BBB warns of increased pet scams during the holiday season

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The holidays are the perfect time to add a cute, furry addition to your family.  However, scammers know this and, according to the Better Business Bureau, there is an increase in people losing money over pet scams during the holiday season.

The BBB says that scammers bank on pulling your heartstrings.  They often post an adorable advertisement for a kitten or puppy online.  They’ll either pretend to be a breeder or act like a “distraught pet owner” in need of finding a new home for their furry friend.

Once you’ve fallen in love with the pet through pictures and videos the scammers will ask you to wire money for the four-foot, the BBB explained.

Once the purchase is complete they scammer reportedly promises you a new dog or cat, however, “unexpected” problems arise.

They’ll typically say things like “the airline requires a specific pet crate” or “you must pay for a vet visit.”  They may even require you, the buyer, to purchase a costly pet insurance.

The BBB said that the scammers often promise to refund you for the “unexpected” costs once your pet is delivered.

However, the cat or dog you’ve fallen in love with never actually existed to begin with.

The BBB provides the following tips to protect yourself from pet scams:

  • Never wire money to people or companies you do not know and trust
  • See the animal in person before making a purchase
  • Research prices for the specific breed you’re interested in

You can learn more about pet scams on the BBB’s website, here.

And, if you’ve been a victim of a pet scam, you can report it on the BBB’s Scam Tracker, here, to help prevent the same thing from happening to others.

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