Over a dozen people across the country got scammed for hundreds of thousands of dollars when they tried to buy puppies online through various companies who used Fort Worth addresses, according to the Better Business Bureau.
The BBB discovered 11 fake dog breeding websites that claimed to be Fort Worth businesses and used similar or identical phone numbers. None of the phone numbers were active and the websites were registered with someone’s name in India, the BBB said in a scam alert.
Sixteen people said they tried to buy a dog from one of the sites and never received the animal. In the past four months, consumers have been scammed out of a total of $ 10,000.
One person, who wanted to remain anonymous, told the BBB that he paid one of the sites, Fluffy Samoyeds, $ 699 through Google Pay. The day his puppy was supposed to fly from Dallas to Pittsburgh, he received an email stating that the dog’s crate was not allowed through airport security and the company needed $ 1,900 additional.
The pup never arrived and United Airlines later told the man the tracking number was wrong.
A woman from Texas, Khira Vatik, told the BBB that she physically picked up her puppy from an address provided after paying $ 699. However, she drove four hours and found the address to be the home address of a random family, who knew nothing about the business.
The websites the BBB identified as bogus were:
- Fluffy Frenchies
- Kingdom Chows
- Playful Frenchies
- Smiling Samoyeds
- Stone Akita
- The real French
- Fluffy Samoyeds
- Loyal food
- Akitas Pride
- Star Chow Chow
- Sturdy bulldogs
The BBB offered this advice to avoid this kind of scam:
- Avoid buying a pet without seeing it in person.
- Never send cash by money order or Western Union to a stranger.
- Always use a credit card in case you need to dispute the charges.
- Do some research to get an idea of the right price for the breed you want to adopt. Think twice if someone is advertising a purebred dog for free or at a very discounted price. It could be a fraudulent offer.
This story was originally published January 13, 2020 4:35 pm.