The McCracken County Sheriff’s Office is warning area residents of a scam that has been reported to its agency.

Detectives have learned that there have been recent postings of pets for sale on social media that are fraudulent. According to the sheriff’s office, the scammer will make a posting listing the pet and then request a deposit from a potential buyer. After the deposit has been collected, the scammer will break off contact with the victim and delete the account or posting.

Often, the scammer will sell the same pets under posts made from different account names. Scammers will often search various social media group posts to learn what specific animals/breeds are in demand, then make a posting as to appear as being local to that area.

The sheriff’s department offers these tips when purchasing pets online:

• Ask for multiple, new photographs of the animal, or posing with a dated item such as a newspaper.

• Ask for a phone number to communicate with the seller via phone.

• Ask for the phone number to the veterinary clinic that has treated the animal.

• If the seller claims to be in one location but asks you to send money elsewhere, it is probably a scam.

• If the breeder does not provide the information requested, it may be a scam.

• If the price listed sounds “to good to be true”, it probably is.

• Conduct your own research of the seller.

• Any requests for payment to be made via a pre-paid credit card should always be a red flag.

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