Fake pet sellers are duping puppy lovers with a scam that promises them adorable pets that don’t exist

Scammers are trying to trick people with puppies.

caption
Scammers are trying to trick people with puppies.
source
Joey Hadden/Business Insider
  • The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is warning people about scams involving puppies this holiday season.
  • Complaints regarding fake pet and puppy scams have surged, according to the BBB’s scam tracker.
  • Multiple people have said that they have encountered fake ads with adorable puppies for sale. People who order the pets through the scammers are hit with a series of requests and complications, and the puppy is often never delivered to them.
  • “Scammers love to try to take advantage of people when they are in high emotion situation,” the BBB warned in its alert. “The excitement of buying a new pet can cloud good judgment, and victims can be hurt financially and emotionally when they realize they have lost their money along with hopes for a new pet.”
  • Sign up for Business Insider’s retail newsletter, The Drive-Thru.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

This holiday season, be wary of scammers trying to trick you with cute puppies.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is warning people about internet scams that advertise puppies and other pets for sale.

Customers who are looking to buy a pet online are susceptible to these scam ads, the BBB warns. Scammers generally claim to be pet breeders, sellers, or owners, and they push buyers to wire money for the animal through different services. Once the money is sent, the buyers are then informed of multiple complications regarding the shipping and asked for more money to pay for it. In the end, the pet is usually never delivered and the customer loses their money.

“Scammers love to try to take advantage of people when they are in high emotion situation,” the BBB warned in their alert. “The excitement of buying a new pet can cloud good judgment, and victims can be hurt financially and emotionally when they realize they have lost their money along with hopes for a new pet.”

The BBB has been tracking this issue since 2017 and says reports of this type of scam have increased 39% since then. Recently, complaints regarding fake pet and puppy scams have surged, according to the BBB’s scam tracker.

The BBB advises people to make sure they see any pet in person before sending money to anyone and to check out the seller’s website on petscams.com.

For more information about how to protect against puppy scams, visit the BBB’s website.