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Report: Georgia named a top state for puppy scams

Veternarians.org found that the Peach State also ranks third in the amount of money lost in scams.
Credit: demanescale - stock.adobe.com

ATLANTA — People all over the U.S. are falling victim to puppy-selling scams, according to a report from the veterinarian foundation with Georgia making their top 15 list.

Veternarians.org has compiled three lists, the top 15 states for puppy scams overall, the top 15 states for puppy scams per 100,000 people and the average number of money lost per scam victim in these states. 

Regarding the Peach State overall, the report named it number nine out of 50 states.

Georgia ranks third in the average amount lost per puppy scam at $1,125.91 under Pennsylvania, with Massachusetts seeing the highest total lost at $1,966.18 on average.

A representative from the organization said that  "Georgia has 46 reported puppy scams with a total money loss of $51,792 statewide between Jan. 1, 2022 and Oct. 31, 2022." 

The Top 15 State for Puppy Scams

  • California 
  • Florida
  • Texas 
  • Arizona 
  • North Carolina 
  • Colorado 
  • New York 
  • Pennsylvania 
  • Georgia 
  • Virginia 
  • Michigan 
  • Illinois 
  • Washington 
  • Massachusetts 
  • Indiana 

Their website lays out some tips on avoiding these scams, based on reports filed to the Better Business Bureau. 

1. The seller claims that you will not be able to see the puppy in person before adoption and/or cannot provide you with multiple pictures/videos of the puppy up for adoption. 

2. The seller asks for payment upfront through Western Union, MoneyGram, a digital money app like Zelle or Cash App, or via a gift card.

3. The seller or a third party asks for follow-up payments to cover additional items, such as a climate-controlled crate for shipping, vaccinations or transportation insurance/life insurance. In many cases, fraudulent emails will claim the shipping costs/crate rental fees will be refunded upon the puppy’s delivery. However, they never are.

4. The breeder’s website offers no information about the sire or dam of the litter and/or the breeder cannot provide proof of health records or AKC Certification.

5. In the case of purebred breeds, the puppy in question is being offered at a significantly steep discount when compared with the average price for a puppy of its breed.

To see more of their ranking and get more information about puppy scams, visit Veterinarians.org.

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