Warning issued for online scams involving pet adoptions

Warning issued for online scams involving pet adoptions

BOONE, N.C. (WBTV) - Detectives in Watauga County are warning people to be on the lookout for scams involving the selling of pets.

There have been several cases this year, they said, of people finding websites with pets they want. They pay hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars, but never receive the animal.

“It’s a scam,” said Sheriff’s Detective Matt Rollins.

In some cases, the seller agrees to fly the animal from out-of-state and have it delivered to the buyer’s door. That’s when they ask for $900 more for special crates and promise reimbursement.

In other situations, buyers are from out of state and have been given a Watauga County address to visit and pick up the animal they paid for.

“They are sent to what is an empty lot,” said Rollins.

Because most of the money transactions were via wire transfers and not credit cards, the buyer is out the cash.

So far no arrests have been made, but federal investigators are also looking into it.

Officials urge anyone wanting to buy a pet through a website to research the website thoroughly. It is also a good idea, they said, to go and interact with the pet before paying for it. Another option is to visit the local Humane Society Shelters or breed-specific rescue groups.

The bottom line, said Rollins is for buyers to “be wary.”

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