Before even worrying about an agreement you have made with a breeder, we want to show you the signs to spot a puppy scam.
Signs of a Typical Puppy Scam
Perhaps you have contacted a seller with the perfect puppy for your home. If they immediately reply demanding payment or state they cannot answer questions until payment has been received, this is a red flag. Of course, breeders want to know that their time is not being wasted. But good breeders will put the safety and re-homing of the puppy before anything. They should be responding to your questions, asking their own, and setting up a meeting. If money appears to be their prerogative, then look elsewhere.
If there is a perfectly healthy puppy being advertised to have a high discount on their price, be aware. However, how can you tell the difference between a puppy scam and an actual discount? Firstly consider the age of the puppy. There is no reason for a puppy in good health to be given away for a discount unless they have aged a considerable amount. Then the breeder may lower the price to get the pup a home. However, if a very young puppy is advertised as the last of the litter, but is still a young age, a discount may be suspicious.
Asking for Wire Transfer
If a breeder is asking for a wire transfer, you must ask yourself, why would they require that if you will see them in person to pick up the puppy? Of course, not every breeder that requests a wire transfer is running a puppy scam. However, it is something you have to consider as once a wire transfer has been made by you, a scamming breeder could leave and delete all contact with you. But how can you tell if a wire transfer is trusty?
If you have already been to visit the puppy, both of you have agreed upon a puppy contract, and then they ask for a deposit before the final pick up. This is most likely nothing to worry about, it may just be an easy form of payment. However, if the breeder has asked for full payment after one or two messages, be suspicious. Especially if they either refuse to send a picture of the dog or send a stock photo. Consider reverse searching images to see if they have been posted by other users and copied by a breeder.
Citing Shipping Complications and Additional Charges
Puppy scams are more well-known for taking a buyers money and never having a puppy in the first case. However, sometimes they will sell a puppy but enforce additional charges through lies. One way they can do this is by citing shipping complications. Many buyers in the USA will have puppies shipped to their nearest airport. Usually, notifications are only sent to the breeder as they shipped them, usually under request. This way the breeder can state that there was a problem during shipping and additional costs require payment, such as extra plane tickets or fuel costs.
Cheap Puppies and Fake Teacup Puppies
Beware of Puppy Mill Puppies most time puppies are very cheap and the seller will always want to meet in a parking lot somewhere. Many of these poor puppies are ripped from their mom at 3 to 4 weeks old to appear as teacup size puppies. They can fall sick/and or die within a few days, weeks or may have other hidden problems that may cost you thousands in Vet bills. Other fake teacup puppies cost less but surprisingly will grow giant dog at maturity.
Copied Listing or Pictures
Sometimes puppy scams will copy a whole advert from other, regulated breeders. This grants them ease in their crime along with a convincing advert to attract your attention. Furthermore, they can offer multiple pictures of the same puppy in an attempt to convince you. They can also research the breeder they are attempting to impersonate, or at least impersonating their sale, and learn more background facts. These allow them to seem more convincing in their pitch, put you at ease, and increase the likelihood of their scam working.
How to Avoid Puppy Scams
Meet the Seller and Dog
By meeting the seller and dog, you can prevent a puppy scam and be provided with confidence that this is a legitimate breeder. Firstly, you can ask the breeder all kinds of questions and gauge their responses. If they seem knowledgeable and passionate, this is a good sign. You should be wary if they seem avoidant and sharp in their responses.
This allows you to see if this puppy would be well suited for your family and living situation. Also, observing the breeding facilities will let you see the cleanliness, enrichment, and proper care for the dogs, or lack of.
Research General Market Prices for Your Breed
Pedigree pups at prices sounds too good to be true. A reputable teacup puppy breeder may price their puppies anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000. By researching the general market price for your pup, you can see if the price recommended by a breeder makes sense. If it is either very steep or very low, be cautious, and look into why that is. Teacup puppies listed like purebred for 300-1000$ in completely unrealistic, and this is a red flag!
Rare colorings may also be a reason to raise a puppy’s price, but these are the most common and justified reasons. Be cautious of others. Similarly, if the costs are low for a puppy or very discounted, always be wary and ask why.
Search Online Communities for Social Media Exposure of Your Perspective Breeder
There are so many different social media communities to search for reviews, opinions, and different experiences of buyers with particular buyers.
From positive to negative reviews, buyers can discuss their different experiences of breeders and who to watch out for. Swarch is the breeder has Youtube or Instagram page with actual pictures and videos. This is a great technique to employ when you are first contacting a breeder.