Early in February, 2017, a friend learned that one of
her own puppy photos had been lifted from her web site, and was being
used to sell a puppy through Facebook. The seller represented the puppy
as being owned by them, and it was offered at a lower price.
Coincidentally, the puppy's real buyer saw that same
puppy's photo on Facebook and contacted the
real breeder, concerned about which "seller" was the real
owner of the puppy.
Within a week, I learned of a second, similar
situation! A local person that bought a puppy online drove 7 hours
each direction to get the puppy, but came home with no puppy. The
"seller" didn't show up at the meeting place and didn't respond to their
attempts to reach him/her. The seller had their deposit, and just didn't
show up to meet them with any puppy.
In both cases, the "scammer" communicated frequently
with the buyers via both telephone calls and texts/messaging, which led
them to believe they were dealing with a legitimate person. In the past,
scammers typically communicated only through email, but now it appears
they are in the US and willing to even talk
on the phone.
In both cases, the sellers wanted their money through
wire transfer. The fake sellers didn't accept PayPal or credit cards.
They wanted MoneyGrams (such as through Wal-Mart) or Western Union wire
transfers, because once they get their money from those locations, it is
theirs. Boom. It can't be disputed and recovered by the sender of the
I am going to keep my ears open about these scams and
will update this page if I learn more.
At this time, I highly recommend that you
only use a credit card or PayPal to send a
deposit for a puppy, because you can file a dispute and get your money
back quickly if the seller isn't a real breeder. Sending money through
an automatic wire transfer, as mentioned above, does not seem like a
safe option to me, and I PERSONALLY would never do it! Therefore, I
can't recommend that you do it, either!