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AG Nessel: Beware of puppy scams this holiday season

(CBS DETROIT) - During the holiday season, families try to buy the best gifts, which may sometimes be a new puppy. Before you adopt the newest family member, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has a message: Beware of scams.

According to the Michigan Department of Attorney General, the state has received 129 complaints of alleged puppy scams since 2020. More than 20 of those complaints were filed this year.

"I urge future pet owners to remain extra vigilant and to do their research when purchasing a puppy whether they are shopping online, in store or buying from a breeder," Nessel said in a statement. "Bad actors are always looking for ways to take advantage of consumers." 

Officials say issued tips to avoid becoming a victim of a scam.

  • Research the breed  
  • Research the breeder  
  • Research the advertised puppy  
  • Do not purchase a puppy sight-unseen  
  • Use a credit card to make the purchase
  • Retail all documents and communications from the breeder
  • Consider contacting your local shelter  

Anyone who believes they are a victim of a puppy scam can file a complaint with the Consumer Protection team.

Click here to file a complaint.

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