Puppy scams are on the rise… just in time for the holidays

Do you know that puppy scams are common during the holidays? According to a report from Veterinarians.org, California has the highest rate of puppy scams, and scams are spreading nationwide.

California is the state with the most reported puppy scams, with 345 scams reported to the Better Business Bureau between January 1, 2021 and October 31, 2021. Consequently, California scam victims lost over a quarter of a million dollars, with the average victim losing $733.69.

Texans, Floridians, and New Yorkers followed closely behind, with average losses exceeding $700 in these states. Texans suffered the highest average losses, totaling $913.20. In total, $220,000 was lost to puppy scams in Texans.

In terms of average money lost to puppy-related scams, Michigan stands out. There was an average loss of $1,097 per scam victim in this state.

As many people consider puppies to be Christmas gifts, puppy fraud is on the rise. In collaboration with the Better Business Bureau, the report found:

  • The U.S. reported 3,000 puppy scams from January 1, 2021 to October 31, 2021, 165% more than pre-pandemic 2019.

  • As the state with the most reported puppy scams, California reported 345 cases.

  • Over a quarter of a million dollars were lost to puppy scams in California, with an average loss of $733.69 per victim.

  • In Texas, Florida, and New York, scam victims lose on average more than $700, but Texas stands out with $913.20.

  • Michigan loses the most money per fraud. In this state, scam victims lost an average of $1,097.

  • Montana tops the list of scams per 100K people with 1.94 scams per 100K.

  • The only states in both the Top 15 for most reported puppy scams per 100,000 people and for most puppy scams overall are Colorado, Arizona, Virginia, and Washington.

Adopting is a great way to avoid puppy fraud and scams. Puppies for Christmas are generally not a great idea. Pay attention to the following red flags if you’re looking for specific breeds and going through a breeder:

  • Because of COVID restrictions, you cannot view the puppy first and must pay a deposit through Western Union, MoneyGram, Zelle, or Cash App in order to reserve the puppy.

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