West Michigan couple exposes online puppy scam

FRUITPORT, Mich. — A couple from Fruitport wants to expose the scam and bogus website that took them for $1,500. It's a scam that often involves exotic animals, purebred puppies, unscrupulous websites, and trusting buyers.

"We currently have two dogs. We have a schnauzer and a beagle, and after the holidays we thought, ya know, maybe it's time to introduce a new family member," Samantha Weiss explained.

Weiss and her boyfriend came across loveschnauzer.us.

"We found an unbelievable deal, which that should have been our first sign," she recalled.

A schnauzer puppy from a breeder in Virginia cost them $550. Once they wired the payment, the pup supposedly made its way from Virginia to Georgia. That's when the couple was told to wire another $970 for a special crate via Moneygram. The couple said they paid about $1,500 total and continued to wait patiently for the puppy to arrive.

"We received a text message saying that do to unforeseen circumstances the flight was canceled in Georgia," she explained.

Weiss said, "I called Georgia airport, and they had said they never heard of airline, that they receive calls all the time for this kind of thing, scams with puppies."

Her calls to the fake breeder and fake airline were initially ignored, but Weiss said the next day she received one more empty promise the puppy was on its way.

"No puppy. No refund. Nothing. It makes me sick to my stomach that people are taking advantage of people in our own community. I mean, we're not the only ones that this is happening to," she said.

Weiss explained, "I have been doing much more homework. I go online now, and I write emails and inquiries to all sorts of breeders."

She said, "$1,500 is a lot of money. Could have been a lot worse. Could have been thousands upon thousands of dollars, but even if someone steals $20 it's unjustifiable."

FOX 17 found multiple websites with the exact same testimonials that have been copied and pasted verbatim. Sometimes the breed changes.

The Better Business Bureau suggests you never wire money to a person or company you don't know and trust. You should see the pet in person and research prices.

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  • Mac Woods

    “Oh that $550 wasn’t enough? What’s that? You say you need an additional $970? Oh yeah, no problem. We’re sending it right now. Can’t wait to see our puppy!” ……………………………Less than zero common sense. Evidently doing well enough to wire $1,520 after the holidays. But no common sense.

  • Bud

    This is why you should buy local. They could have gone to a local animal shelter and picked up a dog or cat that would have just as easily filled their void – for a lot less than $1500, let alone $500.

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