Anyone wanting to bring a pet into their home needs to be aware that the Better Business Bureau of Acadiana is sending out a warning of scams that are increasing in our area.

Better Business Bureau of Acadiana Chief Operating Officer Chris Babin says in a press release they are continuing to get more complaints about online pet sales especially when it comes to puppies.

Unreputable people who claim to be with an animal shelter, or people posing as a wonderful person who just can't take of their puppy anymore, will try several different tactics to get your money, and there is never a dog. A clue that the people are trying to con you, they will ask for a gift card, or they will want you to transfer money to them via venmo, or a similar type of site. Don't give them any money, even if they claim it's just a deposit, so they can "hold" your puppy.

Other lies that scammers will tell you in order to get your money include that the dog has had some type of emergency, and they need you to pay the bill. Another tactic scammers use is to get you to send them a shipping fee for a free dog. Babin says don't fall for any of these scams because these people are just looking to rip you off. He says if you can't see the person and the pet face-to-face, then never send them your money. Police will also suggest that you never meet someone along for any transaction. In fact, most police departments in Louisiana now allow people to meet in their parking lots when transactions are made.

We all work hard for our money, and scammers do not care. They just want your money. Here are some things that Babin recommends when it comes to looking online for a pet:

  • Never make a deal with someone that won't meet up with you in person and show you the pet.
  • When you are looking at a puppy's picture online, make sure you check other sites to see if that image is listed. You can do a reverse search to check it out.
  • Don't use a money transfer with anyone you don't know.

Babin always tells Kpel that anytime you feel pressure to give money quickly, that is usually a sign that the deal isn't real.

You should report any scamming activity to the Better Business Bureau. They have a program called Scam Tracker. It helps other people to know what kind of cons are active in your area.

Babin says some of these people are so devious, they threaten you with the false claim that if a pet is not adopted, it might have to be euthanized.

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