Our Atlanta partners at WAGA bring the story of a cruel scam.  An unknown fraudster has been advertising puppies online, requesting a downpayment to reserve the dog, then giving out a random address.  The would-be puppy owners show up and the occupant of the address has the sad, repetitive task of giving them the bad news — They’ve been scammed.  The perpetrator makes it harder for the victims to get their money back since he requests they pay the downpayment through PayPal’s “friends and family” feature, making the funds harder to recover.  To avoid a scam like this, consider the difficulty verifying someone’s identity online.  If the business is legitimate, they likely won’t be pressuring you to use the “friends and family” payment service.  That service should instead be reserved for people you know and trust.  Another way to avoid this type of scam is to verify someone claiming to be a dog breeder is licensed by contacting the state authority where the seller claims to operate.

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