According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB) pet scams involving the online sale of non-existent dogs have increased 39% since 2017.  People buy dogs or other pets online and although they think they are taking proper precautions, they often end up getting nothing in return for the money that they wire to the scammer who may have a website or some other way of marketing their non-existent pets with photographs and false information. Often the scammers hook their victims for more and more money, such as when even after the victims has paid for the non-existent dog, the victim is asked for further fees for a special crate to transport the dog along with additional transportation company fees.

Recently the BBB for Texas warned consumers about eleven phony dog breeding websites that scammed victims out of thousands of dollars.  The eleven phony breeders are Fluffy Frenchies, Fluffy Samoyeds, Kingdom Chows, Loyal Chows, Playful Frenchies, Pride Akitas, Smiling Samoyeds, Star Chow Chow, Stone Akitas, Study Bulldogs and True Frenchies.  While all of these phony breeders listed business addresses and phone numbers from the Fort Worth Texas area, none of the addresses or phone numbers indicated on the websites were legitimate.  All of the websites were registered to someone in India.

One victim of the scam was told on the day he was supposed to pick up his dog at the Pittsburgh airport that the crate used to send the dog was determined to be insufficient and that an additional $1,900 had to be paid for a proper crate.  Of course, it was all a scam.


It is simple for a scammer to construct a website that appears to be legitimate and scammers can readily steal the name of a legitimate animal breeder. Always check into the reputation of the breeder with the Better Business Bureau, your state’s attorney general and even Google the name with the word “scam” to see if a legitimate breeder’s name that is being used has been stolen for scams previously. Be wary of anyone who asks you to wire money because that is a telltale sign that a scam is going on because once the money is wired, it is impossible to get it back. If you are told that a courier company is being used to transport the animal, check out the company to make sure it is legitimate and actually shipping the dog. There also are a number of ways such as using the website to search the photos sent to you of the dog to see if they appear elsewhere other than the website attempting to sell you a puppy. If so, this is a good indication that you are being scammed. Also, always get a veterinarian report on any animal before you consider buying it. Finally, you are always going to be better off buying a pet that you can see in person prior to buying the pet.

Some phony breeders claim they are certified by the American Kennel Club (AKC) however, the AKC doesn’t certify breeders.  Legitimate breeders will however, register their litters with the AKC and you can find out by calling the AKC’s customer service line 919-233-9767 if a particular litter has been registered.

Here is a link to a television interview I did about pet scams:

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