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