Better Business Bureau warns of online puppy scams ahead of holidays

BBB urges buyers to see pet in person before paying money

Family says they were scammed by dog breeder who was also a defendant on 'Judge Judy' (WBBM)

The Better Business Bureau is warning of a spike in online pet scams during the pandemic and to be on guard if you’re considering buying a pet over the holidays.

There were more reports of fraudulent pet websites in the U.S. and Canada in April than the first three months leading up to the start of the pandemic.

Victims have reported a median loss of $750.

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Scammers ask for payments through apps such as Cashapp and Zelle and through gift cards.

The Better Business Bureau recommends seeing the pet in person before paying any money.

You can do it by video call, and scammers are unlikely to go along with it.

Do a reverse-image search of the pet photo and search for a distinctive phrase in the pet description.

Do some research and find out the fair price for the breed you want and consider adopting from a local animal shelter instead.