Adopting a dog from a shelter is always advisable. But if you have your heart set on a certain breed or age, you may need to purchase a dog. If you’re going to do that, here are some common scams to avoid.
- Free Dog, Paid Shipping. This is especially common on Craigslist. Sellers will claim a dog is free, request payment for shipping via an untraceable method, and then vanish – or even email you about additional charges!
- Extra Charges. After your deposit, a scammer may add additional fees and extra hidden costs.
- Sob Stories. This is especially common on Facebook. A scammer may claim that they’re giving away their dog due to very sad circumstances, like illness.
- Different Breeds. Most breeders specialize. If the same seller has many different dogs available, they may not be a reputable breeder after all.
- Extremely Low Prices. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
- No Refunds or Warranties. A scammer will likely not offer any coverage in the event of pre-existing medical conditions or problems.
- Refund Promises. Conversely, scammers may request extra deposits or insurance fees with claims that they will refund some later.
- Reused Photos. If someone is using photos of dogs you can find elsewhere on the Internet, they’re probably a scammer.
- No Phone Calls. If you can’t call the person selling the dog by phone, they may have something to hide.
- Discounts. A discounted dog accompanied by a statement that the dog can have babies is likely a scam.
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