07:55 PM EST
There are a lot of scammers posing as breeders, pretending to sell
fictitious puppies. They take your deposit and you never hear from them
again. These scammers often are running out of foreign countries, posing as
USA or Canadian breeders selling adorable little puppies, when in fact they
don't even own a dog themselves let alone have a puppy to sell.
How can you tell if the breeder you are dealing with is for real and not
one of those scams running out of countries such as Nigeria or other
Be extra cautious of ads found in free classified ads, (sites where it is
free to post an ad). One does not have to avoid sites which run free
listings, as there are plenty of legit ads on them, however do be extra
cautious, as scammers feed on free places to find their pray.
A lot of these scammers create a website or classified ad page to sell
their so called "puppies". They steal images and text off of actual breeder
websites. At first glance their websites look really legit. You fall in
love with the picture, contact the scammer and begin to talk to them about
purchasing the adorable little puppy. Eventually you send them a deposit
via usually Western Union, and you suddenly never hear from them again. You
never receive your puppy, because there was no puppy, and you just lost
These scammers often steal pictures from the internet of the most
irresistible dogs and puppies and post them for sale. For example, here is
a blog on the same deceased Pekingese being sold over and over again.
http://ravinwoodfarm.blogspot.com. The dog's name is Hershey and he passed
away late 2005.
A good way to determine if a picture of a dog or puppy posted for sale is
really for sale, or is simply a stolen picture, ask the seller to send you
a picture of that same dog or puppy with something in the picture which you
can identify. Such as a piece of paper with the date written on it, or even
with your own name written on it. Beware of doctored pictures, so ask to
see different shots of the same dog in different poses with your
identifiable object in the picture.
Because these scammers are running out of third world foreign countries,
catching them is difficult to almost impossible. In order for you to
prosecute the scammer, the country you are in would have to work with the
country they are in. In most cases, the country the scammer is running out
of is not willing to cooperate. The cost of prosecuting the scammer is very
high and the country you are in will most likely not be willing to fork out
So what can we do about these scams? We can educate ourselves on how to
detect them, and not fall for it. If scammers can't scam us, they wont make
money and we all know it's the money that is driving them to do it.
Useful tips on detecting a scammer posing as a breeder
1. Look at the website very closely for clues. For example, these scammers
are stealing pictures from other websites and adding their own description
under them. One website pretending to sell Beagle puppies had a photo of a
dog that was clearly not a Beagle puppy. They also had photos of male
puppies and under the photo claimed the dog to be a female or vice versa.
2. Ask to see more photos of the same puppy from different angles. Ask to
see a picture of the same puppy when it was a few weeks younger. Can the
breeder produce them?
3. One reason these scam websites look so legit is because they are
stealing text from real breeder websites. If you find another website with
those same exact words on it, a red flag should go up. Either the site you
are investigating has stolen the words, OR they have had their words stolen
4. Does the "breeder" you have contacted communicate in broken English?
Since most of these scammers are working out of foreign countries, their
English is not very good. They will usually have many spelling and grammar
errors in their emails.
5. A red flag should go up if the scammer will only take their payment via
Western Union, or another odd form of payment.
The best solution? Don't buy from a breeder! Go to an animal shelter and
adopt a pet from there. The animals in pounds and shelters all desperately
need loving homes or they will be put to death. You'll love and adore your
new companion just as much as if you'd bought him from a breeder. It's a
wonderful feeling to rescue an animal and watch them blossom as a result of
your kindness and loving care. And thousands of dogs in animal shelters
are purebreds! You can even go to a purebred rescue group and adopt a dog
(even a puppy) from there. Adopting cats and kittens through rescue groups
is wonderful, too. You'll avoid scams and
you won't be supporting horrific puppy mills.
Remember: DON'T BREED OR BUY WHILE SHELTER PETS DIE!!!