Ohio's Attorney General is warning consumers about a new online puppy scam that's leaving prospective pet owners out an average of more $1,000 per victim.
In a press release, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said that more than two dozen Ohio residents had been victimized by the same type of online scam over the last two years.
The scam typically involves an online ad for a desired breed of dog at a lower-than-usual price. The seller requests that the buyer send money by wire or on a prepaid card for shipping expenses. The buyer sends the money, but never receives the dog.
Red Flags That You Might Be Getting Scammed
According to DeWine, here are some red flags that the online dog ad you're replying to may be a scam:
How to Protect Yourself
When buying animals online, just like when buying cars, houses or any other major purchase, there are a few pretty straightforward rules to follow. For example:
If you've been the victim of a consumer scam, contact your state's consumer protection agency. You may also want to contact a consumer protection attorney, who may be able to help you try to get your money back.