Beware Of The Puppy Scam

If you plan on buying a puppy for Christmas be careful, con artists are banking on it. 

Monica Horton, the President of the Better Business Bureau in Wichita Falls said it's common for people to get scammed when buying a puppy for Christmas.

"It's easy for phonies and con artists to put up fake websites, put up fake pictures of the puppy," Horton said.

You'll be told to pay the adoption fee along with the delivery charge.  Then when the dog is shipped to you, they tell you you can pick it up at the airport.  However, they can also give you a fake address and when you get there and realize what's going on, it's too late.

One tip to follow, check out the breeder and know exactly who you're doing business with.  Also, look at your bank statements everyday to see if there are any fraudulent charges.

Horton said, "The quicker you can identify a fraudulent charge the better."

The Humane Society of Wichita County said you need to be very cautious when you're buying something online, especially if it's an animal.

"Definitely look at your local shelters," Cheryl Miller, the Director of the HSWC said, "Most of the dogs are normally spayed or neutered, have their vaccinations and that's a plus."

It also lets you meet and greet with the puppy to make sure you're a good fit for each other.  Plus, if you have another dog, you want them to meet also.

Miller said, "It's real important if you do have another dog to see if the two are going to get along and if you buy something online you don't have that option."

Another thing to take into account, is if you choose to adopt a furry friend from your local shelter, make sure your family is ready for the responsibility. 

"We do question people a little bit extra.  We don't want it to be an impulse buy maybe for their children," Miller said.

She said the decision to adopt shouldn't be taken lightly.  They still encourage people to adopt a family pet, but they want to make sure the families know what they are getting into.

, Newschannel 6