There are nearly 10,000 scams reported in the last two years.
Puppy scams happen quiet often it is sad but let's talk about some red flags you can watch for. Some red flags you can look for are No phone calls. The person prefers to only communicate by email and not on the phone. A reputable breeder will always communicate with you via phone or video chat. Now not all breeders wanting to email you are scammers. We do a lot of emailing or texting buyer but will talk to the buyer on the phone a time or two before pick up day.
Next one is copycat or pictures from the internet. Photos or the ad they have posted can be found on multiple websites. Watch for text in the listing to see if the seller copied and pasted it. Ask for more pictures of the puppy and make sure the photos are somewhat similar as far as background and setting the puppy is in. If the breeder took recent photos for you, they shouldn't have totally different backgrounds.
Sketchy payments. They will ask for you to wire money or pay with gift card. Be aware of using unsecure methods of payments because it is unlikely you will get your money back.
Price is too good to be true. When buying a puppy research, the average price of the breed you're looking for. Purebred dogs being sold deeply discounted is usually a red flag. Also, if they are asking an odd amount of money for the pup for instants $556 is a strange number for a breeder to ask. If they say the puppy is registered with a certain organization, you can always call and check with them.
A little recap on how to safely find a breeder online. Ask all the proper questions, Check references and referrals. Meet your breeder either in person if they allow it or video chat. Don't be afraid to ask for proof of anything. Get all the proper documents, and Most important be patient. A lot of the scammers will be super pushy to make the sell and get your money.