Better Business Bureau Warns Consumers in Rise of Pet Scams

We all love our fur babies, but unfortunately, the scammers know that too.

The Better Business Bureau Serving Western Michigan has seen a rise in pet-related scams.

“Of all the scams we see, pet scams tend to have the largest personal impact,” said, Phil Catlett, President of the Better Business Bureau Serving Western Michigan.. “Customers get emotionally attached through video and pictures, only to have their hearts broken when it turns out to be a con. Most victims tell us they are more upset about not getting the dog or cat than they are about the money they lost.”

The four’s Xavier Hershovitz spoke to the BBB about the scams they are seeing. Watch that interview above.

The BBB has the following advice for current and prospective pet owners:

If you can, buy local: If buying a pet, start with the local animal shelter or a local breeder. This allows you to verify, in-person, that the animal is real. If looking for pet products, find a store you are sure is local. This not only protects you, it helps the local economy.

-Research before you buy: Find out what kind of track record the company or website has by searching at bbb.org. There you can find complaints and reviews and see if others have had issues. Do additional online searches as well and see what people are saying about their own experiences with these companies.

-Be cautious with pet shipping: There are a limited number of breeders who ship animals. If you can’t verify in-person that the pet is real, do a live chat through apps like Facetime or Zoom. Make sure you can see both the seller and the animal together live.

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