Calgary Police Service has issued a warning about increasing "puppy scams" in the city.
Apparently, there have been 33 reports of online puppy scams in 2020 alone.
What this means is that buyers pay for puppies but never actually get them. The police have shared some common scenarios and different ways to protect yourself from this type of scam.
More than $30,000
Lost in Calgary puppy scams in 2020
Just one year ago, in 2019, there were only 10 reports amounting to $6,100 in losses.
"As we find ourselves in the holiday season and in the middle of a global pandemic, we know that pets can be a great source of companionship, especially for those living alone," says Const. Kris Anton with the Calgary Police Service Economic Crimes Unit.
"Unfortunately, there are scammers out there who prey on people's emotions and generosity this time of year."
Apparently, the most common scenario is buyers paying a deposit or full cost online and never getting the pup they paid for.
"Some scenarios promise the dog will be delivered to an agreed-upon location, but the seller never shows up. Or, sometimes scammers contact the buyer claiming more funds are needed to transport the dog. Once the buyer becomes suspicious, the seller stops communication," says the police release.
Some self-protection tactics include going through local adoption organizations, asking lots of questions, meeting in person, avoiding upfront payments and taking your time during the process.
So, try and make sure you see that little bundle of joy with your own eyes to make sure it actually exists!