The good news during the pandemic? Sales and adoptions of dogs and puppies have soared.
The bad news? So have the number of people being scammed.
Worse? The state of Washington ranks #1 in puppy scams.

Here's how to avoid being ripped off.
The fine folks at HonestPaws.com released a study that showed that Washington's are being fleeced, on average, to the tune of $639 by jerks promising them Man's Best Friend. It also discovered that the most frequently used app to steal and mislead our fellow citizens was Zelle.

This is nothing new, however, as the Better Business Bureau has been tracking puppy scammers for years.

Here is the advice from those in the know as to what to watch out for so that you do not become a statistic:

1. The seller claims that due to social distancing regulations, you will not be able to see the animal in person before adoption and/or is unable to provide you with multiple pictures/videos of the puppy up for adoption. 

2. When performing an internet search of a picture of the puppy you’re considering, you notice the same picture appears on multiple websites or in Facebook groups. You can use Google’s helpful ‘reverse image’ tool to find instances where the picture is being used elsewhere on the internet. 

3. When performing an internet search for the text from ads or testimonials on a breeder’s website or ad, you notice they’ve been copied from other websites

4. The breeder’s website offers no information about the sire or dam of the litter and/or is unable to provide proof of health records or AKC Certification. 

5. The seller asks for payment up front through Western Union, MoneyGram, a digital money app like Zelle or CashApp, or via a gift card.  

6. In the case of purebred breeds, the puppy in question is being offered at a significantly steep discount when compared with the average price for a puppy of its breed.  

7. The seller or a third party asks for payment to cover additional items such as a climate-controlled crate for shipping, vaccinations, or transportation insurance/life insurance. In many cases, fraudulent emails will claim the shipping costs/crate rental feels will be refunded upon the puppy’s delivery. However, they never are. 

8. The adoption contract contains multiple spelling or grammatical errors

If you are interested in stories like this and other news from around the Yakima Valley, state and Pacific Northwest, opt-in for our "Alerts" via the FREE KATS mobile app!

Enter your number to get our free mobile app

Rock on! m/ m/
Todd E. Lyons, Esquire

KEEP READING: These are the top 6 scams connected to the pandemic