Holiday Puppy Search for Canton Woman Includes Ripoff, Successful Find

CANTON, Ohio (News Talk 1480 WHBC) – Nothing like a new puppy for Christmas.

Jenn Mccartney of Canton and her boyfriend will welcome “Finn” into their home this weekend, but it wasn’t before she learned the hard way that there are lots of online puppy scammers out there.

The Better Business Bureau says online puppy scams will likely cost consumers $3 million this year.

Mccartney lost $800.

She says if you’re looking for a pure breed, you should realize there will likely be a wait.

Also, watch for breeders unwilling to use video technology to see the puppy, and get AKC and other information about the parents.

The Better Business Bureau says scammers often ask for payment with mobile payment apps like Zelle and CashApp.

Mccartney has found a legit breeder in West Virginia, and she’ll be picking up the mini-dachshund this weekend.

Here are some BBB recommendations for buying pets online:
• See the pet in person before paying any money. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, consider a video call with the seller so you can see the seller and the actual pet for sale. Since scammers are not likely to comply with the request, this may help avoid a scam.
• Do a reverse image search of the photo of the pet and search for a distinctive phrase in the description.
• Do research to get a sense of a fair price for the breed you are considering. Think twice if someone advertises a purebred dog for free or at a deeply discounted price … it could be a fraudulent offer.
• Check out a local animal shelter online for pets you can meet before adopting.
• The media and public should help to educate those looking for pets online by sharing BBB’s tips and study.

Who to contact if you are the victim of a pet scam:
• – tracks complaints, catalogues puppy scammers and endeavors to get fraudulent pet sales websites taken down.
• Federal Trade Commission (FTC) – to file a complaint online or call 877-FTC-Help.
• Better Business Bureau – BBB Scam Tracker to report a scam online.
• Your credit card issuer – if you provided your credit card number, even if the transaction was not completed.