December 28, 2020

The 12 Days of Holiday Fraud – Day 9: Puppies

The winter holidays are upon us and scams that leverage the holiday season to target you are in full effect right now.

Today, we present Day 9 of The 12 Days of Holiday Fraud - our version of the holiday classic The 12 Days of Christmas. We’re warning about the top 12 scams we see leading up to the holidays and how to avoid falling victim to fraudsters.

“On the ninth day of the holidays, my scammer targeted me with . . .”

DAY 9: Puppies

The COVID-19 pandemic has been profitable for some businesses and one of those includes the pet supply industry. The number of dogs being adopted and purchased has climbed immensely as people have added furry companionship while being at home.

Unfortunately, this trend has also brought an increase in “puppy scams,” in which people respond to a website or internet posting that advertises puppies for sale. After making a purchase or deposit, however, the puppy is never delivered. You’re out the dollars you sent and all you have to show for it is heartbreak.


  • Do your research – a responsible dog breeder is going to want to talk to you by phone and, if possible, be able to meet in person. In a puppy scam, the scammer will typically only want to use email or text. Check out for help identifying bogus sites.
  • If you’re buying a purebred puppy, is the price you’re paying lower than what puppies for that breed normally are? If so, that’s a major red flag.
  • If you are asked to pay for the puppy by wiring money or through gift cards, that’s a red flag. If you are not picking up and paying for the puppy in person – which is the best way to ensure you’re not being scammed - your safest option is to pay using a secure method such as a credit card.

Stay tuned for 12 Days of Holiday Fraud – Day 10.

Check out Day 1: Secret Sister Gift Exchange.

Check out Day 2: Requests for Charitable Gifts.

Check out Day 3: Secret Santa Shopper.

Check out Day 4: Fake Holiday Marketplaces.

Check out Day 5: Package Delivery.

Check out Day 6: Gift Cards.

Check out Day 7: Fake Apps.

Check out Day 8: Holiday Shopping Spree.

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© 2020 Buckingham Strategic Wealth®