Google is cracking down on pet scams

Google plans to take legal action against online scammers who place fake pet ads.

Online pet scams have skyrocketed since the start of the coronavirus pandemic two years ago. With increased working from home in the US, many people are flocking to online pet marketplaces. There they often fell victim to scammers. According to the Better Business Bureau, 35 percent of online fraud cases reported in the US involved pets.

Purebred dogs at a bargain price

The scams often follow this pattern: On platforms, for example, pedigree dogs or cats with cute photos and sentimental stories are offered at bargain prices. The scammers ask for payment in advance, but the pets are never handed over as they simply don’t exist. According to Google, older people are particularly affected by this scam. For this reason, the group now wants to take legal action against these scammers.

Be careful when buying pets online

“That’s why we’re taking proactive steps to establish legal precedent, protect victims, disrupt scammers’ infrastructure, and raise public awareness,” Google said. In order not to be taken in by pet scammers, Google advises using verified payment methods, inspecting the animals in person or via video chat, and finding out about the seller online in advance.

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