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,


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

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