Cute puppy, family illness being used to scam people out of money

- An online scam involving an adorable puppy and a sad story is catching the attention, money of some Northern Virginia residents.

It all started as a post on a Facebook market place – a place where locals can buy and sell things. The post includes photos of an adorable wrinkled puppy and a lengthy sad story about a man who can’t afford to care for the puppy because his son passed away and his wife is in the hospital.

Unfortunately, for those who fell for the post, they are now hundreds of dollars short. When individuals offer to take the puppy in, the man asks for hundreds of dollars to ship the dog and a long list of personal information.

“You don't want to give anybody online any of your financial or even your personal information, you don't want to tell people where you live or back account information,” said Ashley Savage with the Arlington County Police.

Several Northern Virginia residents posting on Facebook marketplace groups got suspicious when they saw the post and say they realized the pictures appeared to be downloaded and that there was no puppy in need of a home.

When they asked more questions --they were blocked by the seller. Other victims and would be victims around the country posted similar experiences with the same Facebook user. Savage said “you really want to deal locally, face to face transactions that allow you to accept the product at the same time you provide your financial information.”

As of now, there are no charges for the scammer and Arlington Police say if you want a dog there are great local shelters or rescues.

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