Tips to help prevent you from being scammed!
Puppies are in such high demand lately that the scammers are coming out in hoards, it is important for you to do your own research to avoid being scammed. Here are a few tips that might help.
- Communicate with the breeder. The vast majority of legitimate breeders will be willing to develop a relationship with you! I have made such wonderful friends through my dogs, it has truly been a blessing! A scammer isn’t going to be willing to spend a lot of time talking with you either by phone or email. Request a phone call or two…check to make sure that the area code is actually in the state they are claiming to be from (I am always willing to schedule a call with a potential customers)
- Ask lots of questions. Again, a legitimate breeder will be willing to answer your questions, in fact should welcome them because they want to help you feel comfortable about purchasing a puppy from them. You can ask them to tell you about their breeding program, ask how long they have been breeding, etc.
- Look closely at their website, has it been active for a long time or is it new? Do reverse image searches of the puppy photos (a scammer will steal photos from the internet/legitimate breeders and use them as their own to “sell” the puppy). It’s not uncommon for them to list a puppy as one sex but the photo will say the opposite sex. Look for watermarks on the photos, some scammers are sophisticated enough to be able to remove the breeder’s watermark from the photo, but many are not.
- Request a photo of the breeder holding the puppy and a piece of paper with your name and the date on it.
- Request a video of the puppy playing.
- Request to do a live video chat with the breeder and the puppy.
- If you are considering a breeder on Facebook or other social media, look closely at their profile. Red flags are A. If they have few or no friends on their friends list. B. The profile is very new. C. They don’t have very many photos posted, just one banner photo, etc.
- If the breeder is communicating in poor english and/or grammar. While this isn’t a definitive sign of a scammer, it is always a red flag to take seriously.
- Ask for references, from people who have purchased a puppy from them and from a vet that they use. Talk to the vet clinic by phone rather than just accepting a written statement.
- If they are pushy and in a hurry to complete the transaction, you will want to step back. They may say things like they are moving, family member is making them get rid of the pup asap, landlord is making them take the pup to the shelter, they have someone else who wants the puppy so you need to get the money to them quickly, etc.
- Be cautious if the breeder starts tacking on extra charges, such as for a bigger/smaller kennel, trip to the airport, vet visits beyond the typical well check and health certificates required for interstate travel.
- Research to learn the typical price for the breed of puppy you are looking for, anything significantly cheaper is a red flag. Sometimes they will even say that the puppy is free, you just have to pay for shipping. If it sounds like an incredibly good deal, it’s a scam.
- If you express concern about the transaction they may get aggressive in an attempt to frighten you into sending the money.
- Plan on picking the puppy up in person, a scammer will, of course, try to talk you into shipping the puppy.
Realize that breeders can get scammed too!
- Don’t be surprised if we ask a lot of questions about you, we want to make sure that you and the puppy are a good match as well as make sure you aren’t a scammer. We may ask to talk to your veterinarian or groomer.
- We may not want to use certain payment methods such as paypal, credit cards, cashapp or written checks. It is pretty common for someone to purchase a puppy with one of these methods and then once the puppy has been delivered they reverse or dispute the charges, say they never received the puppy, etc. and end up with a free puppy while the breeder is out the puppy and the money.
- Many breeders work out of their homes rather than a kennel facility, we may not want you to come to our homes/kennels due to the risks involved not only to our dogs/puppies, but to our own safety. You may have heard over the past several years of breeders having puppies stolen by so called buyers coming to look at the puppies, or of breeders being assaulted and even murdered by puppy thieves. There is also a significant risk of strangers coming to see the puppies unknowingly spreading diseases such as parvo to our vulnerable babies.