Effingham, Ill – In the next upcoming months we will be back in the shopping season for the holidays. Getting your family a cute puppy is always a common idea during the holiday shopping season.
Unfortunately, scammers are taking advantage of consumers who are looking for their new furry friends online.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) recently released a new study showing scammers using phony online ads, and fake websites to lure in customers.
In a news release published by the BBB, the bureau stated, “The report estimates that tens of thousands of consumers in the U.S. and around the world may have fallen victim to the scam, with prospective buyers losing anywhere from $100 to thousands of dollars each to the thieves.
“The report recommends coordinated and aggressive law enforcement and increased consumer education to combat the scam.”
The reports latest findings include, but are not limited to:
- The country origin of scams is the West African country of Cameroon. The scammers utilize employees in the United States to carry outs step in the scams.
- Of all of the sponsored links advertising pet sales online, 80% are fabricated.
- Scammers avoid meeting in person at all costs.
- Victims range between the late teens to early 20s in age.
Joey Keyes of the BBB, spoke with us regarding the latest report.
During the interview, he expressed that websites like craigslist, or the Facebook Marketplace are commonly used by scammers to make a victim of consumers.
Keyes also shared the following tips in order to avoid falling for the false ads: ‘
- Research any ads origin, or business to find concrete evidence. The BBB’s website is considered to be a trusted source to find a company’s profile.
- Always pick up your new puppy in person.
- Be very skeptical if the price is extremely low.
- When looking to purchase or adopt a new pet research all of the requirements needed to do so
- (permits, licenses, etc.)
- Consider going to your local animal shelter if purebred is not really an issue.
Any victim of fraud would need to report it to the BBB Scam Tracker.
To listen to the full interview click below: