In one of the most cold-hearted schemes we’ve seen at BBB lately, a military family was scammed out of thousands of dollars after trying to purchase a puppy from a fake online breeder. Scammers posing as a company called Glenn Bulldogs offered several puppies for sale online, but they were never genuinely in the breeding business and never had any puppies. The scammers are so brazen that they even called their victims to brag about having fooled them.
Glenn Bulldogs couldn’t have picked a less deserving target for their scam. A serviceman and his wife had been scouring the Internet for a companion for their three young children while their father was stationed in Afghanistan. The kids insisted that only a bulldog puppy would do, so when their parents found that Glenn Bulldogs offered bulldog puppies for sale at about half their average price, they jumped at the chance to adopt one.
But Glenn Bulldogs’ behavior became suspicious quickly. First, they asked to be paid via reloadable money card. Green Dot MoneyPaks and other prepaid cards are favored by scammers who want to make sure that money isn’t traceable and transactions can’t be canceled by a bank. Glenn Bulldogs then promised to send the puppy to the family by plane, but they never put her on the flight. They told the family that they needed even more money for adoption fees and pet permits—and kept asking for more even after the family sent them several thousand more dollars. Only after a third request for money did the family become suspicious and report Glenn Bulldogs to BBB.
We tried to reach out to Glenn Bulldogs to see if we could get some of the family’s money back—but that’s when they called the family to mock them. Glenn Bulldogs never agreed to speak to us on the phone.
BBB has seen a nationwide uptick in puppy scams lately—our colleagues in Minnesota write that they’ve seen three different faux breeder businesses in the last few weeks. If you intend to buy a puppy soon, remember to be extra cautious.
Here are some tips for making sure that a breeder is trustworthy:
- Thoroughly research your breeder. Make sure they have all of the appropriate licenses and a good reputation. Check BBB for a full review of the business.
- If possible, try to pick up the puppy in person. Puppy scams depend on buyers trusting that the animals will be delivered to them.
- Be careful about buying a puppy from anyone you don’t know, and be especially skeptical if the price is much lower than usual.
- Research adoption requirements in your area. Get a good grasp on what fees, permits, and licenses are required by your local government, and know whether they should be collected by the seller or the government.
- Consider getting a rescue dog if having a purebred dog is not a priority. Rescues are much cheaper than purebred pets and often have fewer health problems.