Idaho man scammed buying puppy online

An Idaho man says he's out more than a thousand dollars after scammers set up a dog  (Source: CNN VAN/KBOI).
An Idaho man says he's out more than a thousand dollars after scammers set up a dog (Source: CNN VAN/KBOI).(KMVT)
Published: Dec. 12, 2019 at 5:20 PM MST
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An Idaho man says he went online to find a new four-legged friend and instead got taken by some scammers.

On the Pets for Kings website, Ken Mansfield says it met all his requirements when it came time for a new puppy.

"Colorful and they have lots of like pictures of beautiful dogs,” Mansfield said. “They are very pretty looking and glowing reviews, you know, a wonderful dog, well to taking care of, you know, great temperament, all of that kind of stuff."

It didn't take him long to find one, he says. So he starts asking questions.

"There's a chat window that opens up when you sort of select say French bulldogs like we were and then it pops up, so how can I help you," he said.

Mansfield says he and the breeder chat for a while and then the issue of payment comes up.

"We downloaded the app,” he said. “And we bought the dog through, through Google Pay and we had to wait until it was processed."

The dog cost $1,150 but this wasn't what bothered Mansfield. On the day the dog was supposed to be flown into Boise, the shipping company tells Mansfield the crate the dog is in won't work.

"If we wanted to purchase a $3,000 shipping crate, or a $2,500 shipping crate or, you know, different versions of that kind of shipping crate,” he said. “Then we get the dog."

At this point, with over a thousand dollars already lost. Mansfield says he knew something was wrong.

"I felt sad, A — because we weren't getting the dog,” Mansfield said. “Because we really wanted to get a dog. But on the other hand, I was sort of angry at myself more than anything else is like how foolish, am I to be taken in by this. But then I thought, in retrospect. These guys are really clever."

"We see this all too often where these sites are coming up, they post cute pictures of dogs and hopes of getting your money,” said Rebecca Barr, with the Better Business Bureau. “And then either the site gets shut down and they put up another one or they continue to run the scam."

The Better Business Bureau says another local person claims to have been taken by Pets for Kings. But there is something BBB says can help weed out websites like this.

"You also really want to go do a Google image search,” Barr said. “So you can search for that image online to see what's popping up and other places. A lot of times, scammers will use the same photos on their websites that they've just pulled from other places."

It's tips like this one Mansfield says he'll pay more attention to in the future.

"I think the main thing is to not take everything online at face value,” Mansfield said. “Do your due diligence. Do some research. If it looks too good to be true, like they always say, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is."

It looks like there will be a happy ending to this story. Mansfield says he believes he has found a legitimate breeder and plans to see a puppy on Saturday.

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