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How to avoid being a victim of holiday puppy scams

Posted at 7:02 PM, Dec 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-07 19:24:04-05

Every year during the holiday season, the Attorney General's Office receives complaints  from Arizonans who fell victim to an internet puppy scam or purchased sick puppies. 

Attorney General Nark Brnovich has issued a warning for consumers to be aware of these scams. 

“Con artists prey on your emotions by posting a picture of a cute puppy for sale on the internet,” said Attorney General Mark Brnovich.

“Arizonans are tricked into paying hundreds of dollars for a new puppy that doesn't get delivered and they're left empty-handed right before the holidays."

Here are some tips from the Attorney General's Office to avoid holiday scams:

  • Don’t buy a puppy or do business with someone you haven’t met in person. If you try to arrange meetings to see the puppy, and the person makes excuses, it could be a red flag.
  • Before you choose a puppy, visit the breeder at the breeder’s operation no matter what.
  • Ask questions and ensure the breeder has paperwork for the puppy on the letterhead of his or her veterinarian.  Consider contacting the vet independently to verify the information. 
  • Be extremely cautious about purchasing a pet sight unseen over the internet.
  • Do your research. Ask for detailed information about the person selling the pet. What is the person’s full name, phone number and physical address? Do complaints or the word “scam” pop up when you research them online?
  • Consider adoption from a local animal shelter. Pets are vaccinated and checked for medical conditions by a veterinarian.

If you think you have been a victim of consumer fraud you can call the Attorney General's Office in Tucson at 520-628-6504.