Online Puppy Scams

Having had no luck at all with some rescue services (they didn’t call back after I filed a lengthy application), I decided to look for puppies online. As we were moving to a new place that allowed dogs, I wanted to purchase a Pug for my daughter. My wife found an ad on Facebook Marketplace. I contacted the person, who was supposed to be only an hour and a half away.

I found out the person was actually in Seattle (or so she claimed). She sent me lots of pictures of the puppies and promised to send lots of extras with them. She told me that she would sell me both of the pups for $700, which was a good price, or so I thought. I offered to send the money via PayPal but she insisted on Western Union. I didn’t think anything of it at first. I started to get wary when the money was going to Virginia, but went ahead anyway. Here is where it starts to get interesting.

She or the made-up company that was supposed to ship the pups sent me an email saying that I needed to pay $2,000 for the pet insurance. They said it would be reimbursed when the pups were delivered. I sent this money. I was promised the pups would arrive late that night. They never did. Instead, they asked for even MORE money which I refused to pay. It was then that I finally realized I had been scammed (serves me right for not reading all my ASPCA newsletters!).

I contacted Facebook Marketplace and they shut them down. I do periodically check there to see if they have the nerve to pop up again, and they do! I also contacted the Internet Crime Complaint Center, the local police, the FBI, state attorney general and FTC, and nothing has been done about it (that I know of).

As stupid as I feel for allowing myself to get scammed out of $2,700, I feel really angry that I’m not the only one. There are lots of people out there I have read about that were scammed for more than I was. Please, do NOT buy from these people. If you see them somewhere online and it sounds like a pet scam, it probably is. Report them to the website they are on right away.

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