This small dog was adopted out of California, through a Jack Russell Rescue organization, which was checked out ahead of time and confirmed legit. But some other adoption centres or dog breeders claiming to sell dogs from out-of-country or even over the internet need to be checked out thoroughly, first – Langley RCMP advise. (Langley Advance Times files)

WARNING: Is that puppy really up for adoption?

Langley RCMP report of two recent scams involving the purchase of dogs off the internet

Two Langley people have recently paid for puppies they never received.

The adoption scam is not new, but has come up again recently in Langley, so local Mounties are sending out a warning, explained RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Holly Largy.

“You decide you want a dog, a certain kind of dog and none are available nearby. So, what do you do? Go to the internet of course! And there you find the cutest little ‘exactly what I was looking for’ puppy. Your next steps are very important,” she advised.

“As with any purchase – do your homework.”

Langley RCMP offered a few tips:

· Is the breeder reputable?

· Is the website professional? – Little things like spelling mistakes can be red flags

· Check with the Better Business Bureau

RELATED: Fraud reports spiked by nearly 45% in April as scammers take advantage of pandemic

· Check the internet for reviews

· What forms of payment do they take? – Money grams are another red flag

· Ordering from the U.S.? – Check with CBSA /airports – Are puppies even being shipped across the border?

“There have now been two instances here in Langley where someone has paid for a dog that never arrived,” Largy said.

Payments in the $1,000 range were made, and supposedly include shipping and related delivery costs.

In both cases, the “buyer” was subsequently told they now owed an additional $1,000-$1,500 for insurance – or the dogs wouldn’t be delivered.

“Fortunately, this raised the red flag with both prospective buyers and only then did they find information online that confirmed both agencies were not reliable,” Largy said.

“So avoid the double hit – one to your pocketbook and one to your hopes – do the research,” she recommended.

In Langley, the Langley Animal Protection Society, which is based out of the Patti Dale Animal Shelter in Aldergrove, has dogs for adoption.

RELATED: ‘Gentle giant’ Baloo finally ready for adoption at Langley Animal Protection Society

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