4 Signs of a French Bulldog Scam and 4 Ways You Can Avoid Them | Ethical Frenchie

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4 Signs of a French Bulldog Scam

Happy Ethical Frenchie Customer

Con artists are quite sophisticated. They know what to ask you and how to act to appear legitimate. Make sure that you’re always cautious when shopping for a puppy and look for signs that the seller doesn’t have the best intentions.

1. They Want You to Commit Right Away

More than likely you’d never commit to buying a car or home without first seeing it. Often, they’ll be unable to Facetime or video chat so you can see the pups. What reasonable breeder would force you to pay for a puppy before being able to meet it? Often, scams will tell you the puppy in question is the last of its litter or that their phone is ringing off the hook with other people interested in it.

They’ll pressure you to place a deposit. Often, they will want you to wire them the money. While a deposit is relatively normal for a puppy, you should never send a deposit via wire or feel overly pressured to ‘hold’ a puppy. Make sure the deposit comes with a clear contract and ask if it’s refundable.

Scam artists are magicians when it comes to pressure. They will ask you to wire money through MoneyGram, Walmart Pay, or even PayPal to reserve your puppy. And they will give you explicit instructions to mark the payment as a gift to friends and family rather than ‘purchasing a product’ so you won’t have any refund protection. Never feel pressured to send money. In fact, if a breeder is pressuring you, this is a red flag that they’re trying to scam you.

2. A Deal That’s Too Good to Be True

Happy Frenchie Puppy from Ethical Frenchie

Quality purebred dogs cost money. When you see a French Bulldog listed for a remarkably low price, you should be suspicious.

Frenchies are one of the most popular breeds in the U.S. and Europe. Puppy prices are often set by the traditional supply and demand model. So, why would someone charge one-third (or less) of the price they could get for a beautiful dog? The answer is they wouldn’t, unless there’s a scam to he had.

3. Their Story Will Pull at Your Heartstrings

On sites like Craigslist, and nowadays more frequently on Facebook, you’ll find that there are countless ads that will offer a purebred French Bulldog puppy as “Free to a Good Home” or “Have to Move, Can’t Bring Our Beloved Dog.” These ads often explain that they require a rehoming fee. Then, when you message them you find out that the rehoming fees are substantial or that the fees grow as you continue to message them.

The reality is that con artists know we have hearts and would love to give a puppy in need a good home, but don’t trust these ads.

4. They’ll Have That Rare Color or Size

Cute Blue Frenchie Puppy

While Blue, Sable, and Chocolate Brindle French Bulldogs are favorites among enthusiasts, they are rare. Many opportunistic scammers will know that, too. They take advantage of hard to find colors by borrowing pictures off Google and advertising these puppies as their own. Often these puppies don’t even exist.

4 Ways to Avoid Falling Victim to a Puppy Scam

1. A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words

While most Frenchie websites and ads will have a picture of a doe-eyed puppy with an adorable face, there are ways to test the photo to see if it’s legitimate.

The easiest way to tell if a photo is legitimate is to use Google’s reverse-image search. With the website open, open another tab to Google, then drag and drop the image into the search bar and Google will scour the internet for duplicates. If there are no copies, that’s a good sign.

You can sometimes look at the photo’s properties after downloading it to see the date it was created or if it’s a copy.

2. Take Your Time to Research Your Breeder

Google your breeder’s email address or their business name with “reviews” added. People that get scammed want to protect others and often will report a faker to the BBB or on Google Maps.

You can always ask a responsible breeder for references. Reputable breeders want to be helpful and show off how happy the parents of their puppies are. Most breeders take pride in the quality of their litters and want their buyers to admire their work.

3. Meet the Parents

Adult French Bulldogs

It’s important to remember that bringing home a new dog is a huge commitment. It’s reasonable to want to see where the puppies were raised and see their sire and dam, or at least their dam. Survey the area where the puppies are kept. Is it clean? Is it odor-free? And make sure you pay attention to the dam’s condition. Not only should she be clean, but she should be healthy and happy!

4. Have Your Vet Check out the Puppy

Frenchie at the vet

One of the most heartbreaking outcomes of a Frenchie puppy scam is when you have the lovable fur-ball in your hands and you’re absolutely in love, just to find out that the puppy is ill or not the purebred you expected.

Make sure you are familiar with the French Bulldog Breed standards before you meet the puppy and its mother. Don’t be afraid to ask for papers for your puppy and its parents. And don’t exchange any money until you verify the accuracy of the papers. And you can always arrange for a DNA test prior to bringing the pup home.

Ask your breeder if they’d accompany you to your vet to verify the puppy’s health. All too often I see warning posts on Craigslist that a dog someone brought home was ill with diseases like parvo. These scams are cruel to the dogs and the new owner. Make sure your French Bulldog is in good health before you commit to it becoming part of your family.

With all the scams out there, finding your new French Bulldog puppy can be overwhelming, but keep in mind that nothing compares to the joy of a new dog entering your family. Avoid the risks to reap the rewards when it comes to buying a French Bulldog.

If you’re on the market for a new family member, check out our puppies.

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