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LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- Nevada Attorney General Aaron D. Ford on Thursday issued a warning to Nevadans to be cautious when shopping for a new puppy or pet online.

According to a news release, during the state of emergency, more people have turned to online shopping to find a new pet to add to their family. However, according to the attorney general's office, scammers are taking advantage of buyers by falsely advertising and posting pets for sale.

In many instances, Attorney General Ford says, potential buyers respond to an online post offering an animal for sale. The scammers then ask for payment upfront, make excuses why the buyer can't see the animal in person, and, ultimately failt to complete the agreement because the pet doesn't exist.

The attorney general's office also notes that sometimes, the fake seller may demand that the buyer pay for things such as climate-controlled created, insurance or non-existent COVID-19 vaccines for the animals.

“Many households are using this time at home to welcome a new pet into their family,” said AG Ford. “However, some Nevadans are left heartbroken when they’re tricked into buying a pet that doesn’t exist.”

In order to avoid pet-selling scams, the attorney general's office issued the following suggestions:

In order to avoid pet-selling scams, Nevadans are encouraged to:

  • Ask to see the pet in-person. If you are unable to do so, request a video conference with the seller so you can see the pet. Conduct an image search of any pictures of the pet. If the picture appears on multiple websites, it may not be a picture of an animal within the possession of the seller.
  • Pay with a credit card. Avoid paying by wire transfer, payment apps or gift cards when paying anyone you do not know. While the scammer may store your credit card information, charges to credit cards are easily disputed. Once money is wired or placed on a gift card, you will have no means to get a refund.
  • Do your research. Research the average price for the breed of pet you are buying. If a purebred dog is being advertised for free or at a reduced price, it could be a sign of a scam. Also research the seller online to find out if there are any complaints about the breeder or business.
  • Contact local animal shelters. Especially during the pandemic, Nevada shelters may be looking for foster homes for animals to relieve overcrowding.

If you believe you have been a victim of a scam, you may file a complaint with the Office of the Nevada Attorney General here or with the Federal Trade Commission here. You may also call the AG office's hotline toll free at (888) 434-9989.

Copyright 2020 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved

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(2) comments

vegasdawn

Who would be dumb enough to send money upfront without meeting the pet? Best to do business with a local shelter or the animal foundation.

False!

Same dumb people who are crying about unemployment rates but didnt give a f##k about it before the world got hit with a pandemic

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