University Of Vermont


  Scam | The Puppy Ad Scam

There seems to be an increasing number of classified type scams targeting dog lovers.

Much like other advance fee scams this involves the promise of a puppy when all the necessary fees are paid. Adverts are placed in newspapers and the Internet and usually involves someone that has moved or is moving or resides in another country.

Some scam artists use stolen photos in their ads, claiming they are pictures of puppies for sale. Actually, the seller does not have the puppy that he/she is trying to sell. The seller will ask for money in advance and refer them to a money wiring service such as Western Union or Money Gram. The advance fee in this case, being for the purchase of the puppy, shipping and customs charges. The buyer waits for few days and when they do not receive the puppy attempts to contact the seller, but with no answer.

In order to avoid these types of scams, remember the following general words of advice:
  • Know whom you are dealing with - independently confirm your seller's name, street, address, and telephone number.
  • Resist pressure to act now. If an offer sounds to good to be true it usually is.
  • If the buyer wants to use a service you have not heard of, be sure to check it out to be sure it is reliable - check its Web site, call its customer service hotline, and read its terms of agreement and privacy policy. If you do not feel comfortable with the service, do not use it.