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Beware of puppy scams around the holidays - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

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Beware of puppy scams around the holidays

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The holiday season sees an increase in scams, and puppy scams are no exception.

Officials see an increase in complaints from people who purchase sick animals or are victims of internet scams such as being sent a different dog from what they ordered, according to a news release from Attorney General Mark Brnovich.

Some tips that could help avoid being the victim of fraud:

  • 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.
  • Before you choose a puppy, visit the breeder at the breeder’s operation no matter what.
  • Ask questions and ensure the breeder has paperwork for the puppy on the letterhead of his or her veterinarian. Consider contacting the vet independently to verify the information. 
  • Be extremely cautious about purchasing a pet sight unseen over the internet.
  • Do your research. Ask for detailed information about the person selling the pet: full name, phone number, physical address. Do complaints or the word “scam” pop up when you research them online?
  • Consider adoption from a local animal shelter. Pets are vaccinated and checked for medical conditions by a veterinarian.

If you believe you have been the victim of consumer fraud, you can file a consumer complaint by contacting the Attorney General’s Office in Phoenix at (602) 542-5763, in Tucson at (520) 628-6504, or outside the Phoenix and Tucson metro areas at 1(800) 352-8431.  Bilingual consumer protection staff members are available to assist. Consumers can also file complaints online by visiting the Attorney General’s website at https://www.azag.gov/complaints/consumer.

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