Avoid Those Despicable Online Pet Scams

Now that it is the holiday season many families look to add new “members” to the household in the form of pets. Unfortunately Online pet scamsbecause of the nature of certain members of the human race people who have absolutely no morals, they look to take advantage of others through devious and truly despicable online pet scams.

It is sad that such a thing exists but with the Internet truly anything is possible. This also includes, in a very unpleasant way even something involving our favorite 4 legged friends – dogs and cats. Fraud including people trying to sell animals online are a part of the dirty underbelly of the Internet!

Pet Scams Most Definitely Do Exist – Be Careful Of That Stranger Online Offering A Can’t-Miss Deal!

Just today in an article online originating from the Mid-Atlantic area of the U.S. the topic warned of people who intend to purchase a pet online.

According to the article posted online by the West Virginia Better Business Bureau, 25 people in the last month alone have found themselves the victims of a pet scams originated by criminal deviants. Acting in good faith these individuals sought to purchase pets from dealers online which all ended up to be cons.

I sometimes have wondered how people go to sleep at night after stealing money and wrecking the emotional hearts of innocent individuals due to the scams that are pulled off without thought. Sadly it has included conning these individuals into the belief that after forking over money for the payment of a puppy dog or kitten instead they receive nothing. Online pet scams

I have copied and pasted exactly how this online pet scam, originating from the state of West Virginia, works:

(quote) “You answer an online ad for the type of pet you are looking for in your area. You receive an email back, possibly with pictures, with a reason why the puppy is no longer near you and now needs to be shipped. The scammer gives you the name of the delivery service they use and you are told you will now work with them to finalize the purchase of your new pet.

You are told to wire the payment for your pet, but once this money is received, you will be required to wire money for pet insurance or a specific travel crate or you will be told the puppy has been quarantined and now needs vaccines to continue its journey.

The scammers assure you this money is refundable and is just needed to get the puppy to you safely. If you question the scammers, they threaten to turn you in for animal abuse. In the end, you have lost any money that you have sent and do not have your cute and cuddly present”. (Un-quote).

How would you like to be the parent of an approximate 3 – 8 year old child who come Christmas morning has been told beforehand that a new, lovable 4 legged creature is about to be added to the family only to find out that it will not happen?

Instead you as the parent who naively believed that con that you saw posted online about the availability of a puppy instead lost a bunch of money in the deal!

As I said earlier with the popularity of the Internet growing daily really nothing is immune to possibly being a diabolical scam thought up by some low-life jerk all for money. Yes, this would also include the pet industry.

Recommended ways to avoid being the victim of such a hoax:

Unfortunately as is the case with so many opportunities seen online:

1). You just cannot afford to believe anything that you see online – and that includes buying animals, without looking at it first with just a bit of skepticism!  Before you invest even one penny into anything seen online you simply MUST do your research beforehand.

Trust no one!! Online pet scams

As is recommended by the West Virginia Better Business Bureau, (really from all 50 states when it comes to buying pets online) before committing to anything you would need to do the following:

2). Watch for red flags in which the “seller” of the pet wants extra money for shipment, vaccination fees, airline pet insurance, extra money for shipping a large crate, (if you’re buying a Chihuahua, one of the smallest breed of dogs an alarm should be loudly ringing in your ears to this regard), temperature-controlled crate and etc. This could only mean that something is up.

The person attempting to sell you this pet is probably a con/scam artist. You would need to back away immediately from any deal!

3). Do thorough research on breeds of dogs or cats. Then ask the person who is attempting to make the sale detailed questions having to do with that animal. If he/she gives forth the idea in his/her response a certain level of  his/her being clueless about that breed of animal do not go forward with any transaction!

4). If at all possible it would be in your best interests to visit the animal before exchanging any money. See him/her with your own eyes. Ask this seller for medical papers concerning required vaccination work that had been performed on the animal. Make sure that you’re about to get the animal promised to you, and not a copy-cat, (no pun intended) of what should have been THAT particular puppy or kitten.

Looking at the medical paperwork signed by a vet would also insure that what you’re about to buy is not a sick animal who, unfortunately would not live for more than the next several months.  The person making the sale is aware of this but definitely would not tell you, instead only wanting that cash in his/her greedy hands!

I can hear some statements now from readers: What if I live in New York State but the animal is coming from California? How could I possibly see the animal ahead of time?

Well you know what my answer would be? If you really want to make sure that this animal is what he/she is supposed to be, and you’re about to pay a lot of money ahead of time; I would do take all necessary steps to insure that everything is 100% legit.

If the pet is coming from that far of a location away from you, also consider looking into purchasing that particular breed from a much closer location as an alternative option.

Several years ago my sister in purchasing a Norwegian Elkhound puppy traveled by car from North Carolina up to Pennsylvania to check out the animal, even though it was not the first dog that she had purchased from this particular breeder.

Seeing that everything was in order, including receiving the vaccination paperwork signed by a licensed vet my sister then brought back “Nicolas” to her home in her car.

Of course it is your right to do none of this. Instead you could rely on the fact that the online seller of that puppy or kitten was Online pet scamsnot trying to pull something over on you. And if unfortunately it did happen really the blame lies with you;  all because you failed to do your due diligence regarding the entire transaction.

5). Look for fake websites. It is recommended that in order to spot the real sites from those that are spoof, you copy text and paste it into a search engine. If the identical text appears in another site then this would tell you NOT to consider purchasing anything from this fraud website.

It is also suggested in the article that you also conduct a search of the animal’s photo itself with instructions on how to spot a scam image of that puppy on another site.

6). Finally ALWAYS make a payment with a credit card and not a debit card or wire transfer. Funds are easily tracked through the use of credit cards. Conversely it is difficult to track money sent through wire transfers or debit cards.

It is hoped that this article will be of use to those individuals who may be in the market for holiday presents in the form of puppies or kittens. In today’s world even transactions of those types are not immune to the deviants who lurk online.

Online pet scams have become a problem and I for one do not want to see you become a victim – and if you have a young child the disappoint on his/her face come December 25th that morning!

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Thank you for reading this article!  If you have any questions or thoughts please feel free to post them in the comments’ section below:


4 thoughts on “Avoid Those Despicable Online Pet Scams

  1. Hi there,

    Pet scams, really has to be the scam of all scams really! My heart goes out to all the little kids that were looking forward to having new pet to love and adore come Christmas day. The heart break is worse than the money lost! poor kids!

    Thanks for this article and the warning signs. I would suggest patience, if the seller is or gets pushy then for me sign of something being wrong and to walk away.

  2. Hello Jeff,
    OMG, that’s horrible as a pet lover and owner that’s atrocious and whoever is involved and participating in a type of scam like this should really get what’s coming to them. This is like the fake adoption scams, where someone is promised a baby and they never get one. People that can do these type of things are a frightening group of people. Not having any morals or remorse is really scary, that they do not have a conscious or even know what empathy is. It’s a shame that this is the world we live in and that there is actually people like this, unfortunately, there is. So, that’s why I do not trust anyone and never by anything like that online. People, if you want a pet go to your local shelter and adopt one. There are so many great and loving animals looking for homes, instead of being scammed by some heartless idiot. Hopefully, karma will soon catch up to these, jerks and that’s me using a nice name. Jeff, have a happy and healthy holiday, you and your loved ones 🙂


  3. Hi Carol! You sound like a genuine pet lover and I do so appreciate your insightful comments. I agree 100% with you. Those people who pull off these types of scams are all low-level, dirtbag scums who belong in jail for a lengthy stretch of time!

    I agree that adopting a pet from a shelter is a great alternative as these animals unless taken in are often put down. I agree there are so many pets in that situation who all deserve a loving home. It usually costs no money except for medical/vaccination costs.

    Thank you so much for your kind and outstanding thoughts, Carol. I wish the best for you and your family this holiday season!



  4. Hi Derek, Thank you for reading the article and also sharing your insightful thoughts, sir. It really rubs me the wrong way when I hear of these scumbags who try to take advantage of people using animals. As the brother of a sibling who has had dogs her entire adult life, my punishment to those people would be to lock them up in jail and toss out the key. It is the lowest form of scams imaginable!

    Again I do appreciate your thoughts, Derek!



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