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TROUBLESHOOTERS: BBB warns cyber pet scams are back again

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(HOI) -- When you adopt a dog, it becomes part of the family.

Danielle Turner-Eastwood of Galesburg says she got online to find that special dog to be a shoulder to lean on for her daughter.

"We were online looking to purchase a puppy. We wanted to purchase a King Cavalier Charles (Spaniel) for my daughter as an emotional support dog."

She says she found the website, which offered that particular breed for sale.

She found just what she was looking for, adding the back and forth dialogue with seller Myron Cantar went smooth.

"We did pay through Paypal, but they had us mark that we would pay through friends and family."

The family's dream dog would cost $670.

"Then when payment went through we had to screenshot where it went through and send it to them for proof. They said they would deliver it."

It was at that point she says something just didn't seem right.

"I get that weird feeling that night and my mom did too, so my mom called me and we Googled his name and it came up completely at a puppy scam at that point. So, I emailed them and text them back, they said that was false and they would get us a puppy. We never seen or heard anything from them since."

Turns out, the site is just one of several bogus websites these particular scammers are using.

"I was angry," says Turner-Eastwood. "But I was more angry about them hurting my daughter, not getting the puppy that she needs. It was more of a lesson learned. They're good at what they do. You think you're doing the right thing and following what you need to and anger that they're people out there like that."

Jessica Tharp with the Better Business Bureau of Central Illinois says she's seen an uptick in these types of scams.

"We've had some reports recently where consumers have reported going to a website finding a great looking dog, a cute puppy, sending hundreds of dollars and it ends up costing them thousands and of course they never actually get the puppy," Tharp said.

Tharp adds you should always see the dog in person before buying.

"Under these circumstances, I understand that's not always possible. What you can do instead is when they send you pictures of the puppy, you can do an image search online to see if there other places where this image appears and that may tip you off that this is a scam," said Tharp

Donnie Tillman

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