Beware of online puppy scams

Beware of online puppy scams
Posted on 01/29/2021

The Lenexa Police Department has taken reports of individuals in Lenexa being scammed when trying to buy a puppy or kitten from an online source. This includes breeder websites, Craigslist and Facebook groups. Scammers are sometimes very sophisticated, even creating entirely fraudulent, but realistic looking, websites.

Here are some common red flags to be aware of:

  • Seller will only communicate by text message, email or some other type of messenger service, not directly over the phone.
  • The price seems suspiciously low for the type of dog or cat you are purchasing. If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Seller requests payment via gift card, app (Venmo, Cash App, etc.), or electronic wire. All of these can be more difficult to recover funds if the transaction goes awry. Instead, pay by credit card, which usually offers the most fraud protection.
  • You can’t locate reputable buyer reviews for the seller.
  • The seller uses high-pressure tactics to play on buyers' emotions and force an impulsive purchase.

For more information about puppy scams, see this article by the American Kennel Club.

If you have been the victim of this type of scam, or any other, and have experienced a financial loss as a result, please file a report with the Lenexa Police Department by calling 913.477.7301.

Published January 29, 2021