My dear sweet friend recently lost her precious pup to kidney disease and at the same time, a beloved family member moved out for distant horizons. It is now, she has decided, time for a new puppy.
Always hot on the trail of puppies, I did some research for her and found an ad in the Buffalo, NY classifieds for a French bulldog. Price? $900. Red flag number 1. This is a ridiculously low amount for a French bulldog.
Buffalo is only an hour from us, so no big deal to hop in the car and see these puppies for real, except, said the “breeder,” – they were already gone. However, she said, she “had a friend in Texas” who has Frenchies for sale and gave my friend the contact information.
My friend contacted the Texas breeder, who also claimed to have 2 puppies, also $900 or 2 for $1500, including transportation. Too good to be true? You got it! Still, a picture arrived that tugged at both of our hearts. However, my friend is a very wise woman. Something just doesn’t feel right, she told me. And it wasn’t.
This morning I did a Google search on the photo the Texas “breeder” sent to my friend. Lo and behold, there was the exact picture with the now 18 month old Frenchie that was “sold” a year ago.
Puppy scamming has been on the uptick, like so many things, during the Covid pandemic. But like my friend and I did, there are things to watch for. These include:
- “Breeders” that do not want you to “see” the puppy on premise. Always see the puppy with your own eyes, and touch him with your own hands.
- Emails or text message communication only, often with poor grammar and spelling
- Payment with gift cards or wire transfer only
- Pictures that turn out to be fraudulent. To check:
- Download the picture and save to your computer
- Access Google Images
- Load the picture to the search box
- Click search or hit Enter
- For scams, you are likely to see the exact photo on another site, which is what happened with my friend.
We all need companionship and love during this time, but the key is to avoid scams where perverted people prey on the needs of others.
My friend will definitely get her puppy, and when she does, she will have a warm, loving baby to cuddle up with and adore.