1000's of reputable breeders use Pawbe.com to list their puppies with many more satisfied puppy owners. Occasionally, however, there maybe some listings that are possible scams or outright fraud.
Below is a simple list of 5 things to consider when buying a puppy online. When something doesn't seem right, it is much easier and safer to just walk away.
1.Go beyond email & texting. While email & texting is great to initiate contact, you always want to talk on the phone and meet in person with the seller. Sellers who only want to text are usually hiding something. Anyone refusing to use the phone for communication is someone you want to avoid.
2.Avoid Wiring Money - Use Paypal or Escrow.com. A seller who will only accept Western Union or money wires for payment or some other MoneyGram/Instant Transfer does not give you any protection as a buyer. Services such as paypal or escrow.com at least gives you some form of buyer protection. This can also involve shipping scams where they ask you to send the shipping fee upfront.
3.Avoid Overseas Sellers. Each breeder, fills out a both a US State and City. If the seller is saying they are located overseas, that usually indicates a scam. Locations such as Cameroon, Nigeria, or other African countries are most common. It will usually involve some elaborate story as to why they are in a different country as well.
4.Request Personalized Photos. Very simple to do is to just request additional photos of the puppies that are personalized. Your name & date on a piece of paper, a shoe, or anything else that YOU request. If they refuse to do this, best to just walk away.
5.Define a Contract Having a clearly written contract will protect the buyer and seller. Things that you can include are dog breed, registration, health guarantees, return policy, shipping info, DOB, matching photo, etc... If a signed contract is not followed, any buyer would have the option to pursue legal action against the seller.
While there is no foolproof way to identify a possible scam, the above 5 action steps will safeguard you from most shady listings. If you do run across a listing or breeder that makes you suspicious, please contact us and we will investigate the matter further.
Pawbe.com does not pre-screen advertisers, and assumes no responsibility for the health & condition of any dog listed. Also does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy or reliability of any person or group whose name appears in the Pawbe directory. All such guarantees, warranties, and promises are between the buyer(s) and seller(s) as individuals.