MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The Better Business Bureau is warning those looking for pets online that there has been an uptick in fake web sites, leaving them without both money and the pet they were looking for.

Officials say there has been a rise in sites in Minnesota and North Dakota. People have been looking for their perfect pet, and they’re wiring between $700 and $1,200 to various sites. The payments didn’t actually hold the pet. Instead, sellers claimed the pets were being held at the airport or for additional transport, or that vaccination and insurance fees were due before the pet could be delivered.

To avoid being scammed and out of money when you’re looking for a pet, it’s best to stay local and look through established breeders shelters and pet stores. If you do search online, be wary of request to wire money.

Also be aware of pet web sites and online ads with misspellings or grammar errors. Also be aware of classified ads that offer pet adoption that’s either cheap or free. The offer may sound good until the provider says the pet is at the airport and you’ll have to pay unexpected fees to adopt the pet.

Lastly, avoid all situations where you’re asked to send money to a third party you don’t know for shipping or transportation.


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