Adopting a puppy can be an important decision for anyone. Puppies are not just pets, but a trusted companion for life. Those cute paws, innocent eyes, and mischievous actions can melt any heart. It is quite obvious you would just want to bring a pup home, out of impulse, seldom realizing that your love for puppies can get you scammed?
According to American Kennel Club, in the past three years, almost 10,000 cases of puppy scams and complaints have emerged. It is quite sad considering the direct effect it has on the pet adoption rate and the monetary loss faced by prospective pet owners. Despite the necessary measures taken by the authorities, one must be careful of such rackets.
What Is A Puppy Scam?
Today’s isolated lifestyle motivates people to seek a dog’s unconditional love and companionship. As the puppy adoption rates have gone higher, so have the adoption scams. And these scams have grown even more in the online business world.
All these fraudsters need is a platform to lure potential pet parents. They post puppy pictures and fake feedback bragging about the successful deals. If you are not careful, you will easily pay for the puppy that you may never receive.
Scammers can use online classified and dog listing sites to get featured by fake advertisements. They replicate genuine breeder profiles and mug people. However, little vigilance can ensure a secure and pleasant experience of buying pups online.
Pointers to Help Raise Suspicion
According to a worldwide survey conducted, around sixty percent of the victims never received a pet. The rest of them got breeds that were either not pure or had health issues. A few points that will help you spot a trap are:
- Listing Sites – Never buy a dog from the listing site advertisement. You can always check and learn about the breed. But if you want a pure-bred pup, it is not the right place to search. Genuine breeders generally have waiting lists for clients who want to adopt and will have no requirement to take things online.
- Fake Pictures – Profiles with watermarks or no images should raise doubts. Moreover, there will be no address shared. You can check the text as well if it is copied from the internet. Also, check if the profiles of people that give feedback are genuine.
- Contact Details – A fake seller will always try to initiate and continue the conversation through email or virtual chat. Renowned breeders confidently give a call to their potential clients and even video call to show the pup in some cases.
- Weirdly Low Prices – Authentic dog breeds come within a price range. Any offer below that range either means the breed is not pure, or you will not get any pup once the payment is done. You must cross-check if the breeder has registered its dogs with any organization. Genuine breeders generally do!
- Payments Methods – Make sure the scammer is not using any non-secure payment mode. Other payment options can be the use of bank wire or gift card payments. Make sure the payment done is traceable. You can use credit or debit cards for a safer purchase.
So stay cautious and never let your emotions cloud your common sense. Investigate well before taking any step. Any ignorance can lead to financial as well as emotional bruises.
Guidance to Buy a Puppy Online
Genuine breeders will always take time, discuss, and help you get the right pup. The scammers, however, are focused on payment. They create urgency and force buyers to make impulsive decisions. Make sure you follow these tips before you make the big move.
- Ask the Right Question – Professional breeders will always interact with you and advise the right things. They will have in-depth knowledge about the breed they are selling. One can even inquire about the pup’s parents, temperament, health state, etc. Ask for their registration and health certificate of the pup’s parents. Genuine breeders will never mind showing the papers for your satisfaction.
- Online Reviews – Always look for reviews. It will give you a clear idea of whom you are dealing with. In case you want to check the authenticity of the reviews, get in touch with the reviewers and know their experience.
- Interaction – If the online store is in your city, I would prefer you walk in and interact with your breeder. If not, then make sure you call them or video chat before picking your pet. Their way of interaction will give you a clear idea about their intentions.
If the breeder is trying to create some kind of urgency and pressure, beware! It can be a trap. Be patient and don’t rush into things. Keep looking for a seller until you find someone as passionate about dogs are you are. Happy petting!