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Puppy Scam Alert

As a reputable puppy breeder, you are always careful to screen your buyers carefully. You ask all the right questions, and carefully consider the environment in which your precious puppies will be placed. Sometimes though, a potential buyer seems too good to be true - they have all the perfect answers to your questions, and seem to know what you are going to ask them even before you do!

There also may be something different about this buyer. They aren't really the "buyer" at all, but rather an "agent" for whom they refer to as their "client". Or perhaps they purport to be the "client" who will have their "shipping agent" handle the transaction for them. This person is likely attempting to pull over a puppy scam on you. Below are some real examples of emails that we have captured that were sent to breeders selling their puppies here on PupListings.com.

Relay Fraud
Another threat to be on the lookout for are Relay Phone scams, in which someone claiming to be deaf or speech impaired uses an operator-assisted Internet Relay Service to communicate with a potential victim. This allows the scammer to hide his true location. More information about Relay Fraud here

Don't Give Change
Most puppy scams involve the scammer sending a money order or "company check" to the victim. The scammer will send too much money and expect you to return the overpayment in cash. Of course, the money order or company check turns out to be fake after the scammer (and your cash) are long gone.

Actual email fraud attempts discovered by PupListings.com
Hello, I highly interested in your advert. I live in CANADA,I will be responsible for the shippment down to my location, so please kindly write me back with your last offering price.I will also need some of its recent pics,and will like to know its state of health and the kind of food it takes because i want to present it to my daughter on her on coming birthday.Concerning payment I have a friend in the state who is ready to issue you a Certified Cashier's check in Usa funds since I don't have the funds in your currency. For convinient and easy transaction, I have a liable shipping agent who'd be responsible for the shipping as soon as you receive payment..I will therefore need the following information of yours to forward to my friend before he sends the check..... NAME IN FULL........ ADDRESS IN FULL.......... STATE.............. ZIPCODE........ COUNTRY........ CELL/OFFICE/HOME PHONE NUMBER....... I await your soonest reply MY REGARDS
Thanks for your mail.. i so much appreciate it well am sorry i couldn't get to my computer for a quick response.After much thought i think the price of the (B&t M 3is okay by me $700 I will like you to do me a little favour by removing the ad from the website and give me your contact details so we can proceed with payment and so other people will no it has been sold to me. Regarding payment,Since am traveling I have suggested that my personal assistant residing in the states should send you a Money Order or Check of $3500 which will carter for the cost price and cover shipping. Its going to be a Money Order or a check so should be cashed immedaitely you present it at your Bank or any check cashing establishment .I have an over to me here. It's kind of expensive though.So on getting the Payment, you are to cash it and deduct the cost price then do me a favour ofsending the remaining funds meant for shipping to the shipper via western Union/Money gram.Immediately they get the money,they will come for the pick-up. Confirm this and send your fullname, address and phone number which will be used in mailing the payment to you via courier service. i believe you may be surprise why am sending you that amount of money, i wnt you to understand that i do sell and buy, so i have other puppy as wel which my shipper will be coming to pick up as well...
Thanks and regards

Am Halle Berry can i know if this puppy's still avaliable forsale,my client who live in Brookville, Pennsylvania is interested in your puppy,he gave me quote and description of the puppy he need,and i will like to know the exact amount you intend to sell this puppy,moreso i will be glad if a USPS money order is accept by you from our client as your Mode of payment,if you want to procced you can aswell getback to me with your name and address including your phone number which the USPS money order will be payable to.
My contact e-mail is ##removed##
Am awaiting for your response,
Halle Berry

hello,am interested in buying your pup i will like to know maybe it is still available for sale if yes i will like you to get back to me with all these datails. 1.last selling price 2present conditions. 3.pics is also needed. Thanks get back to me with all thes

NEME IN FULL...........

Hi seller, am an agent from united kingdom and am willingly to buy this item from your hand , i am ok with buy it now auction sale of the item ...Therefore , seller for the payment of the item , we will like to use cheques as the mode of payment now...So seller if you agree with the mode of payment ,we want you to reply us so, that we can complete the transaction quickly this is becus this item is highly needed now. Do you accept a money order as a mode of payment?we are looking forward to hear from you soon with your reply okay...Thanks

What can I do?
There are several items to note here that should immediately raise a red flag if you receive a similar message. First, the whole client/agent thing - this is not how most people buy puppies. I would even go so far as to say that this is not how 99.999% of the general population buys their puppies. A new family pet is generally a very personal choice, and thus genuine buyers prefer to choose the dog themselves rather than relying on an "agent" to do it for them. This client/agent relationship could either be indicative of an outright scam to get your dog before you receive your full payment, or it could be a puppy broker trying hide their dealings from you (You don't sell to brokers, right?!). In any case, beware!

Second, the form of payment they request will almost always be one that is untraceable - this should really sound a few alarms with you. They will refuse your normal payment methods in lieu of something they are more comfortable with, and give you any number of excuses to convince you to give in to their trickery. Stand your ground - you are the breeder and the one with the potential for the greatest amount of loss here (not to mention the poor puppy that you are responsible for placing in a good home!). If they refuse to abide by your standards, move on - there are plenty of good homes out there for your puppy.

Third, poor grammar is sometimes indicative of someone whose first language is not English. This is not to say that you should avoid anyone whose grammar would not get them an A in school - hey, we all make mistakes. Also, there are many in this country who are indeed immigrants and are still learning English. And what about those legitimate buyers outside of the US? This is really a judgement call on your part, but something of which you should be aware. If you determine your potential buyer to be in a country such as Nigeria or elsewhere in that vicinity, be extremely careful. That part of the world is known by the FBI and other law enforcement agencies to turn a blind eye to scam artists operating within their borders.

And finally, if you have suspicions about an email you received through PupListings.com from a potential buyer, please let us know about it immediately. We maintain a record of the contacts that are sent through our system for a short period of time - if you contact us quickly, we can often determine if the same person has contacted several other breeders recently. If we detect a pattern that raises an alarm about that individual, we will be happy to let you know.

Be careful out there! The Internet is a great place to sell your precious puppies, but it also makes it easier for scammers to prey on the innocent. Your dogs deserve your due diligence! Look hard at any potential buyer who asks for you to do anything out of the ordinary, and watch out for those deals that are "too good to be true." PupListings.com

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