FOREST HILLS, Pa. — A Forest Hills woman claims her address and phone number are being given out by someone claiming to be a dog breeder.
In the past month, three people have contacted Cathy McFarland about the dogs. Some people even came to her house.
“Two of the people came here,” McFarland said. “They said they were there to get the dog back, and I’m like, I don’t have a dog. I don’t have any dogs. I don’t even have a dog of my own.
A customer drove nearly 400 miles to see a puppy she wanted to buy.
“She came, and I happened to be outside. I had a nice conversation with her. She was from Virginia. She had no way of contacting him again and he was not responding to her emails.
A Google search of McFarland’s address revealed several scam complaints, some even posted on the Better Business Bureau website.
Internet users claim to have contacted a breeder from a site called discountpoodlepuppies.com. Most customers claim to have communicated with the breeder by e-mail; other clients claim to have sent the breeder hundreds of dollars to reserve a dog.
“It’s just really weird. I don’t know why someone gave them my address and verified it with emails,” McFarland said.
According to the BBB, there were over 1,800 pet scams in 2019, but reports have increased in 2020, with over 4,000 complaints.
The BBB also lists several ways to avoid pet scams, including:
- Never send money by bank transfer to people or companies you don’t know and trust. The BBB says once the money is wired, it’s gone for good.
- Search the Internet for the photo of the animal you are considering. If the same image appears on multiple websites, it may be a scam site.
- Find out what other consumers are saying by searching the internet for the name of the breeder or organization.
“If you’re trying to buy a dog from someone you don’t know, check them out with a second source or at least get their phone number and call the phone number and make sure they’re there,” McFarland said. “It’s truly sad.”
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