Looking for a Puppy to Replace Loved Pet Scam

If you’ve recently lost a beloved pet, you may be looking for a new puppy to fill the void. Unfortunately, scammers are aware of this and often target people who are grieving the loss of their pet.

How the Scam Works

The scammer will typically post an ad online for a puppy of the same breed as your deceased pet. The ad will be very convincing, and the scammer may even use photos of real puppies to make it look more legitimate. They will often claim that the puppy is from a reputable breeder, but this is usually not the case.

Once you express interest in the puppy, the scammer will ask you to pay for it upfront. They may ask for payment using Zelle, Venmo, Cash App or one of the P2P payment systems. They may also ask you to pay for shipping or other fees. Once you have paid, the scammer will disappear and you will never receive the puppy.

How to Avoid the Scam

There are a few things you can do to avoid falling victim to this scam:

  • Do your research. Before you pay for any puppy, do some research on the breeder or seller. Check their website or social media pages for reviews from other customers. You can also search for the breeder’s name or contact information online to see if they have been reported for scamming people.
  • Be wary of any seller who asks you to pay for the puppy upfront. Legitimate breeders will usually require you to meet the puppy in person before you make a purchase. They may also ask you to pay a deposit, but they will not ask you to pay the full amount upfront.
  • Don’t send money through wire transfer, P2P or gift cards. These payment methods are very difficult to track, so if you send money to a scammer this way, you will likely never get it back.
  • Ask for references from the breeder. This will give you a chance to talk to other people who have bought puppies from the breeder.
  • Get everything in writing. This includes the terms of the sale, the health guarantee, and the breeder’s contact information.

If you’ve Been Scammed

If you’ve been scammed, there are a few things you can do:

  • File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC can help you track down the scammer and get your money back.
  • Contact your local police department. The police may be able to investigate the scam and bring the scammer to justice.
  • Share your story with others. By sharing your story, you can help others avoid falling victim to the same scam.

Losing a pet is a very difficult experience, and it’s understandable that you would want to find a new puppy to help you heal. However, it’s important to be careful and to avoid falling victim to a scam. By following these tips, you can help protect yourself and your money.

See Scam and Fraud Protection for 2023 for more information and make sure to Sign Up for our Scam Prevention Newsletter.

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