The Better Business Bureau of Texas has issued a warning after consumers across the country were scammed out of thousands of dollars pet websites connected to Fort Worth addresses.
The BBB said it received 16 reports in the last four months alleging payments were made for puppies that were not delivered or picked up. Those 16 consumers reported losing over $10,000, the BBB says.
The Fort Worth addresses were connected to the following companies:
- Fluffy Frenchies
- Fluffy Samoyeds
- Kingdom Chows
- Loyal Chows
- Playful Frenchies
- Pride Akitas
- Smiling Samoyeds
- Star Chow Chow
- Stone Akitas
- Sturdy Bulldogs
- True Frenchies
The BBB said its investigation found the Fort Worth addresses weren't associated with any of the companies and the phone numbers were not in service. Instead, all of the websites were tied to a person in India.
In one case, Texas resident Khira Vitak said she was told by Pride Akitas that she could pick up a puppy after she paid $699.
“They gave me an address to go to. I drove four hours there and back to be met with a heartbreaking reality that the address belonged to some random family possibly caught in the crossfire,” Vitak in a BBB press release.
The BBB recommends taking the following steps to avoid being a victim:
- Avoid buying a pet without seeing it in person
- Never send cash via money order or Western Union to a stranger
- Always use a credit card in case you need to dispute the charges
- Research what a fair price is for the breed you are interested in adopting. Think twice if someone is advertising a purebred dog for free or at a deeply discounted price. It could be a fraudulent offer.