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Some helpful safety tips

Ask for a phone number for the person selling the pet and a veterinary clinic the pet has been to. If the seller won’t give the numbers, or if they are not US numbers, this is
probably a scam. If they do give the phone numbers, call and ask questions.

If you see an offer that is too good to be true, it probably is.  It probably is a scam!

Always arrange for a safe place to meet and to finish a transaction.

Never pay with anonymous payment services that can't be traced.

If the person is claiming to be a breeder, ask for breeder registration information. If they won’t give it, walk away. If they do give it, verify with the appropriate breeders’ group.

Ask to see more photos of the same animal from different angles. Ask to see a picture of the same animal when it was a few weeks younger. Can the breeder produce them?

The simple way to avoid being scammed, is to ALWAYS visit the pet at the advertisers home to make sure they are genuine. You should NEVER even contemplate sending money online to anyone you don't know.

Don’t trust a seller that pushes for the sale to happen quickly by saying they are moving, they have to get rid of the pet asap, they can’t take care of the pet anymore or that harm may come to the pet.

The Scam Advertiser may...

Advertise expensive animals, like Bulldogs or toy breeds, offered at very low prices.  Animals are offered up for adoption at no cost—all you have to do is pay for the shipping.  If you see an ad like this, chances are it is a scam.

Say they are giving the animal up because of a family hardship - relocation, death of the person who owned the pets, the climate is not good, etc.

Say they will use a “courier” or “pet delivery service” but not tell you the name of the “courier”.

Have poor spelling and grammar in their email.

If you are looking at an online pet purchase…

Do an online search (Bing, Google, AOL, etc.) for the email address of the advertiser.  Scammers often place ads on several free sites or locations.  If you find multiple ads, it is most likely a scam.

Try to make arrangements to pick the animal up yourself, saying you will fly to wherever the animal is.  If they can’t make those arrangements, it is probably a scam.
Do an online search on part of the text used in the email you receive from the shipper. Especially search for their introduction or information about the company.
Ask for the name and contact information of the “shipper” the advertiser plans to use.