Seeking creature comfort during the COVID-19 crisis? Be wary of puppy scams

Keene Sentinel
Published: 4/23/2020 3:18:24 PM

Looking to purchase a puppy? Scam artists are targeting people like you, the Better Business Bureau warns.

According to the bureau, although schemes to defraud would-be pet owners are nothing new, they have a fresh face amid the COVID-19 crisis, with people reportedly being told they must shell out extra money for insurance or a crate for their new pets to be sent to them due to the pandemic.

“In each of the cases reported, victims were also asked to provide an alternate payment, such as a gift card or mobile banking option that was not part of the original transaction,” the bureau said in a recent scam alert. “These are red flags that the dealer is not legitimate and they probably don’t have the pet they are attempting to sell.”

In 2017, the Better Business Bureau issued a study on this type of scam, which it said was happening “at an alarming rate,” and noted that tens of thousands of complaints had been filed by people in the U.S. in recent years. At that point, the study said, the con seemed primarily centered in Cameroon. In October, the website – which the BBB cited in its 2017 report – also warned of puppy scams originating in South Africa.

In its scam alert, which was emailed Wednesday by the BBB’s Boston branch, the bureau offered these tips:

■Consider contacting an animal shelter in your area instead of someone over the Internet. Many shelters are looking for people to foster pets to help with overcrowding during COVID-19-related quarantines.

■If you do decide to buy a pet, don’t do so without seeing it in person. If that’s not possible, check to see if a website’s photos or testimonials have appeared elsewhere online.

■Don’t wire money if you can avoid it; instead, use a credit card so you can dispute the charges if you need to.

■Remember the old adage about offers that seem too good to be true: If someone says they’re willing to give away a purebred pooch for free or a dog at a deep discount, take a pause.

If you end up getting swindled, you can report it through BBB’s Scam Tracker, file a complaint at, complain to the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-FTC-Help.

(These articles are being shared by partners in The Granite State News Collaborative. For more information visit

Stay informed with our free email updates
Concord Monitor Daily Headlines
Concord Monitor Breaking News
Concord Monitor Dining & Entertainment
Concord Monitor Report For America Education
Concord Monitor Report For America Health
Concord Monitor Real Estate
Concord Monitor Sports
Concord Monitor Suncook Valley
Concord Monitor Contests & Promotions
Concord Monitor Weekly Most Popular
Concord Monitor Granite Geek
Concord Monitor Monitor Marquee
Concord Monitor Hopkinton
Concord Monitor Politics
Concord Monitor MY CONCORD
Concord Monitor Franklin

Concord Monitor Office

1 Monitor Drive
Concord,NH 03301


© 2021 Concord Monitor
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy

Customer Service

Social Media


View All Sections

Part of the Newspapers of New England Family