How to Spot a Pet Scam

Posted on 04/16/24 by Dawn Alexander

Who doesn’t want to give their loved ones that perfect 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 pet leads many to a scam they won’t soon forget.

Here are three ways you can avoid a pet scam.

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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.

Lastly, 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.

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