ALEXANDRIA, VA – Who doesn’t want to give their loved ones that perfect holiday postcard moment? You know, the big box with a bow that has a furry new member of the family inside. Unfortunately, that desire to create a cherished memory of a holiday pet leads many to a scam they won’t soon forget.
Here are three ways you can avoid a pet scam this holiday season.
First, do your research and understand how much a certain breed costs. Don’t trust websites that offer deep discounts on the going rate. Second, use the photo of the pet you are offered to conduct a reverse image search online (search “how to do a reverse image search” in your favorite browser). Scammers copy pet photos from other websites. Lastly, if you can, shop local. Meeting the breeder in person or touring the facility lets you know it is legitimate. A seller that invents reasons why you can’t pick the pet up in person shouldn’t be trusted. (And consider adopting from a rescue, where many future beloved family members are waiting!)
Be a fraud fighter! If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam.
The AARP Fraud Watch Network is a free resource for all. Learn how to proactively spot scams or get guidance if you’ve been targeted. Visit www.aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork or call our dedicated helpline to speak to a fraud specialist at 1-877-908-3360.
AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering Americans 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With nearly 38 million members and offices in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, AARP works to strengthen communities and advocate for what matters most to families with a focus on health security, financial stability, and personal fulfillment. AARP also works for individuals in the marketplace by sparking new solutions and allowing carefully chosen, high-quality products and services to carry the AARP name. As a trusted source for news and information, AARP produces the nation’s largest circulation publications, AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.