GREENCASTLE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Folks looking to find a new furry family member online might be in for a scam according to the Indiana State Police.

ISP says the Putnamville post is currently investigating reports of fraud incidents involving the purchase of puppies through social media platforms.

Police say the scam works like this, a person sees a post that is advertising puppies for sale, they make contact and initiate a purchase. Once the money is transferred, the person is told what address to go to so they can pick up the dog. Except once they arrive, they find no puppy is at the location, and they’ve been scammed.

File image of dog in puppy mill (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

ISP provides the following tips to avoid being scammed;

  • Communicate with the seller
  • Meet the seller and puppy/dog
  • Get a contract and check references
  • Never wire money or use gift cards for payment
  • If the price is too good to be true, it’s likely a scam!

Police remind residents that scam artists are pervasive across the internet and to be vigilant when buying anything online.

As a reminder, never give out personal information such as date of birth, social security number, or credit card number. Many of these scammers want you to make a hasty decision and may pressure you or use fear to get your money or personal information. Be aware that transactions made by prepaid card or wire transfer are nearly impossible to recover once sent.

ISP press release