pictures of her pups in other ads.

"I found a bunch of my dogs' pictures that had been stolen off my website. I felt kind of vandalized, you know, that people were using my pictures to scam people for money."

There are warning signs. The American Kennel Club says fake breeders generally don't accept personal checks and demand wired money.

Another red flag is promising to deliver a puppy within 24-hours. "The puppies have to be at least eight weeks old before they can send them to their new owner. So, anyone that says they have a variety of different breeds ready to go within 24-hours, it's highly unlikely there's an actual litter behind that," Lisa Peterson explained.

The AKC warns to be wary of breeders who won't speak with you on the phone and are offering deeply discounted prices. It's also important to ask for references.

If you do get scammed, you may be out of luck recovering your cash. While many of these so-called breeders say they're based in this country, but in reality mostly operate out of Africa, making law enforcement difficult.
 

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Yes, I've heard of this scam especially with Bulldogs. I'm surprised she was getting the puppy for so cheap because I know for bulldogs they usually ask for about 1000 to 18000. I have always prefered to go and look at a kennel myself before I even committ to purchasing a puppy from someone. (Not that I have done a lot of purchasing) LOL. Only 2. Zodian was a rescue from my brother, and Charity was already a senior when I rescued her.
 

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I can't imagine falling for it either but I guess some do. I've have to see the pup or know for certain it was a reputable breeder.
But people fall for stuff like this everyday.
 

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There is a standing ad in our Classified section every Sunday now, warning people not to wire money for a pet. I guess this really is an epidemic. People are just sucky sometimes.
 

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It's still hard for me to imagine someone falling for a scheme like this. But I know some do. And it is so sad that people are hosed like this. I do not know how theives can sleep at night.
 
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