Have you ever come across those online ads with a picture of a puppy so cute you immediately want to take it home? It’s as if the picture alone tempts you to buy the dog at any price.
Well, you might want to reconsider that thought because identity thieves are using cute puppy ads as tactics to lure people out of money. How it all starts is with a well made website showcasing puppies and then a phone call, or at times an e-mail, to a fake dog breeder. Once a deal is made, the “breeder” has the buyer send a personal check as the payment method. The fake dog breeder then lets the buyer know that the dog was priced incorrectly and is willing to return the over payment through wire transfer. The buyer is asked to provide his or her checking account information and later discovers that the identity thief has drained the bank account. What’s sad about this is that the buyer’s information is compromised and the potential pet never arrives.
If you are considering buying a pet online, The Humane Society of the United States provides some helpful tips:
– Never buy a pet from anyone whose operation you have not personally visited
– Check references for any breeder that you deal with
– If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is
To avoid the hassles and a situation like this all together you can visit your local pet shelter and adopt a pet. There are actually a few good search engines online that can help you locate a pet shelter near you based on the zip code you live in.
Otherwise, the next time you are online thinking about purchasing a pet, you may want to do your homework first so those fuzzy feelings you get will end up with a fuzzy friend.