Beagle puppy. (Wikimedia Commons)

Too cute to be true: BBB warns of fraudulent beagle puppy ads online

Buyer asks people to pay with Google Play giftcards

Have you seen some super cute and free beagles on a classifieds site lately?

Well, it’s just too cute to be true, according to the Better Business Bureau.

In a news release Monday, the bureau received multiple reports of an ad on eClassifieds4u.com for free beagles that tricked victims out of $500 each.

The reports said a scammer by the name of Jones Walker claimed to have a Prince George address and beagle puppies for adoption.

Walker would communicate by text only using the phone number 787-986-0856 and asked the victims to buy Google Play cards to cover the cost for paper transfers and shipping.

Then, Walker asks for an extra $1,500 to $2,000 as a deposit to ship the puppy, claiming it will be refunded to the victim.

When delays pop up, Walker tells victims that the puppy is recovering from shots or that his own daughter is critically ill in a Calgary hospital.

The bureau said that in total, its received 626 reports of online puppy scams across North America this year. Of those, 18 were in Canada and some victims lost as much as $5,200. In 2018, the bureau received 1,313 reports across North America and 33 from Canada.

The bureau warned although most people start their search for a new dog on the internet, it’s important to be careful and always safer to stick with a legitimate shelter rather than a private sale. They estimate that at least 80 per cent of sponsored pet ads online may be fraudulent.

For those trying to get a pet online, the bureau has a few tips:

  • Don’t buy a pet without seeing it in person
  • Try to Google search the image used in the ad to make sure it’s an original. If it’s not, it’s likely a scam
  • Never pay with a money order, gift card, Interac e-transer or through Western Union or Money Gram
  • Use a credit card so you can dispute the charges
  • Research prices because a deeply discounted puppy is likely not real

Anyone who is the victim of a scam is asked to file a report with BBB’s Scam Tracker or call the Canadian Antifraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501.

ALSO READ: Scam watch: Better Business Bureau says wait to donate to Notre Dame fire rebuild

ALSO READ: Seniors targeted in scam calls selling B.C. tech company shares


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Kootenay-Columbia MP talks throne speech, USMCA trade deal

Rob Morrison to open constituency office in Cranbrook at 800C Baker St. on Dec. 19

Weekly RCMP report

Some of the more interesting callouts for Columbia Valley RCMP Dec 2-8th:

Handmade with love and holiday memories

Creating your own Christmas gifts and memories made easy and fun at local shops

Local artist featured on Taynton tea

High school student Kate Hale’s painting featured on local tea tins

Kootenay-Columbia MP reacts to leader’s surprise resignation

The resignation of Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer caught members of his caucus by surprise

‘Not a decision I came to lightly:’ Scheer to resign as Conservative leader

Decision comes after weeks of Conservative infighting following the October election

‘British Columbians are paying too much’: Eby directs ICBC to delay rate application

Attorney General David Eby calls for delay in order to see how two reforms play out

VIDEO: Octopus, bald eagle battle after bird ‘bites off more than it can chew’ in B.C. waters

B.C. crew films fight between the two feisty animals in Quatsino off north Vancouver Island

Couple who bought $120k banana duct-taped to wall say artwork will be ‘iconic’

Pair compared it to Warhol’s ‘Campbell’s Soup Cans,’ which was initially ‘met with mockery’

Race to replace Andrew Scheer could be a crowded one

Many familiar faces, such as Maxime Bernier, Jason Kenney, Doug Ford and Kevin O’Leary, have said no

Owner surrenders dogs chained up outside among scrap metal, garbage to BC SPCA

Shepherd-breed dogs were living in ‘deplorable conditions.’

B.C. plane crash victim identified; witnesses describe ‘explosion’

He was a flight instructor, charter pilot and owned an airstrip before leaving Alberta

Most Read