Recently, my friend posted on Instagram of how she was so excited to go pick up her new puppy the next day. After about two days had gone by and there were no photos, updates, etc. I knew something was wrong. Turned out, she drove hours to pick up a puppy that ended up being a scam.

Sometimes the scammers sure know how to scam and other times, like when my sister-in-law's sister wanted to get a Golden Retriever, you can sniff them out before they go too far.

Now, apparently there has been a statewide rise in puppy scams and Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is spreading the word.

Get our free mobile app

Michigan's Surge in Puppy Scams - What Are They and Why is it Happening Now?

So puppy scams have always been a thing, but according to Nessel's latest Consumer Protection Alert, they have been on the rise since the start of COVID-19.

"Given the increased number of individuals staying at home to do their part and slow the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), many are turning to the internet to adopt or purchase a furry companion," the alert states. "Unfortunately, the Michigan Department of Attorney General has seen a surge in complaints of internet scammers exploiting this situation."

Some of the tricks these sleazy puppy scammers are using are things like: accepting your money for a pet that doesn't actually exist, refusing visits, demanding extra fees, "pandemic insurance", etc.

AG Dana Nessel's Tips to Avoid Falling Victim to Puppy Scams

Nessel has warned about these types of scams before and WILX reports she even stopped by the Capital Area Humane Society to encourage people to adopt in-person at local shelters the same day this PSA video was published:

In the video AG Nessel gives tips like always asking to meet the pet in-person before you put the money down and if you are going to make the purchase, do it on a credit card so you have the opportunity to dispute the charge if you are scammed.

Other puppy scam avoidance tips featured in the Consumer Protection Alert include: researching the breeder, the puppy itself and the breed, retaining any and all documents and, of course, considering adopting from a local, reputable shelter.

KEEP LOOKING: See What 50 of America's Most 'Pupular' Dog Breeds Look Like as Puppies

Check out these 50 fascinating facts about dogs: