We all love our cute and cuddly creatures. After all, there’s nothing quite like the bond of a family pet. Whether you adopt Fido from a local humane society or pay top-dollar at a breeder, we love them all the same.
But - if you are looking for a good deal on a particular pedigree or really want a rare, high-cost critter, we have a warning about moving too quickly. Fraudsters are prowling the web to find families who are so desperate for the perfect pooch that they are willing to adopt sight unseen.
It goes like this: You come across a pet adoption ad on social media or an online classified advertising platform. Maybe you are online every day looking for your new Fluffy – or you just happen upon a photo of a cute little face that you can’t ignore. Either way, you decide this is the pet for you. After a few brief messages and many ‘fees’ later, the pet never shows up, and you’re left with nothing but heartbreak and an empty wallet.
Even “free” pets can be risky. The scammer will charge all sorts of fees for all sorts of reasons… ventilated crates, flights, handlers, even travel grooming. Watch out for these, and follow the tips below to keep from getting scammed:
If you have been victimized by this scam or any other online scam, report it to the FBI. You can file an online report at the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov or call your FBI local office.