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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Financial literacy program expands across the Fraser Valley

Big Brain Literacy Program aims to help folks thwarted by the pandemic and in need of budgeting help

Chilliwack’s Fred McMurrer receives Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers

The Chilliwack man has selflessly devoted thousands of hours to unpaid volunteerism

Missing Maple Ridge man’s car found in Harrison

Michael Denham has been missing since June 27

UFV grads of 2020 honoured in innovative ways

No convocation ceremony due to pandemic, but grads receive ‘celebration box’

Two-day summit calling for justice reform for Indigenous peoples

National Indigenous Justice Summit July 7-8 will explore calls for justice and policing reform

B.C. records 31 new cases, six deaths over three days due to COVID-19

There are 166 active cases in B.C., 16 people in hospital

96-year-old woman scales B.C. butte with help of family, friends

‘I did as I was told and I enjoyed every minute of it’

Parallel crises: How COVID-19 exacerbated B.C.’s drug overdose emergency

Part 1: Officials say isolation, toxic drug supply, CERB, contributing to crisis

Canadians with disabilities disproportionately hit by COVID-19 pandemic

More than four out of 10 British Columbians aged 70 and up have various disabilities

Camping offers a great pandemic escape, for less money than you might think

But for many first-timers, knowing what to bring can be a challenge

Turbulence in Canadian opinion on airlines COVID-19 response: poll

Thousands of people have beseeched Transport Minister Marc Garneau to compel airlines to issue refunds,

Most Read