Indiana State Police detectives are currently investigating a couple of fraud incidents involving individuals attempting to purchase dogs online.
One recent Warrick County resident purchased a dog through a website and paid $900. The dog was going to be shipped to the buyer and required insurance and vaccinations, which was an additional $2,800. After the resident paid the additional funds, the company informed the buyer that the insurance was expired and they needed additional payment. The resident became suspicious, refused to send any additional payment and contacted Indiana State Police. The victim paid a total of $3,700 and never received a dog.
According to the Better Business Bureau data, nearly 10,000 scam reports and complaints have been received during the last three years about businesses selling puppies and dogs. The Federal Trade Commission estimates that only about 10% of victims report these crimes, so this number could be much higher.
Tips if you are interested in purchasing a dog online:
- Avoid classified sites.
- Communicate with the seller.
- Research prices.
- Meet the seller and puppy/dog.
- Get a contract and check references.
- Be wary of shipping services.
- Never wire money or use gift cards for payment.
- If the price is too good to be true, it’s likely a scam!