Montana Has Higher Percentage of Puppy Scams Than Any Other State
Everywhere you turn there's a scam to be on the lookout for. People calling to trick you into giving out your banking information, skimmers on card machines that are designed to steal your credit card info, links in your email that when you click on them will hold your computer hostage until you pay a ransom, the list goes on and on. My favorite was last year when an unsolicited caller wanted me to accept an invite to a program where they have control of my computer so they could walk me through some forms about my cable account. It wasn't hard to see through that one as I don't have cable through a company. It's pretty crazy what some of these people will go through to take advantage of others. But when you bring a cute puppy into the mix? That's just taking things a bit too far.
Montana is the state that has the most puppy scams per 100K people.
That's just dirty! There has to be a special place for anyone that would play on people's emotions with a cuddly puppy in order to milk them out of their money. I know certain types of dogs are in demand and people are willing to pay sight unseen to put a deposit down on one. And that seems to be how most people are scammed, by being told they'll need to put money down to reserve the puppy but then being fed an excuse as to why they aren't able to see the puppy in person. Veterinarians.org used data from The Better Business Bureau to come up with the list of States With the Most Online Puppy Scams. California has the most cases if you look at the number per state but Montana was at the top of the list when you break it down to the number of scams per 100K people.
It looks like the pandemic was the perfect scenario for these types of scams
So many people were wanting new puppies for their household while everyone was spending so much time at home because of COVID. The increased demand allowed scammers to play off people's emotions and use their sense of urgency in making a purchase against them.
Google Trends shows that in April 2020, when social distancing and quarantine mandates were first going into effect in the U.S., searches for puppies reached unprecedented levels, with the popularity extending into the summer as isolation no doubt began to impact the mental health of millions of Americans. Another peak followed in November, a time of year that normally sees increased interest in puppies for sale due to families wanting to add a Christmas puppy to their household.
Don't get conned out of your money
If you're thinking of adding a puppy to your household for the holidays, or at any other time, be sure to protect yourself against possible scammers. The veterinarians.org article has a bunch of stats that went into compiling the state rankings as well as warning signs to look for and alternatives to buying online.