Flagler officials warn residents of puppy scams

Deputies say they’ve received dozens of complaints

Flagler County Sheriff's Office says they've had 10 pet adoption scams reported since 2020.

BUNNELL, Fla. – The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office is warning residents of puppy scams happening throughout the county.

The sheriff’s office said it has received dozens of complaints and recent cases are from victims responding to ads on Craigslist or social media platforms, WKMG-TV reported.

“Victims show interest in a puppy listed for sale, move forward with the process to reserve a puppy, put down a deposit or entire amount and the seller disappears,” the sheriff’s office said in a release.

Deputies said there are some warning signs to look out for in these situations, such as the seller only wanting to communicate virtually and not over the phone, the seller asking for wiring of payment or through gift cards, or the price is “too good to be true.”

“With the recent incidents of scammers finding new ways to steal money from residents, we want to ensure Flagler County residents are aware of these scams and how to protect themselves,” Sheriff Rick Staly said in a release. “It saddens me to see people sinking to this level of using animals to make a quick buck. Be aware and lookout, report suspicious activity and do your research when adding a new pet to your family. We have some great local organizations that can help you adopt a pet, such as the Flagler Humane Society, so if you’re considering adopting, please make sure you’re selecting a reputable organization or person.”

The sheriff’s office said 10 cases have been reported to them since 2020 and there have been 20 cases reported to the Flagler Beach Police Department.

To report a pet scam, click here.

About the Author:

Brenda Argueta is a digital journalist who joined ClickOrlando.com in March 2021. She graduated from UCF and returned to Central Florida after working in Colorado.