A puppy for Christmas? The Yakima County Sheriff's Office is warning of a puppy scam this holiday season. If you're not shopping at a known animal rescue organization or the Central Washington Humane Society you could be scammed. Sheriff's officials say there's lot of red flags to look for to keep you from becoming a victim of a scam.

Don't let your love for an animal blind you to becoming a victim

Sketchy payments, .like asking you to pay in gift cards.

Stock photos of dogs that could be stolen.

No phone calls. Those selling the dogs only want emails and text message.

The price is too good to be true.

Just some things to look for that would help you determine if you are being ripped off. Sheriff's officials say they are all reasons to work with local animal rescue organizations like all mutts great and small, wags to riches or Yakima Valley Pet Rescue.




Authorities also warn that if you are giving away or selling a dog to be wary of people gathering dogs for area dog fighting rings. Many times people who work for the rings pose as people wanting to adopt dogs.

According to BBB data "nearly 10,000 scam reports and complaints have come in during the last three years about “businesses” selling puppies and dogs. The FTC estimates that only about 10 percent of victims report these crimes, so this number could be much higher. Sixty percent of these reports indicated the consumers never received the pets they purchased, and others received pets that had health or genetic problems and did not receive documentation for their pet."

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