The Better Business Bureau is warning buyers about scams because of its newest study regarding fake online pet sellers who steal from unsuspecting buyers.
According to the study, 80 percent of pay-per-click advertising in internet searches for pets may be scams.
Representatives from the Better Business Bureau, Nebraska Humane Society Capital Humane Society and Omaha Police Department were in attendance.
The BBB of Nebraska, South Dakota, The Kansas Plains, and Southwest Iowa says victims are hooked by photos of cuddly puppies, but are among tens of thousands of U.S. consumers being scammed. They say watch out for ads offering dogs immediately, asking for wire money transfers, asking for shipping insurance, or have bad grammar on their websites. They say most of the crimes are originating in the African country of Cameroon.
"These are very very sophisticated operations and they can draw anybody in, just about anybody is susceptible to this kind of crime," said Jim Hegarty, CEO of the BBB-Nebraska.
They recommend purchasing a pet from a local shelter, or going to see a dog in person before buying it.
Authorities would like you to report if you've been scammed to your local police department and to the BBB Scam Tracker: https://www.bbb.org/scamtracker/us