Avoiding Scam

You can avoid would-be scammers by following these common-sense rules:


·        DEAL LOCALLY WITH FOLKS YOU CAN MEET IN PERSON—follow this one rule and avoid 99% of scam attempts.
·        NEVER WIRE FUNDS VIA WESTERN UNION, MONEYGRAM or other wire service - anyone who asks you to do so is likely a scammer.
·        FAKE CASHIER CHECKS & MONEY ORDERS ARE COMMON—BANKS WILL HOLD YOU RESPONSIBLE when the fake is discovered weeks later.
·        PUPPYFINDER.COM IS NOT INVOLVED IN ANY TRANSACTION, and does not handle payments, provide escrow, "buyer protection".
·        NEVER GIVE OUT FINANCIAL INFORMATION (bank account number, social security number, PayPal info, etc.).
·        AVOID DEALS INVOLVING SHIPPING OR ESCROW SERVICES and know that ONLY A SCAMMER WILL "GUARANTEE" YOUR TRANSACTION


Who should I notify about fraud or scam attempts?

U.S. Federal

·        Internet Fraud Complaint Center
·        FTC Video: How to report scams to the FTC
·        FTC online complaint form
·        FTC toll free hotline: 877-FTC-HELP (877-382-4357)
·        Consumer Sentinel/Military (for reports from services members or their families)
·        SIIA Software and Content Piracy reporting

Resources for Ohio residents

·        Ohio Attorney General Consumer Complaints

Canada

·        Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre or 888-495-8501 (toll-free)

·        RCMP

If you are defrauded by someone you met in person, contact your local police department.

If you suspect that a PUPPYFINDER.COM post may be part of a scam, please send us the details.



Recognizing scams

Most scams involve one or more of the following:

·        Inquiry from someone far away, often in another country.

·        Western Union, Money Gram, cashier's check, money order, shipping, escrow service, or a "guarantee."

·        Inability or refusal to meet face-to-face before consummating transaction.



Examples of Scams

1. Someone claims puppyfinder.com will guarantee a transaction, certify a buyer/seller, OR will handle or provide protection for a payment:

·        These claims are fraudulent, as puppyfinder.com does not have any role in any transaction.
·        The scammer will often send an official looking (but fake) email that appears to come from puppyfinfer.com, offering a guarantee, certifying a seller, handle payments.

2. Distant person offers a genuine-looking (but fake) cashier's check:

·        You receive an email (examples below) offering to buy your puppy.
·        A cashier's check is offered for your puppy for sale as a deposit.
·        Value of cashier's check often far exceeds your asking price—scammer offers to "trust" you, and asks you to wire the balance via money transfer service.
·        Banks will often cash fake checks AND THEN HOLD YOU RESPONSIBLE WHEN THE CHECK FAILS TO CLEAR, sometimes including criminal prosecution.
·        These scams often involve a 3rd party (shipping agent, business associate owing buyer money, etc.).

3. Someone requests wire service payment via Western Union or MoneyGram:

·        Scam "bait" include high value items.
·        These scams often claim that an MTCN or confirmation code is needed before he can withdraw your money—this is FALSE, once you've wired money, it is GONE.
·        Common countries currently include: Nigeria, Romania, United Kingdom, Ukraine, Spain, Italy, and Netherlands—but could be anywhere.
·        Puppy listing may be local, but landlord/owner is "travelling" or "relocating" and needs you to wire money to them abroad.
·        Deal often seems too good to be true, price is too low, etc.

4. Distant person offers to send you a money order and then have you wire money:

·        This is ALWAYS a scam in our experience—the cashier's check is FAKE.
·        Scammer often asks for your name, address, etc. for printing on the fake check.
·        Deal often seems too good to be true.

5. Distant seller suggests use of an online escrow service:

·        Most online escrow sites are FRAUDULENT and operated by scammers.
·        For more info, do a google search on "fake escrow" or "escrow fraud."

6. Distant seller asks for a partial payment upfront, after which he will ship:

·        He says he trusts you with the partial payment.
·        He may say he has already shipped it.
·        Deal often sounds too good to be true.



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