You type “Pennsylvania dog license” or “renew PA dog license” in your browser, and what’s the first listing that comes up?
A bogus website, unfortunately.
PADogLicense.online looks like the real thing — it even features the state emblem with a dog depicted in its center. But the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement says the shady website is paying search engines to appear at the top of search results and then selling fake licenses to unsuspecting dog owners.
“The best way to ensure that you’re completing an official transaction is to start on licenseyourdogpa.pa.gov,” advised Pa. Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding.
Here’s some more tips to help customers ensure that they are on an official website:
- Rather than using a search engine to reach a website to purchase a dog license, type “www.licenseyourdogpa.pa.gov” directly into your browser’s address bar;
- When in doubt, call your county treasurers office. Each county treasurer has a different process; while most offer an online option for purchase of licenses, some do not and require a paper form to be dropped off or mailed.
And if you have a concern about a third-party website, contact the PA Attorney General Bureau of Consumer Protection at 1-800-441-2555.