By Robb Hicken/ BBB’s chief storyteller
When it finally got to the price of the Yorkshire Terrier puppy, Louise Baker of Idaho Falls was taken back.
“I wrote them back and asked why so little,” she says. “He said the only reason why they were having a knock-off price is because his fiancé will have a baby in about two weeks and he needed a new home for the puppies ASAP to ‘give way for the nursery and play room for my kids.”
It seemed odd the cost of the puppy, veterinarian papers, shipping crate and transportation would only be $450. She said next day delivery from Cincinnati, Ohio, was possible if the transaction was closed immediately.
She became even more suspicious when the seller only wanted to deal with her by text or email, and contacted Better Business Bureau. She said she wanted to talk to someone by phone before ordering and they refused. She had her granddaughter look at everything and she, too, decided it had to be a scam.
BBB searched the email address and there are people who have posted that they paid for and never received their dogs. When BBB called the number (740-537-0484), it was a Verizon disconnected number response.
BBB warns consumers that classified ads offering purebred puppies free or at prices that seem too good to be true she be avoided. Beware of Internet sellers asking for full payment before seeing documentation, other than a photograph, that the puppy is healthy and, sometimes, real.
Follow these tips to avoid pet buying scams:
- Beware of ads with multiple misspellings and grammatical errors; many pet scams come from overseas and scammers often do not have a firm grasp on the English language.
- Do not send or wire money to people you do not know.
- If purchasing a pedigreed pet, be sure the breeder provides documentation of the parents’ registration with the appropriate kennel club. This ensures that the pet is in fact a legitimate pure-bred animal. It is then your responsibility to register your pet with the appropriate kennel club.