Beware of Puppy Scamming: What You Need to Know to Protect Yourself

In the world of pet ownership, finding the perfect furry companion can be both exciting and challenging. Unfortunately, the growing demand for pets, especially puppies, has given rise to a sinister practice called “puppy scamming.” This deceptive tactic preys on unsuspecting pet seekers, leaving them heartbroken and out of pocket. In this post, we’ll explore what puppy scamming is, how it works, and what you can do to protect yourself from falling victim to these scams.

What is Puppy Scamming?

Puppy scamming is a type of online fraud that targets people looking to purchase or adopt a puppy. Scammers create fake advertisements or websites, posing as legitimate breeders, rescue organizations, or individuals offering puppies for sale or adoption. They use stolen images and fabricated information to make their ads appear convincing, often offering popular or rare breeds at incredibly low prices to lure in potential victims.

learn how puppy scamming works to avoid falling for their tricks
Photo by Tanya Gorelova on

How Puppy Scamming Works

To avoid a puppy scam, you first need to understand how puppy scamming works. Here’s how the process usually goes:

  1. Baiting the victim: Scammers post ads on classified websites, social media platforms, or create fake breeder websites to attract potential buyers.
  2. Communication: Once an interested buyer contacts them, the scammer communicates primarily through email or text messages, often avoiding phone calls or video chats.
  3. Payment: The scammer requests an upfront payment, typically through untraceable methods like wire transfers, gift cards, or digital currencies.
  4. Additional fees: Once the initial payment is made, the scammer may fabricate additional costs, such as shipping fees, insurance, or specialized crates, demanding further payments from the victim.
  5. Disappearance: After receiving the payments, the scammer becomes unresponsive, leaving the victim without a puppy and with a significant financial loss.

Protecting Yourself from Puppy Scams

Take the following steps to protect yourself from puppy scams as you’re searching for your new furry friend:

  1. Research the seller: Look for reviews, testimonials, and contact information. Verify the breeder’s or organization’s legitimacy through official channels or breed-specific clubs.
  2. Check for image plagiarism: Use reverse image search tools like Google Images to see if the puppy photos have been taken from other websites.
  3. Communicate with the seller: Request a video call to see the puppy and its living conditions, and ask for proof of identity or additional photos.
  4. Meet in person: If possible, arrange to meet the seller and the puppy in person before committing to the purchase.
  5. Beware of unusual payment methods: Legitimate sellers will typically accept secure and traceable payment methods. Be cautious of those requesting payment through gift cards, wire transfers, or cryptocurrencies.
  6. Trust your instincts: If the deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. Be cautious of prices that are significantly lower than average or breeders who claim to have multiple rare breeds available.
short coated white dog on white textile on puppy scamming website
Photo by Daniel Bendig on

A Heartbreaking Experience

Puppy scamming is a heartbreaking and financially devastating experience. By being aware of the warning signs and taking the necessary precautions, you can protect yourself from falling victim to these cruel scams. Always prioritize thorough research, open communication, and secure transactions when looking for a new furry family member.

Leave a Reply