Puppy Purchase Guide

How to Avoid Internet Pomeranian Puppy Scams

Pomeranian Headquarters

Sharing is caring!

Last Updated on 09/02/2024 by Denise Leo. Post first published on November 25, 2023.

Bringing a new pet into your home is filled with excitement and joy. The journey of selecting a puppy often starts online, with potential owners scrolling through adorable pictures, dreaming of the day they can cuddle their new furry friend.

However, this joyous occasion can quickly become a distressing experience if you fall victim to a puppy scam. In recent years, pet scams have surged, preying on the emotions of those looking to add a four-legged member to their family.

Understanding the red flags associated with puppy scams is crucial in today’s digital age. Often, these scams begin with a simple text message or an appealing online advertisement.

They lure unsuspecting pet lovers with pictures of irresistible puppies, leading them to deceit and disappointment. As someone who could become a victim of a puppy scam, it’s essential to be vigilant and informed.

This blog post will delve into puppy scams, highlighting key warning signs that every prospective pet owner should know. We will also guide you on how to identify reputable breeders and steer clear of fraudulent schemes.

We aim to give you the knowledge needed to avoid becoming a scam victim, ensuring your journey to pet ownership is safe and joyful. Let’s uncover the truth behind puppy scams and learn how to protect ourselves from these heartless frauds.

It’s very easy to fall in love with a Pomeranian puppy but ensure the breeder is reputable before you do. To avoid pomeranian puppy scams and ensure that your new family member is healthy and safe, it’s crucial to be informed about these five things: temperament, health clearances, registration papers, the price range for breeders of similar dogs in your area, and what happens if you can’t care for the dog.

Pomeranian Puppy Scam Alert
Pomeranian Puppy Scam Alert

FAQ Section: Navigating the Complex World of Puppy Scams

  • Q1: How can I tell if a puppy seller is legitimate?
  • A1: Legitimate breeders often have a strong online presence with verifiable testimonials and are usually affiliated with organizations like the American Kennel Club. Always be wary of sellers who only communicate via text or have a fake website. A good rule of thumb is to conduct a reverse image search of the puppy’s photo to check for authenticity.
  • Q2: What are the red flags of a puppy scam?
  • A2: Common red flags include the seller asking for credit card information or a wire transfer before you’ve seen the puppy, an unusually high rehoming fee for expensive breeds, or additional transportation costs claimed by a shipping agent. Fake accounts and puppy mills often use these tactics to target unsuspecting buyers.
  • Q3: What should I do if I suspect a scam during puppy buying?
  • A3: If you suspect a scam, cease communication with the seller. Do not provide personal information or make any payments. You can report the incident to relevant authorities to help prevent others from becoming scam victims.
  • Q4: Are there safe payment methods for buying a puppy?
  • A4: The best way to handle payments is through a secure payment app with two-factor authentication. Avoid using a personal check or wire transfer, as scammers often use these. Legitimate sellers may also accept credit cards or direct bank transfers.
  • Q5: How can I ensure I’m dealing with responsible breeders?
  • A5: Responsible breeders are usually registered with breed clubs or organizations like the American Kennel Club. They will provide detailed information about the puppy’s new home requirements, health records, and breeding practices. Legitimate breeders also encourage in-person visits.
  • Q6: What should I know about puppy mills about puppy scams?
  • A6: Puppy mills often masquerade as legitimate sources but lack proper animal care. They may use internet puppy scams to sell dogs quickly without regard for their health or well-being. Be cautious of sellers who have multiple breeds available or seem to always have puppies for sale.
  • Q7: How can I protect myself from internet puppy scams?
  • A7: Always conduct thorough research on the seller, insist on seeing the puppy in person or via a live video call, and use a reverse image search to check the puppy’s photo. It’s also wise to use payment methods that offer buyer protection.
  • Q8: What are some tips for safely rehoming a puppy?
  • A8: When rehoming a puppy, ask for a reasonable rehoming fee and verify the new owner’s ability to provide a loving and safe home. Avoid dealing with individuals who refuse to meet in person or provide a fake home address.
  • Q9: How can I verify a seller’s claims about their puppies?
  • A9: Request to see the puppy in their current living situation. Ask for veterinary records and verify them with the clinic. Check if the seller is listed on reputable websites or is a member of recognized breeding clubs.
  • Q10: What steps should I take if I become a victim of a puppy scam?
  • A10: Report the scam to the local authorities, your bank (if you’ve made a payment), and any relevant internet fraud agencies. Sharing your experience on social media platforms can also help to warn other potential buyers and stop the spread of these scams.

Pomeranian Puppy Scams Alert

There are many more buying a puppy online scams around than there ever used to be. It’s partly due to the internet and how people can manipulate information to get what they want, namely, the money in your pocket.

A common Pomeranian puppy for-sale scam is related to selling dogs and is often targeted at people who want to buy a Pomeranian puppy online.

The dogs are real but aren’t the property of the puppy scammers. Photos are stolen from top breeder’s websites.

Often, the photos are photoshopped to make the puppy look very small, extra cute, and appealing. Teacup is a common term used for Pomeranian online puppy scams.

Pictured above is a Pomeranian puppy bred by Dochlaggie Kennels, Australia. The top photo is the original photo. Below is the same image after a few minutes of work in Photoshop.

Pomeranian Puppies for Sale Scam

Many people love dogs and wish to buy Pomeranian dogs online, which is why this scam works so well. Put yourself in the shoes of somebody who wants to get a dog to care for.

Imagine you don’t have much money but want a good-quality Pomeranian. So, you start looking out for ways to buy your precious dog.

You log onto your computer because that’s the fastest way to find what you want. Unfortunately, it’s also easy for others to con you. Looking through some ads, you suddenly see one for a white Pomeranian puppy.

It sounds great, and the photos are amazing. Your heart is already fluttering. Then you see the price…teacup Pomeranian puppies for sale for $250. You are rubbing your eyes and shaking your head in disbelief. Wow!!! You have hit the jackpot. A beautiful white Pomeranian puppy at a bargain price. It would be best to grab it before someone beats you to it.

This Pom dog should sell for $1500 or more from a reputable show Pomeranian breeder, and this should set off alarm bells immediately. But wait, shouldn’t you investigate further? This is where the puppy scammers outwit you. There’s only ever an email address, and the account is usually very new.

Photos in the online advertisement are great, so you email and ask for more photos. They say they don’t have any more photos because “their camera broke” or some other fake story. It’s because they have stolen photos of someone else’s dog online.

Naturally, you’ll ask why the dog is so cheap. Similar excuses are used. They may say someone in the family is very ill, and they need to raise funds for surgery (or some other equally lame, false excuse). Then they’ll say they’re from a different country, so you’ll have to wire them the money because their country doesn’t accept PayPal or bank transfers. 

Pomeranian Fake Puppy Scam
Pomeranian Puppy Scams

Pomeranian Fake Puppy Scam

When Buying a Pomeranian Puppy Online, Pay ONLY by Direct Deposit into a Bank Account

Once they have the money, they’ll ship the dog to your local airport. But IF you’re foolish enough to send the money, they’ll keep asking for more for different expenses such as taxes, customs issues, cargo storage, etc. Suddenly, it doesn’t sound so cheap.

BEFORE Sending Money, Ask for a Video of the Pomeranian Puppy

Ask for the phone number of their vet so you can confirm the details are true.

They’ll likely say they can’t give you these pieces of information, and then they’ll say they have other interested buyers but want to give you first choice, seeing you were “fortunate” enough to have replied first. Ask for information and photos of the puppy’s parents. Google them to see if they exist.

Reputable, registered show breeders usually have a website to confirm their legitimacy. Check the details to see if it’s the same as what they told you. Call the contact number to see who answers and where they’re from.

Puppy Scam
Puppy Scam Alert

Where Can I Buy a Pomeranian?

Never Buy a Pomeranian Puppy Online Without Doing Lots of Homework. Where to buy a Pomeranian? Only buy through a reputable, registered show breeder who you can check out.

Locate the best Pomeranian breeders close to you on the Pomeranian Directory.

Honest, legit, registered Pomeranian dog breeders will not describe or advertise Pomeranians as miniature, toy, or teacup Pomeranians.

Avoid “breeder” advertising, marketing, or promoting Pomeranian puppies using the abovementioned terminology.

Ask for references and as much other information as you can. Genuine sellers will also ask you many questions to ensure the puppy goes to a good home. Scammers aren’t interested in knowing that stuff, so that should also set off the klaxons in your brain.

A Pomeranian puppy is gorgeous, but don’t risk being scammed because your eyes light up at the thought of owning such a beautiful animal. Be smart and check your facts. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Puppy Scammers are so clever today that they can easily get people to part with their money. Make sure that you’re not gullible enough to be one of them. As Pomeranians become more popular, numerous scammers use this to maximum advantage and try to separate people from their hard-earned money.

As I come across specific scams, I’ll list them for your protection, but there are some things to always watch for.

Western Union

NEVER, EVER pay for your puppy through Western Union. Your money will certainly wind up in the hands of a foreign scammer, and you’ll be left with nothing except a sour taste in your mouth.

PayPal And Credit Card

Don’t pay for your puppy with your credit card or by using PayPal. While these are legitimate payment methods, scammers can also use them. All breeders have genuine bank accounts. You can only be assured that your money is safe by paying the breeder directly or into his bank account.


Tips that you’re dealing with a scammer based overseas include bad grammar and spelling mistakes and the misuse of American and English versions. For example, I’m in Australia and can easily spot scams using American English.

The spelling of mum is often written as “mom.” Toilet training is referred to as “potty training.” Overseas people don’t know the way that Australians talk.

Pomeranian Puppy Scam Alert
Pomeranian Puppy Scam Alert

Known Pomeranian Puppy Scams

Classified Ads

If you see ads on free classified ad sites such as Gumtree or the Trading Post, many will have prices for their puppies that are much lower than what you would pay through a breeder. Never give out personal information on these sites, and be aware of what they can promise you…because you won’t get it.

I know of scams like the following two because I have had people contact me to ask if I think they’re legitimate… of course, they’re not, BUT they appear so initially. The first is where you see an ad in Gumtree that somebody is giving away a Pomeranian.

Their reason is that a family member has passed away, and the dog was that person’s pet. They don’t want that constant reminder. The person sends many photos and emails to make the scam more convincing. They refuse to communicate by phone.

The photos are stolen from other sites. They ask what sort of home you have, if you have looked after puppies before, and if you have other dogs. They want to “ensure the puppy is going to a good home.”

By doing all this, they put you off guard. Eventually, it comes out that they live four hours by plane from where you live. They ask that you only pay for the transport by plane. You agree and are ready to pay.

Then you get another email supposedly from the “airline” instructing you how to pay because their account is not currently available. Then they say to use Western Union. Then another email tells you to pay somebody with a foreign name in Africa. (This could be anywhere, of course) Luckily, you didn’t make your payment.

Another scam using Gumtree is one where the owner supposedly works on an oil rig, but this isn’t mentioned initially. After lots of emails back and forth, the oil rig news comes out. The person says she can arrange for the freight of your new puppy if you pay the shipping cost.

She wants payment through Western Union or Money Bookers or some other shady payment method that’s virtually untraceable. You refuse.

Facebook Puppy Scams

Dog scams on Facebook are common. Puppy scams on Facebook usually involve shady scammers setting up a fake profile using information stolen from a real Pom dog breeder, and they make it seem that their page IS the real breeder. This scam has happened at least three times recently, just here in Australia.

Pomeranian Puppy Scam Tactics

Scammers use other tactics. They don’t like talking on the phone as they often have heavy accents and their English isn’t good. If they get your money because you pay into Western Union, you won’t hear from them again.

The email will bounce. The ad will disappear if they give you a contact number that will be disconnected or off permanently.

Scamwatch has advised that the people running these scams are almost always from a foreign country. A recent ad that appeared on a classified ad site had an adult female for sale. She was ready to be mated. The ad seemed to be on behalf of a legitimate breeder who had bought the dog as a puppy but now didn’t want her.

A mobile phone number was also listed, so they had several conversations. The scammer even gave the “victim” the breeder’s website to help convince the “victim” to pay.

After checking the site out and falling in love with the dog, the person was keen to get a bargain and paid the requested $1000 deposit. After the payment was made, the site disappeared, the ad disappeared, and the mobile number wasn’t active. The purchaser contacted the breeder and asked about the breeding and sale of that dog.

Sadly, that was too late. The breeder didn’t have a 12-month-old dog, and the quoted price was $ 1,500 higher than the breeder charges. Another scam asks for payment to cover shipping, but the dog would be free if you had a good home.

After you have paid for shipping, the scammers will try to extract more funds from you by telling you that the dog can’t be shipped without you also paying for insurance. They’ll even be so bold as to give you the time and date to collect the dog…which never turns up. They sometimes give you the pet transport company name and the person to talk to.

What Can You Do To Avoid Buying Puppy Online Scams?

If you have any doubts about making a purchase, no matter how appealing, ask for the breeder’s address and registration number. Then contact your kennel club and check it out. Contact the Pomeranian Club as well. Ask if they know the breeder.

You must either talk to the breeder by phone or, if possible, visit the premises. Request photos of the puppies at different ages. Ask for details of the advertiser’s vet.

Check that they match the more recent shots. Look for specific identification marks such as carpet color, markings, birthmarks, and finger rings. Request to collect your puppy in person; don’t spend your money if that can’t happen.

Remember this old saying… if it’s too good to be true, then it probably is.

How To Report Pomeranian Puppy Scam

It is extremely difficult to report online dog-buying scams as the scammers are usually overseas. Contact your local Police and notify any online puppy sales site of the fraud.

Pomeranian teacup puppy scam
Teacup Pomeranian Puppies Scam
Teacup Pomeranian Puppy Scams
Teacup Pomeranian Puppy Scams

An Example of an Internet Puppy Scam

“My dear, Thanks very much for accepting to give my babies your home and shower them with love and care. The puppy is okay and healthy, But I want you to understand that these, my loving babies, are not for sale. I am only looking for a lovely and caring home, in which your home is the perfect place for my lovely babies. As I told you earlier, you will pay only the delivery fee for the baby to be delivered to your home. The delivery fee for the babies will cost $450 for one puppy and $700 for both puppies. To deliver this baby to you by delivery, your full delivery address will be needed as follows:
Your Full Names:(……………………………)
House and Street Address:(……………………………)
Contact Numbers:(……………………………); Nearest Airport(……………….)
Please fill in the information in the bracket above. Once I have the details, I will take the babies to the delivery agency, change ownership, and do the delivery registration for your home delivery. Once I’m done with that, they will proceed with the delivery process. Waiting to hear back from you with your full delivery details.”
Best regard”

The lady then received an email advising the puppies had been sent to the transport company, and the money was transferred.

Condensed Version:

E-MAIL: [email protected]; WEBSITE: :xxxxx-xxxxxx.com ; Tel: xxxxxxx Accept greetings from all the staff of the (XXXXXXC SHIPPING INTERNATIONAL AGENCY ), we have information and we have your (Male and Female XXXXXXXX  Puppies ) here at our Pet Transport Voyage from MR/MRS XXXXX XXXXXX to be transported and home delivered to your address (ADDRESS WITHHELD )
Bank Type …… western union
Names:…….XXX XXXXXX; State:……….KIEV; City:……KIEV; Postal Code:…….48034
Amount: …….$700.00
Country :……….UKRAINE   ” 

Pomeranian Puppy Scam Conclusion

If you’re looking for a new puppy, it’s essential to do your research and know what questions to ask. Unfortunately, the internet can be full of puppy scams – so don’t take any chances! We’ve compiled some guidelines below that should help you avoid getting scammed by unscrupulous Pomeranian breeders or dealers.

While this list is incomplete, hopefully, our tips will provide a starting point to learn more before investing in a pup. What are some other ways pet owners could protect themselves from scams? Let me know on Facebook.

Copyright Pomeranian.Org. All rights reserved.

References and Further Reading:
[1] Denise Leo “The Pomeranian Handbook”.

Teacup Pomeranian Puppy Scams


Denise Leo

Pomeranians are my passion, and I have shared my life with these darling little dogs for many decades. The creator and face behind this website is published author and Pomeranian breed authority Denise Leo of Dochlaggie Pomeranians.

Denise Leo
Denise Leo