FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – Online scams are on the rise here in Northwest Arkansas and one of the most popular scams out there has to do with man’s best friend.
Cara Carlin with the Better Business Bureau says online puppy scams are one of the two likely scams you will encounter as an Arkansasan.
The scam itself involves online users creating fake profiles to solicit funds from unsuspecting puppy customers, and since March, more than one-hundred and seventy Arkansasans have fallen victim.
“It is just a huge problem, and that is only what is reported. On top of that we estimate that probably only a third of most people report,” says Carlin.
Carlin explains everyone being home due to the pandemic has created the perfect environment for scammers to double down and play on our emotions.
“So many people lose money to these scams and that’s because it is emotional. You are looking for that very specific puppy and you want it,” says Carlin.
Carlin explains it’s rare for those who get scammed to their money back, so the best way to protect yourself is to check with the BBB before purchasing.
An additional way you can protect yourself is to adopt and not shop.
“You can definitely find a really good animal at a shelter sometimes they already come potty trained,” says Randon Hassell with Fayetteville Animal Shelter.
However, if you do have your heart set on shopping, Carlin also recommends doing a reverse image search to see if puppy pictures were pirated from a breeder’s official website.