MUSTANG, Okla. (KFOR) – A Mustang woman fell victim to a puppy scam and is now out thousands of dollars.

Tana Mundinger was determined to fill the emotional gap left after losing her family pet.  

“My husband was missing our little dog so much that I wanted to surprise him for Christmas,” said Mundinger. 

Mundinger told KFOR she searched the web for a replacement puppy and found a tea cup-Maltipoo seller online.

After the online purchase, someone from the company called her, requesting a $500 payment via American Express gift card.

Mundinger didn’t recognize the bait and switch.

“He had first said it was $650 plus 150, and I needed to send a $300 down payment,” said Mundinger. “So I did that. He said it didn’t work. So, I need to send another $300. So I did that.” 

She was determined to have a puppy in her husband’s arms for Christmas, but it wasn’t to be.

Mundinger said the money requests kept coming, but they kept her hooked by sending shipment papers indicating the puppy was on its way. 

Eventually, she was out $5,800… and still, no puppy.

“They needed money for daycare. They needed money for this because it was taking a long process,” said Mundinger. “Finally, when it grew so high, that’s when I called the police department. I feel like I was a person that this wouldn’t fool, but I was.” 

The scammers went so far as to tell her she’s facing “puppy abandonment” charges if she went to the police, but she did the right thing and filed a police report.

“It’s a typical scam where an older person was targeted,” said M.Sgt. Gary Knight with the Oklahoma City Police Department.

Mundinger is now sharing her story, wanting to warn others about online scams.

“I was willing to do this for my husband,” said Mundinger. “I feel bad because I should have known better.”

Knight said it is always a good idea to check into a business before you ever make a purchase.