Consumer Alert: How to spot a puppy scam

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — If you're looking to add a puppy to your family, there are some red flags you need to know.

Experts said if you're shopping online be aware that the majority of the ads you're seeing are fake.In fact, a recent Better Business Bureau investigation found puppy scams are so widespread that as many as 80 percent of the online listings aren't even real.

So, how do you protect yourself, your family and your bank account?

BBB President Randy Hutchinson said the first thing you should do is research any business your interested in contacting about a four-legged baby.

Visit the BBB's website and even perform a quick internet search on the company or person. More often than not, if it is a scam there is some type of review or warning on the internet from a victim or someone who has experience with the entity your looking at.

You can also search the internet for pictures and wording.

For example, if your search reveals pictures of the same animal popping up on multiple websites, that's a good indication it's a scam.

If you are told to pay a large amount up front or that you have to send wire payments or gift cards, that's also a red flag that something isn't right.

Experts said you should also tell the seller you want to pick up or see the pup in person.

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