Question: We want to get a puppy for Christmas and found one online. What do you think about these sorts of transactions?
Answer: To begin, I think puppies as a Christmas present is a colossal mistake (a topic I will cover soon), but there are a world of caution flags around these sorts of transactions. Is it possible to find a puppy online and things to work out well? Yes, but you have to be exceedingly cautious and follow a few rational steps to avoid getting ripped off.
A common way to get scammed online is fake breeder’s websites. Ads on Craigslist, eBay, and Facebook include scammers disguised as real people who post a dog for sale for whom “they just want to find a new home,” but you pay for shipping. Many online puppy scams begin simply with an advertisement. An adorable puppy complimented with irresistible photos, often at a much reduced rate for what is typically found, because many people are looking for a cheaper price for purebred puppies.
Believe it or not, statistics show that those most likely to be caught up in this sort of scam are younger folks in their teens and 20s. Once you respond to an ad, most likely with an email, you often soon learn the animal is located somewhere out west or overseas. Their only request is for you to cover the “inexpensive” shipping fees, usually by Western Union or MoneyGram. And that’s the hook.
Additional costs will soon follow like “extra shipping costs,” “customs clearance fees,” “vaccinations” and “insurance.”…