Pets News

Column: Pets make great coronavirus companions. And scammers know it

The Better Business Bureau says complaints involving pet-related scams soared in April as demand grew for stay-at-home pandemic pals.  ( surprisingly, animal shelters and rescue groups nationwide and across the Southland have reported a surge in pet adoptions since the coronavirus forced everyone to stay home.A furry friend can do wonders to help ease the stress, anxiety and loneliness of life during the pandemic.Unfortunately, and also not surprisingly, all this interest in dogs and cats has created a boom in pet-related fraud reports.John Novaria, a spokesman for the Better Business Bureau, told me this week that consumers filed more reports of pet scams in April than in the first three months of the year combined.”People are lonely,” he said. “These are difficult times. People are looking for companionship.”This represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for bogus breeders and other unscrupulous types looking to fleece consumers with online listings for nonexistent critters, or to nail people with sky-high fees for dubious services.”We even saw one instance where someone was asked for money so a dog could be given COVID medication before shipment,” Novaria said.Needless to say, there is no approved medication for COVID-19, either for pooches or people (or presidents for that matter, but that’s a different story).Novaria said the BBB received 371 complaints of pet-related fraud in April, a more than 200% increase from the same mon
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