Caller to BBB: “Can you check this breeder for me? We are eager to get a puppy for Christmas, and his ad online says he breeds French Bulldogs and just had a new litter. He is selling the puppies for only $500 when everyone else wants $1,500 or more. He is in Temperance, Michigan but his web site doesn’t have a phone number; I can only reach him by email. Can BBB find out if he is legitimate?

BBB says “This is a puppy scam!” With the holidays coming, websites like CraigsList and social media are filled with ads for exotic purebred puppies, Teacup Yorkies, Bichon Fries’, Welsh Corgis and others. But every year BBB gets complaints that many of the ads are scams and the puppies and breeders don’t exist! Victims send thousands of dollars for the dogs, often in distant cities or overseas. They are then asked to pay more money for veterinary services, shipping, special airline crates, etc. But the dogs never arrive and the breeder web site disappears!

BBB checked the Michigan address of your “breeder” and it was a private residence. We learned that the web site was created in the Ukraine and hosted by a server in Crete. The breeder photos were copied off other web sites.

Never buy a puppy off a web site without actually seeing the dog, either by going to the breeder in person or at least through Facetime. Legitimate breeders…

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