Puppy scams are on the rise again, so much so that the Michigan Attorney General’s office is issuing a warning to animal lovers to watch out. A release from the office says that scammers are often using COVID as an excuse to steal extra money and avoid in person meetings. The opening of the release reads:
“Given the increased number of individuals staying at home to do their part and slow the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), many are turning to the internet to adopt or purchase a furry companion. Unfortunately, the Michigan Department of Attorney General has seen a surge in complaints of internet scammers exploiting this situation. Several Michiganders have recently been tricked into paying for pets that do not exist. Due to these thieves often being outside the United States, the prospects of getting money back are extremely low.
Scammers are using this pandemic as an excuse to refuse in-person visits or to demand additional fees, including fees for shipment in special “protective” crates, for pandemic insurance, or for a COVID-19 vaccine or medication—none of which exist. Such methods are in addition to the typical scam practices of advertising puppies that do not exist or demanding exorbitant fees once the purchase price is paid, such as fees for shipping or health-related issues.”
You can read the full consumer alert text, including tips to avoid scammers here