The first step to take to avoid false breeders

SPARTANBURG, SC (WSPA) – Several victims have lost thousands of dollars to a puppy scam claiming to be based in the upstate.

The Better Business Bureau has said that a fake breeder lures potential customers with a professional-looking website.

In this 7NEWS consumer exclusive, what you need to know to avoid online pet scams.

When something touches your heart like a puppy, it’s hard not to get carried away.

“I just started looking at the Frenchies and I was like ‘Dear Lord of Heaven these are the cutest smelly dogs I’ve ever seen,’” said Kelly Minor from Greensboro.

Minor admits it was love at first sight when she saw the French Bulldog puppy “Adelle” on a website called The purebred was listed for half the list price.

“I was like, ‘Don’t they realize how well these dogs are doing right now? Or did I just stumble upon a really good deal? So they let me go. I was definitely hooked, ”she explained.

But as Ginger Watson of the Better Business Bureau can attest, a professional-looking website doesn’t mean it’s legit.

“It looks a lot like a legitimate website. They walked in, they have pictures, they typed in a lot of information about supposedly how they got started. The more we searched for that website, the more we found the duplicate website, ”Watson said.

That’s right. Another website,, supposedly located in Alexandria, Virginia, has the same photos, phone number, and much of the same wording as

The BBB said both appear to be scam sites, even claiming a copyright date of 2018, but they were registered in January 2021. Registration is outside the country and there is no no archived history.

So why did the crooks choose an address in Spartanburg? It turns out that the property on Hudson Street is a private home listed for sale online, and scammers often use them because they tend to be vacant.

The real owners of Spartanburg even wrote in Google reviews: “Eight weeks later, I still have people showing up to my house when it is a scam!”

But several victims never saw this warning. The BBB Scam Tracking Report shows a Massachusetts couple lost $ 1,350 and a New Hampshire woman was cheated of $ 4,300.

Watson said there is no bigger scam indicator than a very low price.

“It’s a big red flag. Your other red flags are: They ask for large deposits, $ 1,000 and up, or the full price of the puppy up front. The other is that they request it through various payment apps, like Venmo or Cash App or Zelle or even a wire transfer, because they are very difficult to trace and very difficult to refund, ”she said.

Minor said it was ultimately the name Venmo that revealed it as it had nothing to do with the business.

“I’m like you almost got me until you sent me your name Venmo and then I knew you were a scam.” I was like ‘Shame on you, shame on everything you do, you are all bad news.’ And I never heard from them again. They didn’t respond, ”Minor said.

She said she was saddened to learn that several more had been victimized.

To protect yourself, beware of Google reviews. The BBB has found several that appear to be wrong.

As for these photos, right click to do a reverse search to check if they are really original.

Luckily for Minor, not only did she not lose any money, but she finally found a beloved French Bulldog puppy from a reputable breeder. And she said the biggest lesson she’s learned is never to buy a pet over the internet without video chatting with the breeder to make sure the dog exists before paying a dime.

The BBB reported that both websites and DivineFrenchiesHome were taken down.

Unfortunately, victims are unlikely to get their money back as the payment method is virtually untraceable.

If you would like to report a scam to BBB, click here.

Comments are closed.