Canton police warn of puppy scam after people bilked out of thousands

Posted at 6:03 PM, Jul 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-06 14:00:36-04

One woman, interested in buying a Shih Tzu puppy from what she thought was a reputable breeder she found online, was bilked out of nearly $5,000 when the breeder kept adding fees they claimed were needed to transport the puppy to her home.

But Canton police say the woman never received the puppy and she is one of four people recently scammed when trying to buy a puppy online.

Canton police are now warning people to do research on those claiming to be breeders, and don't wire money because it's quite likely that you'll never get a puppy or see your money again.

Canton police and consumer experts with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) suggest using a credit card. And if someone is pressuring you to wire the cash or use a prepaid debit card, it's probably a scam.

Police advise people to deal with reputable breeders that others recommend.

The BBB urges consumers to "visit the seller" because responsible and reputable puppy breeders should be more than happy to offer you a tour and see available puppies in person.

They also say it's wise to avoid anyone that only allows you to have a puppy shipped.

Canton police say these scammers are difficult to track down for prosecution and it's unlikely their victims will ever get their money back.