Pet scammers on the rise around the holidays

Local News

LUBBOCK, Texas — Local breeders and shelters in the area are currently facing one major problem, scammers looking to take advantage of folks like you during the holiday season.

These pet scams run in two major ways. Scammers could steal a photo of a high-value pet and list it for a low price, disappearing after they’ve received payment.

“If you want a $2,500 dog, you are not going to get a $2,500 dog for $100. It’s just not going to happen. I don’t care how cute it is or whatever. It’s just not going to happen,” said Co-owner of Operation Pawprints, Elizabeth Randolph.

Or they could collect found pets and then sell them on craigslist without ever having their microchips scanned to find the original owner.

Texas teacup Yorkie breeder, Robin Church, has had scammers steal photos of her puppies many times and says these scams affect her business.

“Now, they aren’t trusting of me. They are just a little leery,” said Church.

To avoid these pet scams, Church says you should ask the seller to see the pet before sending any money.

“We do facetime all the time for our clients. And so, a live chat, a video chat is a good way if you aren’t able to visit with the breeder,” said Church.

Randolph said she believes these scams have only increased in 2020.

“The pandemic is causing poverty, and poverty leads to crime. It leads to misery of all manners, so when you see people struggling, they are going to be looking for a way to hustle and find a dollar somewhere,” said Randolph.

Both Church and Randolph plan to continue to fight back against scammers and help all their puppies find good homes.

“The general public they are just normal people looking for a pet, and they shouldn’t be treated that way,” said Randolph.

Church said it is important for those looking to get a pet to do their research on the shelter or breeder they are buying from. Video chat with them, check their references and most of all, don’t send money over the internet.

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