GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Better Business Bureau serving Western Michigan has issued a warning after seeing a rise in pet scams.
The BBB says scammers are using fake addresses online to look as if they’re located locally, creating false confidence for customers. The addresses either don’t exist or aren’t associated with the website.
One of the scams identified is Glorious Pet Transportation Company, which says it’s located in Wyoming. The address isn’t a business and is an apartment complex near the police department. No one living in the complex has been connected to the website, BBB investigators say.
The fake sellers are also posing as local shipping companies to try to convince buyers that a real company would transport their pet. Six identical pet shipping websites using different names have been identified: Overland Pet Agency, Pets Shipping Logistics, Air Pet Global, Express Logistics Movers, Swift Pet Ways and Prime Pet Ways.
A warning has also been issued for Muh Paws, which says it’s based in Traverse City. Muh Paws claims to offer pet supplies at a discounted price. Over the past year, the BBB says it’s received over 60 complaints from customers who say they did not get the product they ordered. The company has also ignored complaints from customers.
“Of all the scams we see, pet scams tend to have the largest personal impact,” said Phil Catlett, president of the Better Business Bureau Servicing West Michigan. “Customers get emotionally attached through video and pictures, only to have their hearts broken when it turns out to be a con. Most victims tell us they are more upset about not getting the dog or cat than they are about the money they lost.”
The BBB has provided tips for those looking to buy pets or supplies:
- Shop from in-person local shelters, breeders and stores.
- Do your research by checking the BBB’s website for records and reviews as well as additional online searches to see other’s experiences.
- Not many breeders ship pets, so set up a live video chat to see the seller and animal.