ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — The Rockford Better Business Bureau has issued a warning for anyone planning on giving a pet as a Christmas gift this year.
Dog sales increase during the holidays, with many families purchasing animals online, but consumer advocates say crooks set up phony websites, prompting unsuspecting buyers to hand over thousands of dollars for puppies that don’t exist.
The BBB says the demographic who is falling victim to the traps is surprising:
“Often we think of senior citizens as the individuals who fall victim to scams. But, these 24, 25-48 year olds are more often than not the victims here, and they’re losing well over $1,000,” said Director Dennis Horton.
Horton said red flags customers can look out for including not being able to meet the puppy prior to purchase, a seller who doesn’t want to speak on the phone, or advertisements for pure breeds at deeply discounted prices.