TUCSON, Ariz. — While dog lovers are sharing pictures of the pets online, so are scammers who are using fake pictures to sell you a dog they never had. Myriam Cruz with the Better Business Bureau of Tucson says future pet owners should know about a scam that's making another round and it all starts with a simple search online.
"They find a really neat puppy online and they go on to the website it looks legitimate and well designed. They have email communication with with the person on the other line and they have a really cute puppy with a low price and what they say is hey we have a discount coupon for shipping so you won't have to pay for shipping."Cruz said
Then consumers are happy and roped in until unknown charges start popping up. Some lost between $500 to $1,000 for a dog they never received, while others catch on and drop the deals.
"Once they pay that fee they feel comfortable there are additional charges that are added to that transaction. They're saying they need insurance for the carrier and that they need to pay for a crate sometimes even vet fees to make sure they can transport the dog," Cruz said
According to the BBB at least 80 percent of sponsored ads found online about pets are fake. Before you choose to make a buy, make sure you can see exactly what you pay for , and its also a good idea to buy local.
"Red flags is definitely wiring money if they request payment by wire transfer , by prepaid card late we've also seen requested payments through zell or venmo which is peer to peer payment apps they are not meant for merchant processing," she said
It's also a good idea to report any scams to the BBB on their scam tracker website https://www.bbb.org/scamtracker/tucson Always ask the seller if they're members of the American Kennel Club and verify membership.