Steer clear of puppy scams
2021-03-22 13:44 PDT
In the last year, with so many people working from home as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, it seemed like the perfect time to bring home a new puppy to lavish with love. However, there was also a rise in scams targeting prospective pet owners capitalizing on the demand for puppies.
If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. The RCMP is warning people thinking of getting a new puppy to be cautious of some online ads.
What police were seeing is that the seller will post an ad online for a puppy. When the victim inquires about the dog, they are asked to pay a deposit. Once the money has been sent, the victim is given a fake address to pick up the dog and, at that point, the suspect stops responding.
Police are also seeing ads for puppies that need to be rehomed immediately because an emergency has befallen the poster of the ad. In this instance, when the victim inquires about the dog, they are told a heartbreaking story and then told the puppy will need to be shipped to its new home and so the victim is asked to pay for transportation costs, as well as any insurance, and vaccination costs, often costing the victim thousands of dollars.
RCMP urge online shoppers and puppy lovers to educate themselves and seriously consider adopting animals in person. Do your research on the breeders to ensure they are reputable. Do not pay by sending cash, money transfers, or money orders.
Some tips to help you avoid scammers:
- If you are in the market for a pet, consider adopting one from a reputable rescue organization or contacting a registered breeder with the Canadian Kennel Club, and whenever possible going to meet the breeder and puppies.
- If the person is claiming to be a breeder, ask for the breeder registration information and verify the information.
- If someone is selling a purebred dog at a price that’s too good to be true, it is likely a scam.
- If an ad says the poster is giving a dog away for
freebut then asks you to pay for travel and other additional costs, it is likely a scam.
- If the person is selling an animal, ask for the pet’s veterinarian clinic and call to confirm that the pet is a patient there.
- Ask for the seller’s phone number. Call and ask specific questions about what the person is selling. If they don’t give a phone number, it could be a sign of a scam.
- Ask for multiple photos of the puppy. Compare them to ensure the dog is the same in all photos and that they are not stock photos.
For more information on how you can protect yourself, visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
If you have been a victim of fraud or cybercrime, please contact your local police. If you want to report an instance of a scam, fraud or cybercrime, whether you are a victim or not, please report it to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
Sgt. Kris Clark
Media Relations Officer
Federal Serious & Organized Crime (FSOC)
14200 Green Timbers Way, Surrey, B.C. V3T 6P3
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