Merritt RCMP are warning people of an online puppy scam after a local resident was scammed out of $1,600.
This morning police said they were made aware of the scam where a Facebook Marketplace user posted pictures of French Bulldog puppies for sale.
sergeant. Josh Roda says a Merritt resident wired the money to the seller electronically, then never heard from them again and never got the puppy he was promised.
“These puppies may look cute, but you won’t get them if you send your money to a scammer,” Roda said. “Please double and triple check sellers validity before sending money to them.”
Roda reminds people to be skeptical and watch out for things like stock photos and sketchy payment methods. It also encourages people to buy from reputable and well-reviewed breeders and to ask the seller plenty of questions before paying anything.
He also urges people never to pay for a puppy without seeing it — whether in person or via video call — and never rush into a purchase, especially if the seller encourages you to.
Merritt RCMP Tips:
– Be skeptical. Look for stock photos used and summary payment methods. Paying by credit card through a secure site or Paypal is always the safest option;
– Buy from a reputable breeder. Responsible breeders are happy to share information about puppy parentage, health records and screenings;
– Read seller reviews and ask lots of questions;
– Visit the breeder/dealer in person or arrange a live video call to meet the breeder and the puppy;
– Do not pay for a puppy without seeing it, unless you know the person, or you know someone who has successfully purchased it;
– Be patient, do not rush into a purchase if the seller pushes you to make one.