Valley couple lose $4,000 in dog-selling scam
A man and woman from Lawrence County are $4000 poorer after falling for a pet-selling scam.
A 60-year-old woman and a 62-year-old man from Scott Township told State Police they paid $1,000 to buy two dogs from someone who claimed to be from Pennsylvania.
When the seller told the couple that they couldn’t meet up to deliver the animals, they convinced the two to cough up more money for fees and services claiming Air Animal, Inc. Pet Movers would deliver the dogs.
The dogs never arrived and when all was said and done, the victims had been scammed out of $4,000.
Air Animal Pet Movers CEO and veterinarian Walter Woolf told 21 News that Air Animal is not involved in this scam and is frequently the target of scammers in the US and around the world.
"Air Animal does not transport puppies, kittens or animals rescued or purchased over the Internet,” Woolf said.
Police are still investigating.
According to the International Pet and Animal Transportation Association, online scams are on the rise where people are lured in by a cute puppy or other pet for sale, only to find out that they have been scammed out of their money.
The best way to avoid being scammed by those who are selling pets online is to educate yourself on the warning signs of a typical online pet scam.
Below are listed some of the common and known scams that we see on a regular basis:
The Steps of a Typical Online Pet Scam
FREE PETS FOR SALE
Most pet scams begin with a buyer searching online for free / cheap pets for sale or puppies for sale.
Usually, the seller will offer to give the pet for free and then send the pet directly to them at a discounted price. Other points to look for: They almost always say they are only giving the pet away because their child passed away, that they moved for a new job and cannot provide enough attention for the animal due to work hours, or their new house won’t allow pets.
Once committed to the sale, paperwork and delivery requesting additional money. The scammer will then say that the airline is requiring a temperature-controlled crate, shipping insurance, additional paperwork, or shots, etc. Sometimes, they even set up additional email accounts, websites, etc. to look like an airline or shipping company. This is all part of the scam!! They will even try to convince you that if you do not send them additional money they will report you for animal abandonment to the authorities.
If you have questions about a company, email, website or if you feel you have been scammed, please contact us at [email protected]