I can’t write enough about French Bulldog puppy scams! Unfortunately, they are like robocalls, you can block them, delete their number and report them to authorities but somehow they pop back up under a different number. Buying a french bulldog puppy is very similar and your ONLY DEFENSE is to educate yourself beforehand and enter the process with the tools to determine whether the person (aka breeder) is a legit person with a puppy.
While the concept of a “puppy scam” is not something new, the fact that the French Bulldog is so popular and costs $2,500-$5,000 and up, makes them an easy target. Not to mention, now being ranked as the most popular breed in the US. Coupled all of this, with the fact that “people” are always looking for a “deal” and not have a good understanding of the cost, only compounds the problem. If there was ever a time to know who you are dealing with, NOW IS THE TIME!
HOW CAN I DETERMINE IF ITS A SCAM?
Whether it is a Facebook scam, website scam, puppy mill scam, or another type scam, they all have a common theme.
- Is the deal too good to be true? – Your first reaction should be YES! Just by pure numbers, so let’s talk money. As one of the larger and most reputable breeder’s of French Bulldogs in North Texas, I may have upwards of $1500-$2500 PER PUPPY/PER LITTER invested in direct CASH expenditure! Let me give you an example, last week we studded 2 of our females outside our kennels; my total cost to breed 2 females with two different males0was north of $4,000 EACH! We had 3 progesterone tests per female at $152.50 each ($457.50). We preformed our own AI, so that saved several hundred dollars. We can expect both to have c-sections at $1,000 each, plus after-care. Once the puppies are whelped, we have about $200 of DNA testing on EACH puppy plus their care of vet checks, dew claw removal etc. As you can see, we have approximately $12,000 of DIRECT expenses into these 2 breedings. Understand, we have not discussed the cost of the 2 females which could easy be $5000-$10,000, their medical care, and the cost of just keeping them around with food, shots, vet visits etc for 12 months. Lets make the assumption both females has 4 puppies each and if everything goes well, $12,000/8 =$1,500. We have $1,500 per puppy, plus their care. There is NO CONCEIVABLE WAY I can sell a puppy for $750, I can’t sell a puppy for $1,500 or even $2,000 and survive. In short, there are reasons why even the basic frenchies cost what they do. So the unbelievable deal is typically just that.
- Be very wary of immediate commitments. What does all of that mean? First of all, scammers only want your money as quickly and untraceable as possible and will typically begin to pressure you for the “deposit”. Often the entire transaction is handled via, Facebook Messenger or messaging app, or by texting. Often they are very evasive about phone calls or giving personal information, such as location. Best advice – intentionally slow the process down. Buying a frenchie is like buying a car – there are plenty of cars on the market to buy, so if you miss this one, there will be plenty of others!
- Some sort of sob story or emergency
This runs hand-in-hand with #2, the scammer may attempt to play off your emotions with a “family emergency”, or other reason why they can’t keep the puppy and they are willing to sell it at a deep discount. Just let them keep talking, you will eventually figure out their story doesn’t add up.
- Using 3rd party money transfer apps with no recourse.
Apps like CASHAPP, Venmo, Zelle, and even PayPal (family and friends) to some extent are great for moving money around quickly but in an unregulated way. Here is the problem – those apps and many others, are NOT regulated by the FAIR CREDIT ACT, therefore, you have no consumer protections should the transaction go bad. Paypal has 2 services, one for legitimate e-commerce business type transactions that is covered by the Fair Credit Act, and “Family and Friends” which is not. The big question is, SO WHAT? The SO WHAT is the difference between you getting your money back or not. Credit and debit cards used to pay through a traditional e-commerce site, such as Paypal (non F&F) Square, Stripe, Amazon, etc., are subject to those regulations which mean, you can “dispute” the charge.
- Beware of “hidden” or “sudden” costs
I had a client who was scammed, not once but twice within the same deal. After doing her research, she believed this to be a “legit” seller, so she put down her deposit and the puppy would be available 2 or 3 days later. During that time, the scammer called and required additional funds to get the puppy vet check and offered to go ahead and purchase the “special” crate needing for transport, so she sent another $500. You can see where this is headed. What seemed so obvious now, sounded reasonable at the time.
As the administrator of several Facebook groups, I intentionally try to put up roadblock after roadblock, but nothing works like “simply logic.”
Chris and I are 100% transparent with every transaction. Every transaction is protected, receipted and documented through a contractor and bill of sale.
If you are in the market for a puppy and looking for a reputable breeder with a 5 start rating, contact us.