RALEIGH, NC (WNCN) — If you’re looking to adopt a pet, officials say you should keep an eye out for online pet adoption scams.
The Better Business Bureau of Eastern North Carolina warns that an online search could trick potential pet owners into the scheme, tricking them into paying hundreds of dollars or more to buy a pet that doesn’t exist Actually.
They say a Raleigh resident lost $1,600 to scammers after learning a puppy would be shipped to them.
Once payment was sent and the buyer requested proof that the seller had the puppy, officials said all contact ceased.
The BBB reports that another victim lost $2,300 after paying for a puppy and crate, then was blocked by the scammer.
“Pet scams are unfortunately all too common,” says Mallory Wojciechowski, President and CEO of BBB. “We urge consumers to exercise due diligence before adding a pet to the family. Far too often people lose money to these credible scams.
Experts say it’s important to make sure you get a pet from a reputable place.
BBB offers the following tips for adding a pet to your family:
- See the animal in person before paying, or request a video conference with the seller if an in-person visit is not an option
- Do a reverse image search of the pet’s photo
- Do some research to get an idea of a fair price for the breed you are considering
- Look for pets at a local animal shelter where you can meet them before adopting
Victims of pet scams are advised to use the following resources:
- Petscams.com – tracks complaints, lists puppy scammers and works to get fraudulent pet selling websites taken down
- Federal Trade Commission (FTC) – file a complaint online or call 877-FTC-HELP
- BBB Scam Tracker – report an online scam or check what other consumers have encountered
Those who paid with a credit card are also asked to report this to their credit card issuer, even if the transaction was not completed.
For more information, click here.