Wisconsin BBB: Be aware of puppy, pet scams

WISCONSIN (CBS 58) -- Many people have been feeling lonely during the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown orders, so many have turned to getting a puppy. But now, scammers are already taking advantage.

The Wisconsin Better Business Bureau is reporting a big jump in puppy scams and pet scams in general. They estimate more than 3/4 of websites that advertise puppies for sale aren't real.

Many of these scammers typically operate out of foreign countries like South Africa, Singapore and Cameroon. 

"Scammers are very clever at tapping into the emotion of the person they're trying to scam," said Katherine Hutt of the Better Business Bureau. "This is not just a scam where you lose money. This is a scam where your heart gets broken."

Some tips to avoid getting scammed:

  • Always try to visit to see the puppy in person, or at least do a video call.
  • Do a reverse-image search of the pet's photo to make sure it is authentic
  • Do research on the fair price for the breed you are considering

Fraudulent offers usually discount the price.

Nearly 4,000 people filed complaints with the BBB from January-November claiming to be victims of pet scams.

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