March 29, 2024

NORTH CANTON, Ohio (WOIO) – It’s the most amazing feeling, waking up Christmas morning to find a puppy underneath your tree, but our partners at the Cuyahoga County Scam Squad have a warning for consumers in the market for a new pet this holiday season.

The Cleveland Better Business Bureau told 19 News online pet scams are on the rise, with thousands of people getting ripped off without ever even getting a puppy, including one woman from North Canton.

“I really just fell for it, you know, and I should have known better, you know, I’m 63 years old,” said Teresa Depue. “I should have known better, but you know that little puppy, it was the cutest little puppy in the world.”

Teresa Depue’s beloved dachshund passed away a year ago, so as a Christmas present to herself and to her husband, she wanted to buy a new puppy. When she was scrolling through Facebook, she found an ad for dachshund puppies. She messaged the breeder, and before long, he messaged back. He said the dog cost $850 and was in Kentucky.

“He goes well, here’s my name, here’s my address, and everything in Kentucky, and we looked it up, and it was an actual road in Kentucky,” Depue said.

Then he asked for a $300 deposit. She made several attempts to send the money to multiple different emails sent by the scammer. PayPal flagged those transactions so the money wouldn’t go through; she reluctantly sent him the $300 through Zelle. The north canton woman planned on driving to Kentucky to pick up…

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