FBI Oregon Warns of Pandemic Puppy Scam
The FBI is issuing a warning on a new trend defrauding Americans known as pandemic puppy scams.
This week, the FBI Oregon branch sent out an alert to raise awareness on the increased purchase of puppies, or kittens, especially during the pandemic.
They say that during this past year fraudsters will offer to sell a young pet online but once the money is received there is no signs of a puppy. The groups target individuals and families wanting a new family companion during the pandemic as more people spend more time at home.
Variations of the scam include a the scammers taking advantage of COVID-19 restrictions such as contactless delivery claims, regardless, the fraudsters have no intent on delivering a pet.
The Better Business Bureau estimates 3 million dollars in losses have occurred in pandemic puppy scams.
Some recommendations include finding a pet locally instead of unknown breeders, doing a reverse image search on photos of prospective pets, and if you can’t meet in person use a video chat to see the pet.
They say legitimate pet organizations rarely demand that you pay with cash, wire transfer, or gift cards.