CHICAGO (CBS)– More and more people have been adopting pets amid the pandemic. With this demand for pets, there has also been an increase in pet scams this year.
The Better Business Bureau reported a spike in pet fraud reports, with more than 4,000 reports received in 2020 from the U.S. and Canada.
Officials said fraud offenders tell would-be pet owners they cannot meet the animals before sending money. Money is typically sent through apps like Zella or requested through gift cards only.
“With this rising demand has come to a spike in pet scams, in which an online search ends with a would-be pet owner paying hundreds of dollars or more to adopt a pet that ultimately doesn’t exist,” BBB officials stated in a written release.”
BBB data revealed 337 consumer complaints of puppy scams in November 2020 as COVID-19 restriction increased. In November 2019, there were only 77 complaints.
“The projected dollar loss from these scams is expected to top $3 million, more than six times the total losses reported in 2017,” BBB data reported.
Virtually meeting the animal and owner as well as researching the offer is recommended before paying, to reduce scam incidents. The BBB also recommends checking out local animal shelters online for pets you can meet before adopting.
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Source: CBS Chicago | News Colony