Pure Bred Bait

A search for English bulldog puppies leaves one couple finding frustration instead.

It seems a passion for pets clouded the better judgment of this pair as they violated several rules of smart online shopping... and now they hope you will learn from their mistakes.

Purebred pups are expensive, but it is possible to find better deals by expanding your search into cyberspace.

Unfortunately that also makes your more likely to fall victim to a scam.

When Bryan Echols and Maria Rios were looking to add more English bulldogs to help keep one-year old Maxxcena company, they did a Google search for bulldog puppies and found a classified ad site that looked credible.

"We found this web site called "," says Maria Rios of Mabelvale.

The web site features classified ads from all over the country...or your state.

Most of the listings for English bulldog puppies in Arkansas are not actually in Arkansas, but Bryan and Maria contacted a seller in Texarkana who had two pups, a male and female, for $600.00.

"And we were willing to go there and pick up the puppies but they kept telling us the only way they would be willing to give us the dogs is by delivery," explains Rios.

"So they didn't want you to come get them?"

"They didn't want us to come get them," says Rios.

"Is that a red flag in hindsight?"

"In hindsight, yes," agrees Rios.

"" offers advice prior to any contact between buyers and sellers, including deal locally with folks you can meet in person and never wire funds via Western Union or Moneygram.

It also advises that if it seems too good to be true, be careful.

It turns out two pure breds for $600.00 and free shipping was too good to be true...and an expensive lesson has been learned.

"Don't go through the Internet," recommends Echols. "Go through your local ads. From like the Arkansas Democrat or...friends or family."

It is not always easy to admit being duped, so thanks to Bryan and Maria for being willing to share their story and help others avoid a similar fate.