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Plattsmouth woman warns others of online puppy scams

Published: Oct. 4, 2021 at 4:12 PM CDT
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PLATTSMOUTH, Neb. (WOWT) - As soon-to-be pet owners contemplate their buying options, there’s one thing buyers need to be aware of - online scams.

Not only does it cost you financially, but emotionally as well.

One Nebraska woman, Lou Wiggins, lives on a lake. She got a frog - but it’s a dog toy and serves as a reminder of 10-year-old Cassea who recently passed away.

“I actually sleep with this at night because it gives me comfort now,” said Wiggins about the frog.

She says he’s ready to spoil a new little Schnauzer and found pictures of a cute puppy online that, with various fees, cost her $1,100 upfront.

“We can talk here I have two female Schnauzers,” said Wiggins.

But the messages say the dog is in Denver, Colorado.

6 News reports Lou and her boyfriend then loaded up the pet carrier, doggie blanket, and chew toy for a seven-hour trip. Their excitement grew as they got closer and closer to picking up their new family member.

On arrival, there were no sounds of barking from inside.

The President of the Better Business Bureau, Jim Hegarty, says the address for the puppy is a “red herring.”

This led Wiggins to file a police report in Denver.

“In the end, we came home empty-handed and broken-hearted,” said Wiggins.

Though dejected, she’s determined to warn others who’ve lost a beloved pet to not fall in love with a puppy online and pay before you can play with them.

“You can cross your T’s and dot your I’s but, sadly to say, there are people out there that prey on people like us,” said Wiggins.

The Better Business Bureau conducted an extensive investigation into puppy scams and found that most originate in the African nation of Cameroon. Scammers use the same photos and videos of popular breeds over and over, so that’s a red flag when searching online.

In this case, Wiggins is attempting to get a refund through the cash app she used for the transaction.

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