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Dear Santa: Beware of puppy scams!

The Better Business Bureau warns against online puppy scams during the holidays

COLUMBUS, Ohio (10TV) -- Of all the holiday gifts to purchase online --- a puppy is not one of them!

The Better Business Bureau warn consumers of fraudsters taking advantage of online scams.

Here are a few ways to avoid getting pulled in by cute puppy ads.

  • Pick a breeder that is within driving distance. Visiting the breeder in person is the only way to ensure the puppy you want to purchase you've is real and not a reused stock image.
  • If the company is asking for payment through a wire transfer --- it's likely a scam. According to the Better Business Bureau, many scammers want customers to send money in a way that is not traceable. If you decide to pay online, pay with a credit card so the charge can be disputed if need be.
  • Make sure to get all of the pet's documents before you're sold -- things like proof of ownership and vaccination records. If the pet owner refuses, don't buy in!

If you plan to buy a pet for someone else --- it's a good idea to make sure the receiver is willing and capable of taking care of the pet. Puppies can be expensive and require quite a bit of attention.