Watch out for pet supply scammers setting up during the pandemic, BBB warns
Orders from 'Super Paws' often never arrive, bureau says
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has issued a warning about an online retailer for pet products after dozens of customers from Canada and the U.S. filed complaints about the company this spring.
More than 120 people from B.C., New Brunswick, Ontario and 29 U.S. states have reported "Super Paws," which claims to specialize in high-quality, affordable pet products," after issues with delivery.
"According to BBB records, consumers claim that after placing an order through the company's website, products are not shipped and orders are never received, despite some customers being told that their products are in the mail," said the BBB, which serves B.C.'s mainland.
"Other consumers have reported poor customer service experiences, as the company does not provide a phone number where they can be reached for more information. Though the company's website currently refers to "Los Angeles, California, USA" in its terms and conditions, BBB is unable to determine where the business is physically located."
The bureau said pet adoptions and relevant purchases have "been booming" since pandemic restrictions were enacted in most jurisdictions in March. In turn, it said there has been a spike in scams as people started shopping online.
It said more than 1,000 people filed reports about pet-related scams between March 1 and July 15.
"The same level of diligence required when shopping for pets online is also required when pet owners are purchasing products online for their new companions," said Karla Laird, public relations manager with the BBB.
The bureau said shoppers should buy from reputable retailers, verify sellers' contact information and be mindful of internet security when shopping online. Buyers should also use a credit card, which makes it easier to dispute a fraud, and keep documentation related to their purchases.
Pet owners should also scan websites carefully for sloppy errors.
"Many fraudulent retail websites have been created since the start of the pandemic to trick consumers who prefer to shop online during this time. Watch for poor grammar, lack of information, capital letters in the middle of sentences, overly discounted deals and misuse of trust marks like the BBB and SPCA logos," the notice read.