Puppy scams cost people more than $1M in 2022

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Friday, December 16, 2022
Puppy scams cost people more than $1M in 2022
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If you are looking for a puppy this holiday season, watch out as scammers are trying to get your money. A Pittsboro woman lost $250.

PITTSBORO, N.C. (WTVD) -- If you are looking for a puppy this holiday season, watch out as scammers are trying to get your money. A Pittsboro woman lost $250, and she is not alone.

Alea Taylor was hooked as soon as she saw pictures of cute Yorkshire puppies while scrolling through Facebook.

"I saw a post on Facebook. It was a friend of mine and my mom (who) knew who the person was."

The post claimed the puppies were free, just required a rehoming fee of $250.

"They need to be relocated because they were moving into an apartment, and they needed these puppies to be gone by a certain time," Taylor explained.

She communicated back and forth with who she thought was her Facebook friend. She paid the $250 rehoming fee through Cash App. But before getting the puppy, Taylor was asked to pay more.

The dog owner told her they needed another $80.

Feeling uneasy about it, Taylor reached out to the friend who posted the puppies on Facebook and learned it was all a scam. The friend's Facebook account had been hacked and Taylor had been communicating with and sending money to scammers.

"I want other people to know, just to watch and pay attention to things, and also like, if you know that person still text them or give them a call, and like, hey like, are you really selling these," Taylor said.

So far in 2022, more than 1,500 puppy scams have been reported to the Better Business Bureau, and those scams have cost people more than $1 million dollars. Experts at Veterinarians.org say this number will only increase as the holidays approach. The group released this study that breaks down the states with the most puppy scams in 2022, and how to spot a puppy scam.

Here are the Troubleshooter takeaways when it comes to puppy scams. The first is to not get lured by cute pictures of puppies, those pictures are often stolen from legit breeder's websites. You can always do a reverse google image search.

Also, try and see the puppy in person before you send any money. If that's not possible do a FaceTime with the seller. When it comes to money, be very careful before sending any. Make sure you research the seller to see if they're legit.

Of course, you can always adopt as opposed to shopping as local shelters are in great need of your help this holiday to clear the shelters.

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