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Texas Ranks as Number Two State for Puppy Scams

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Litter of puppies. | Image from Okssi68

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There were 242 puppy scams in Texas between January and October of this year, the second-most of any state in the country, WFFA recently reported.

In that time, Texans collectively lost $220,000 to the scams.

Veterinarians.org conducted a study, and while puppy adoptions were up during COVID-19 lockdowns, the organization’s study f revealed that scams involving puppy sales have risen. Texas came in as the second-worst state for these scams.

Puppy scams often take place through social media or fake websites, WFAA reported. People will pay for a dog by wiring or otherwise sending the money to the breeder, but their new pet never arrives.

A few of the scammed individuals spoke to WFAA about the experience. Baldo Leon, who lives in Ohio, explained he tried to buy a Goldendoodle puppy for his daughter. He found one person in Plano who claimed to be a breeder with several puppies available.

“He sent me multiple pictures of different puppies, which is what we were looking for,” Leon told WFAA. “He showed me a Texas ID, he told me where he lived, and gave me his address and gave me an account for us to wire the money to.”

Leon wired $600 to the account and awaited the puppy’s arrival, and the experience then turned sour.

“He told me that the crate or the kennel was incorrect for the airline they were using and that he needed an additional $500,” Leon said. “I sent it to him, but my bank stopped it, fortunately.”

Leon then reported the scam to the Plano Police Department.

“It was a horrible experience, I was manipulated, and I was conned,” he added.

The study from Veterinarians.org reported that California was the worst state for puppy scams. Nearly 350 cases were reported across the state during 2021. However, Michigan experienced the highest amount of money lost per scam, with an average of $1,097 being stolen.

The American Kennel Club Red Flags for Puppy Scams says to watch for:

  • No phone calls. A reputable breeder will always communicate with you via phone or video chat (if not in person).
  • Copycat or stock photos. Photos of the dog or ad text can be found on multiple websites.
  • Sketchy payment. The seller asks for wiring of money or payment by gift cards.
  • Price is too good to be true. Purebred dogs sold at deeply discounted prices are typically frauds.

The study from Veterinarians.org reported that California was the worst state for puppy scams. Nearly 350 cases were reported across the state during 2021.

Michigan experienced the highest amount of money lost per scam, with an average of $1,097 being stolen.

 

 

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