Scammers targeting people looking to buy puppies online

Beware of online puppy scams

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- If you've considered purchasing a puppy online, you may want to think twice after you read this story.

The Better Business Bureau wants you to be aware of a worldwide puppy scam to potentially save you thousands of dollars. BBB thinks most of these scams are coming out of Cameroon, Africa. A large organization is using people here in the United State to pick up your cash without handing over a puppy in the end.

“It didn't really feel right, but I went ahead and did it,” said James Hartsfield.

He and wife were recently scammed while trying to purchase a dog for their son online.

“The thing that really tips it off is the low price,” Mike Rohrer said with the BBB.

Buying a new puppy, for many, is one of life's greatest joys. But what happens when you make the purchase with no new dog in return?

“He said that he used STS Pet Care Service and that's all they specialized in was shipping animals,” said Hartsfield.

“They're taking the information off legitimate websites and copying and pasting information in, then asking people for money,” added Rohrer.

It's happening all over the world, with all different breeds. Rohrer wants you to be aware that about 80 percent of sponsored ads for puppies online are fake.

“It’s hard to identify where a scam comes from, but we know where they're targeting. BBB scam tracker targets where they are being perpetrated. You can see throughout the country how many scams are coming up, puppy scams, grandparent scams, all type of things,” he said.

It important to know the warning signs.

“They’ll want an initial deposit, they may want money for insurance, food, veterinary, or plane care. They'll keep asking you for money until you stop, then they'll go away,” Rohrer said.

Hartsfield was looking for a Chinese Pug.

“We contacted the guy online, he said he had the puppies and sent us pictures,” said Hartsfield.

The seller wanted them to use a money gram. The couple paid $450 for the dog and $100 dollars for shipping. They even received a fake tracking number.

“Then I paid $1315 dollars for a shot that she was supposed to get before they put her on the plane and refundable health/life insurance,” Hartsfield added.

Click here to make sure you aren’t being scammed during your next purchase.

© 2017 KTHV-TV


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