You are looking for a sweet puppy to add to your family, so you go online and search for some local breeders but can’t find any. There are some websites that shows pictures of adorable puppies, exactly what you are looking for, but they are far away…how can you tell if this is a legit site or another puppy scammer trying to get your money?
Here are 5 ways to know:
1. Credit Cards / Financing – Puppy scammers do not accept credit cards or will be able to offer you to finance your new puppy. They will try to have you send the money via Westren Union, make a bank deposit or other ways but they do not accept credit cards or do financing simply because they know you can file a chargeback and easily get your money back if you will not get the puppy. It is still a bit scary to give your credit card information to a stranger over the phone but at least you know they can’t keep the money if you don’t get the pup. Financing is much more secured but usually you will pay a bit more on the interest. In both cases, if the company you are dealing with is offering you to pay by a credit card or to finance your new puppy you can know for sure they are a legit place and not an online puppy scammer.
2. Current Pictures / FaceTime – Puppy scammers don’t actually have the puppies they advertise. The just use nice puppy pictures they find online and use them as their own. Therefor, if you ask them to send more pictures of the puppy or tell them you want to see the puppy on FaceTime or other video call they will not be able to. A legit place will have no problem sending you a current picture with the date and your name on a note if you ask them to. You should always do that in any case where you can’t physically go and see the puppy before you get it. It is also a good idea to do that even if you know the place is legit. This way you will be able to see the current size of the puppy and learn a little about the characteristics to make sure it is close to what you are looking for.
3. Reviews – Search online for some reviews about the place or person you are thinking of getting the puppy from. Almost all legit places will some sort of reviews on Google, Yelp or other social media sites. Even if the place has lots of negative reviews from people complaining about the size, health, or characteristics of the puppies at least you know these people actually got a puppy there. Keep in mind that most happy costumers don’t have the need of going online and submitting a positive review unlike unhappy people who think they can get a little revenge by submitting a nasty review just because life didn’t happen exactly the way they expected. Don’t pass on a nice puppy because of negative reviews, contact the seller and see for yourself. On the other hand, searching for the person or business name might bring up reviews from people clearly saying this place or person are a scam and they sent money and never received a puppy. In this case definitely stay away and look for a puppy somewhere else.
4. The Vet – Every legit breeder or pet store works with a vet on a regular base to get their dogs and puppies checked, buy medicine and other supplies and issue health certificates as required by all airline companies. Ask the person or business you are getting the puppy from to provide you with their vets name, telephone number and address. Search for the vet online to see this place exist and don’t hesitate to call. The vet should also be able to tell you about the breeder or pet store, their dogs and puppies, their facility and how they take care of their puppies. Online puppy scammers don’t actually have any puppies and will not be able to provide you with this kind of information.
5. Price – What if I told you I want to sell you my house for $5? Or my brand new Mercedes Benz for $1,000? Will you believe it? Off course not. So why would you think someone will want to give away or sell their perfect puppies for a price which is much lower than what you see everywhere else? Online puppy scammers will use tricks like: I need to leave the country or my child is allergic or I got it as a gift from a friend or other excuses to justify the low price of their puppies. It doesn’t mean that the higher price the better the puppy you are going to get but the rule of thumb is: If it is too good to be true it is probably not true. Pure breed and designer puppies that are being properly taken care of and don’t have any defects or health issues will usually range between $750 – $6,000 If you can’t afford it try to look for a place that accept credit cards or offer financing but don’t fall for the cheap price offered by online puppy scammers. You will lose the little money you have and never get a puppy.