OKLAHOMA CITY - The victims are all over the country: in Colorado, Alabama, Missouri, Florida, North Carolina and New Jersey, just to name a few.
But, they are all wire transferring money to Oklahoma City, thinking they’re getting a dog in return.
Problem is, the dog never shows up.
Gregg Armstrong lives in Alabama and searched the internet for two new pets for his kids.
He found a lab and a golden retriever on duncanpaws.com and contacted the breeder.
“He asked several questions about me and what I wanted to do with the dogs, and I mean it was really, they must be professional con-artists I guess,” Armstrong said. “I was really excited about the puppies. Our kids were excited about the puppies.”
But, the day the puppies were supposed to be shipped, Armstrong got another email from the shipping company that said “We have the puppies in our possession, but the sender seems to have vanished leaving us incapacitated to proceed.”
They asked for an extra $1,046, 95 percent refundable.
“It was very obvious that it was become a scam at that point. So, I wouldn’t send them any more money and never heard from anybody,” Armstrong said.
But, he was out the $500 he had already wire transferred.
Oklahoma City police said they have been contacted by 10 different police departments across the country so far.
They have released pictures taken from surveillance at the Walmart Neighborhood Market at S.W. 44th and Western of a man they said is picking up the wire transfer money from one of the transactions.
“Unfortunately, there are folks like this that take advantage of really kids and people, and why you would want to use a animal, a pet, you know, to do that, I don’t know. But, these people are ruthless,” Armstrong said.
Local breeder, Barbara McNeill, advises pet hunters looking on the internet to always ask for references.
“Can you give me a name of a former puppy buyer? You know, in this age, Google them, Google that website,” McNeill said.
Oklahoma City police said the man in the surveillance photos was seen leaving the store in a silver Dodge Caliber.
If you have any information, call Crimestoppers at 235-7300.