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How to avoid an online puppy scam

How to avoid an online puppy scam

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - In today's digital world, we're used to buying everything online, clothes, shoes and even puppies. 

However, just because you can, doesn't mean you should. According to the Better Business Bureau, in 2018 puppies were the number one item purchased online that ended up being a scam. 

“Unfortunately because buying a puppy is such an emotional thing, a lot of people get hooked into that, and so what we see is people losing anywhere from a hundred to a thousand dollars. Just recently in the Boise area, a woman lost five hundred dollars trying to buy a puppy beagle,” said marketplace manager for the Better Business Bureau, Jeremy Johnson. 

Jumping on the world wide web and scrolling through adorable puppy photos to find your new best friend, might be convenient, but allowing yourself to possibly be a victim of a heartbreaking scam is not worth it. 

“They’re being asked to provide a deposit and usually that deposit is large a couple of hundred dollars," Johnson said.

Then the scam artist will ask for travel fees and other miscellaneous costs that end up adding up to a large amount that is paid for a puppy that doesn't exist. 

“The best thing to do is to shop local, if you can find a local breeder, that’s the best idea," Johnson said. "Just maybe ask the humane society or local shelter if they have any recommendations if you want a specific breed of puppy.”

If you do find yourself about to buy a puppy online, there are a few tips that can help you avoid getting scammed. 

“Try to have communication with that person and try to push phone calls or any type of extra communication, that will help you make sure it’s legitimate," Johnson said. "Most scammers will back off when you're asking for specifics." 

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