Better Business Bureau warns against pet scams

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) — The Better Business Bureau of Central Georgia wants to make sure you don’t get scammed if you plan to buy a furry friend this holiday season.

Kelvin Collins — president and CEO of the BBB Central Georgia — says consumers reported fewer than 1,000 scams in 2017. At the end of November 2020, nearly 4,000 scams were reported.

Collins also says they expect the number of losses from puppy scams to exceed $3 million by the end of 2020.

Tips to protect yourself from pet scams

  • See the pet and the seller in person before purchasing
    • Due to the pandemic, you get the seller on a Zoom call
  • Reverse image search of the photo of the pet
  • Use to ensure the seller hasn’t been flagged before
  • Utilize the Better Business Bureau’s scam tracker
  • Use a credit card for your pet purchase. You have protections with a credit card that other payment options don’t give you.

BBB Central Georgia also recommends visiting a local shelter or rescue to get a pet.

If you decide to use a breeder, check the Georgia Department of Agriculture’s tool to make sure they have a license through the state.

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Ariel comes to Macon from Greenville, South Carolina where she worked for Fox Carolina as a photojournalist for 4 years. She was part of the team that won a Southeast Emmy for their coverage of Hurricane Dorian. During her time in Greenville she realized her true passion is on-air reporting. She's excited to join the Middle Georgia community to be able to tell the stories of the people who live there. She graduated from the University of South Florida in 2014 with a degree in Mass Communications. She’s originally from Boca Raton, Florida. She has 2 dogs (1 is back home) and a cat. When she's not at work she can be found training as an aerialist or exploring her new home. She also loves a good TV binge, her current favorite shows to watch are The Office, Gilmore Girls, and The West Wing. Feel free to reach out if you have a news tip or just want to say hello.