Your Ultimate Anti-Fraud Guide for Craigslist Pet Scams

May 26, 2023
Annette Thompson

Are you considering buying a pet on Craigslist? Awareness of the potential risks associated with these transactions is essential. In this article, we’ll discuss common types of Craigslist pet scams, how to spot them, and what measures you can take to safeguard against them.

What Are Craigslist Pet Scams?

Craigslist Pet Scam

You might not know it, but online pet scams are pretty standard -; according to the Better Business Bureau, over 15,000 reports of Craigslist pet scams were made in 2020 alone.

Craigslist is an online platform targeted by scammers looking to exploit unsuspecting pet buyers. They will often ask for payment upfront and then disappear with the money without ever sending a puppy or any other animal. One Craigslist pet scam typically involves a fraudster advertising a puppy or other animal for sale without actually owning the animal.

Be wary when considering buying an animal from Craigslist, as these scams can be challenging to spot. It’s best to verify the seller’s identity and meet them in person to view the animal before making any payments.

Suppose you’re looking for a new furry friend. In that case, there are plenty of legitimate ways to find one, like going through your local shelters or rescue organizations with regulations and oversight for the ethical treatment of animals. You should also do your due diligence and research any potential breeders or sellers you’re considering buying from to avoid becoming a Craigslist pet scam victim.

Adopting an animal this way also helps combat unethical practices like backyard breeding or puppy mills while giving an abandoned dog or another type of animal their much-needed forever home!

Puppy Mill Craigslist Pet Scams

Craigslist Pet Scam

Purchasing a puppy from Craigslist can be dangerous, as you may not know its history or if it was bred ethically. These transactions often support unethical practices like backyard breeding and puppy mills.

To ensure your pet is safe and healthy, it’s better to work with shelters and rescue organizations with regulations to guarantee ethical animal treatments.

When searching for your new furry friend on Craigslist, always use caution and trust your instincts – if something seems too good to be true or someone is asking for money upfront without allowing an in-person meeting, it’s likely a Craigslist pet scam. Be aware that small cute breeds are more prone to scams on Craigslist than others; constantly research beforehand to recognize any red flags during the process.

Once you find a reputable seller or shelter that checks all the boxes, verify all their information before making any commitments – this helps protect you from potential issues down the line.

Before taking home a new pup from Craigslist, ask yourself, “Is this worth risking?” If so, consider adopting from Petco or Petsmart events instead – not only do they provide animal welfare oversight and help fight against unethical practices like puppy mills and backyard breeding by providing responsible pet ownership opportunities.

Taking the extra steps now will save you time and money later while keeping your new canine companion healthy and happy!

How to Spot Craigslist Pet Scams

Craigslist Pet Scam

To ensure that you don’t become the victim of a Craigslist pet scam, here are some tips to help you spot one:

  • Google the previous owner’s name and contact information. If the name or number provided seem suspicious, it’s best to move on.
  • Ask for photos of the animal in different settings, such as outside and inside the home. If they refuse or have poor-quality images, be wary.
  • Research similar ads online to ensure there isn’t a pattern of shady behavior with this particular seller.

In addition, if a seller seems too eager to get rid of their pet quickly without asking many questions about you and your home environment, it could indicate something is wrong with their story.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund also provides additional advice on avoiding puppy mill scams on Craigslist. Be sure to check out their website before committing to any purchase from Craigslist. Be sure to verify any claims made by sellers about records or other documents related to the animal before making payment or agreeing to rehoming fees.

You should also always meet the dog in person before completing the transaction – this will help you decide if it’s right for you and ensure that the animal is being treated ethically and humanely. Avoid sellers unwilling to let you meet the pet in person before completing the transaction or let you visit the place where they were born and their mother and father live.

Adopting from an ethical source will also help reduce animal homelessness while ensuring each dog gets a loving home with responsible owners – something we can all feel good about!

How to Report a Craigslist Pet Scam

Craigslist Pet Scam

Have you been the victim of a Craigslist pet scam? It’s essential to take action and report it right away.

Craigslist is one of the most popular online platforms for buying, selling, and trading items and services; unfortunately, many exploit unsuspecting buyers by disguising pet sales as rehoming or adoption opportunities.

If you have been the victim of a Craigslist pet scam, please don’t hesitate to report it. When writing a Craigslist pet scam, provide as much information as possible such as screenshots of conversations with the seller, copies of emails exchanged, photos or videos related to the transaction, and details about where the animal may have come from. This will help law enforcement authorities investigate more quickly and effectively.

Additionally, if you know anyone else scammed through Craigslist pets ads or websites offering animals for sale or adoption requests, encourage them to file their reports too.

It’s also important to remember that most states have laws in place against breeding and selling animals without proper licensing or vaccinations – so even if an individual claiming they are rehoming an animal isn’t trying to steal money from potential buyers/adopters – they may be breaking other state laws which need to be reported.

Taking action against these unethical practices can help reduce fraud on Craigslist while helping ensure responsible pet ownership throughout your community.

e website’s reporting system so that other users may be aware of potential risks associated with those listings.

You should also consider filing a police report if necessary and seek legal advice if needed or if large amounts of money were exchanged during the Craigslist pet scam transaction attempt.

By taking these necessary steps after being scammed, you can help protect yourself from further harm while preventing others from becoming victims as well in the future.

Signs of Potential Craigslist Pet Scams

With so many animals out there ready to be taken home, it’s easy to get swept up in the excitement – but watch out for those shifty characters who might try to scam you!

Here are some warning signs of potential Craigslist pet scams:

  • The seller asks for payment or personal information upfront.
  • The seller insists that you meet them somewhere instead of allowing you to visit the place where the puppy was born or meet their parents.
  • The seller has multiple puppies available, all from different breeds.

Craigslist pet scams can happen anywhere, from Seattle to San Diego and Chicago to Dallas, so always be cautious when searching Craigslist Puppy listings for your new pet.

Researching a breeder before committing is a must; look into reviews and references and see if they have certifications from organizations such as AKC or CKC (American Kennel Club/Canadian Kennel Club).

Don’t forget about reputable shelters, too – they often have many beautiful dogs waiting for their forever home!

How to File a Complaint Against a Pet Scammer

Even with the best precautions, you may still be a victim of an unethical Craigslist pet scam; knowing how to file a complaint in such cases is essential.

If you have been scammed through Craigslist or another online platform, here are some steps to take:

  • Contact local law enforcement authorities in the city where you believe the Craigslist pet scammer is located. In major cities like San Diego, Fresno, Houston, or Los Angeles, contact your nearest police department or sheriff’s office. They may be able to provide more resources on how to pursue criminal charges against the individual that scammed you.
  • Contact the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). The IC3 is responsible for investigating and prosecuting internet crimes, including pet scams. You can file your complaint online and provide as much information as possible about the scammer and their activity. They won’t prosecute the case, but it will be useful for statiscal analysis.

You will have to submit the following information to the IC3:

  • Personal information of the victim, including their name, address, phone number, and email address
  • Financial transaction details related to the scam
  • Identifying information about the subject involved, such as their name, address, phone number, email address, website, and IP address
  • Comprehensive description of the scam, including its modus operandi and specific details
  • Inclusion of email headers found in email responses
  • Additional pertinent information or details that you consider significant

You must also remain vigilant and proactive when filing a report with local law enforcement agencies. Keep records of all communication between yourself and the Craigslist pet scammer for evidence.

Additionally, don’t hesitate to report any suspicious activity related to pet scams if further fraud is suspected; this could help protect future victims from falling prey to similar schemes.

How to Make Sure Your Pet Is Healthy

When adopting a pet, protecting your safety and well-being is essential. But ensuring your new companion is healthy should be just as much of a priority.

Here are a few tips for getting a healthy pet when considering Craigslist dogs. First, research the breeders or sellers offering the dog for sale. Ask questions about the dog’s health history and inquire about any vaccinations they may have received. It’s also worth checking with local animal shelters and rescue organizations to ensure no reports of abuse or neglect are connected with them.

Next, look for signs that an animal has been adequately cared for. A healthy pet should have bright eyes, clean fur, regular bowel movements, and consistent daily energy. Also, note if they seem wary of people or shy away from physical contact; these could be signs of mistreatment in their past home.

Finally, take your pup to an accredited veterinarian soon after adoption so they can check for any underlying issues that may not be immediately obvious but need attention right away.

Adopting pets from Craigslist can be a rewarding experience, but it pays to put in extra effort upfront to ensure your newest family member is happy and healthy! Proper vetting ahead of time and getting them checked out by a vet afterward will help ensure you’re bringing home a safe furry friend who will bring lots of joy into your life!

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I look out for when buying a pet?

You shouldn’t buy a pet, you should adopt. There are some money abandonded dogs in shelter, to whom which you can change their entire life by givint the a loving home. When adopting a pet, it’s essential to research and looks for any red flags that may indicate potential Craigslist pet scams or irresponsible practices.

Make sure to meet the dog in person before completing the transaction, ask questions about their medical history and vaccinations, and visit the place where the dog was born if possible.

How can I make sure my pet is healthy before purchasing?

When searching for a new pet, ensuring you’re getting a healthy one is essential. To ensure your pet is in the best condition possible before purchasing, it’s necessary to ask the seller questions about their health and background.

You can also request to meet the dog to evaluate its overall health before completing the transaction. If possible, visit where the Craigslist dog was born and meet their parents to get an idea of what kind of environment they were raised in.

These steps will help you ensure you adopt a healthy pet from an ethical source.


We’ve all heard the horror stories of pet scams on Craigslist. It’s a situation that no one should ever face, yet it happens all too often.

But don’t worry—with a few simple steps; you can protect yourself from becoming another statistic. Take the time to research potential buyers and sellers, get your pet spayed or neutered, and above all else, stay vigilant against scammers!

We hope our ultimate anti-fraud guide for Craigslist pet scams has shed light on the unfortunate reality of online pet scams and provided valuable insights to protect yourself from falling victim to fraudsters.

At Bone Voyage Dog Rescue, we understand the importance of safeguarding your heart and wallet when searching for a furry companion. Our mission is to rescue and find loving homes for dogs in need, ensuring that each adoption is a joyful and safe experience.

If you’re ready to open your heart and home to a deserving canine companion, we invite you to consider adopting from Bone Voyage Dog Rescue. Our dedicated team of professionals works tirelessly to match you with the perfect four-legged friend, and every adoption helps us save more lives. Remember, adopting a rescue dog fills your life with unconditional love and gives a deserving dog a second chance at happiness.

Take the first step towards a lifetime of companionship, and visit our website today. Together, we can make a difference one wagging tail at a time.

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