New York State Police Warn Of Increase In ‘Puppy Scams’

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JAMESTOWN – Police across New York State are warning people about an increase in ‘puppy scams.’

New York State Police say they’ve received multiple reports of residents getting scammed out of hundreds of dollars after answering classified ads for purebred puppies.

Typically, after the victim answers an ad, they are provided with a photo of the breed they’re looking to buy. The victim and the scammer then arrange for a deposit to be paid and the victim is given an address to pick up the dog.

State police say the scammers have been providing fake addresses, many of which appear to be in the St. Lawrence County area.

Here are some common themes of the scams:

  • The deposit is requested to be made via payment apps, such as Zelle or CashApp.
  • All communication with the “breeder” takes place via text.
  • An address for the puppies is not provided until after the deposit is made.
  • The “breeder” sends the victim stock photos of whatever breed they are looking for, i.e. Labrador Retriever, Boston Terrier, French Bulldog.

In the end, police say do research to get a sense of a fair price for the breed you are considering. Think twice if someone advertises a purebred dog for free or at a deeply discounted price, it could be a fraudulent offer.


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