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

Newly renovated Casino of the Rockies officially re-opens

After months of extensive renovations, St. Eugene hosted a ceremony and re-opening of a space “in harmony with Mother Earth and our indigenous culture.”

Senior Bandits stay alive in district playoff action

The Cranbrook Bandits were able to stave off elimination by beating the Bitterroot Bucs 6-3

Cranbrook man in custody on several weapons offences

A Cranbrook man is facing 10 weapon-related charges after alleged assault with bear spray

Former Fernie Ghostrider re-signs with Vancouver Canucks

Josh Teves has signed a two-year contract with the NHL team

Four in custody after armed robbery, suspects linked to other recent crimes

Four people are in custody after Cranbrook RCMP responded to a robbery… Continue reading

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Vancouver Island teens missing after vehicle found ablaze near Dease Lake, BC

RCMP say a body discovered nearby not one of the missing teens

A year later, ceremony commemorates victims of the Danforth shooting

It’s the one-year anniversary of when a man opened fire along the bustling street before shooting and killing himself

Japanese Canadians call on B.C. to go beyond mere apology for historic racism

The federal government apologized in 1988 for its racism against ‘enemy aliens’

B.C. VIEWS: NDP pushes ahead with Crown forest redistribution

This isn’t the time for a radical Indigenous rights agenda

Two dead in two-vehicle crash between Revelstoke and Golden

RCMP are investigating the cause of the crash

Ottawa fights planned class action against RCMP for bullying, intimidation

The current case is more general, applying to employees, including men, who worked for the RCMP

Alberta judge denies B.C.’s bid to block ‘Turn Off the Taps’ bill

He said the proper venue for the disagreement is Federal Court

Most Read