We are updating this section because it seems that the scammers are getting more sophisticated, and if you are not very careful you and your money will soon part ways – unfortunately, without a puppy to show for it. A new client was recently scammed out of $9000 when trying to purchase a “toy” Frenchie. Aside from the fact that she was purchasing a “toy” Frenchie (we do not believe reputable breeders will intentionally breed an already dwarf breed down to “toys” due to health concern), she did almost everything right. She contacted the three references that she was given by phone (unfortunately they were throwaway phones). She did get pictures of the puppy (just not ones with a placard having today’s date and her name written on it). They made the payment into a bank account (unfortunately one that had only been set up for this transaction). They were given a legitimate flight on which their puppy would be arriving, but unfortunately their puppy was not on that flight (or any other). The bottom line is that these wonderful people gave $9000 to scammers, who are no better than common thieves.
There is only one way to stop scammers, and that is to not fall for their scams. If they are successful even a small part of the time, they will continue their nefarious ways.
It continues to be frequently brought to our attention that scammers continue to steal our pictures, videos, and website content. PLEASE NOTE: WE DO NOT ADVERTISE ANYWHERE EXCEPT ON OUR WEBSITE!!! If you are seeing our pictures, videos, or content from our website (or anything else from us, for that matter) being advertised ANYWHERE else, please know it is not legitimate and someone is trying to scam you. If in doubt, ask them to send a picture of the puppy they are advertising beside a placard with your name & date. This is something a scammer can not do since they do not have any real puppies.
Update: It is certainly possible that a scammer could have a single puppy or older Frenchie and could use this single dog to perpetrate scams. The best way to avoid being scammed is to only deal with a reputable breeder who has been in the business for several years and has an excellent track record. Also, if you do not give any money up front (other than a typical deposit), you will never lose any significant amount of money, even if you are part of a scam. If there is the slightest doubt in your mind that people you are dealing with are legit, don’t pay for a puppy until he/she is in hand.
Note: If you right-click on a picture you can do a Google search and find out where the picture is originally posted on the web.
The new technology we have makes it possible for French Bulldog breeders like us in northern Utah to have clients from every state in the union adopt our puppies. But, it also opens the door to unscrupulous people who will take advantage of honest individuals looking for a new companion.
About a third of our puppies are adopted by in-state or near-state clients who come to our home to meet us and to pick-up their new fur babies, but this means that we send about two-thirds of our puppies out-of-state to every corner of the country. While the internet makes this possible, it also opens up possibilities of fraud. When buying a puppy over the internet, an old adage comes to mind, “buyers beware”. While there are many good and ethical dog breeders, there are also a lot of individuals who will breed dogs, regardless of quality, in an effort to make a few bucks, and other despicable individuals who will perpetrate any scam they can invent to get someone else’s hard earned money – and puppy scams are becoming an all too common occurrence. If scammers would use only half their ingenuity and efforts to do something productive instead of using all of it to scam innocent people, we would have a much better world, but, unfortunately, some never will, and a wise buyer will be very careful.
If you decide to buy a puppy from an on-line breeder, please do your homework and make sure you are dealing with a reputable breeder – one who is honest, will treat you fairly, and will not misrepresent their dogs and puppies in any way. By the way, most reputable breeders who have been producing puppies for a while and have made a name for themselves usually do not have puppies immediately available, as they typically have clients waiting for each new litter.
Be especially careful of new and poorly done websites, adds from newly created accounts, adds which do not have (legitimate) phone numbers (if in doubt – call and check, and if you do call a number and are directed to leave a message, which is responded to by text, strongly expect a scam – insist on speaking to them on a legitimate phone number), adds that are very poorly worded or which have significant grammatical mistakes, adds giving a sad story as to why the owner(s)/breeder(s) must part (very cheaply) with their Frenchie puppies or adults, adds that just don’t feel right or that ring hollow, and adds from people offering deals that sound too good to be true – they probably are too good to be true.
A scammer will also most likely want you to pay in some odd way which can not be traced (such as putting your money on a card which is then sent to the scammer’s PO Box) and they will then tell you that your puppy will be delivered to your doorstep within a relatively short period of time. Of course, the money quickly disappears from the card – but the puppy never shows up!!!
If you are fairly close to a breeder, they should be more than happy to have you visit their home (don’t expect them to let you into their kennel) to see the puppies and some of their adult Frenchies. If a purported breeder doesn’t want you to come by, a red flag should go up. Also, some of these scammers will give references, but almost invariably they will only give e-mail addresses (which could be someone else involved in the scam, i.e., family, friends, or even the scammer) and NO legitimate phone numbers on which you can TALK to them (which can be traced). If in doubt, make sure you get legitimate phone numbers on which you can call and actually speak to a person – don’t trust texts. Please do what you can to protect yourselves from scammers.
Update: Some more sophisticated scammers are now using friends or partners in their scams who are purchasing throwaway phones to give positive referrals, so even talking to someone on the phone is no guarantee that you are talking to legitimate breeders.
If you do find out about a scam, please report it to the proper authorities. A fraudulent add should be reported to the organization posting the add; if you lose money in a scam report it to the police, the BBB, and others who might help put an end to the problem. Please do not let the few bad apples ruin the dog breeding business for all of us reputable breeders and all dog lovers everywhere.
Bick, Lacey, and Donna