Don't Get Bitten by a Pet Scam

Posted on 12/08/22

Who doesn’t want to give their loved ones that perfect holiday postcard moment? You know, the big box with a bow that has a furry new member of the family inside. Unfortunately, that desire to create a cherished memory of a holiday pet leads many to a scam they won’t soon forget.

Here are three ways you can avoid a pet scam this holiday season.

  • First, do your research and understand how much a certain breed costs. Don’t trust websites that offer deep discounts on the going rate.
  • Second, use the photo of the pet you are offered to conduct a reverse image search online (search “how to do a reverse image search” in your favorite browser). Scammers copy pet photos from other websites.
  • Thirdly, if you can, shop local. Meeting the breeder in person or touring the facility lets you know it is legitimate. A seller that invents reasons why you can’t pick the pet up in person shouldn’t be trusted. (And consider adopting from a rescue, where many future beloved family members are waiting!)

Be a fraud fighter!  If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam.

The AARP Fraud Watch Network is a free resource for all. Learn how to proactively spot scams or get guidance if you’ve been targeted. Visit www.aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork or call our dedicated helpline to speak to a fraud specialist at 1-877-908-3360.

This story is provided by AARP Maryland. Visit the AARP Maryland page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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