I encountered a person named Courtney Tipton, selling Pembroke/Cardigan cross Corgis for $400, supposedly in Crossville TN. Communicated decently, sent pictures of adorable puppy from an app in which her username was persian20191057. I paid the deposit. She even sent updated pics of "my" puppy. I then found an ad under the same username k9093 at Hoobly selling pugs in Fayetteville NC, with a different phone number but same exact and very specific wording in the ad. Claims to be deaf, so will not take calls. When asked about the pugs, she claims her account was hacked but all these complaints here against her prove otherwise (do a search here for Courtney Tipton). She was immediately defensive when I expressed my concerns and said she'd refund the deposit tonight. We'll see, but everything up to this point has been a lie so I'm sure that is also. I used PayPal friends and family. Big mistake on my part. What a disappointment. She's not just taking people's money, she's stealing their hopes, their eagerness for a puppy, and their trust. Beware anyone with the name Courtney Tipton, email c t i p 2229 (at) g m a i l. Phone number changes according to area she's claiming to sell from. I'm just glad we found out sooner rather than later. I should have known better. Wish I'd googled her name first!
Apparently Hoobly allows this individual to continue her scams despite complaints against her. At this moment she has an ad at Hoobly for pug puppies and is probably receiving fresh deposits from unsuspecting people who are just excited about the possibility of a puppy. I reported the ad and contacted Hoobly but yet it is still there.
Some red flags that I shouldn't have ignored: (1) Sought after breeds of puppies are priced cheaply enough that they are very tempting but they are not registered so it seems possible. These puppies are far from the age to be weaned, only about 2 weeks old at the time of the ad. (2) She demands a deposit through Zelle or PayPal Friends and Family ONLY and says she will not accept deposits in person. When I had trouble using Zelle she was quick to say that she was sorry I wasted my time and wished me luck on my search, giving me a further sense that we were about to lose our chance for the puppy. (3) She says that you will be welcome to visit the puppies only after they've had their first shots. Understandable from a health perspective but a red flag nonetheless. Weeks go by from planning deposit to this supposed chance to actually see your puppy. (4) She will not accept phone calls, in my case claiming that she is deaf (what a low down lie). This is actually because she uses a free text app to make all those phone numbers. (5) She is very quick to say "if you don't like this don't bother contacting me, " which gives the buyer a sense of urgency in following her demands so as not to miss the great deal on a puppy. (6) She uses misspellings of "your" for "you're" in every ad I've seen. A common mistake but it is such a consistent misuse that it may give a clue that a posting is by her. (7) She continually emphasizes "SERIOUS INQUIRIES ONLY or don't bother contacting me." Many actual animal breeders are enthusiastic about their breed and happy to answer questions. This emphasis on being serious makes the buyer feel like they are already committed to saying they will send a deposit even before contacting her. (8) Upon request she sends beautiful photos of ideal looking puppies posed "just so." She is quick to supply these, they appear almost professionally done and she has age progressions that seem legitimate. Who knows where she gets these images of whole litters different ages from! They were shared through an app called TextMe rather than through her personal text as most people would do. (9) Communication is not very prompt and there are "issues" beyond her control that come up. In my case she said her phone stopped working and she had to borrow a friend's. She later claimed her Hoobly account had been hacked. She was slow to respond to emails asking for updates but very quick to respond when I asked her about the pugs in NC. She responded defensively at the suggestion that she could take a personalized picture of the puppy, saying she is not scamming anyone and that she'd just refund my deposit. Uhhh, still waiting on that fairy tale. A legitimate seller would want to allay and refute concerns, not just shut off communication.
So, just beware out there. I'm a seller on Hoobly and I appreciate my customers who trust me, but I would never be offended if someone asked for verification. And I wouldn't ask for deposits ONLY in a way that is unprotected. There are good sellers out there. But Courtney Tipton is definitely not one of them! Watch out for her aliases also: Carson Tipton, Courtney Phillips (which she claimed was her maiden name). I know she just signed up for PayPal (because Zelle wouldn't go through for me) and I'll be contacting them to warn them of this serial scammer.