BELLEVUE, Neb. (WOWT) – A 6 On Your Side investigation into a new twist on an old scam. One victim hopes her story will alert others.
Loco lived nine lives and then some as Carmen Carter’s beloved pet for 21 years.
“He was my soul mate, we went through everything together,” said Carter.
When Loco passed away Carmen looked for another cat online.
“But this little girl caught my attention,” said Carter.
Only $600 paid through a phone Cash app.
“They said there was no other fee except a home delivery fee of $45,” said Carter.
But then came a requirement for a thermal electronic shipping crate for almost $900 more and Carmen paid it.
“The breeder stopped messaging me and they never replied to my calls then I knew I got scammed out of $1,500 by a fake breeder,” said Carter.
Phony cats offered online add another animal to the pet scam ark.
“The lion’s share of pets scams are dogs but the rest of them birds, iguanas, and cats so clearly it applies across the board,” said Jim Hegarty, Better Business Bureau.
And scammers always offer an excuse why you can’t meet the pet in person.
Here at the Nebraska Humane Society, they adopt out about 4,000 cats a year and they say it’s better to come in and meet your new pet rather than fall in love with a picture.
Before becoming an animal owner you need to be in touch with the pet’s personality.
“You should be able to go and meet that animal before you get it and you should do that to make sure it has the type of temperament, that it appears to be bright alert responsive, and doesn’t appear sick,” said Pam Wiese, Nebraska Humane Society.
Carmen has learned about being too anxious to find a pet online.
“Make sure you actually talk to them in person instead of through email and text messages,” said Carter.
Carmen says to watch for warning signs that can be revealed in a cat scam.
After you pay for the pet, the scammers believe you are hooked and tack on unexpected charges. Those include shipping in special cases and then insurance to assure delivery.
When we searched online for thermal electronic crates several scam warnings popped up.
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