The family pays out hundreds of dollars after responding to an online puppy ad

WOOSTER, Ohio – After responding to an online ad for French bulldog puppies last weekend, a Wooster family worries they may have taken advantage of them. Not only do they not have a dog they hoped to bring into their family, but they have more than $ 1,500, the family said.

In late August and early November, the Mark family was forced to say goodbye to two of their beloved dogs, one of whom was previously Angela Mark’s father, who died earlier this year.

“That’s all he left of his father,” Brady Mark said.

The other dog, who died on November 15, was a lovely American bulldog who was a companion animal to Mark’s teenage son. The family bore the losses quite hard, Mark said, which explains why he and Angela were so easily attracted to an online ad for a French bulldog puppy from a Montana vendor.

The salesman allegedly told Angela that a family member had also passed away recently. Since the seller couldn’t take care of the puppies himself, the seller said he said he was offering a puppy at a steeply discounted price, but the Mark family had to pay for transportation, which would be about $ 300.

The seller was unable to comment and your online ad has been removed.

Angela said she was directed to use a Montana-based company, the American Delivery Service. On the company’s rather official website, the company says: “[aims] to provide pet owners with the unique, state-of-the-art solutions needed to fly with pets. “The website does not contain an address and calls to the listed phone number have not been answered.

In addition, there appears to be no formal notification to the American Deliver Service through the Montana Secretary of State’s office.

There were a number of grammatical and spelling errors in the contracts, messages, and invoices of the alleged representatives of the American Delivery Service, as well as no official letterhead.

Afterwards, Brady Mark said there were several red flags.

“We’ve been looking for change back and forth from the shipping company. Who’s right and who’s not? We don’t know yet,” Mark said. “[Alleged company representatives] he said, “hey, we need more money for this and that.” We still don’t have a dog and we’re about $ 1,700 deep, probably more than that. “

According to Mark, the alleged company has gone so far as to release short videos and other media to the dogs in the shipping containers, apparently suggesting that Mark’s new puppy is in transit. The invoices also included a shipment tracking number. However, hundreds of dollars were needed to pay for vaccinations and special dog carriers.

Angela Mark said a company spokeswoman said the dog was waiting at a local airport and would be released from the family after the final payment. However, Brady Mark said he called the airport and an airport representative told him there were no animals on the farm.

Brady Mark said his wife and I were both convinced their money could never come back.

“We borrowed money from our daughter,” Brady Mark said. “[Angela’s] mother came in to try to help us. We didn’t just twist ourselves. We chatted with other people in the meantime. This cheats on us at the end of the month when the bills become due. There may be little rent. It’s not their problem, it’s ours. Still, if it helps someone avoid what we’ve just been through, so be it. If you stop someone else from doing this, I think I’ll be that goat. “

According to the Better Business Bureau, the number and complexity of so-called puppy scams has increased in recent years. In the last three years, the BBB has received nearly 10,000 reports of puppy fraud. However, the FTC estimates that only 10% of casualties occur.

Although scams have become more complex, they can often be distinguished by certain characteristics. Possible red flags can only be communicated via email, a copy, or easily available stock photos, and can be paid for with non-traditional services such as prepaid gift cards. In addition, according to the BBB, if a transaction seems too good to be true, it is likely.