City Attorney Warns of Heartbreaking “Puppy Scam”

Thinking of surprising a loved one with a new puppy this holiday? L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer wants to make sure you aren’t duped by a heartbreaking scam.

The city attorney’s office says hundreds of Californians have handed money over to “breeders” in exchange for a pet, only to discover that the dogs they fell in love with online don’t exist.

“Those cuddly pictures that people will see online might steal your heart, but the criminals behind these scams are after one thing: they want to steal your money,” Feuer warned.

“The victim pays fees, the scammers demand additional fees and at some point victims either can’t pay, or realize they have been taken. But by this time, their money is gone and most people never get a puppy at all.”

There have been at least 75 puppy scam victims in the City of L.A. Nationwide complaints stand at 4,500, according to KTLA.

To protect yourself, Feuer suggests avoiding breeders who charge unusually low prices, who refuse to allow you to meet the dog, and who require money transfers. Of course, the best way to avoid being scammed is to adopt from a reputable nonprofit or shelter.

In the market for a new fur baby? Find your nearest L.A. Animal Services shelter here. Oh, and L.A. County is waving adoption fees this Saturday!


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