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

City intends to help Nanaimo BMX with design phase of track upgrades

Finance and audit committee recommends council consider $35,000 expenditure

Dinner celebrating all things Cedar will include ‘patchwork of pies’

Cedar Community Hall will host a dinner this Saturday, Nov. 16

Lantzville’s potential property tax increase ticks up to almost 25 per cent

Additional increase due to creation of reserve funds

Man and dog safe as crews handle house fire in Nanaimo’s Old City Quarter

Firefighters were called to 400 block of Machleary Street at 11:30 p.m. Tuesday

Nanaimo’s Thorpe stays on as RDN board chair, Gabriola director elected vice-chair

Ian Thorpe acclaimed as regional district chairperson; Vanessa Craig elected vice-chairperson

Man and dog safe as crews handle house fire in Nanaimo’s Old City Quarter

Firefighters were called to 400 block of Machleary Street at 11:30 p.m. Tuesday

Vancouver Island soap company releases Lucky Lager beer soap

Beer-infused olive oil soap comes out just in time for holiday shopping

Yelling at your dog might hurt its long-term mental health: study

Researchers find dogs trained using negative reinforcement are more ‘pessimistic’

City of Nanaimo asking for opinions about planned downtown mobility hub

Short-term improvements include Front Street bikeway, intersection upgrades and more

Eden Gardens’ calendar sure to be a chart-topper

Dementia care facility working on fundraiser project

Calling all believers: Chemainus Theatre presenting Miracle on 34th Street

Opening night is Friday, Nov. 15, and show will run until Dec. 29

Jagmeet Singh says he’ll vote against throne speech if NDP requests not met

Singh is to meet with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday

Community uses loophole to paint 16 rainbow crosswalks after B.C. council says no

So far 11 rainbows are painted and five planned, all since council denied the first proposal in September

Workers’ camp at LNG facility in Kitimat takes shape

Extensive worker camp now being assembled

Most Read