MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - If you’re looking to add a pet to the family, be careful if you’re shopping online. Consumer experts say 80-percent of sponsored advertisements about pets, may be fake.
“BBB Scam Tracker reports over 1,000 complaints we’ve gotten about fake pet websites," said David Smitherman with the Better Business Bureau. "The FTC has over 40,000 complaints.”
So what can you do? Do your homework. Check out the website and call the company yourself. Also never buy a pet without seeing it in person. These scammers will often say they don’t have time to show you the pet, but they can ship it. That’s when they start asking for money upfront for shipping and insurance.
“We’ve seen people spend thousands and thousands of dollars to get this pet that doesn’t exist.”
You also should check other pet websites. If you see the same picture on different sites, that should be a red flag. Someone may have just grabbed a cute picture but doesn’t really have that animal and never pay with a wire transfer, it’s almost impossible to get your money back once you send it.
Another “red flag”, if someone is selling a purebred dog for an amazing deal, it could be a scam. Just some things to keep in mind while you’re searching for that perfect pet for your family.