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And They Called It Puppy Love…

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The big bright eyes, the wet little nose, the soft fur fringed around a face you want to cuddle and coo. You’ve fallen in love with a picture of the cutest puppy (with a bright red bow), after responding to an ad that says “free to a loving home.”

The person who sent you the picture online promises 24-hour delivery of your pooch to the nearest airport — as soon as you wire money to pay for shipping costs.

But this kind of puppy love can lead to heartbreak. A scam artist is behind that cute picture — and the request to wire money. One request for money leads to another — for transport, shots or papers — but you never get the puppy.

Before you pay for a puppy — or any other pet — online, here are some tips:

  • Don’t wire money. The surest sign of a scam is when someone insists you wire them money as the only form of payment for a pet. Wiring money is the same as sending cash — once you send it, you can’t get it back.
  • Do your research. Ask for detailed information about the person selling the pet. What is the person’s full name, phone number and mail address? Do complaints or the word “scam” pop up when you research them online?
  • Don’t buy a puppy or do business with someone you haven’t met in person. If you try to arrange meetings to see the puppy, and the person makes excuses, it could be a red flag.
  • Consider adoption from a local animal shelter. Purebred dogs (and other pets) of all ages abound in shelters across the U.S. waiting for loving homes. Most can be adopted for a small fee.

The “puppy scam” has been run with other pets – parrots, kittens, even iguanas. If you’ve spotted a puppy scam, or any scam related to buying pets online, file a complaint with the FTC, or contact your State Attorney General.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit


your tips are really helpful How can I pass these items on to people in our community?

Hello scpdpaa,

You can encourage people in your community to sign up to recevie these blog posts via email.   You could also copy and place this information in a community newsletter, or onto a Facebook page.

This blog post, and others, can also be printed and posted on various communty bulletin boards, or handed out individually to people as part of a broader information packet.

Thank you,


I am the product of a puppy scam. so down hearting but it happened. the site is called Precious Poodles. com. They are a scam. They will show you beautiful pictures and have you pick out the one you want and they are 500 each and if you buye two its 900, well I sent them 900.00 and no puppies. they sent a notice that to fly them they would need additional 900 to take care of traveling expense. So glad I stopped there. I am out the money but I hope others will see that if heart is hurting for a puppy after the death of your favorite, please stop and reconsider.... go to the pound. They were from Oklahoma, names given were Alex Brooks, Ben Chandler. took the wire money and showed their ID and walked away with some ones trust.

I feel your pain. I was just scammed for $850 by Tea Cup Yorkie Home. They even sent me a America's Pet Registry Certificate, A signed contract & what I thought was a flight ticket from "World Care Pet Transport" (this was a CONCERT TICKET). These people are good. They've taken my $ & my trust. They even had the nerve to blame me for not paying them anymore $$$$,
He is even still answering the phone & saying that he has a few puppies left for sale.

As a follow up of sorts, These people have a google account but I looked it up in many ways to find a phone # for Google with no . luck The website is Basal Papillon Home. I see that at lease a few of the scammers use the word Home in their name. They say the puppies are raised and live in their home but later in their description, they mention that the dogs living quarters are cleaned and sanitized twice a day. If they live in the home, why would they even have separate quarters for the dogs?

the information i recieve from the ftc is very helpful in keeping our senior club informed as to whats going on.
thank you and keep up the good work

Thank you for your reply, chasm11. Please encourage all of your senior club members to sign up to receive regular emails from the FTC, so that everyone keeps informed.

Julia Spack is doing the puppy scam on facebook, my daughter almost sent her the money, until I found out and I put a STOP to it and of course she's from Douala, Cameroon.

I wish I could shout it from the rooftops how evil and heartless the dog scammers are out there! Ive been looking for a french bulldog puppy for a few weeks and I’ve come across scam artist after scam artist and one almost got me! Please stay far away from also previously used Came across this website while searching tons of sites for french bulldogs. The website looks legitimate complete with satisfied customer reviews. They ask $500 for the puppies and “free shipping”. I began corresponding with a guy named Jacob J. via text and emails. He told me that he worked in Maryland currently but the dogs were at his families home in Hawaii. We went back and forth over several days with me asking many questions and him answering right away. At first things seemed legit. I was leary of the price being so cheap but the website explains that they don’t breed to make profit and only charge for the expenses they incur breeding. Made sense. But as the days went on I did more research and I came across a complaint board listing the company on there. I then decided to try to set up a “meeting” to go check out the home and see all of the puppies. Well thats went things became very obvious that this was DEF a SCAM! Jacob J. began giving me the runaround of why I couldn’t visit the home and blah blah blah. I flat out told him that I knew it was a scam and any legitimate breeder would have no problem letting me visit the home. I then sent him a screenshot of the complaint board listing his business and told him that his gig was up! His response was that he would change the name…again…Please don’t fall victim to this evil person!!!!!

Thanks for sharing your experience.  You can file a complaint with the FTC. It's important to submit a complaint because investigators from all over the country access the FTC's complaint database. Watch this video to learn more.

I am glad I found this, I am speaking with someone in GA about buying a Frenchiw as well, possibly two and I have directly asked them, how they plan on proving to me they are truly who they say and that I will receive my pups. He just keeps repeating the same broken English in the emails saying exactly the same thing, without answering I think I will link him to this post, and say farewell....although I really want a Frenchie and am in a rural area :( is a SCAM. Do not buy anything from them. My fiancee is out of 1500.00 between the purchase of the puppy and the "travel insurance" True Pet Express is also linked with snow white bulldogs. They are out of the Boston MA area.

GA Retrievers, selling Golden Retrievers, out of Stillwater Oklahoma is a SCAM. I lost $500.00. I wished I had listened to my inner voice not to wire money. The website was SOOO GOOOOD, that it was hard to believe it was a scam. Do not ever wire money, learn from me.

You can help law enforcement by reporting what happened. When you file a complaint with the FTC at, the information goes into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations.

You can also report the scammer to the wire transfer company you used.

I was just scam from a company named dogs & puppies @ happy family pets 4 homes plus found another site same people happy family 16 on I am out of 750 dollars

Eli Parti Yorkies and Teacups are running a scam on facebook and numerous other sites using the phone number 385-333-3982. I purchased a puppy for $450.00 which included shipping. Of course they received my money but I did not receive my puppy since right before pickup their shipper " Sky Air Freight requested another $780.00 for a "proper crate". This is a scam people. If you see that phone number report it to the FTC I did.

Has anyone ever heard of "Spicey Teacup Yorkie Zone" being a scam site?

Has anyone heard of a company called American Star Puppies and/or a company called pets2you transpacific?

Has anyone heard anything bad about familyyorkies. com or mariettapups.

I just got scammed on a French bull dog also. I am usually not so dumb. The sites are gutekfrenchies. us and veronfrenchies. net. The cost of the puppy was $900 including shipping. They wanted the money wired. I wired the money and then got an email that I needed to send another $1100 for insurance and fees, but that all but $50 would be refunded. The names of the people, probably fake, are Alton Karl Lamont Minneapolis, mn 55401

Precious Poodles. com is a scam. they will ask for money and then money for shipping. all a scam. do not wire money to anyone....

Add RETRIEVER HAVEN to the list out of Atlanta GA right now... claiming breeder of both Golden & Labrador Retrievers.

‭(614) 368-7913‬. This number is one of a puppy scammer.
Using my photos of real puppies from my website.

Gargoyle Kennels of MI, is this a legitimate kennel in Detroit MI

Im the victim of a puppy scam. i am posting most of the details of the nightmare of the last week and have saved all of the emails and texts from the perps. If you've seen Dandie Dinmont Terriers on the dogshows, that is why we have one and am looking for another. I left my info on a legit puppy match site on 4/13/18. I was emailed by a Cassandra Lopes cassandralop43 @gmail. com out of Valdosta GA. Her story was she had her recently passed mother's 2 Dandie puppies and couldn't take care of them because she worked full time. She found me at the service I registered with and said she was looking for a really good home.After email questions between us, I informed her that I would take both of them. She said that it would be $1100 for shipping and said the shipper would be contacting me. Warning #1-I asked her to email me paperwork and a phone # as well as a picture of her license and she emailed me what was coming with the puppies. I never got the phone # or license. I wish I had listened to my very skeptical husband who told me about the money transfer warnings. The shipper Richard Hun petsrelocating@ 707-620-5135called me about transferring $1100 to a George Efile in Valdosta GA 31601. Warning #2 very difficult to hear and understand because he has a heavy asian accent. I called Cassandra and inquired who was this George Efile? Warning #3-she told me he was the director. I was also sent an email which if i had researched this site, would have seen the picture of the money transfer directions which looked exactly like my email.
The agent at the store wouldnt do the transaction because it was suspicious. Warning #4-and my husband again tried to stop me. Warning #5-I sent a text to Richard who called me and said to keep this confidential. Warning #6-I requested his address and he gave it to me. I know now it was just an address pulled out of a hat. Warning #7- I also requested a receipt of the money transfer and a picture of the shipping tags, cages and puppies. I was told it was against policy and i questioned Richard about being scammed. Warning #8-he told me his company was LEGIT and why would he lie? at another WU location, we fired off the transfer. I sent a text copy of the receipt. Warning #9-I was given a delivery time of 11:30 am MST for the next day 4/17/2018. Warning #10-The next day at 10:56 am, I was contacted and told that the puppies were sick in Little Rock Arkansas and needed a special crate and shots and needed to wire another $1500 for their treatment which would be 100% refundable in cash when the puppies were delivered. I was now very leery, and cried on the phone. Warning #11-I again requested a picture of the shipper tag with my name on it for proof and got into a shouting match about how i was delaying their treatment and delivery.The email directions (now I know) look just like the sample on this website. Warning #12- This time the transfer was to a Elvis Ayuk Valdosta GA 31601.
Same thing, had to go to 2 Moneygram stores before I could transfer the money due to the agent being suspicious. of course Im crying because i don't want my puppies to die. Im back and forth with Richard and finally comply under duress. Again I texted the receipt and was given a new delivery time of 9:00 am MST on Wednesday 4/18. Warning #13-I'm feeling really optimistic Wednesday when at 8:56 Im again called about the puppies having a problem. This time i am very suspicious. The puppies are in Los Lunas NM. This time, a CITE permit $1200 is needed to allow the puppies into the town. Again i get into a shouting match with Richard. He assures me that it too is 100% refundable at the time of delivery. Again, the directions again look like this sites examples. Warning #14-Richard sends me a text threatening me with an Animal Abandonment charge, that the puppies are going to be quarantined by the quarantine board and i'm going to end up in court with a $25000 fine! I request a phone # for the quarantine board.
This time i called the Animal Control agent in Los Lunas, NM who said he wasn't aware of this permit. I looked it up and it is about wild animals and horses not dogs. then i called TSA and was contacted by an area agent from London KY who said not to wire any more money.
i called Richard and told him i was done sending money and that i was going to the authorities and the FBI and the service i filed with to find a puppy. i emailed Cassandra and asked how she found me and she said through the service who i gave my info to. I let her know that i still didn't have her puppies and read the line that said she was using an air serivice to transport the puppies. that is one slow flight. Waraning #15-I also let Richard know that i thought i was being scammed. He assured me that he would never do anything that his business was "LEGIT." i also contacted the local media. Warning # 16-Funny, i recived a text Thursday that the puppies were held up because of a delay due to my reporting the scam. He said that Cassandra paid the CITES Permit. How convenient. i requested a copy of the receipt.
Still no receipts, pix, paperwork or anything. I was told that i needed to receive codes so the $1500 refund could be balanced against their books.So I receive 2 and sent the codes back. Then my husband received 2 codes and sent them back. i was sent a text saying the puppies were coming Thursday afternoon. I left for an appointment with my husband waiting for Tina and TiTi. Of course, they never came. Friday again i was told the puppies were definitely coming.
Warning #17- then Saturday I'm told that the puppies had to go to a vet somewhere in my city. I asked for a phone# and said just bring the puppies and I would take them to our vet. Oh, apologized for the delay. Warning #18-He requested us to receive 4 new codes and if we had other phones- that the codes couldn't be sent to the same phones used Thursday. I said he was stalling and no we didn't have any new phones in the house. Richard said that the puppies were coming Saturday afternoon. Now I know the BIG TRUTH!!! These people are absolute SCUMBAGS, LIARS, THIEFS, and EXTORTIONISTS WHO WON'T STOP AT ANYTHING UNTIL YOU STOP COMPLYING AND TAKING DIRECTIONS FROM THEM! They took $2600+$52 processing fees. i'm calling the Valdosta PD tomorrow. One thing-I have a phone # for the supposed shipper and an email for the "puppy owner." She told me she wanted them to go to a good home so we could communicate and see pix of them. When i complained about not getting the puppies and that I thought she was part of this, she said she was a "good Christian woman who couldn't believe I could say that." So I've been scammed! I hope someone will be saved by my description of the Puppy Scam.

Suspected scammer on Craig’s list (Virgin Islands). Goes by Miranda Julia but email address has Audrey Valeria in it. Was/seemed a too good to be true deal. Offered full breed shih tzus in ad for small rehoming fee but in email for free with shots and toys and food and crate. Listed one pup then expanded to several and cats too. Received email with beautiful pup pics and vid inquiring about me claiming don’t want to give pups to anyone only ppl who will love and care for them. When I replied I asked where she’s at and she didn’t include, only said would give me one or 2 pups as I wished and asked for my cell number for further communication so I’ve abandoned commmunication. Too many red flags even before money was requested.

Wow! Same here. She (or he (?) who knows!) sent me 16 attachments, 15 had super cute pictures, but one was a movie that I refused to download. I'm glad I saw this, here is the email she sent me, I just had to block her from then on:
From: Miranda Julia <audreyvaleria0 @gmail. com>
Hey * *Thanks for the mail and thank God for this wonderful day he has provided for us.To begin ,We have five puppies left two males and three females.All puppies are 12 weeks of age.This are purebred Shit Tzu puppies.The puppies are 1.5-2.5 lbs in size and will be about 3.5-4 lbs when fully grown. fast learner and very intelligent.The puppies are potty trained **both out side and inside and very friendly to children and other pets.They are also current with all their shots (Distemper,Para Influenza, Boratella ,Parvo and Hepatitis,Rabies shots etc) and will come along with all vet papers and all toys.Many people are seeking to adopt our puppies but we can not afford to give them to any person unless we are very sure that he or **she can take proper care of any.We are willing to separate them .We don't feel comfortable selling them .All we need for them is much love and care .All we will be asking will be a re homing fee of $300 for one puppy and we will be willing to ship these lovely babies if you are too far away from us* *Thanks*But before we go deeply about the puppies,i would like to know more about you and your family like::::::::Where are you located ?.Are you Married?and with kids?And will they welcome these babies home?How is the nature of your job?How soon will you love to have the puppies?If we let you have them will you send us updates as much as we need to know?Do you smoke?Have you experience with pets such as these ?if yes what breeds?Are you taking them for breeding purposes?Cell Phone number needed.............? Have you ever done home delivery before?They will be the best playmates you've ever dream' t of.With their great personality and good temperaments with kids and other pets,they would be the one to steal your soul.they would be coming along with their vet records,and all their AKC registration papers attached to their package with lots of play toys.You have nothing to worry about Feeding, because i will also enclose their hand book and feeding menu to their package ok.
However,all you have to do is to promise me that you would shower them with lots of TLC .And i would never like that my babies should end up in a shelter or rescue,So if you are willing to take these puppies home then just e-mail me asap so that i would stop all other contacts.If you have any more question to ask i will answer you truthfully and faithfully . I hope you will love to adopt any of these cuties because all i want for them is just a lovely and caring family for them they are so lovely and playful with kids and any house pets as well i will be waiting on your respond in which you will be getting to your lovely family.Attached here in are some of their available pictures and video Best Regards

I received this same e-mail today. The name said it was from Miranda Illeana but signed Julia with email address mirandailleana867 @ gmail. com

I keep thinking of more things.

they gave me an e-mail address & phone # for the shippers but it was after 8pm & they were supposedly closed. The number I called went to a voice mail that said my "friend" .was out but please leave a message. My "friend" Bizarre

We just got scammed by SkyPuppies and PetForPetDelivery. We are out over $2300, and were told if we don’t comply that we would have the police looking for us the dog would be quarantined.

Sadly my story is like all the others. Very professional at what they do. Mine scammers went under the name of faithful Dachsund
I soon as they got my money they took that site down and opened on Monday under adorable Dachsund
Same format. Want stories your proof you can take care of them.
400 to buy puppy pay w money gram. Will ship free.
If you can’t see the puppy don’t buy one. The pics on these websites are robbed from other sites. These people have no dogs.

Tried buying a teacup yorkie from golden teacup yorkie puppies they wanted me to send 400 and pay off the rest on February.What gave me a red flag was that it was 12 noon and they told me if I send it at this time the puppy would of arrive at 6 and their located Maryland

Yes, I was Also Scammed by a man that went by the name Charles Wilson (or Smith on info from the so called Transportation Service) & Atlantic Pet Ways Transportation! It was supposed to be for a Puppy & they were working together I found out later. He 1st wanted $ for the Puppy Deposit & then, the Rest of the $ and then, the Atlantic Pet Ways contacted me by Phone & Email saying they Needed More $ for a different Crate & then Next day More $ for Pet Ins. PLEASE BEWARE!

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