BBB Scam Alert: Investigation Reveals Viki Teacup Maltese Website is a Scam

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An investigation by your Better Business Bureau (BBB) has confirmed that Viki Teacup Maltese, a website that claims to sell puppies from an Omaha residential address, is a scam. The confirmation came after BBB received a complaint and built a business profile for the company on January 9, 2023. The company has received three inquiries as of March 28, 2023.

Research revealed that the domain vikimaltesehome.com was privately registered by NameCheap, Inc. on December 10, 2022, and expires on December 10, 2023. The website is currently down. The website contained text and photos of puppies for sale, but the text had grammar errors and misspelled words.

The website listed an Omaha physical address. BBB received a phone call from the actual property owner of the address, who confirmed he is not running a dog-breeding business from his home. The person also said that this was the third puppy website that had used his personal residence address as a business location.

A consumer reported to BBB that she paid for a puppy with Zelle, and it was to be shipped to her. When she did not receive the puppy, she contacted the business owner, and he said he would work something out with her and would get back to her. The consumer, who provided text messages of the exchange, said the business then blocked her number and never returned her phone call. The business did not respond to this complaint.

Per the Nebraska Secretary of State, there is no registration for Viki Teacup Maltese. The phone number (402) 382-1663 was found on several puppy scam websites, including Terry Teacup Maltese Home and Ichika Shiba Inu. The email address and website for Viki Teacup Maltese were also found on many puppy scam websites.

BBB checked with the Nebraska Department of Agriculture’s licensing department and confirmed there is no licensed dog breeder registered by the name of Viki Teacup Maltese or one located at the address listed on the website.

BBB advises consumers to be cautious when buying pets online. Consumers should research the seller and the website, and they should also ask for references and documentation of health screenings for the pet.

BBB recommendations for buying pets online: 

  • See the pet in person before paying any money. Consider a video call with the seller if there are concerns about meeting in person because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This way, you are able to see the seller and the actual pet for sale.
  • Conduct a reverse image search of the photo of the pet and search for a distinctive phrase in the description. 
  • Research the breed to get a sense of a fair price you are considering. Think twice if someone advertises a purebred dog for free or at a deeply discounted price–it could be a fraudulent offer. 
  • Check out a local animal shelter for pets to meet in person before adopting
  • BBB urges more law enforcement action against pet scammers
  • The media and public should help to educate those looking for pets online by sharing BBB’s tips and study

ABOUT BBB: BBB is a nonprofit, business-supported organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. BBB services to consumers are free. BBB provides objective advice, BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.3 million companies, 11,000 charity reviewsdispute resolution servicesalerts and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust. Visit bbbinc.org for more information.

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