A Pine Grove woman says she paid for a Yorkshire Terrier puppy but never got her dog.
According to State Police in Schuylkill Haven, the 55-year-old woman from Pine Grove says she sent money to a website in exchange for a puppy affectionately known as a Yorkie.
However, after some time, the woman says she never got her puppy. Police suspect the woman sent money to a fraudulent website.
She reported this to police on July 17, after never receiving her dog.
These popular dogs sell for an average of $1,000, according to NextDayPets.com. However, police do not disclose how much money the woman paid to the fraudsters.
Online Puppy Scams on the Rise
According to a recent report from the American Kennel Club, in the last 3 years there have been at least 10,000 (yes … 10,000) reports of scams and complaints logged over fraudulent puppy sales. And in about 60% of these reports, fraud victims say they paid money for a puppy but never got them.
Puppy Scam Red Flags
AKC points to several red flags that should alert you if you try to buy a puppy online.
Here’s what they say you should be on the lookout for from fraudulent sites purportedly selling puppies:
- No phone number: If the site selling puppies doesn’t list a phone number, move on. Not being able to reach a breeder by phone is clear sign that you’re dealing with a scam.
- Using stock photos: When a site uses stock photos instead of photos of the actual dog you’re intending to buy (like the one we used at the top of this article from Depositphotos.com), it’s likely a fake-out.
- Unusual payment options: Does the site ask for wire transfers or paying by gift cards? Find another site. It’s a sure sign the site is a scam.
- Super low price: Like the saying goes, if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.
For ways to verify that you’re dealing with a reputable breeder, check out this full report from AKC on what you should do to ensure you get the puppy you want.
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